CICADA is a 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. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) 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+ folks, genderqueer folks, 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, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Richard Siken, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson,
@cicadamagazine / cicadamagazine.tumblr.com
Current Calls for Submission
Call for Submissions: Hauntings
Deadline: March 27, 2017
Cicada YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Hauntings. A haunting is a remnant of something that never really left and refuses to be completely forgotten. A house might be haunted by the spirit of a previous owner, or a person might be constantly shadowed by past events. Maybe someone is always on your mind, or maybe you are constantly dwelling on what could have been. Show us what's rattling chains in your dark corners.
Call for Submissions: Aliens
Deadline: April 27, 2017
Cicada YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Aliens. Tell us a story of a stranger in a strange land, whether they be a three-headed visitor from the Andromeda Galaxy or just someone trying to navigate an unfamiliar place. Of course, feeling like an alien does not always have to do with physical location—sometimes you might feel like an alien in familiar spaces. We love works about extraterrestrials and outer space, but we also encourage authentic and diverse works about immigration, gentrification, and feelings of otherness and dissociation. Not welcome: cultural appropriation.
Call for Submissions: Puppets & Dolls
Deadline: May 27, 2017
Cicada YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Puppets & Dolls. Around the world, puppets and dolls serve many purposes—children’s toys, storytelling props, decoration, conduits for the supernatural. How do we pull one another’s strings to get what we want? How do we project our feelings onto one another? How can this harm a relationship? Respectful works exploring manipulation/toxic relationships: great. Exploitative, explicit, or abusive works: nope. Also encouraged: works about totally non-metaphorical dolls and magnificent puppetry performances.
Call for Submissions: Flash Fiction
Deadline: rolling deadline
Wanted: your flash fic. Submit here!
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 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.
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 email a short pitch/sketch(es) and a link to your online portfolio to email@example.com. COMIC SUBMISSION should be the subject line of the email. If you have more than one pitch, please include them in the same email. Please DO NOT send final art. Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.
- 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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
We do not accept submissions to our Creative Endeavors feature at this page. Writers and artists ages 14-23, please visit our Creative Endeavors submissions page to submit to that feature.
Art © 2014 by Hellen Jo.