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.
Call for Submissions: Enchanted Forest
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Spider (for ages 6–9) is looking for stories, poems, short plays, and activities for the theme “Enchanted Forest.” Show us worlds of magic and wonder, full of unicorns, witches in the woods, mythical beasts, and fairytale castles. Give us a new version of the traditional fairytale cast—what if a princess, prince, knight, or villain did not want to follow the roles assigned to them? Fractured and contemporary fairytales welcome.
Call for Submissions: Indigenous Stories
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Spider (for ages 6–9) seeks contemporary and historical fiction and non-fiction for the theme “Indigenous Stories.” We want to see heartfelt stories by and about indigenous peoples of North America, whether you identify as indigenous, Native American, First Nation, or another name. Tell us about special family moments, traditions continued or lost, life on or off a reservation, learning and growing up in the present or past, or an important moment in history. Please provide a detailed source list or the name of the person you consulted if you are not a member of the community you’re writing about.
Call for Submissions: Home for the Holidays
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Spider (for ages 6–9) seeks contemporary and historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry, crafts, and recipes about the celebration or history of holidays around the world. We welcome well-told seasonal stories set against the background of major U.S. holidays, but we also have special interest in holidays and festivals celebrated in other parts of the world that may be less familiar to our young readers.
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.