Cricket Media 

Thank you for your interest in contributing to our family of award-winning children’s magazines! We seek to publish the finest quality writing and illustration for children of all ages. Our readers share an alert curiosity about the world around them and a delight in artistic expression. Our literary magazines welcome submissions from writers of every level of experience. To learn more about submitting writing and art to our literary magazines, follow the links below. 

Cricket Media is committed to a diverse literary culture, and we welcome works by and about underrepresented groups (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, and other marginalized peoples).

We do not accept general submissions from children under the age of 18. Children of all ages can submit stories, poetry, essays, and art to the magazine contests. 

Visit our homepage to learn how to query, submit to, or apply to write for our nonfiction magazines CLICK®, COBBLESTONE, and FACES.  

See our submission guidelines for artists.

We accept general submissions at all times. Please do not submit the same piece to multiple magazines. If a submission to one magazine is more appropriate for another, we will pass it on to that magazine's editor.

Sign up for our calls on our submission mailing list.

BABYBUG®, a look-and-listen magazine, presents simple poems, stories, nonfiction, and activities that reflect the natural playfulness and curiosity of babies and toddlers. When reviewing submissions, the editors look for manuscripts that please the ear and beg to be read again, as well as those that capture a baby’s ongoing discoveries in a few simple, concrete sentences.

BABYBUG magazine 


We are particularly interested in manuscripts that explore simple concepts, encourage very young children’s imaginative play, and provide opportunities for adult readers and babies to interact. We welcome work that reflects diverse family cultures and traditions. 


Calls for Submissions: 

General submissions are always open. 

Check back soon for more calls for submissions!


Guidelines

Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, or you can order a current issue by calling 800-821-0115.) Issues are also available at many local libraries.

While BABYBUG does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues, below you will find a list of some (but by no means all) topics of interest to the magazine’s editors and readers.

  • Babies’ and toddlers’ relationships with others (immediate and extended family members, caregivers, other babies and older children)
  • Relationships with animals (pets, wild creatures, imaginary animals, etc.)
  • Learning new things (rolling, crawling, standing, walking, dancing, feeding oneself, talking, joking, singing, holding/using crayons and other art materials)
  • Daily routines
  • Becoming independent and saying no
  • Imitating adults and helping with household chores
  • Young children’s observations of their surroundings (home and childcare settings, neighborhood and city life, the natural world, familiar places like libraries and stores)
  • Favorite games and toys
  • Wordplay and silly situations that babies and toddlers find funny

Poetry

Rhythmic and rhyming, poems may explore a baby’s day, or they may be more whimsical.

Length: Eight-line maximum.

Stories

Although they are simple and clear, successful BABYBUG stories often end with a gentle or humorous surprise.
Length: Six-sentence maximum.

First Concepts

BABYBUG often features a “first concept,” a playful take on a simple idea. Concepts may be expressed through poems, stories, very short nonfiction, or prompts for simple activities. Please see recent issues for examples.

 

Procedure

  • We only accept online submissions, and the Submittable page you're currently on is the only place we accept them. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Submittable accepts international submissions.
  • Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service.

Cricket Media’s literary magazines (BABYBUG®, LADYBUG®, SPIDER®, and CRICKET®) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address.

 Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

 Questions may be directed to our email at submissions@cricketmedia.com.


What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

  • After manuscripts are received, they are reviewed by first readers. First readers consider each submission’s literary potential and whether it might be a good fit for one of our magazines.
  • Promising submissions are then carefully reviewed by several editors, including the magazine’s editor.
  • The magazine editor makes a final decision on whether to reject or accept the manuscript. For manuscripts that show some promise but need further development, the editor may write the author to request revisions on speculation.

After Acceptance

  • If we accept your manuscript, we will send you an acceptance letter detailing payment and rights
    information and any revisions we would like you to make (which acceptance shall only be binding upon your signing a final agreement that embodies agreed-upon rights and terms).
  • Once we’ve received your revisions, we carefully line edit the manuscript. The manuscript is then returned for your review. We work closely with our writers to bring out the best in each story, essay, and poem.
  • Once the manuscript is edited, it will be kept on file until it is assigned to an issue. Because we work 6–8 months ahead of each issue, it can be a year or more before a manuscript is placed.


Rights

  • Stories and poems previously unpublished: Rights vary.
  • Stories and poems previously published: BABYBUG purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.


Rates

  • Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word
  • Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum

 

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

LADYBUG magazine 

LADYBUG®, a literary magazine for young children, features original stories, poetry, nonfiction, and activities written by the world’s best children’s authors—both known and new. When reviewing submissions, the editors look for clear and beautiful language, a sense of joy and wonder, and a genuinely childlike point of view.

We have particular interests in stories that explore themes of identity (gender, race and ethnicity, neighborhoods, beliefs and traditions); citizenship and global cultures; scientific and technological exploration; and the creative spirit.


Calls for Submissions:

General submissions are always open. 

Check back soon for more calls for submissions!


Guidelines

Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, or you can order a current issue by calling 800-821-0115.) Issues are also available at many local libraries. LADYBUG does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues.

Fiction

LADYBUG publishes finely crafted and imaginative contemporary stories, original retellings of folk and fairy tales, and funny pieces with human characters or anthropomorphic animals. City settings and stories that take place outside the United States are especially welcome, as well as subject matter that appeals to both boys and girls.

Length: Stories may be up to 800 words, but significantly shorter manuscripts are accepted, and are often appropriate for LADYBUG’s young readers. We are also interested in rebus stories up to 200 words.

Poetry

Poems are generally rhythmic/rhyming; the tone may be serious or humorous. While we accept poems about seasons and the natural world, at this time we are actively looking for poetry that explores young children’s daily lives and their emotions and imaginations. We are also interested in action rhymes (energetic poems that call for physical movement).

Length: Poems may be up to 20 lines in length; on rare occasions, longer narrative poems are accepted.

Nonfiction

The editors seek simple explorations of interesting places in a young child's world (such as the library and the post office), different cultures, nature, and science. These articles can be straight nonfiction, or they may include story elements, such as a fictional child narrator.

Length: Nonfiction may be up to 400 words; backup materials and photo references may be requested upon acceptance.

Activities and Games

LADYBUG publishes unusual and imaginative activities, riddles, games, and crafts. Please see past issues for models and inspiration.

Songs

We seek playful, engaging original songs. Songs should be lively and interesting, yet simple and short enough for a young child to sing or play on a keyboard with help from a caregiver with some musical background. Original songs (lyrics and a melody line that may include chords) can be uploaded as PDFs. Please see past issues for examples.

Procedure

  • We only accept online submissions, and the Submittable page you're currently on is the only place we accept them. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Please submit online via Submittable. Submittable accepts international submissions.
  • Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service.

Cricket Media’s literary magazines (BABYBUG®, LADYBUG®, SPIDER®, and CRICKET®) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address.

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

Questions may be directed to our email at submissions@cricketmedia.com.

What Happens Next? 

The Manuscript Review Process

  • After manuscripts are received, they are reviewed by first readers. First readers consider each submission’s literary potential and whether it might be a good fit for one of our magazines.
  • Promising submissions are then carefully reviewed by several editors, including the magazine’s editor.
  • The magazine editor makes a final decision on whether to reject or accept the manuscript. For manuscripts that show some promise but need further development, the editor may write the author to request revisions on speculation.

After Acceptance 

  • If we accept your manuscript, we will send you an acceptance letter detailing payment and rights information and any revisions we would like you to make (which acceptance shall only be binding upon your signing a final agreement that embodies agreed-upon rights and terms).
  • Once we’ve received your revisions, we carefully line edit the manuscript. The manuscript is then returned for your review. We work closely with our writers to bring out the best in each story, essay, and poem.
  • Once the manuscript is edited, it will be kept on file until it is assigned to an issue. Because we work 6–8 months ahead of each issue, it can be a year or more before a manuscript is placed.

Rights

  • Stories and poems previously unpublished: Rights vary.
  • Stories and poems previously published: LADYBUG purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.

Rates

  • Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word
  • Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum

Art Submissions 

See our submission guidelines for artists.

SPIDER®, a literary magazine for children, features fresh and engaging literature, poems, articles, and activities for newly independent readers. Editors seek energetic, beautifully crafted submissions with strong “kid appeal” (an elusive yet recognizable quality, often tied to high-interest elements such as humor, adventure, and suspense).

SPIDER magazine 

We have particular interests in stories that explore themes of identity (gender expression, ability, race and ethnicity, family structure including LGBTQAI+ and single parent homes, neighborhoods, beliefs, and traditions); global cultures and languages (current needs include South American, African, and Middle Eastern countries, island nations, and Native American nations); scientific and technological exploration and innovation; magical or interplanetary landscapes; cities and metropolitan areas; real kids doing real things; weird and sometimes gross stuff; and the creative spirit.


Calls for Submissions: 

General submissions are always open. 

Guidelines

Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, or you can order a current issue by calling 800-821-0115.)  Issues are also available at many local libraries.

Fiction Stories and Plays

We seek fiction of all kinds: fantasy, folk or fairytale, sci-fi, historical, humorous, or realistic. Whether the setting is long-ago or contemporary, or the protagonist is a shy newcomer, clever trickster, class clown, fantasy creature, or superhero, characters and the worlds they inhabit should be complex and believable. Plays should have 2–6 characters so that a child could feasibly perform the play at home with family or friends.

Length: 300–1000 words

Poetry

Poems should be succinct, imaginative, and accessible; we tend to avoid long narrative poems.

Length: Up to 20 lines

Nonfiction Articles

For nonfiction, SPIDER readers enjoy well-researched articles about animals, kids their own age doing amazing things, women and people of color, and cool scientific discoveries (such as wetsuits for penguins and real-life invisibility cloaks). Nonfiction articles should rise above a simple list of facts; we look for kid-friendly nonfiction shaped into an engaging narrative.

Length: 300–800 words

Crafts and Activities

We also appreciate clever crafts, recipes, games, and puzzles; however, please submit only activities that a reader would be able to perform with minimal parental assistance.

Length: 1–2 pages

Procedure

  • We only accept online submissions, and the Submittable page you're currently on is the only place we accept them. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Submittable accepts international submissions.
  • Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service.

Cricket Media’s literary magazines (BABYBUG®, LADYBUG®, SPIDER®, and CRICKET®) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address. 

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

Questions may be directed to our email at submissions@cricketmedia.com. 

What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

  • After manuscripts are received, they are reviewed by first readers. First readers consider each submission’s literary potential and whether it might be a good fit for one of our magazines.
  • Promising submissions are then carefully reviewed by several editors, including the magazine’s editor.
  • The magazine editor makes a final decision on whether to reject or accept the manuscript. For manuscripts that show some promise but need further development, the editor may write the author to request revisions on speculation.

After Acceptance

  • If we accept your manuscript, we will send you an acceptance letter detailing payment and rights information and any revisions we would like you to make (which acceptance shall only be binding upon your signing a final agreement that embodies agreed-upon rights and terms).
  • Once we’ve received your revisions, we carefully line edit the manuscript. The manuscript is then returned for your review. We work closely with our writers to bring out the best in each story, essay, and poem.
  • Once the manuscript is edited, it will be kept on file until it is assigned to an issue. Because we work 6–8 months ahead of each issue, it can be a year or more before a manuscript is placed.

Rights

  • Stories and poems previously unpublished: Rights vary.
  • Stories and poems previously published: SPIDER purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.

Rates

  • Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word
  • Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum
  • Activities, games, and recipes: $75.00 flat rate

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

CRICKET® magazine seeks to publish the highest quality fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction to engage our audience of enthusiastic young readers. Editors consider unsolicited submissions from writers of every level of experience. Since its founding in 1973, CRICKET has published some of the most respected writers of children’s literature. It is also a wonderful opportunity for promising new writers to showcase their best work.

CRICKET magazine 

CRICKET does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues. However, we have particular interests in stories that explore themes of identity (gender, race and ethnicity, neighborhoods, beliefs and traditions); citizenship and global cultures; scientific and technological exploration; and the creative spirit.


Calls for Submissions: 


General submissions are always open. 

Ancient Worlds
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Cricket (for  ages 9-14) is seeking historical fiction, nonfiction, myths and legends, and poetry about ancient cultures, including ancient Greece,  Rome, Egypt, India, China, Africa, the Americas, Pacific Islands, and more. Submissions might focus on powerful political leaders and crises; legendary heroes; gods and goddesses; engineering and artistic achievements; cultural, religious, and scientific practices; or modern archaeological discoveries. We also welcome historical fiction featuring the everyday dramas and cares of children in the Cricket age range concerning school, friendships, families, and sports.

Game On!
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Cricket (for ages 9-14) is seeking fiction, nonfiction, and poetry featuring a competition, game, rivalry, or challenge. Submissions might focus on a school sports team, a kid trying out for the school play or newspaper, even on entering a local flower show or bird-watching competition. You could feature a warm family situation, such as playing checkers with Grandpa or the dreidel game at Hanukkah; or imagine a medieval fantasy about rival knights at a jousting tournament or battling the village dragon. You could also focus on a child’s challenge to overcome a fear, learn a new skill, advocate for change at school or in the community, or help a friend.


Guidelines

Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, or you can order a current issue by calling 800-821-0115.) Issues are also available at many local libraries.

Fiction

CRICKET is interested in realistic contemporary fiction, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, folk tales, myths and legends, and humor. No matter what genre, the author should first and foremost tell a good story that is well plotted, character-driven, and has a satisfying conclusion.

Folk tales, myths, and legends, especially lesser known ones from non-Western cultures, are always welcome in CRICKET. Retold tales need to be re-imagined with the same liveliness and detail of character as original stories. Please include a bibliography of sources for retold tales.

Sci-fi and fantasy manuscripts, besides being clever and imaginative, should tell a solid story with well-drawn characters. Stories featuring adventurous main characters in the age-range of CRICKET readers are most likely to succeed. CRICKET is enthusiastic about sci-fi and fantasy with a human touch, but is not a venue for excessively dystopian or warlike fantasy stories.

Historical fiction, a mainstay of CRICKET, should recreate a world accurately but with a primary focus on an energetic plot and robust characters. While modern kids no longer attend one-room schoolhouses, plow fields, or resist Roman invasions, your story should transport them across the historical divide to identify with timeless challenges of growing up and taking on responsibilities.

Contemporary realistic fiction may be light-hearted or serious. Stories typically feature lively and sympathetic main characters within the age range of our subscribers. Protagonists tend to be curious and sincere, functioning mainly within a kid’s world as they struggle to find a path through the sometimes-hilarious challenges of everyday life.

Keep in mind that CRICKET is aimed at middle-grade readers, a somewhat more protected stage than young adult. Innocent romance is welcome, but not sexual situations. Families in CRICKET can reflect the realities of contemporary life (e.g., latchkey kids, divorced parents) but not seriously disturbing situations or abuse.

CRICKET readers want to read about characters who are actively meeting their own challenges—not passively relying on the intervention of adults to solve problems of friends, family, and school. Even if not fully successful, characters in CRICKET at least progress in coming to terms with themselves and life.

Tips: A story should be a fully realized sequence of scenes and action – not just a sketch or vignette or image—with tension and dynamism between characters. Most CRICKET stories present a balance of dialogue and description. Dialogue should be natural and interesting, and avoid speechifying. Stories should “show, not tell”—that is, present scenes and reveal character through dialogue and action, not summary narration.

Stories giving our mostly American audience insight into diverse cultures are especially welcome.

Length: Most CRICKET stories are 1200–1800 words in length; however, we occasionally serialize compelling longer stories of up to 6,000 words. Submissions above this length will not be read. Authors of longer works are encouraged to submit excerpts, provided that these excerpts are under 6,000 words. We also need shorter pieces of 600–900 words.

Nonfiction

CRICKET publishes thought-provoking nonfiction articles on a wide range of subjects: history, biography, true adventure, science and technology, sports, inventors and explorers, architecture and engineering, archaeology, dance, music, theater, and art. Articles should be carefully researched and include a solid bibliography that shows that research has gone beyond reviewing websites.

Tips: Unlike a textbook or encyclopedia, CRICKET articles humanize history and discovery by telling a story clarifying how inventors and pioneers solved their problems and overcame difficulties. Including childhood anecdotes often helps our readers identify with people of great accomplishment.

Length: 1200–1800 words 

Poetry

CRICKET publishes both serious and humorous poetry. Poems should be well-crafted, with precise and vivid language and images. Poems can explore a variety of themes, from nature, to family and friendships, to whatever you can imagine that will delight our readers and invite their wonder and emotional response.

Tips: Keep in mind that CRICKET is for pre-teen and early teens, young but thoughtful, curious readers. Poetry should feel contemporary, never singsong or moralizing.

Length: Most CRICKET poems are 8–15 lines, but can be as short as 3 lines or up to 35 lines. Please submit each poem individually. Do not combine them.

Puzzles, Crafts, Activities

CRICKET readers enjoy logic and math puzzles, crafts, recipes, science experiments, as well as games and activities from different historical times and cultures.

Procedure

  • We only accept online submissions, and the Submittable page you're currently on is the only place we accept them. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Submittable accepts international submissions.
  • Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service.

Cricket Media's literary magazines (BABYBUG®, LADYBUG®, SPIDER®, and CRICKET®) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address.

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

Questions may be directed to our email at submissions@cricketmedia.com.

What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

  • After manuscripts are received, they are reviewed by first readers. First readers consider each submission’s literary potential and whether it might be a good fit for one of our magazines.
  • Promising submissions are then carefully reviewed by several editors, including the magazine’s editor.
  • The magazine editor makes a final decision on whether to reject or accept the manuscript. For manuscripts that show some promise but need further development, the editor may write the author to request revisions on speculation.

After Acceptance

  • If we accept your manuscript, we will send you an acceptance letter detailing payment and rights information and any revisions we would like you to make (which acceptance shall only be binding upon your signing a final agreement that embodies agreed-upon rights and terms).
  • Once we’ve received your revisions, we carefully line edit the manuscript. The manuscript is then returned for your review. We work closely with our writers to bring out the best in each story, essay, and poem.
  • Once the manuscript is edited, it will be kept on file until it is assigned to an issue. Because we work 6–8 months ahead of each issue, it can be a year or more before a manuscript is placed.

Rights

  • Stories and poems previously unpublished: Rights vary.
  • Stories and poems previously published: CRICKET purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.

 

Rates

  • Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word
  • Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum
  • Activities and recipes: $75.00 flat rate

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

ASK® is a nonfiction magazine for children 7–10 years old who are curious about science and the world they live in. Each edition of ASK is built around a central theme or question. 

ASK magazine 

ASK introduces kids to the joys of thinking and questioning scientifically, and presumes them to be active members of the international community of knowledge-seekers. The ideal ASK article is an engaging nonfiction story (or cartoon) that is concrete, specific, and appealing to newly independent readers (grades 3–5), but that an adult reader might also find interesting. Above all, it should tell a good story, with an emphasis on ideas and problem-solving rather than just facts. ASK encourages humor, and believes that no topic is beyond the grasp of an intelligent young person if explained well in lively terms.

ASK encourages writers to stretch the boundaries of topic themes and look for interesting perspectives and unexpected connections. We also love science cartoons.

We particularly welcome writers from traditionally underrepresented communities and diverse life experiences.

Guidelines

All articles in ASK are commissioned; ASK welcomes queries for articles for upcoming themes (see table below). Queries should give an overview of the proposed article, including scope and treatment, resources, and a draft opening paragraph. For cartoons, please provide a rough script, sketches for the first few panels, and one finished or a link to your finished work. Writers new to ASK should also provide a resume and two writing samples, including at least 200 words of unedited copy on any nonfiction topic.

Authors are expected to ensure that all content is scientifically correct in both conception and detail, and drafts should include a full list of references and sources consulted. Authors wishing to write for ASK should consult any past copy to get a sense of the tone, style, and range of articles. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, where you can also purchase a current issue.) Issues are also available at many local libraries.

  • Feature Articles (400–1200 words, with sidebars)
  • Photo Essays (400–800 words)
  • Humor Pieces (200–400 words)
  • Profiles/Interviews of Scientists, Inventors, Engineers, Artists (200–1000 words)
  • Theme-appropriate experiments
  • Science panel cartoons (2–6 pages)

Procedure

Story pitches should be submitted on the Submittable page you're currently on, or emailed to ask@cricketmedia.com. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or queries. Submittable accepts international submissions.

Rights

  • Articles previously unpublished: Rights vary, with option for authors to retain copyright.
  • Articles previously published: ASK purchases second publication rights.

Queries and Questions

Queries and questions should be submitted through our Submittable page. Pitches can also be directed to ask@cricketmedia.com. Authors are also encouraged to check the ASK author’s page for current edition status, needs, and updates from the editor.

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists


2023 Issue Themes

We are looking for  pitches for interesting, current, particular stories in the following  topics, that will be particularly thrilling to kid readers who are curious about everything.

January:  Secret Codes

Can you keep a secret?

Possible stories: History of secret codes, how to do some; unusual languages used as codes in wartime; spy techniques, how to hide messages;  computer binary code; captchas; bitcoin

Queries by: April 30, 2022


February:  Volcanoes

What makes volcanoes explode?

Possible stories: What are volcanoes and why do they erupt; legend of Pele; underwater volcanoes, vents, seamounts; volcanic succession, birth of a new volcanic island and how it changes over time; volcanic mini biomes (pockets isolated by lava flow); exploring a lava tube cave; geothermal power stations

Queries by: May 15, 2022


March:  Face It

Why do we have faces?

Possible stories: Biology of faces, how they evolved and what purpose they serve; making faces for robots, uncanny valley; pareidoilia; forensic anthropology, reconstructing faces of ancient people for museums; masks; disguises

Queries by: June 15, 2022


April:  Unmentionables

It might not be polite to mention underwear and toilets, but where would we be without them?

Possible stories: History of underwear; history of toilets; how do astronauts go to the bathroom?; chemical uses of urea; inventing environmentally friendly toilets for everyone

Queries by: July 15, 2022


May/June:  Sky at Play (Clouds/Wind)

Where do clouds come from? And what do they mean?

Possible stories: How clouds form; types of clouds; Luke Howard and cloud atlas; Bernhard Smilde, artist who makes clouds in rooms; Cloud forests; Space clouds (nebulae); drones that explore hurricanes; tornado clouds; layers of the air; Beaufort Scale

Queries by: August 15, 2022


July/August:  Big Teeth Club

Why do animals eat such weird things?

Possible stories: Why are some animals picky, and some eat anything?; How snakes can eat a whole animal; the truth about sharks; why elephants eat rocks and rabbits eat poo; challenges of feeding animals in zoos

Queries by: September 15, 2022


September:  Buried Treasure

Is there treasure waiting underground?

Possible stories: Stories about particular amazing finds, how they were found and what they revealed about the people who buried them; how gemstones form in the earth; why are diamonds rare; search for a lost city; How a metal detector works; Mythical treasures that probably never existed 

Queries by: November 30, 2022


October:  Bones

Does everyone have a skeleton inside?

Possible stories: How bones grow; know your bones; how do you paleontologists know what they’re looking at; exoskeleton vs. inner skeleton; what bones reveal about ancient people’s lives; creatures without bones 

Queries by: January 15, 2023


November/December:  Fairy Tale Science

Can modern inventors make magic come true?

Possible stories: Modern inventions that seem magic (talking over long distances, invisibility rings, talk to animals, etc); could dragons exist?; profile of scientist working on “magical” new invention or anything with connection to fairy tales (invisibility cloak, poison in apples, etc.); story of a real invention or discovery inspired by science fiction

Queries by: February 30, 2023

MUSE® is a discovery magazine for children and teens. It takes intellectual curiosity seriously, while never taking itself too seriously. The editors seek fresh and entertaining articles from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Timeliness and trustworthiness are essential, but humor, irreverence, and atypical angles are also hallmarks of MUSE.

MUSE magazine 

Each edition of MUSE focuses on a central theme and open-ended organizing questions about the theme. Although articles will provide different angles and perspectives on a theme, we aim for every article in an issue to help a reader begin to form at least an initial answer to the organizing questions.

Ideal MUSE articles build on and extend the existing knowledge most young people in grades 4–8 have. We value articles that feature innovators, scientists, and engineers who can explain what they’ve done in a clear and understandable way. Articles that explore new developments related to the organizing questions are especially welcome.

We seek articles that describe how things and processes work, and we look for claims or assertions to be backed up with evidence.  

 

Guidelines

Interested writers should familiarize themselves with MUSE’s style and content, particularly in recent issues. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store where you can also purchase a current issue.) Issues are also available at many local libraries. Authors are expected to ensure accuracy in both conception and detail. MUSE purchases all rights to materials. 

  • Feature Articles (800–2,000 words, including sidebars)
  • Profiles and Interviews, particularly of underrepresented STEM professionals (500–800 words)
  • Activities and Experiments (500–800 words)
  • Photo Essays (100–300 words)
  • Science Fiction or Science-Focused Fiction (800–1,200 words )
  • Infographics 

 

Procedure

Articles are commissioned. We invite detailed queries for articles related to upcoming themes (see below). Detailed queries include a cover letter, an outline of the proposed article, including scope and treatment, and proposed resources. Writers new to MUSE should also provide a resume and writing sample. Authors wishing to write an article that belongs in MUSE but doesn’t fit posted themes may submit an abbreviated pitch that conveys the idea in a paragraph or two. No unsolicited manuscripts please.

Pitch here on this Submittable page (the editors’ preference) or via email to muse@cricketmedia.com. If emailing, include the word “QUERY” and the issue’s month/theme in the subject line.

 

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

 

2023 Issue Themes

January: CODEBREAKERS

An inside look at code making and breaking.

Creating an effective code; types of codes, ciphers, and cryptography; how to break a code by searching for patterns; mathematics and computer science in modern cryptography; codes used in wartime; the Navajo Code Talkers and Choctaw Code Talkers; the story of Alan Turing and the importance of Ultra to the Allied victory; profile of Elizebeth Smith Friedman; code devices; computer codes; breaking the code of DNA; secret signs used in baseball and other sports; hidden meanings in logos; how spies slip coded messages into songs, poems, and crossword puzzles; coded messages in art and literature.

Queries by June 15, 2022.


February: INTO SPACE

What are we sending into space and why?

Tiny spaceships that “light sail” through space; research bots that land on asteroids and potential asteroid battlers; swarms of bots as massive space telescopes; unusual objectives of the James Webb Space Telescope; discoveries made with New Horizons; lasers and satellites; private space flight; how NASA is working to get humans to Mars; Perseverance and the search for extraterrestrial microbial life on Mars; European and Chinese space flights to Mars; the new lunar water mission; the rocket that recently crashed into the Moon and how distant space debris sometimes returns; Earth-based space education and simulations for kids and training programs for aspiring astronauts.

Queries by July 15, 2022.


March: INCREDIBLE JOURNEYS

Animal migration, human migration.

Why species migrate during certain seasons; the effect of climate change on migration patterns; how animals know where to go and how they navigate; migrations of non-migratory animals such as millions of Zambia’s fruit bats; the incredibly long migrations of some birds; dragonfly and butterfly migrations; dispersions of animals before and after natural disasters; overland migration, land-bridge crossings, water rafting, flight, swimming, and human-related transport; the migration of slow-moving animals; technology that scientists use to track animal movement; the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space (ICARUS) and the International Space Station; how to safely observe migratory animals; human migration in history and open scientific debates; climate-change-driven migration; the longest journeys in history.

Queries by August 16, 2022.


April: TREE SECRETS

The amazing world of trees.

“Communication” between trees and mycorrhizal networks; the role of trees in combatting climate change; myths and facts about tree planting; deforestation and the Amazon rainforest; ancient and old trees (and tree rings); famous trees worldwide; newly discovered and undiscovered tree species; threats to trees; role of the citizen scientist in ecology; climbing redwood trees; primates and trees; bird nests; the ecosystem at the tops of tall trees; synthetic trees.

Queries by September 15, 2022.


May/June: ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

Behind the scenes at the theatre.

The science of lighting and how to run the lights during a show; how partially blind performers use lights to navigate onstage; how props work, breakaway glass, fire, food, and the role of the prop master; how opera singers train, and how they can sing without mics; teen ballet dancers; what goes into costumes, makeup, hair, and wigs; types of masks; ancient forms of theater in Greece, China, etc.; well-known tales of old scripts and books; a newly written monologue or stage tune; how the Globe Theatre worked and other famous venues; the science of stage fright and how to memorize lines; the work of puppeteer Basil Twist; interview with a Broadway actor or director; profile of Stephen Sondheim.

Queries by October 17, 2022.


July/August: UNDER THE SEA

Humans living, working, and exploring underwater.

Shipwrecks and how are they are found; the recent discovery of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance; famous items found on wrecks and other old human underwater structures; maritime archaeology; the possible discovery of Atlantis and the subject of lost continents; pipelines, infrastructure, and the Channel Tunnel; Aquarius, the underwater science lab; Fabian Cousteau’s 31-day stint underwater; underwater cities of the near future; differences of building underwater vs. building on land; impact of human structures and activities on underwater ecosystems; damage to corral reefs; submarines; scuba diving; deep-sea exploration and deepest dives; how much humans still don’t know about the oceans; new undersea discoveries.

Queries by November 15, 2022.


September: BRAINS

The complex and important organ inside our skulls.

The science of sleep; how dreaming happens; how the brain disposes of waste and why that’s important; brain-monitoring technology; brain regions and what we know and don’t know about the brain; the neuro map and brain waves; the role of the brain in physical performance; protecting our brains during physical activity; myths about our brains, such as left and right brains; big brains and Einstein’s brain; how babies learn while sleeping; how bilingualism can benefit the brain; how children learn language more easily than adults; animal intelligence and various examples; brain foods and keys to a healthy brain; new understandings about stuttering; brain dissection; the effects of music, color, humor, friendship, exercise, nurturing touch, and nature on the brain; the importance of brains in vision and hearing; how brains work with bionic limbs.

Queries by December 15, 2022.


October: ERUPTION!

Volcanoes past, present, and future.

Volcanoes and the earthquakes and tsunamis they can create; the most destructive volcanoes in history and lessons learned; new research about volcanoes and the end-Triassic mass extinction and the birth of the Atlantic Ocean; the recent volcanic eruption off Tongo; active volcanoes today and the scientists studying them; challenges in predicting volcanoes; different types of volcanoes; supervolcanoes and the most dangerous volcanoes near population centers; hazards in volcano research today and in the 19th century; wildlife near volcanoes; how volcanoes can affect weather; geysers vs. volcanoes; volcanoes and lava visible from space and underwater; volcanoes on other planets and moons; how to make a volcano.

Queries by January 16, 2023.


November/December: FUTURE FLIGHT

What’s next in aviation.

Next-generation aircraft; current research into electric, hybrid, and hydrogen-cell planes and the impact of climate change on aviation; what new aircraft will look like inside and out; latest developments with supersonic flight, its history, and possible return in the near future; speedier flight and the science of sonic booms; a notable historical advance in aviation; emerging technologies; use of robotics, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality; unpiloted flights and autonomous pilots; new flying cars; newly devised flying suits.

Queries by February 16, 2023.

Cricket Media