Jelly Bucket Filled with Literary Gems

The second annual issue of Jelly Bucket, the international literary journal designed and produced by students in Eastern Kentucky University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, is now available.

The issue includes fiction by Chris Offutt, poetry by Richard Garcia, an essay by Peter Schaller and much more from a total of 31 contributors from around the world, some established, others new to the scene. Four call Kentucky home, and other contributors hail from all corners of the U.S. as well as Italy, Republic of Georgia and Nicaragua.

Russell Helms, coordinator of EKU’s MFA in Creative Writing program, serves as managing editor of the publication, coordinating all design and production. Each spring, all students in the MFA program are encouraged to apply for editorial staff positions.

“All material is solicited and reviewed by the editors,” Helms said. “I work closely with the production manager to lay out the magazine. All staff members participate in the editing process. Faculty have an opportunity to weigh in once the material is typeset. Thus, practically every aspect of the journal is student-run.”

One student editor is selected for each of the three literary genres: fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Clay Marcum served as editor-in-chief and fiction editor for this issue, Markus Jones as poetry editor and Tonya Hendren as non-fiction editor.

“There’s nothing more enlightening for our students than reviewing the writing of hundreds of complete strangers,” Helms said. “Simply put, being put in the position of judging the writing of others forces you to think about your own writing in much more critical terms. For the production manager (Lindsey Stockton this issue), the skills learned in print design and production are valuable tools within most any aspect of professional publishing, Plus, it’s fun.”

To purchase a copy of Jelly Bucket, e-mail Helms at for details or visit the MFA in Creative Writing office in Case Annex 467. Copies may also be purchased by visiting the Jelly Bucket web site at The publication is free for those who visit the office.

Applications for EKU’s brief-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program are accepted year-round, and students may enter the program during any fall or spring semester. For more information about theprogram, visit or call 859-622-3093. Dr. Young Smith serves as director.

Published on January 05, 2011