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 14. 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, Dig into History, and Faces

 

Click here to see submission guidelines for artists.



Our Active Literary Calls for Submission:


To sign up for our calls for submission mailing list CLICK HERE.

To download a printable PDF of all our current calls for submission CLICK HERE.

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.

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.
While general submissions are accepted year-round, we are also seeking submissions on the following topics at this time:

My Friend
Deadline: June 15, 2018
Ladybug (for ages 3-6) and Babybug (for babies and toddlers) are looking for short stories, poetry, action rhymes, riddles, and songs about friendship. How do young children make friends, and what roles can friends play in their lives? Does a friend have to be another child? When reading submissions, we look for playfulness, humor, and a sense of wonder. Works by and about people of color, LGBTQAI+ people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized peoples are especially welcome.


Where To?
Deadline: July 15, 2018
Babybug (for babies and toddlers) is looking for poems, stories, fingerplays, and action rhymes about little ones on the go. How do babies observe the world around them during ordinary trips to a childcare center or the grocery store, on special excursions to a library or museum, or on vacation? We’re looking for playful writing that begs to be read aloud again and again. Please keep manuscripts short—poems can be up to eight lines and stories up to six sentences.
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, CRICKET, and CICADA) 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.

 

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, 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.

While general submissions are accepted year-round, we are also seeking submissions on the following topics at this time:


My Friend
Deadline: June 15, 2018

Ladybug (for ages 3-6) and Babybug (for babies and toddlers) are looking for short stories, poetry, action rhymes, riddles, and songs about friendship. How do young children make friends, and what roles can friends play in their lives? Does a friend have to be another child? When reading submissions, we look for playfulness, humor, and a sense of wonder. Works by and about people of color, LGBTQAI+ people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized peoples are especially welcome.

Our Diverse World
Deadline: July 15, 2018

Spider (for ages 6-9) and Ladybug (for ages 3-6) are looking for fiction, non-fiction, activities, and poetry for the theme Our Diverse World. We want stories about real or imaginary people with interesting hobbies, jobs, traditions, or inventions. We would like to see Black, Latinx, First Nations, East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern children from first, second, or third generation families. Tell us quirky, funny, heartfelt, and lesser-known stories where race, ethnicity, class, culture, and ability might intersect.

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, CRICKET, and CICADA) 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.


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).

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.

While general submissions are accepted year-round, we are also seeking submissions on the following topics at this time:



Mysterious Monsters
Deadline: June 15, 2018

Spider (for ages 6-9) is looking for fiction, poetry, activities, crafts, and recipes for the theme Mysterious Monsters. Bring on the claws, sharp teeth, tails, and larger-than-life creatures. We’re interested in age-appropriate monster stories that introduce kids to old urban legends like river and lake monsters, the Chupacabra, and Big Foot as well as other creatures that go bump in the night—jumbies, trolls, poltergeists, giants, werewolves, vampires, zombies, or beings we’ve never heard of before. Send us your spooky ghosts and growling, howling beasts who might want to eat you or just be your friend.

Our Diverse World
Deadline: July 15, 2018

Spider (for ages 6-9) and Ladybug (for ages 3-6) are looking for fiction, non-fiction, activities, and poetry for the theme Our Diverse World. We want stories about real or imaginary people with interesting hobbies, jobs, traditions, or inventions. We would like to see Black, Latinx, First Nations, East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern children from first, second, or third generation families. Tell us quirky, funny, heartfelt, and lesser-known stories where race, ethnicity, class, culture, and ability might intersect.

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 to 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, CRICKET, and CICADA) 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.

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 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.


Make a Splash
Deadline: August 15, 2018
Cricket (for ages 9-14) seeks manuscripts with a watery theme. We’re looking for well-crafted contemporary stories set on a rocky seashore, along a backyard creek, or at the city swimming pool. We want well-researched stories about life along the world’s rivers; legends from around the world about river monsters, sea serpents, and water divinities; engineering stories about the challenge of building boats, bridges, and dams; exciting adventures of pirates, ancient explorers, dangerous ocean crossings, and water gone wild in monsoons and floods. We also like pretty poems about the gentle rain that falls from heaven upon the place beneath.

 

Curtain Call 

Deadline: September 15, 2018 

Cricket (for ages 9-14) seeks fiction, nonfiction, and poetry about music, theater, and the performing arts. Most Cricket readers play musical instruments, and many perform in plays or dance. They enjoy poetry and contemporary fiction that reflects their challenges and triumphs. Cricket regularly publishes nonfiction and historical fiction about the history of music or theater, the biographies of famous composers and artistic innovators, the making of instruments, and non-Western artistic traditions. Profiles of people, whether or not they are well known, who are working professionally in the performing arts are also welcome.


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 no more than 6 poems at a time.

 

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, CRICKET, and CICADA) 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.


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.

CICADA is currently closed for submissions. Check back later for updates. 

General Information

CICADA is an online YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. We publish poetry, realistic and genre fic, essay, and comics by adults and teens. Our readers are smart and curious; submissions are invited but not required to engage young adult themes. CICADA does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues. 

Especially welcome: works by people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ people, nonbinary people, and other marginalized peoples. Not welcome: cultural appropriation. 

Fav writers, YA and otherwise: Sarah McCarry, Nnedi Okorafor, Sherman Alexie, David Levithan, Daniel Jose Older, Debbie Urbanski, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ntozake Shange, Anne Carson, Jacqueline Woodson, ZZ Packer, Ursula Vernon, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Leigh Bardugo, Richard Siken, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson

@cicadamagazine / cicadamagazine.tumblr.com 


Guidelines

Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazine. Sample issue here.

Fiction

Realism, SF/fantasy, historical fiction: Yes, yes, and yes

Length: flash fic to novellas; up to 9,000 words

Nonfiction

Narrative nonfic (especially teen-written); essays on lit/culture/arts; hybrid forms

Length: up to 5,000 words

Poetry

Length: no length limits. Send us yer epics!

Comics

Cicada seeks talented artists who are making thoughtful (or flippant), beautiful (or unsettling), exuberant (or quiet) comics, zines, visual poems, sequential graphic narratives, or any other work in image and/or text. We commission original stories from a brief pitch, and give developmental feedback through the production process.

If you are interested in submitting, please submit a short pitch/sketch(es) to the “Comics” section below. Please be sure to include a link to your portfolio in the body of your cover letter. We will try to respond to comics submissions within 6 months.

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 unsolicited submissions to editors or Customer Service. Your submission will not receive a response unless it is submitted through Submittable.

Cricket Media’s literary magazines (BABYBUG, LADYBUG, SPIDER, CRICKET, and CICADA) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. For everything except comics, 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. 

We will try to respond to all submissions within 6 months.

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: CICADA purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.

Rates

  • Fiction: up to 10¢ per word
  • Nonfiction:  up to 25¢ per word
  • Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum

Art Submissions Guidelines

We’re always looking for new artists! If you’re interested in sharing your portfolio with us, email cicada@cricketmedia.com. Use ONLINE PORTFOLIO SAMPLE as the subject line if you are emailing a link to an online portfolio. Use PORTFOLIO SAMPLES as the subject line if you are emailing attachments. Please limit any emailed file to a maximum attachment size of 50 KB.

Because of the volume of portfolios we receive, we cannot reply to individual submissions. We will be in touch if we have a project for you!


CICADA is currently closed for submissions. Check back later for updates. 

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 on some question or concept in the natural, physical, or social sciences, technology, mathematics, history, or the arts. ASK introduces kids to the joys of thinking, writing, and observing scientifically, and presumes them to be active participants in the ongoing search for better knowledge about the world.

ASK articles should read as engaging nonfiction, not like school textbook or encyclopedia material. Intended to be accessible and appealing to newly independent readers (grades 2–5), the ideal ASK article should also be interesting to any general adult reader. ASK looks for articles that are concrete, specific, and relevant to this age group. They should tell a good story, with an emphasis on ideas rather than just facts. ASK encourages the use of humor as a teaching strategy, and believes that no topic is beyond the grasp of an intelligent young person if explained well in plain terms.

ASK encourages writers to stretch the boundaries of topic themes and come up with interesting perspectives and unexpected connections. For example, for an edition on size, good articles topics might include “Why do we stop growing?” or “How do clothing makers decide how many of each size pants to make?” But we would not be interested in a worlds-records style list of biggest and smallest insects, animals, etc., with no discussion of why they are that size.

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. 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 (1200–1600 words, with sidebars)
  • Photo Essays (400–600 words)
  • Humor Pieces (200–400 words)
  • Short Profiles of People, Inventions, Events, or the Arts (200–400 words)
  • Theme-appropriate experiments

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

2019 Issue Themes

April: How We Made Friends with Horses 

General direction: What makes horses special? And why do they like us?
Possible topics: Evolution of the horse; profile of a young rider learning to ride; caring for a horse; how horses run; the farrier’s art; horse-oriented festivals or cultural practices

Queries by: Aug 1 2018

May/June: Living Rock 

General direction: How have living organisms shaped the geology of the Earth?
Possible topics: How early life shaped the physical earth (oxygenation, tectonics); making caves; how we get soil; life in the rock cycle (bacteria, algae, trees, insects, animals); parrotfish making beaches; rocks that are made up of organic material (limestone); fossil fuels; technology that scientists use to study biogeology; meet a biogeologist; mountain or island succession; can we put geologic biota to work for us? how would earth look different without living things?

Queries by: Sep 1 2018

July/August: World of Soccer

General direction: What is the science behind a great soccer match?
Possible topics: Physics of a perfect kick, and high-tech tools for measuring it; scientific tricks for improving your play; why are soccer balls shaped the way they are, do the patch shapes matter and why; history of soccer rules, what makes a good/bad rule; soccer in space and other unusual places; engineering better uniforms, cleats, turf, puncture-proof balls, etc.; science of concussions

Queries by: Oct 1 2018

September: Whole Cloth

General direction: How did humans develop cloth, and how can we improve it?
Possible topics: History of textiles; when did humans start wearing clothes; invention of string (can’t weave without it); who invented knitting; how archaeologists study ancient cloth and what they learn; the best cloth for different jobs; looms ancient and modern; fabric dying and printing; modern smart and high-tech fabrics; how fabrics are tested (e.g., artificial butt for jeans)

Queries by: Dec 15 2018

October: Deep Dark Ocean

General direction: What lives in the deepest parts of the ocean? How can we find out? How has life adapted to survive there?

Possible topics: profiles of particular benthic communities and/or creatures (floor or water column, but in dark zone); robot subs; tracking deep-diving animals; adaptations to depth, cold, pressure; bioluminescence; discoveries from the deep ocean (useful compounds? microbes? biochemicals? ideas for technology?); mapping the ocean floor; laying and fixing undersea data cables

Queries by: Feb 1 2019

November/December: Surprising Saturn
General direction: What do we know about Saturn, and how can we find out more?

Possible topics: Cassini mission; interpreting the data; what is a gas giant; how do planets get rings and how common are they, could Earth ever have rings; Galileo’s telescope; Dragonfly probe and its mission design: could there be life on Saturn’s moons? How do biologists figure out what we need to look for, and then how do engineers build something to look for that? 

Queries by: Mar 15 2019

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 is essential, but humor, irreverence, and atypical angles are also hallmarks of MUSE.

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 less. 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.

 

2019 Issue Themes

January 2019: DEEP FREEZE

Organizing questions: What are scientists/engineers exploring in our planet’s coldest ecosystems? Who’s there and why? What changes are occurring—and what will happen next?

Possible topics: Life in the arctic and Antarctic; Scientists who study ice and glaciers and the technology and tools engineers have designed to help them; Effects of climate change in cold ecosystems; Bacteria and viruses trapped in glaciers; Frozen prehistoric life forms; Animal adaptations and human gear/structures for thriving in freezing temps; Astronomy at the South Pole

Queries by: June 15, 2018


February 2019: WHAT'S YOUR BRIGHT IDEA?

Organizing questions: Who can be an inventor? How does it work? 

Possible topics: How and why the process is inclusive; Inventing on a shoestring; Unsung or underrepresented inventors; Inventions around the world; Unique inventions by and for kids; Applying scientific principles to the inventing process (I know this . . . so maybe I can do that)

Queries by: July 13, 2018


March 2019: BODIES IN SPACE   

Organizing questions: What makes space travel safe and accessible to humans? What challenges and questions do scientists, engineers, and doctors face . . . and how are they exploring solutions?

Possible topics: Medical and biological research in space; Daily lives of astronauts and improvements from engineers; Weird changes to bodies in space—especially those we can learn from or act on; Studies of animals and other living creatures in space; Companies launching spacecraft and aiming for travel/tourism/colonization

Queries by: August 10, 2018


April 2019: ON THE MONEY

Organizing question: How are people using and managing money in new ways? 

Possible topics: Comparing cash, credit, and digital currency; Security in digital finance; How banks work and how money moves; Kids’ bank accounts and finance apps; Gaming and money, e.g. in-game purchases; Microfinance as philanthropic strategy; Mobile banking for under-banked communities in US and elsewhere; Designing secure physical currency; Is a cash-less society possible?

Queries by: September 14, 2018


May/June 2019: LET'S MAP IT

Organizing questions: What good is a map? Who makes them, and how? 

Possible topics: How maps and mapping have changed over time; Blind spots or problems with maps; Improvements in maps of Earth, airspace, outer space, the human body; GPS; How Global Information Systems help people; Navigation systems for self-driving cars; Geocaching 

Queries by: October 12, 2018


July/August 2019: FIRE ALERT

Organizing questions: How and why do wildfires burn? And what can we do about them?

Possible topics: Natural v. human caused and trends over time (such as increasing occurrences of drought); How to manage conflicts between human development and natural disasters; Warning systems and emergency responses; Detection and fire-fighting tech, including robot firefighters, drones, satellites; Effects on pets and wildlife; Unexpected consequences

Queries by: November 16, 2018


September 2019: SO...MUCH...STUFF

Organizing questions: What is the life cycle of everyday objects? How are we succeeding or failing at recycling, and what opportunities exist?

Possible topics: Things that are hard to recycle (synthetic clothes, electronics, batteries) and what to do about them; Scientific/engineering advances in recycling; Reuse and upcycling, Making things last longer (e.g. light bulbs); Innovations in packaging; How plastic has changed our lives and landscapes; Fresh insight into the Pacific garbage patch; Microplastics; Artwork made with and about trash

Queries by: January 4, 2019


October 2019: THE BIRDS

Organizing questions: Why do birds capture the attention of scientists and citizens alike? What do we learn from observing them closely? How do human actions affect birds?

Possible topics: The Big Year; Ways to get involved—everyday observation, citizen science projects, careers; Birds and conservation and/or impact of climate change; Birdsong; Migration; The why and how of building bird-safe structures and cities; What scientists can learn from birds in museums; Possible Halloween angles: Hitchcock’s famous film; Dark folklore about crows, ravens, vultures

Queries by: February 8, 2019


November/December 2019: MARVELOUS MAKERS

Organizing question: How are maker labs changing the world? How are 3D printers making serious inventing widely accessible? 

Possible topics: The design process, step by step; Maker labs in libraries and schools; 3D printers and other digital fabrication tech; Open Source, defined; Why keep “dying” arts like handwriting/weaving/knitting/letterpress alive; Programming Raspberry Pi etc.; Cool projects from young makers

Queries by: March 8, 2019

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