Our annual $1500 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize is closed.

Sign up for our emails, and we'll send you updates and deadline reminders:

Essay/short memoir must be 5,500 words or less

Entry fee is $20 (includes a digital copy of Ruminate)

Deadline is Nov. 15th (plus 3-day grace period)
Jessica Wilbanks is the author of When I Spoke in Tongues, a memoir about faith and its loss (Beacon Press, 2018). She has received a Pushcart Prize as well as creative nonfiction awards from Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Redivider, and Ruminate Magazine. Her essays have received Notable Mentions in Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and she was recently selected as a finalist for the PEN Center USA’s annual Literary Award in Journalism. Jessica received her MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Houston, where she served as nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast. For more information, visit jessicawilbanks.com.
As with all our submissions, we highly recommend reading a copy of the magazine to better understand the type of work we are looking for.

Download a free excerpt from Issue No. 24 featuring our 2012 Nonfiction Prize winning essay: "Father of Disorder" by Jessica Wilbanks.
Want to read a full issue?
Purchase issues featuring past Nonfiction Prize recipients:
"Without knowing where this essay would go, without knowing whether anything would ever come of this essay, it found a home in Ruminate. This is a beautiful home. Thank you to Ruminate and to finalist judge Camille Dungy for finding a home for these words. They are happy to be here."
—Jonathan Winston Jones,
winner of the 2018 VanderMey Nonfiction prize for "Bison Clouds" in Issue No. 47: Hauntings