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 for our annual journal runs from July 1st through December 1st.

Submitting Your Work

Only one submission per genre per reading period. Simultaneous submissions are considered, but if your work is accepted elsewhere please withdraw submission via Submittable. If you need to withdraw a portion of a submission, leave a comment on your submission via Submittable. Previously published work will not be accepted. We define previously published work as a piece published in another journal (paper or electronic), in a book or chapbook (traditionally or self-published), or one that is currently online in a public blog or within a public forum.

To view individual genre guidelines, please click the link below.


Submission Guidelines

With all submissions, please include a short biography (about 50-100 words) in your cover letter. This bio will be included with your piece should you win or place. To view individual genre guidelines, please click the 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 Online, whose reading period takes place each Fall.

Ends on December 1, 2017

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.

Ends on December 1, 2017

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.

Ends on December 1, 2017

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.

Ends on December 1, 2017

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.