McCANN: It’s fall, and time to submit your best work to Kentucky journals

Published 1:29 pm Friday, September 11, 2020

School is back in session. This matters little except to those in college or those wishing to have their poetry, essays, short stories or works of art published in one of the state’s many journals.

If you’ve been working on an essay or short story that you think is ready to be found either online or between the covers of a journal, now is the time to submit.


Appalachian Review

Formerly known as Appalachian Heritage, Appalachian Review still seeks to publish “unpublished work that is rooted in and/or captures the spirit of Appalachia. Potential authors need not be from the region but should instead exhibit a connection to and/or a deep understanding of Appalachia and its people.”

The publication is not interested in works that stereotype or demean, but rather seeks out “writing that expands the notion of what it means to be Appalachian or connected to the region.”

The publication accepts submissions of unpublished original works from September through Dec. 1.  They accept fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, young adult, craft essays and book reviews.

Submission requirements and how to submit can be found on their website at


Jelly Bucket Literary Journal

Published by the graduate writing program at Eastern Kentucky University, Jelly Bucket accepts submission from non-EKU students through Dec. 1.

They accept submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and text as art.

Submission requirements and how to submit can be found on their website at


New Limestone Review

New Limestone Review at the University of Kentucky is looking for submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and art from non-students for monthly issues of their online literary review.

Pieces published in the online journal are considered for possible publication in the journal’s annual print publication.

For more detailed information about submission guidelines and dates, visit

If you would like to pitch them a book review, email with the subject line Review Pitch _ Your Name.


Sad passing

One of my favorite magazines these past few years has been Kentucky Explorer Magazine.

In the most recent issue (Sept/Oct 2020), Charles Hayes, founder of the magazine, announced that the next issue (Nov/Dec) would be its last.

The magazine, published in Jackson, Kentucky, is nearly ubiquitous once you become aware of it: copies are sold in state park gift shops, filling stations, bookstores, drug stores and box stores like WalMart and Target.

With sales of 50,000 monthly and a readership higher than that, the Explorer is not a loss leader but rather lacks a leader to carry it forward.

For those who are unfamiliar with this publication, I was introduced to it by my father a few years ago. I really became a fan of the magazine when I stumbled across an old (dated 1940) article written by his Aunt Mamie (my great aunt) that discussed life in Flemingsburg in 1840.

I remember meeting Mamie as a child when she was bent with age and I was a teen uninterested in finding out about the past from someone then so old (she was the age I am now: 65). Her experiences were “irrelevant.” (Foolish me.).

Kentucky Explorer is not a scholarly journal. Anyone can write an article based on their memories or family stories and see that story published.

It is not a fancy trade magazine with beautiful covers and four-color photography; it is published on newsprint.

Beyond submitted stories, letters and photographs, the editors republish articles long out of print — such as the one written by my great aunt that originally appeared in The Flemingsburg Gazette.

The most recent issue contained articles about the Spanish Flu; “A History of Jessamine County from its Earliest Founding to 1898” (published in 1898); stories “I Remember” (told by readers); “Old Time recipes to Enjoy.” And, of course, lots of information helpful to anyone doing genealogical research. The diversity of the stories and authors is quite amazing.

It is indeed too bad that this 35-year-old institution will soon be no more.

For more information, particularly if you have a subscription, call 606-666-5060.

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. He can be reached at