Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sell Yourself Short. Option #5 - Let's talk kids...

Magazine name: CICADA
Country:  USA
Publishing details: 6 issues in 12 months.
Circulation:  10,000
Types of stories wanted:   CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens' truths. They publish poetry, realistic and genre fiction, essay, and comics by adults and teens. (They are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) Their readers are smart and curious; submissions are invited but not required to engage young adult themes. The magazine is aimed at ages 14+.
They offer high-quality fiction (and poetry) dealing with the issues of growing up, leaving the joys and pains of childhood behind, and becoming an adult. It is filled with enough different ideas, styles, and subjects to please any intelligent reader.
Fiction. Realism, SF/fantasy, historical fiction.
They are currently calling for submissions on the theme of “Witches.”  The deadline is September 9th, 2015.
According to their website: “Cicada is looking for poetry, fic, nonfic, satire, and comics on WITCHES. We’re on the lookout for folk and fairy tale retellings, investigations of the witch in history, works on the everyday spell craft of fashion, beauty, makeup, and the domestic (the hearth, the cauldron, the kitchen) as well as the spell cast by the arts. Also of interest: the witch in nature: the garden, the dark wood, the night. Feminist and above all intersectionally feminist, works: especially welcome!”
Page length and payment: 
They pay well, up to $0.25 per word of prose. They accept fiction pieces up to 9,000 words. (Prefers up to 5,000 words.) That means the cap on payments is $2,250, though the payment rate does seem to vary. Most writers should not expect to get paid at the top end of the pay range. With most publications, new contributors usually start at the low end of the pay range, which was not articulated.
What I like:  They’re run by the established Cricket Magazine group, Carus Publishing. They’re a great publication that any YA writer should be proud to be published by. Cricket Magazine Group will consider all manuscripts sent on speculation.
What I don’t like:  Cicada does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues, so you can’t get prepared.
Submission guidelines: Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with the magazine. Check out issue excerpts at You can purchase additional sample issues online, by emailing, or by calling 1-800-821-0115. Issues are also available at many local libraries.
  • Please submit a complete manuscript. We do not accept queries.
  • 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.
  • Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt., or .rtf file.
    Response time: Please allow up to 3-6 months response time.
    How to submit:  The only place we accept online submissions is  No other forms of emails or attachments or regular mail will be accepted.
    More info:       The Manuscript Review Process
  • After they are received, manuscripts 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 at least three editors: an assistant editor, the magazine’s editor, and the editor-in-chief.
  • The editor-in-chief, in conversation with the magazine’s 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.
After Acceptance
  • 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.
  • 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.


Chris said...

Glad to see you're including children's/young adults publications in this new offering, Jody. Broadens the possibilities. Also interesting to see that Cicada is prepared to see previously published work now - think that's a change from before. Of course, the pay will be less but it's rare these days for mags to do this. Thanks for featuring them.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@Chris. You're welcome. Every once in a while I think about your great little story about who stole grandpa's fish dinner. It was so inventive. When I saw this I thought of you. And you're right. You just never know what genre will light a fire under your butt until you try it. Take care.

Chris said...

Thanks! That one went into Ireland's Own a few months ago, after being adjusted to be a child's read. As I'm still not hearing anything back from WW (what HAVE they got against transatlantic mailings), I may have to do that to more stories very soon.