2018 Nonfiction Prize Winners: Jonathan Winston Jones + Alex Mouw

February 21, 2018 1 Comment

Ruminate Magazine is excited to share with you the winners of the 2018 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize. The winning essay was selected by our final judge, Camille Dungy

FIRST PLACE: Jonathan Winston Jones, "Bison Clouds" 

Jonathan Winston Jones is a social scientist by trade working in the U.S. government. He holds two master's degrees, one in public policy from the University of Chicago and one in human rights from the University of Manchester. He's slowly working on an MFA in creative nonfiction at Northwestern University and believes that three master's degrees in these exact fields are keys to his own enlightenment. He hopes that his writing elevates and inspires those who read it. Our final judge, Camille Dungy writes: "Bison Clouds is so rich and alluringly haunting. I'm drawn in from the first sentence, and I am never fully released."

SECOND PLACE: Alex Mouw, "The Pain"

Alex Mouw lives with his wife in Holland, Michigan. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, Colorado Review, Ruminate, and other journals, and he is currently at work on a series of essays.Our final judge, Camille Dungy writes: "The Pain is terrifying. And compelling. And emotionally-wrought. And terrifying again. I have thought about several scenes from this piece since I first read it. At one point I had to stop reading for a bit to allow myself to fully digest the enormity of this world's pain."


HONORABLE MENTION: Madeleine Mysko, "A Bird's Voice Calls"

Madeleine Mysko is the author of two novels, Bringing Vincent Home and Stone Harbor Bound, and a book of poems, Crucial Blue, forthcoming in 2019. Currently she serves as contributing editor for the “Reflections” column at American Journal of Nursing. Nearly every day she walks the same two-mile square in Towson, Maryland that she walked as a child. The writing in her notebook seems to circle back and pass itself going the other way, a bit like a labyrinth. Our final judge, Camille Dungy writes: " I really really loved this essay. Anne is the woman I want to be in the world, but I don't want to have to suffer what she suffered to get there. And the friend/narrator is drawn with compassionate but unswerving attention."





Caroline Burke
Nancy Quick Langer
Christina Schmid
Sandra Jensen
Laura Hicks Hardy
Ryan Ireland
Rachel Jones



1 Response

Jean Carlson
Jean Carlson

February 23, 2018

Congratulations, Rachel. I sure enjoy reading what you write. I am privileged!

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