ASK® is a nonfiction magazine for children 7–10 years old who are curious about science and the world they live in. Each edition of ASK is built around a central theme or question.
ASK introduces kids to the joys of thinking and questioning scientifically, and presumes them to be active members of the international community of knowledge-seekers. The ideal ASK article is an engaging nonfiction story (or cartoon) that is concrete, specific, and appealing to newly independent readers (grades 3–5), but that an adult reader might also find interesting. Above all, it should tell a good story, with an emphasis on ideas and problem-solving rather than just facts. ASK encourages humor, and believes that no topic is beyond the grasp of an intelligent young person if explained well in lively terms.
ASK encourages writers to stretch the boundaries of topic themes and look for interesting perspectives and unexpected connections. We also love science cartoons.
We particularly welcome writers from traditionally underrepresented communities and diverse life experiences.
All articles in ASK are commissioned; ASK welcomes queries for articles for upcoming themes (see table below). Queries should give an overview of the proposed article, including scope and treatment, resources, and a draft opening paragraph. For cartoons, please provide a rough script, sketches for the first few panels, and one finished or a link to your finished work. Writers new to ASK should also provide a resume and two writing samples, including at least 200 words of unedited copy on any nonfiction topic.
Authors are expected to ensure that all content is scientifically correct in both conception and detail, and drafts should include a full list of references and sources consulted. Authors wishing to write for ASK should consult any past copy to get a sense of the tone, style, and range of articles. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, where you can also purchase a current issue.) Issues are also available at many local libraries.
Feature Articles (400–1200 words, with sidebars)
Photo Essays (400–800 words)
Humor Pieces (200–400 words)
Profiles/Interviews of Scientists, Inventors, Engineers, Artists (200–1000 words)
Science panel cartoons (2–6 pages)
Story pitches should be submitted on the Submittable page you're currently on, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or queries. Submittable accepts international submissions.
Articles previously unpublished: Rights vary, with option for authors to retain copyright.
Articles previously published: ASK purchases second publication rights.
Queries and Questions
Queries and questions should be submitted through our Submittable page. Pitches can also be directed to email@example.com. Authors are also encouraged to check the ASK author’s page for current edition status, needs, and updates from the editor.
We are looking for pitches for interesting, current, particular stories in the following topics, that will be particularly thrilling to kid readers who are curious about everything.
Bubbles and Balloons What’s round and lots of fun? And what keeps them round, anyway? A look at bubbles, balloons, and other entertaining manifestations of the air out there. What other uses do balloons have? Are there bubbles in unexpected places? Pitches by: August 15 2021
The Fungus Among Us What’s so fun about fungi? So many things! What are fungi, what can they do for us, and to us? How are inventors using them? Can they save the world? Pitches by: August 30 2021
Islands What’s so special about an island? Island stories, what makes islands, island animals. Pitches by: September 30 2021
Wild in City Can wild plants and animals survive in a city? Wild animals adapting to urban places; what makes a survivor; problem neighbors. Pitches by: November 30 2021
Facing Fear What are you scared of? And why? What is fear and what is it good for? Why do people fear different things? And how can we tame it? Pitches by: January 30 2022
What is hair? And why isn’t it blue? Stories about hair, fur, manes, tails, hairstyles, and why some mammals have less.
Pitches by: February 28 2022
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.