MUSE® Submission Guidelines
MUSE® is a discovery magazine for children and teens. It takes intellectual curiosity seriously, while never taking itself too seriously. The editors seek fresh and entertaining articles from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Timeliness and trustworthiness are essential, but humor, irreverence, and atypical angles are also hallmarks of MUSE.
Each edition of MUSE focuses on a central theme and open-ended organizing questions about the theme. Although articles will provide different angles and perspectives on a theme, we aim for every article in an issue to help a reader begin to form at least an initial answer to the organizing questions.
Ideal MUSE articles build on and extend the existing knowledge most young people in grades 4–8 have. We value articles that feature innovators, scientists, and engineers who can explain what they’ve done in a clear and understandable way. Articles that explore new developments related to the organizing questions are especially welcome.
We seek articles that describe how things and processes work, and we look for claims or assertions to be backed up with evidence.
Cricket Media, Inc. is committed to a diverse literary culture, and we welcome works by writers from underrepresented groups (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, and other marginalized peoples).
Interested writers should familiarize themselves with MUSE’s style and content, particularly in recent issues. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket 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 (800–2,000 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 (800–1,200 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 two. No unsolicited manuscripts please.
See our submission guidelines for artists.
2024 Issue Themes
The wonders and perils of ice
Glaciers and climate change, endangered species in the Arctic, new findings and insights about Ice Age animals, International Iceberg Patrol, ice bridges, ice skating/dancing, ice hockey, bobsleigh, sports medicine, pagophagia, the “new type” of ice, ice experiments for kids, ice hotels, ice sculptures
Queries by June 15, 2023.
February: BOT TALK
The latest innovations and future of artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT and other chatbots, advances and consciousness in robots, human vs. robot/bot capabilities, nanobots in medicine and the environment, microchips and how they are manufactured, robot swarms in space exploration, swimming robots and the search for extraterrestrial life
Queries by July 17, 2023.
March: MOONS ASCENDING
A look at recent and upcoming Moon missions, the latest insights about moons, and how to safely experience the April total solar eclipse
Artemis II Moon mission and goals, astronaut profiles, China’s Moon mission program, Chang’e-5 2022 water finding, Caltech and JPL’s upcoming Lunar Trailblazer water survey, SOFIA findings and VIPER mission, Jupiter moon news, Europa and Ganymede and Enceladus and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, Moon charts/calendars, eclipses, the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse and where and how to view it safely
Queries by August 15, 2023.
April: THE LATEST ON GREAT APES
What we know about our cousins and how they’re faring
Gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, loss of forest habitat, endangered status, humans, the latest research, apes’ use of tools, ape play and spinning, ape communication, ape “cultures,” use of drones in studying apes, rehabilitation centers, apes in experiments, famous apes, ape researchers
Queries by September 15, 2023.
May/June: MAKING MOVIE MAGIC
A peek behind the scenes of spectacular films
Visual effects and the use of green screens, special effects, the use of models, motion control, costume design, effects make-up, cinematography, analysis of notable effects scenes, sound design, soundtracks, songwriting, screenwriting, multiverses, science fiction, making monsters, twins, flying, the people and technology behind the work, actors and stunt doubles, cinematic television shows and movies, the future of movies and movie effects
Queries by October 16, 2023.
July/August: THE SPIRIT OF THE SUMMER GAMES
The science of sport and the role of the competitor, with a focus on the Summer Olympic Games
World records and Olympic records; individual vs. team sports at the Summer Olympics; physics in various sports; biomechanics and sport science; odd but effective techniques like the Fosbury flop; chemistry and the use of performance-enhancing drugs; training, dedication, and the essence of competition; inspiring sports stories; interview/profile with an Olympic coach or athlete; interview/profile with a Paralympian
Queries by December 15, 2023.
September: WHOO NEADS PURFECTION?
Upsides to failure and error
The long-term benefits of failure; failure as an element of the scientific process and discovery; different outcomes from scientific studies and the importance of scientific research; open science; happy accidents; fun activity relating to mistakes; the pursuit of excellence vs. perfection in the arts; profile of an imperfect but significant scientist, engineer, or tech leader; interview/profile with a scientist who has embraced failure; one or some of science’s biggest mistakes
Queries by January 15, 2024.
October: BY BLOOD
The role and importance of blood in human and non-human animals, and the latest medical developments relating to blood
Blood in medicine, including blood transfusions, blood storage, blood banks; Charles Drew’s story; a medical story about the heart; blood’s role in disease and progress made in combatting a disease relating to blood; blood basics; blood in animals, and blue blood and yellow blood; insects that crave blood; fake blood used in movies and for Halloween; interview/profile with a hematologist or blood researcher
Queries by February 15, 2024.
How can we preserve and protect our natural world?
Conservation of natural resources, the environment, wildlife; conservation success stories; conservation challenges; in-situ and ex-situ conservation; clean energy adoption; how protected areas come to be; tree-planting efforts to mitigate heat and climate change; sustainability for future generations; stories about biodiversity; art and the beauty of nature; citizen science in conservation; the benefits of creativity in problem-solving; interview/profile with a conservation leader
Queries by March 15, 2024.