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 writers from 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. Young adults ages 14 and up can submit writing and art to Cicada magazine. 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 ClickCobblestone, Dig into History, and Faces

Click here to see submission guidelines for artists.


Our Active Literary Calls for Submission:
To view a PDF version of these calls CLICK HERE.

To sign up for our calls for submission mailing list 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. 


Call for Submissions: I Did It Myself

Deadline: August 31, 2017

BABYBUG, a look-and-listen magazine for babies and toddlers, seeks poems, stories, action rhymes, and fingerplays about the very youngest children’s triumphs. These joyful moments in a baby’s life—rolling over or feeding oneself, learning to clap or making up a song—are cause for celebration. We’re looking for playful writing that begs to be read aloud again and again. Most of our readers live in the United States and work set in different countries is welcome. Please keep manuscripts short—Babybug poems are generally no longer than eight lines, and stories can be 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.


Call for Submissions: Children’s Activities
Deadline: September 30, 2017
SPIDER (for ages 6-9) and LADYBUG (for ages 3-6) are looking for children’s activities. This includes clearly worded, playful step-by-step directions for crafts, activities, games, science experiments, and recipes for children ages 3 to 9. The strongest activities will engage a child’s imagination and creativity, can be done at home, and require little adult supervision. We also seek word games, tongue twisters, jokes, riddles, picture-based crossword puzzles, and foreign language activities. 


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, crafts, and songs. Please see past issues for models and inspiration.

 

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, race and ethnicity, neighborhoods, beliefs and traditions); citizenship and global cultures; scientific and technological exploration; and the creative spirit.


Call for Submissions: Spaceships and Superheroes
Deadline: August 31, 2017
SPIDER (for ages 6-9) is looking for fiction, poetry, activities, crafts, and recipes for the theme Spaceships and Superheroes. We’re interested in science-fiction and superhero stories about protagonists that save the day with help from super suits, super powers, or self-made gadgets. We’re especially interested in future technology like flying cars, interplanetary travel, holograms, robots, and teleporters. Take us on a time traveling mission or to the heart of a city that could use some saving. Especially welcome: twists on familiar comic book or sci-fi tropes, and female, people of color, and kid protagonists.

Call for Submissions: Children’s Activities
Deadline: September 30, 2017
SPIDER (for ages 6-9) and LADYBUG (for ages 3-6) are looking for children’s activities. This includes clearly worded, playful step-by-step directions for crafts, activities, games, science experiments, and recipes for children ages 3 to 9. The strongest activities will engage a child’s imagination and creativity, can be done at home, and require little adult supervision. We also seek word games, tongue twisters, jokes, riddles, picture-based crossword puzzles, and foreign language activities. 

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

Whether a fictional setting is long-ago or here-and-now, or the protagonist is the class clown or a talking tiger, characters and the worlds they inhabit should be complex and believable.

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

For nonfiction, SPIDER readers enjoy well-researched articles about animals, kids their own age doing amazing things, 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 on his/her own, with minimal parental assistance.

Length: 1–4 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 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.


Call for Submissions: A Willingness to Act

Deadline: August 31, 2017

CRICKET (ages 9 to 14) is looking for contemporary or historical fiction, true adventure, and fantasy focusing on characters who summon their courage to face a social or physical challenge. Stories may highlight heroic feats of outstanding physical courage, but equally welcome are domestic dramas of ordinary kids who stand up for what they believe when facing challenges of family, friends, and school. Whether you write about taking the side of an unpopular kid at school or vanquishing a hydra, or set your story in contemporary America, ancient Egypt, or on Mars, it may find a home in CRICKET.


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.




General Information

CICADA is a 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. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) 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+ folks, genderqueer folks, 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, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Richard Siken, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson,

@cicadamagazine / cicadamagazine.tumblr.com 


Current Calls for Submission


Call for Submissions: Flash Fiction
Deadline: rolling deadline

Wanted: your flash fic. Submit here![1]
________________________________________
[1]Limit: 1000 words. Oh! Who are we? We edit Cicada, the finest YA lit/comics mag in the land! Relevant to our interests: literature, teens, literature about teens, SFF, feminist fairy tales, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and witches Especially excited to hear from LGBTQIA+ writers, writers with disabilities, and writers of color. Bonus points if your story plays with form: a grocery list, a GoFundMe, a Twitter feed… (Listen, we never said we were good at brevity. We're not. That's where you come in.) SUBMITTTTTTTT!


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

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 email a short pitch/sketch(es) and a link to your online portfolio to cicada@cricketmedia.com. COMIC SUBMISSION should be the subject line of the email. If you have more than one pitch, please include them in the same email. Please DO NOT send final art. Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

 

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: 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!


We do not accept submissions to our Creative Endeavors feature at this page. Writers and artists ages 14-23, please visit our Creative Endeavors submissions page to submit to that feature.


Art © 2014 by Hellen Jo.




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

Commissioned articles 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

 

 

2018 Issue Themes

 

January:   Noodles

Everyone loves noodles—what’s their story?

Possible topics: farm-to-table; history of noodles; noodles around the world; what goes on in a noodle factory; long noodles for Lunar New Year; science of gluten; making noodles out of other stuff (wheat, soy, squid ink); etiquette of noodle eating
Queries by: Apr 30 2017


February:  Rivers Run 
Where do rivers start, and where are they going?
Possible topics: What is a river system; dam building (and un-building); volunteer group working to clean up a river; profile of an important river; surfing tidal bores; why are cities built near rivers; reversing the Chicago River
Queries by: June 1 2017


March:  Getting the News
Every day, there’s new news. But who makes it? And what makes it news?
Possible topics: Profile of modern reporter; a day at a newspaper; rules for reporters; Nellie Bly; what happens when everyone shares news on their phones; How did people long ago hear about news?; historical events that would have been different if someone had gotten the news; how to tell the difference between news and opinion; how to spot fake news; start your own newspaper
Queries by: Jul 1 2017


April:   Nature’s Poisoners
Why are plants and animals full of poison?
Possible topics: Evolutionary arms race; profile of poisonous plant or venomous animal; venom in medicine; fungi; snakes and antivenom; ordinary plants that used to be or are poisonous (apples, almonds); dose makes the poison
Queries by: Aug 1 2017


May/June:   Making Metal
How did we figure out how to get metal out of rock? And how did it get in there?
Possible topics: History of metalworking; what is a metal; how to get metal out of rock; swordmaking; the right metal for the job; different metals used for coins; life of a can, recycling metals; visit to a modern metal mine or smelter; cosmic origin of metals (stars, supernovae)
Queries by: Sep 1 2017


July/August:  Fantastic Feathers      
Feathers—hair for birds, and so much more.
Possible topics: How many kinds of feathers does a bird have, and what is each for; evolution of feathers; dinosaur feathers; how feathers get their color; feather art and costume; birds of paradise; making fake down; how to waterproof feathers; fractal patterns
Queries by: Oct 1 2017

 

September:  Bionic Body
Can we build ourselves better bodies?
Possible topics: New developments in robotic prosthetics; growing new organs; robot suits; artificial hearts; cochlear implants; augmented eyes; are running blades an unfair advantage in sports; quest for artificial pancreas
Queries by: Dec 15 2017


October:  Slime          
Eeeeew—cool.
Possible topics: Slime molds; hagfish and other slimers of the deep; saliva and spit; biofilms; psychology of disgust, why we don’t like slime; the right grease (importance of slipperiness in engineering); extra slippery coatings for bottles and ships so nothing sticks to them
Queries by: Feb 1 2018

November/December:  Miniature Worlds
Small is beautiful.
Possible topics: Bonsais; fancy dollhouses; votary models in tombs; making dioramas for museums; how scale models are used in engineering and architecture; wind-tunnel testing; theatre maquettes; orreries; carving toothpicks and other extremely small art; how sculptors use small models to make huge statues 
Queries by: Mar 15 2018

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

 

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 (1200–2000 words, including sidebars)
  • Profiles and Interviewsparticularly of underrepresented STEM professionals (500–800 words)
  • Activities and Experiments (500–800 words)
  • Photo Essays (100–300 words)
  • Science Fiction or Science-Focused Fiction (1000–1600 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.

 

2018 Issue Themes

January 2018: ME AND MY MICROBES

Organizing idea: Up close and personal with the microbiome

Possible topics: How do we study microbes in bodies and in the environment? What do we not know about them?; Germaphobia; Effects of antimicrobial cleaning products; Gut microbiota and general health, weight, mood; New angles on antibiotic resistance

Queries by: June 5, 2017


February 2018: PETS ON THE COUCH

Organizing idea: Psychology through the lens of house pets

Possible topics: What are animal psychiatrists?; Case studies of common and uncommon pets; How were/are animals domesticated?; What do our relationships with our pets say about us?; What kind of pet would you be?

Queries by: July 3, 2017


March 2018: YOU SHALL NOT PASS 

Organizing idea: What, why, and how of cybersecurity

Possible topics: What is a hack?; Effective cryptography; Debates over password strategy; Biometrics; Mathematics of encryption keys; Finance and digital currency; Security and Internet of Things, including self-driving cars 

Queries by: July 31, 2017


April 2018: DESIGNED PLAY

Organizing idea: Engineering fun, silliness, and joy

Possible topics: Playgrounds over time; European “adventure” playgrounds; Amusement parks; Who designs toys, and how?; Deconstructing popular toys or games; The toy-free movement; Invention activities

Queries by: August 28, 2017


May/June 2018: A LITTLE HELP

Organizing idea: Cooperation from many angles

Possible topics: Rescue vehicles and systems; Symbiotic relationships; The science of altruism; Assistive technologies; Close working relationships, such as life on the International Space Station

Queries by: September 25, 2017


July/August 2018: ON BEING WRONG

Organizing idea: Celebrating mistakes, missteps, and re-evaluation

Possible topics: Rethinking the dino family tree; Communicating with deniers; When popular imagination is wrong in a useful way, such as Pacific garbage patch; Medical advice reversals; Revising textbooks; Unconscious bias; Disproven hypotheses in scientific process and failures in design process

Queries by: October 30, 2017


September 2018: EVERYTHING IS CHEMICAL

Organizing idea: Chemistry of food, hygiene, medicine

Possible topics: Cooking and baking; Natural v. artificial ingredients; Decoding food labels; History of food safety regulations; Lotions and potions; Drug discovery and development; Experimenting at home

Queries by: December 4, 2017


October 2018: AFTERLIVES

Organizing idea: Halloween issue

Possible topics: Ghost stories; Neurology of near-death experiences; “Creepy” artifacts in museums; What happens to recycled plastic; Organ and tissue regeneration; Cleaning up Fukushima; Inventing a new identity or starting over; How long will human species last?; What happens to social media accounts after death?

Queries by: January 29, 2018


November/December 2018: THE ART OF DATA

Organizing idea: Intersections of math and art 

Possible topics: Striking data visualizations; Data communication challenges; How can data be misleading?; What is Big Data?; Data and predictions in entertainment, shopping, politics, sports; What happens to users’ online data?

Queries by: February 26, 2018