What is Pollen?: An online literary magazine showcasing the heart of our program and the stories of our region.

Theme: The relationship between people, gardens, and food in Appalachia.

Who Can Submit?: There are no limitations on who can submit to Pollen. Even if you’re not directly involved with Grow Appalachia, we value inclusiveness. Do keep in mind that we’re hoping that 60% of the accepted works will come from within the Grow Appalachia family, although the final figure will depend on who submits.

All submitters must include their name, age, city/state. If you are a Grow Appalachia participant, please include the name of the partner site that you’re affiliated with. Furthermore, if your work is accepted, we’ll request a brief biography (~75 words) to accompany your work, although you can send it along with your original submission, if you’d like.

Biographies can range from something like…:

Jeffrey Helton is an omnivore and an alumnus of Berea College, where he studied English and Philosophy. He’s now an AmeriCorps Vista with the college’s Grow Appalachia program. He serves as the editor of Pollen, Grow Appalachia’s online literary magazine, and has had work published in Still: The Journal and Made-Up Fancy Journal. He spends his time writing, playing racquetball, and daydreaming about having a dog. 

To something like…:

Penelope Person is a third grader at Made-Up Elementary in Jackson, Kentucky. She wants to be a superhero when she grows up, and she loves going into the garden and helping her dad pick blueberries. (He loves helping her with her bio!)

How to Submit: We strongly prefer digital submissions. Email these to jeffrey@growappalachia.org.

Postal submissions should be addressed to:

CPO 2122
101 Chestnut Street
Berea, Kentucky 40403

Submission Categories: (To cut down on judging time, you may only submit to a maximum of two of these)

  • Prose (Flash fiction, short stories, nonfiction personal essays, etc.) You may submit one piece, ~2,500 words or less.
  • Poetry (Haikus, limericks, free verse, etc.) You may submit up to three pages of poetry.
  • Visual Arts (Photography, illustrations, cartoons, woodblocks, etc.) You may submit up to three pieces.

If your work is accepted into Pollen, you’ll receive a limited edition Grow Appalachia/Pollen shirt!

If you have any questions or comments, just email me at jeffrey@growappalachia.org. If you prefer talking on the phone, please, please feel free to call me at: 859.985.3740