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.
1200–1800 words, including sidebars
Profiles and Interviews
Science Fiction or Science-Focused Fiction
Activities and Experiments
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 resume 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.
Authors are expected to ensure accuracy in both conception and detail. MUSE purchases all rights to materials. Include the word “QUERY” and the issue month/theme in the subject line.
MUSE does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Note: Queries may be submitted at any time, but queries sent well in advance of deadline MAY NOT BE ANSWERED FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. Requests for material proposed in queries are usually sent five months prior to publication date. Due to the volume of submissions received, unused queries will not be acknowledged. Email queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our submission guidelines for artists.
2016 Issue Theme Chart
January 2016: Hidden Earth
Description: Journeys to the most hard-to-reach locations on Earth. Who’s exploring them, and what’s still waiting to be discovered?
February 2016: Science and Ethics
Description: Science and tech innovators often achieve the impossible. What are some ethical questions that arise as a result, and what’s the best way to discuss and resolve ethical dilemmas?
March 2016: Fooling Around
Description: Jokes and the science of humor. Hoaxes and examples of the reverse—theories that were widely disbelieved before being accepted.
Queries By: 8/17/15
April 2016: Poison
Description: Stories of poisons in the natural world. Also exploring “poison” in modern life—medicine vs. dangerous compound, forensics, and attitudes toward toxic materials.
Queries By: 8/17/15
May/June 2016: Try This at Home
Description: A hands-on issue! Experiments, projects, and ideas for playful science and tech exploration.
Queries By: 9/14/15
July/Aug 2016: Future Cities
Description: Peek at life in a major city 100 years from now: schools, transportation, food systems, entertainment, and more.
Queries By: 10/12/15
September 2016: Thinking Differently
Description: Are autism and dyslexia disorders or examples of “neurodiversity”? What other norms or long-held beliefs are ripe for reframing, and with what evidence? Let’s start by questioning everything.
Queries By: 12/14/15
October 2016: Future Sports
Description: Forecasting the coolest sports headlines of the next 10 years. These may include innovations in training or analysis, the amazing exploits of adaptive athletes, and stories of unusual competitions.
Queries By: 1/19/16
Nov/Dec 2016: The Dreamer
Description: The science of dreaming. Dream researchers weigh in with facts—and their own questions. Where do nightmares come from? Do animals dream? How will dreams and technology intersect?
Queries by: 2/19/16
2017 Issue Themes
January 2017: Wunderkammer
Direction: Modern takes on the curiosity cabinet: stories of collections, catalogues, and beautiful obsessions; what close examination reveals; psychology of hoarding; finding lost treasure
Queries by: 6/8/16
February 2017: Enough About Climate Change—Let’s Talk About Me
Direction: What does climate change mean for people born in the early 21st century? Particular focus on strange, small, vivid stories; relatable details and actions; voices of climate scientists
Queries by: 6/15/16
March 2017: Greater Than the Sum
Direction: Emergent behaviors in nature (e.g. bees and ants), human culture and economics, and online interactions; innovations spurred by collaboration and/or rivalry
Queries by: 7/1/16
April 2017: Are We Connected?
Direction: Communication across time and space: tech successes and missteps; public versus private conversations; graffiti; epistolary or device-mediated relationships; letters to fictional characters; animal/human communication
Queries by: 8/1/16
May/June 2017: What Water Knows
Direction: Mysteries, surprises, and transformations: quantum tunneling; origin of water on Earth; striking examples of erosion; water in space; interesting species (e.g. water striders, tardigrades); experiential learning on bodies of water
Queries by: 9/1/16
July/August 2017: Looking Skyward
Direction: Astronomy current events; killer objects/events from outer space; special focus on August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse
Queries by: 10/1/16
September 2017: The Art of Boredom
Direction: Boredom as creativity in disguise: types and cures; doodling as aid to comprehension; boredom and fieldwork; achievements of people who were bored or stuck in a boring place; survival kit
Queries by: 12/1/16
October 2017: Written in Blood
Direction: Halloween issue exploring bloodthirsty-but-underappreciated creatures; bloodborne diseases; breakthroughs in biology and medicine; overcoming fear of blood; blood types; meaning of “sanguine” and blood as metaphor
Queries by: 1/2/17
November/December 2017: Thinking Bots
Direction: All things artificial intelligence: what’s possible today, and what’s the outlook five years from now? How to teach a machine to listen, learn, and make choices; unusual applications; anxieties provoked by AI; attributes that set humans apart from machines; robot pets
Queries by: 2/1/17