Cricket Media 

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

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

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

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

See our submission guidelines for artists.

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

Sign up for our calls on our submission mailing list.

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

BABYBUG magazine 


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


Calls for Submissions: 

General submissions are always open. 

Let's Play
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Babybug (for babies and toddlers) is looking for poems, stories, finger plays, and action rhymes about little ones’ favorite games. These might be baby classics like peekaboo  or hide-and-seek, silly personal routines developed with family and friends, or activities with balls, puzzles, or other favorite toys. We’re looking for playful writing that begs to be read aloud again and again. Please keep manuscripts short—Babybug poems can be up to eight lines, and stories can be up to six sentences.

Fantastic Fall
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Babybug (for babies and toddlers) seeks poetry, action rhymes, finger plays, and very short stories that celebrate autumn. Your work might explore trips to the orchard or rainy days spent inside, the season’s special games, sights and sounds, or other appealing aspects of fall. We're interested in lively writing that the very young will want to hear again and again. Please be concise; 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®, and CRICKET®) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address.

 Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

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


What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

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

After Acceptance

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


Rights

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


Rates

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

 

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

LADYBUG magazine 

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

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


Calls for Submissions:

General submissions are always open. 

Exploring Our World
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Ladybug (for ages 3-6) seeks compelling explorations of our world written for young  children. We’re looking for narrative nonfiction (to 800 words), nonfiction and nature writing (to 400 words), and poetry (to 20 lines). You might introduce our readers to a cultural tradition you know well, or share your love of the natural world by introducing them to an  intriguing animal or ecosystem. Whatever topic you choose, we’re looking for writing attuned to a young child’s interests and capacity for joy and wonder. Source lists for nonfiction are appreciated.

I Can Help
Deadline: August 15, 2021

Ladybug (for ages 3-6) is looking for short stories, rebus stories, poems, action rhymes,  riddles, and songs about young children learning how to think through problems and help themselves and others. Show us young children’s creativity and determination as they work through the kid-sized difficulties that come up at home or with friends, or find ways to  contribute to their communities. Whether heartfelt or humorous, we’re looking for lively writing and memorable characters and plots. Stories may be up to 800 words and poetry may be up to 20 lines; shorter works 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. LADYBUG does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues.

Fiction

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

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

Poetry

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

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

Nonfiction

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

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

Activities and Games

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

Songs

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

Procedure

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

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

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

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

What Happens Next? 

The Manuscript Review Process

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

After Acceptance 

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

Rights

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

Rates

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

Art Submissions 

See our submission guidelines for artists.

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

SPIDER magazine 

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


Calls for Submissions: 

General submissions are always open. 

Guidelines

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

Fiction Stories and Plays

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

Length: 300–1000 words

Poetry

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

Length: Up to 20 lines

Nonfiction Articles

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

Length: 300–800 words

Crafts and Activities

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

Length: 1–2 pages

Procedure

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

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

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

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

What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

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

After Acceptance

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

Rights

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

Rates

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

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

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

CRICKET magazine 

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


Calls for Submissions: 


General submissions are always open. 

Ancient Worlds
Deadline: August 15, 2021

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

Game On!
Deadline: August 15, 2021

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


Guidelines

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

Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nonfiction

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

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

Length: 1200–1800 words 

Poetry

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

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

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

Puzzles, Crafts, Activities

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

Procedure

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

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

Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.

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

What Happens Next?

The Manuscript Review Process

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

After Acceptance

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

Rights

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

 

Rates

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

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

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

ASK magazine 

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

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

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

Guidelines

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

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

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

Procedure

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

Rights

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

Queries and Questions

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

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists


2022 Issue Themes

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

Bubbles and Balloons
What’s round and lots of fun? And what keeps them round, anyway?
A look at bubbles, balloons, and other entertaining manifestations of  the air out there. What other uses do balloons have? Are there bubbles  in unexpected places?
Pitches by: August 15 2021

The Fungus Among Us
What’s so fun about fungi? So many things!
What are fungi, what can they do for us, and to us? How are inventors using them? Can they save the world? 
Pitches by: August 30 2021

Islands
What’s so special about an island?
Island stories, what makes islands, island animals.
Pitches by: September 30 2021

Wild in City
Can wild plants and animals survive in a city?
Wild animals adapting to urban places; what makes a survivor; problem neighbors.
Pitches by: November 30 2021

Facing Fear
What are you scared of? And why?
What is fear and what is it good for? Why do people fear different things? And how can we tame it?
Pitches by: January 30 2022

Hair

What is hair? And why isn’t it blue?
Stories about hair, fur, manes, tails, hairstyles, and why some mammals have less.

Pitches by: February 28 2022

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

MUSE magazine 

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

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

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

 

Guidelines

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

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

 

Procedure

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

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

 

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

 

2022 Issue Themes

EYES

Questions and ideas: How do animals see in the dark? Why can jumping spiders see the moon and other spiders can’t? How to evolve an eye. Optical illusions; how the brain fills in the gaps to make the image look whole; how to trick the eye into seeing something that’s not there. Are all eyeballs round? Bionic eyes—can we make a computer that can “see” like a human? Can we engineer vision for blind people?

(Please avoid pitches about color vision, as our November/December issue is all about color)

Queries by: July 15, 2021

CETACEANS

How do you find one particular whale in the whole wide ocean? What’s a day in the life of a whale like? Why do whales and dolphins jump out of the water? How far do whales travel in the ocean? Where do they migrate? How—and where—do whales sleep without drowning? Scientists studying whale snot/whale poop. Can humans communicate with whales or dolphins? Who’s in a pod? How whales evolved. Caring for whales who have been injured or beached.

Queries by: August 15, 2021

DELICIOUS

How pepper conquered the world; where spices come from; weird delicacies through history (ex: Roman cuisine, with parrot’s tongues, garum, etc.). The science of taste—how do scientists engineer flavor? Why does cooking change food and the way it tastes? How do chefs invent new dishes? Can you cook food without heat? Does how food looks influence how it tastes? Why are picky eaters so picky?

Queries by: August 30, 2021

LOST AND FOUND

What are the weirdest things in a lost and found office? Animals that were thought to be lost or extinct but surprised scientists; lost cities—finding Mayan cities in the jungle with radar, a comic legend for Atlantis; ships and planes that disappeared; people who disappear and suddenly reappear years later; searching for lost treasure; did pirates really bury their gold? Using forensics and technology on treasure hunts. Saxon hoards buried in fields; reconstructing things that have been lost with computer imagery. The first detectives. How to get found if you are lost in the woods.

Queries by: September 15, 2021

AMONG THE STARS

The life cycle of a star. New insights about stellar nurseries. Spectroscopy—and how we gather information about stars. Cutting-edge telescopes and their technologies. Recent and upcoming space missions to study our Sun. A movie or movies with the most accurate portrayals of astronomy or astrophysics. Mythology: How did different cultures explain what stars are? How does a star go supernova and what have we learned recently about black holes? Current research into the nature of dark matter.

Queries by: October 15, 2021

ISLANDS

Why big animals get small and small animals get big on islands. The fabulous birds of paradise—why living on an island gave them incredible plumage. How delicate are island ecosystems?—explore Hawaii’s struggle with invasive species. How does an island form? The disappearing island—why some islands can simply vanish. Life on an island—would be great if we could talk to a kid who lives on a small island. How do island communities get supplies, weather storms, etc. How to make an artificial island.

Queries by: November 15, 2021

EXTINCTION

Modern-day extinction wave. How many animals on the planet are threatened? How about plants? Danger zones for animals: why certain habitats are disappearing faster than others. Helping threatened animals that aren’t cute and cuddly (why pandas get the big bucks and blobfish don’t). The ugliest animals that need the most help. How does the current extinction wave compare with extinctions of the past? A success story in conservation. Possibly story of conservation that didn’t work, as well. The technology of conservation: how do you replicate delicate ecosystems? Why is cloning NOT the answer?

Queries by: December 15, 2021

SKEPTICISM/SPOTTING FAKES

What is skepticism? Why is it an important part of science? Why do people believe what they believe? Why people believe propaganda and pseudoscience. How to be a skeptic. Houdini and his crew of medium-busting magicians. How stories spread through the internet. What makes a story believable? What makes us doubt that a nonfiction piece is actually true? Why do urban legends or interests in cryptids last throughout time? Possibly the story of an urban legend.

Queries by: January 15, 2022

SHOW ME HOW

How babies learn by mimicking older people. Zoos that use dogs to help teach young cheetahs. How animals teach tool use to their babies. STEAM professionals tell stories about mentors who made a difference in their lives/careers. History of how-to and self-help manuals (possibly some funny ancient ones). What have people need instructions on throughout history (farming, cooking, fishing, navigation, medicine, fashion)? People who write instructions for Ikea or some odd thing (IRS? nuclear missile launching?), what they have to include.

Queries by: February 15, 2022