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 — December 1st.


Jelly Bucket Enters a New Decade 

As excited as we were to celebrate a decade of Jelly Bucket this year with issue #10, we're even more excited about the next 10 issues of Jelly Bucket. 

We will mark the second decade of Jelly Bucket with a new commitment to publishing writers from, and writing about, marginalized and under-represented communities. This will be a decade-long project, and it begins in issue #11 (summer 2021) with a special section dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

By focusing on one community per issue, Jelly Bucket can make a specific call for work from that community and showcase it alongside our regular, high quality, general submissions. The special section in every issue will comprise roughly 50% of the issue and will be guest-edited each time by an established writer who is connected in some way to the community being featured. 

For issue #11, the Guest Editor is 2009 National Book Award Finalist, Lyrae van Clief-Stefanon.

Submissions for the Black Lives Matter special section will be open from October 1st – December 15th. 


Guidelines For Submitting Your Work 

Only one submission per genre per reading period. Simultaneous submissions are considered, but if your work is accepted elsewhere please withdraw your submission via Submittable. If you need to withdraw just 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.

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 scroll and click the links 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.

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  Please limit word count to 5,000. 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. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files. 

  Issue #11 (summer 2021) will contain a special section dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Submit your fiction work that captures, explores, reflects, reports, ruminates upon, or dialogues with social justice as it relates to the African American experience and Black Lives Matter. Please limit word count to 5,000. Only one short story may be submitted. For short fiction (less than 1,000 words), up to three pieces may be submitted. Please double-space all entries. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files. 

  Nonfiction pieces of up to 5,000 words are welcome. For short nonfiction (less than 1,000 words), up to three pieces may be submitted. Please double-space all entries. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files.

  Issue #11 (summer 2021) will contain a special section dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Submit your nonfiction piece that captures, explores, reflects, reports, ruminates upon, or dialogues with social justice as it relates to the African American experience and Black Lives Matter. Nonfiction work of up to 5,000 words are welcome. For short nonfiction (less than 1,000 words), up to three pieces may be submitted. Please double-space all entries. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files.

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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. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files.

Issue #11 (summer 2021) will contain a special section dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Submit your poetry that captures, explores, reflects, reports, ruminates upon, or dialogues with social justice as it relates to the African American experience and Black Lives Matter. Please send us no more than (5) five poems. 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. We accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files.
 

Each issue features an art cover feature and color insert. We are open to all types of art but priority will be given to those that incorporate words, books (book arts), or altered book pages in a lovely and creative way. You may submit up to 5 pieces of artwork. Please zip multiple files together and submit them as one submission. Artwork must be hi-res, 300 dpi, at least 6" wide by 8" tall.  We accept jpeg, tiff or .zip files. Please include the year your artwork was produced, size, and media used. 

Issue #11 (summer 2021) will contain a special section dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Submit your artwork that captures, explores, reflects, reports, ruminates upon, or dialogues with social justice as it relates to the African American experience and Black Lives Matter. Each issue features an art cover feature and color insert. We are open to all types of art but priority will be given to those that incorporate words, books (book arts), or altered book pages in a lovely and creative way. You may submit up to 5 pieces of artwork. Please zip multiple files together and submit them as one submission. Artwork must be hi-res, 300 dpi, at least 6" wide by 8" tall.  We accept jpeg, tiff or .zip files. Please include the year your artwork was produced, size, and media used.

Jelly Bucket