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.
Fav writers, YA and otherwise: Bennett Madison, Sarah McCarry, Sofia Samatar, David Levithan, Sherman Alexie, Hilary Smith, Nnedi Okorafor, Malory Ortberg, Daniel Jose Older, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson.
“There’s room in the world for your dark weird truths.” Associate editor Anna Neher on what Cicada wants.
Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 only place we accept them is at Submittable. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Register with Submittable and use the form for CICADA. Submittable accepts international submissions.
Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service, and please do not attach manuscripts to forms on this site or our children’s websites.
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
Art Submissions Guidelines
We’re always looking for new artists! If you’re interested in sharing your portfolio with us, email email@example.com. 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!