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: Narrative Nonfiction
Deadline: June 30, 2017
SPIDER (for ages 6-9) is looking for narrative nonfiction no longer than 800 words. We publish stories about kids making a difference in the world, beloved pets, and odd animals. If it’s a story that revolves around gross science or weird facts, we want to see it. Stories that take us to unfamiliar territories are especially interesting—ghost towns, lost cities, ancient worlds and civilizations, little-known historical landmarks. Take us underground, to the rainforest, under the sea, or to a farm. Please provide a source list with your submission.
Call for Submissions: Fantastic Fantasy Beasts
Deadline: July 31, 2017
SPIDER (for ages 6-9) is looking for fiction, poetry, activities, crafts, and recipes for the theme Fantastic Fantasy Beasts. We’d like submissions that feature knights, castles, dragons, pixies, sprites, unicorns, and all manner of epic quests. If it’s otherworldly, we want it—wizards casting spells, winged fairy spirits wandering the woods, and dreamy landscapes where both flora and fauna aren’t what they appear to be. Especially welcome: twists on classic fairytales like Alice in Wonderland or Thumbelina, respectful and authentic treatment of different cultures, and strong female protagonists.
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:
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.
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.
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
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, 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
- 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 and recipes: $75.00 flat rate
See our submission guidelines for artists.