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.
general submissions are accepted year-round, we are also seeking submissions on
the following topics at this time:
Over the Rainbow
Deadline: April 15, 2018
Spider (for ages 6-9) and Ladybug (for ages 3-6) are looking for LGBTQAI+ inclusive fiction, poetry, and non-fiction manuscripts. We would like to see warm family stories, an entire story without gender pronouns, children with different gender expressions, and gentle realistic or metaphorical coming out stories. We are especially interested in matter-of-fact stories where being different isn’t the heart of the story, but part of the character’s identity.
Deadline: May 15, 2018
Spider (for ages 6-9) is looking for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, activities, crafts, and recipes for the theme Inventions. Send us stories about objects or gadgets that intrigued you as a kid or that intrigue kids you know. Write about the origin of a toy, secret code or language, special technique or process, game or puzzle, school supply, musical instrument, or out-of-date technology. We’re interested in the gross and weird, silly and useless, and even fictional inventions. Especially welcome: works about inventions by kid inventors, women, and people of color. Please provide a source list if your submission is nonfiction.
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.
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
Poems should be succinct, imaginative, and accessible; we tend to avoid long narrative poems.
Length: Up to 20 lines
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
See our submission guidelines for artists.