New Story Contest: Open Theme

It’s April, and spring is in the air! With the return of warm weather, all the bugs are starting their gardens and frolicking through fields of newly blooming flowers, behaving like, well, April fools. For this month’s contest, all the frolicking fools would love to read your best story about—anything you like.

Your ideas might be inspired by the stories in Cricket. Perhaps “The Exodermis Protection Suit” will inspire you to write a story about an encounter with an alien extraterrestrial whom you find in an unexpected place. Or you might celebrate Earth Day with a story about a community cleanup project, or making your family or school more climate-friendly. Maybe “Stage Fright” will inspire you to write about accomplishing something you weren’t certain you could do, or about overcoming a fear. You might begin by filling in the blank for a story with the title “_____ Fright.” You could even write about befriending a frolicsome horse like Freyfaxi, or about a kid in another time or place who studies to become a seer, like Kadlin, or a wizard.

Whether you write about an April Fool’s Day joke, a tiny flying saucer that lands in your backyard, or leading a campaign to help the environment, everybuggy will be tiptoeing through the tulips in a dance to welcome spring, as they await your best story about anything you like—of 350 words or fewer—to sprout from the Cricket Country mailbox. Tra-la-la!

  • 1. Your contest entry must be your very own original work. Ideas and words should not be copied.

    2. Your entry must be signed by your parent or guardian, stating that it is your own work, that no help was given, and that Cricket has permission to publish it in the magazine and on our website. 

    3. Be sure to include your name, age, and full address on your entry.

    4. Only one entry per person, please.

    5. Your entry must be received by April 30, 2024.

    6. Email entries to

    7. We will publish winning entries in the September 2024 issue and on the Cricket website.