LADYBUG magazine for children ages three to six

LADYBUG, a literary magazine for children, features original stories, poetry, nonfiction, and activities written by the world's best children's authors - both known and new. When reviewing submissions, the editors look for clear and beautiful language, a sense of joy and wonder, and a genuinely childlike point of view.


LADYBUG publishes finely crafted and imaginative contemporary stories, original retellings of folk and fairy tales, and funny pieces with human characters or anthropomorphic animals. City settings and stories that take place outside the United States are especially welcome.

Length: Stories may be up to 800 words, but significantly shorter manuscripts are accepted, and often appropriate for LADYBUG's young readers.


Poems are generally rhythmic/rhyming; the tone may be serious or humorous. While we accept poems about seasons and the natural world, at this time we are actively looking for poetry that explores young children's daily lives and their emotional and imaginative worlds. We are also interested in action rhymes (energetic poems that call for physical movement).

Length: Poems may be up to 20 lines in length; on rare occasions, longer narrative poems are accepted.


The editors seek simple explorations of interesting places in a young child's world (recent topics have included the library and the post office), different cultures, nature, and science. These articles can be straight nonfiction, or they may include elements of story, such as a fictional child narrator.

Length: Nonfiction may be up to 400 words; backup materials and photo references may be requested upon acceptance.


LADYBUG publishes unusual and imaginative activities, riddles, games, crafts, and songs. Please see past issues for models and inspiration.

LADYBUG does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues.

Check out a sample issue of LADYBUG magazine online.

Online Submissions

We no longer accept hard copy submissions. Please submit online via Submittable. Submittable Submissions Manager makes it easier than ever to submit and track your manuscripts online. Our Submittable page,, contains simple forms for submitting to BABYBUG, LADYBUG, SPIDER, CRICKET, and CICADA. Once you register with Submittable, you can track and manage your submissions to many popular publications all in one place. Submittable is especially convenient for international submissions.

Note: We do not accept email submissions.

The only place we accept online submissions is 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.


Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. Sample issues can be viewed at You can purchase sample issues online, by emailing, or by calling 1-800-821-0115. Issues are also available at many local libraries.

  • CRICKET Magazine Group will consider all manuscripts sent on speculation.
  • 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.
  • Please allow up to 3-6 months response time.

Print Submissions

We no longer accept hard copy submissions. Please submit online via Submittable

Art Submissions

See our submission guidelines for artists.

What Happens Next?

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 managing editor.
  • The managing editor, 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: LADYBUG 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
  • Activities and recipes: $75.00 flat rate

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