Jelly Bucket [jel-ee buhk-it]-noun

1) archaic slang for a lunch pail, formerly used by coal miners and other laborers residing in Appalachia.

2) Bluegrass Writers Studio's annual graduate-student-produced literary journal.

Jelly Bucket is published annually by Bluegrass Writers Studio, the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Eastern Kentucky University. Founded in 2009, Jelly Bucket features established and new writers. We accept works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as visual art. Preference is given to visual art that incorporates text and/or features an aspect of the book arts, but all genres are welcome. Our reading period runs from July 1st through December 1st.


Purchase a Copy

To order, visit our online store, or send a check made payable to EKU Dept. of English for $12 to: Jelly Bucket, 101 Mattox, 521 Lancaster Ave., Richmond, KY 40475. Please specify if you would like a copy of Jelly Bucket number one, two, three, four, five, six, or pre-order issue 7 (due out in May/June 2017).


Submitting Your Work

Only one submission per person per reading period please. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but if your submitted work is accepted elsewhere please let us know immediately and withdraw your submissions through Submittable. If you need to withdraw a portion of a submission please email: editor@jellybucket.org. Previously published work is not accepted. We define previously published work as a piece published in another journal, either paper or electronic in a book or chapbook—even a self-published one—or one that is currently online in a public blog or within a public forum.  Submissions from current Bluegrass Writers Studio students or staff will not be accepted, to avoid all conflict of interest concerns.

To see individual genre requirements, click to appropriate link below.


University Disclaimer

Jelly Bucket cannot accept work from current students at Eastern Kentucky University. In addition, a minimum of 4 years must have passed between study at the University and submissions to the journal. There is a publication at the University for student work, titled Aurora, whose reading period takes place each Fall.

Please limit word count to 7,500. Only one short story may be submitted at a time. For short fiction (less than 1,000 words), up to three pieces may be submitted. Please double-space all entries.

Nonfiction pieces of up to 7,500 words are welcome. For short nonfiction (less than 1,000 words), up to three pieces may be submitted. Please double-space all entries.

Please send us no more than (5) five poems at a time. Each poem should begin on a new page, but be submitted in a single document. Format poems on the page as you would have them printed.

Each issue features a text-as-art/book arts project(s). Project images can involve any media, but must incorporate text or font design, calligraphy, tattoos, book design, crossword puzzles, or other aspects of text as art or the book arts. You may query first, send us a CD, direct us to a web site to review your work, or use this form to submit low-res samples of your project.