2018 Themes

Themes for 2018 Ask are here! This year we're wondering about noodles, feathers, slime, and how to tell fake news from real news. This post, for example—has it been checked with outside sources? Look down in the right corner for the full list—and if you have a great idea for a story that isn't on the list, send it anyway! We're always looking for cool stories, and our sister magazines Spider and Cricket are too.
Good tips on science writing for kids! Check out the latest post from Elizabeth Preston, science writer and former editor of MUSE, at the Open Notebook:

 http://www.theopennotebook.com/2015/09/29/writing-young-crafting-science-stories-for-kids/

Got Narrative Nonfiction?

I'm often asked if there's anything in particular I'm looking for—usually the answer is just "good stories." But I am looking for more narrative nonfiction, telling true stories like fiction—this approach has great appeal for younger readers, and I'd like to get more of it in Ask. It could be the unfolding of a moment in science history, or a Flatland-type math adventure, or a classmate of Newton telling what it was like to go to school with him, or an apprentice blacksmith taking us on a tour around a Viking blacksmith shop. So if you've got an idea for a neat narrative nonfiction piece, or want to give it a try, pitch it! I'd love to see new approaches to old (or new) subjects.

Submittables

If email is just too old-fashioned, you can now also pitch to Ask online at Submittables, https://cricketmag.submittable.com/submit. We're working on the automatic telepathy platform, but it may be a few years yet.

Ask for iPad and Android

Ask is now available in digital form on Zinio for iPad and Android. Check out the free sampler on the Zinio store. The print magazine will continue as usual; we're just branching out.

Announcing Ask ebooks!

This month we're launching two new Ask ebooks, available for Kindle, Nook, and iPad—part of the new digital Cricket list!  We've pulled together some of our favorite stories and cartoons about mad scientists and inventions and reformatted them for the smaller screens of e-readers. Check them out, and let us know what you think!

And Then What?

So you've sent me your pitch, and then...what happens? When it's time to set the issue contents, we look through everything to come up with a good mix that will make a really interesting and varied read. Eventually, after some pie throwing, we get an issue set, and I'll let you know if we want you to write something for us.
But what about the pitches we don't use? Ask gets a lot of pitches, many of which are really excellent, but we can't use everything.
In a perfect world, I would write a thoughtful personal email to everyone who sends in a story idea--but if I haven't managed to keep up with my email, you can check the status of issues here.