MUSE is a discovery magazine for children and teens. The editors seek fresh, entertaining stories from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Timeliness is essential, but humor, irreverence, and atypical angles are also hallmarks of MUSE.
Interested writers should familiarize themselves with MUSE’s style and content, particularly in recent issues. (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. Authors are expected to ensure accuracy in both conception and detail. MUSE purchases all rights to materials.
- Feature Articles (1,200–2,000 words, including sidebars)
- Profiles and Interviews, particularly of underrepresented STEM professionals (500–800 words)
- Activities and Experiments (500–800 words)
- Photo Essays (100–300 words)
- Science Fiction or Science-Focused Fiction (1,000–1,600 words)
Articles are commissioned. We invite detailed queries for articles related to upcoming themes (see below). Detailed queries include a cover letter, an outline of the proposed article, including scope and treatment, and proposed resources. Writers new to MUSE should also provide a résumé and writing sample. Authors wishing to write an article that belongs in MUSE but doesn’t fit posted themes may submit an abbreviated pitch that conveys the idea in a paragraph or less. No unsolicited manuscripts please.
See our submission guidelines for artists.
2018 Issue Themes
January 2018: ME AND MY MICROBES
Organizing idea: Up close and personal with the microbiome
Possible topics: How do we study microbes in bodies and in the environment? What do we not know about them?; Germaphobia; Effects of antimicrobial cleaning products; Gut microbiota and general health, weight, mood; New angles on antibiotic resistance
Queries by: June 5, 2017
February 2018: PETS ON THE COUCH
Organizing idea: Psychology through the lens of house pets
Possible topics: What are animal psychiatrists?; Case studies of common and uncommon pets; How were/are animals domesticated?; What do our relationships with our pets say about us?; What kind of pet would you be?
Queries by: July 3, 2017
March 2018: YOU SHALL NOT PASS
Organizing idea: What, why, and how of cybersecurity
Possible topics: What is a hack?; Effective cryptography; Debates over password strategy; Biometrics; Mathematics of encryption keys; Finance and digital currency; Security and Internet of Things, including self-driving cars
Queries by: July 31, 2017
April 2018: DESIGNED PLAY
Organizing idea: Engineering fun, silliness, and joy
Possible topics: Playgrounds over time; European “adventure” playgrounds; Amusement parks; Who designs toys, and how?; Deconstructing popular toys or games; The toy-free movement; Invention activities
Queries by: August 28, 2017
May/June 2018: A LITTLE HELP
Organizing idea: Cooperation from many angles
Possible topics: Rescue vehicles and systems; Symbiotic relationships; The science of altruism; Assistive technologies; Close working relationships, such as life on the International Space Station
Queries by: September 25, 2017
July/August 2018: ON BEING WRONG
Organizing idea: Celebrating mistakes, missteps, and re-evaluation
Possible topics: Rethinking the dino family tree; Communicating with deniers; When popular imagination is wrong in a useful way, such as Pacific garbage patch; Medical advice reversals; Revising textbooks; Unconscious bias; Disproven hypotheses in scientific process and failures in design process
Queries by: October 30, 2017
September 2018: EVERYTHING IS CHEMICAL
Organizing idea: Chemistry of food, hygiene, medicine
Possible topics: Cooking and baking; Natural v. artificial ingredients; Decoding food labels; History of food safety regulations; Lotions and potions; Drug discovery and development; Experimenting at home
Queries by: December 4, 2017
October 2018: AFTERLIVES
Organizing idea: Halloween issue
Possible topics: Ghost stories; Neurology of near-death experiences; “Creepy” artifacts in museums; What happens to recycled plastic; Organ and tissue regeneration; Cleaning up Fukushima; Inventing a new identity or starting over; How long will human species last?; What happens to social media accounts after death?
Queries by: January 29, 2018
November/December 2018: THE ART OF DATA
Organizing idea: Intersections of math and art
Possible topics: Striking data visualizations; Data communication challenges; How can data be misleading?; What is Big Data?; Data and predictions in entertainment, shopping, politics, sports; What happens to users’ online data?
Queries by: February 26, 2018