General Information

CICADA is an online 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. 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+ people, nonbinary people, 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, Ursula Vernon, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Leigh Bardugo, Richard Siken, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson

@cicadamagazine / 


Current Calls for Submission


Call for Submissions: Family

Deadline: April 13, 2018

CICADA YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Family. We want to see honest works exploring all aspects of family life, whether it be family by relation or a family of choice. What connects a family? What might break it apart? How do we define family? In what ways do our familial connections heal or harm us? We are especially interested in works depicting found families and other nontraditional/nonnuclear families—show us how the family you build can be just as strong as (or stronger than!) the one you are born with.


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!



Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazine. Sample issue here.



Realism, SF/fantasy, historical fiction: Yes, yes, and yes

Length: flash fic to novellas; up to 9,000 words



Narrative nonfic (especially teen-written); essays on lit/culture/arts; hybrid forms

Length: up to 5,000 words



Length: no length limits. Send us yer epics!



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 submit a short pitch/sketch(es) to the “Comics” section below. Please be sure to include a link to your portfolio in the body of your cover letter. We will try to respond to comics submissions within 6 months.



  • 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 unsolicited submissions to editors or Customer Service. Your submission will not receive a response unless it is submitted through Submittable.

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. For everything except comics, 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. 

We will try to respond to all submissions within 6 months.


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.



  • 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.



  • 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 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!



Art © 2014 by Hellen Jo.

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