Hello and welcome to Inside The Bell Jar, a literary journal dedicated to providing an honest insight into the complexity of mental illness.
Inside The Bell Jar intends to bring together a collection of hand-picked writers, whose stories and poems tell of the darkness in which they are living. Our authors and poets may have a direct link to a mental illness (either because of their own struggles or those of a family member), or at the very least show a deep, unique and compassionate understanding of what it means to live inside a bell jar.
You might be wondering why we chose a bell jar of all objects to describe mental illness. Well, the scientific bell jar is a bell-shaped glass used to create and contain a vacuum – generally utilised in a laboratory to perform experiments. But the literary bell jar is something far darker. In her novel, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath uses the jar as a metaphor for her depression. She’s stuck in her own mind, observing the world from behind this crystal glass; invisible to others, struggling to fight for air. This bell jar offers no sense of hope and instead fills her with dread and emptiness.
Inside The Bell Jar was created out of a desire to coalesce a community of readers that long to find their own stories in another writer’s world and voice. Our poetry, prose and short stories intend to explore both hope and desperation, both pain and joy, light and darkness.
Our greatest goal for Inside The Bell Jar is to offer something raw to our readers. That is to say: we are not afraid to publish your ‘darkness’. Living with a mental illness is a frightening, often very lonely journey. We hope to help with that journey by publishing stories and poetry that people can relate to.
So writers, if you’re stuck in your own bell jar, we need you! Give us your darkest and deepest thoughts – the ones that keep you up at night, your fears and your pain. We publish stories about all types of mental illness, suicide, self-harm, bullying, addiction, abuse, and more.
Editor | Inside The Bell Jar
Want to contact the editor?
Perhaps you’re an author looking to have your book reviewed, or simply have a tip or idea for collaboration. Whatever your query, the quickest way to contact us is via email. If you wish to submit a short story, flash fiction or poetry, please check our Submit page, which you can find here.