Jump to content
Attention, CICADA community!
  • It’s time to say goodbye—the community at cicadamag.com is now closed. Learn more...

The CICADAverse

  • entries
  • comment
  • views

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

From the editors of CICADA Magazine...

Entries in this blog


Salutations, humans, lizard-folk, and otherwise,


This week is the launch of our March/April issue, and it’s all about monsters. This is our celebration of all things fanged and scaled and tentacled and other and different—from people on the periphery to literal monsters loving and embracing their own monstrousness.


A big part of our inspiration for this issue theme was our interview with Nino Cipri back in the September/October 2017 issue—it’s definitely worth revisiting. We discussed their piece, “A Silly Love Story," which you can view here.


While planning this issue, we really wanted to explore every facet of monstrousness. Some pieces are all about defiance and uncompromising self-love in spite of it all—see “Medusa” by Rita Feinstein and “Those Below” by Sarah Helen. Other pieces touch on the loneliness and sense of isolation that might come with otherness—check out “Man of Straw” by Russell Nichols and “Crop Circles” by Wynter Cox.


This issue is going to be released over the course of March and April, with some new stuff to check out every Monday. This is sort of a new way of structuring our issues, so please let us know what you think.


As always, thank you all for being part of this new phase of CICADA with us. You inspire us. Keep being loud and joyous and angry and monstrous and proud and ferocious.


All our love,



PS: For those of you that entered the Write the World competition, the winners will be announced on March 9 and the winner will be published in CICADA on March 16.



Hello and welcome to the shiny new Slam!


We’re so glad you’re here. It’s been a long process getting here, and we’re over the moon that it’s finally happening.


To start off, I’d like to encourage everyone to take a look at the rules. Let’s make sure the Slam continues to be a safe and friendly place for all. Be excellent to each other.


Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to give you a quick tour of the new Slam forums. As always, there are sections for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In addition, we now have subforums for roleplaying and chatting, where you can get to know one another a bit better. There is also a gallery for Slammer art. You’ll also find polls, contests, and other fun extras on our front page.


I’m sure we’ll have to make some adjustments and troubleshoot some issues as we break in the new site—all new websites have bugs to work out. Thanks in advance for being patient with us!!


Cicada readers probably already know that in January 2018 we will be going digital-only. The new digital mag will be housed here as well—more info on that soon!


If you have any questions, mods will be hanging out in the Whatever forum all day, so please post them there!

We’re so excited to start the new year with a whole new Slam. But without our Slammers, it’s just a website. Your passion, courage, compassion, kindness, and creativity are what make this the remarkable community it is. We can’t wait to see what you all will create.


Autumn, Associate Editor


EDIT: Oh! One more thing I forgot to mention--the first 2 posts by all new users have to be approved by the mods. This will keep spam and bots out. If there's a slight delay on your first couple of posts, that's why. :)


*That is definitely not mind control


Oh hi there, CICADA reader. We had no idea you were coming! Sit right down in this comfortable chair. Why not place this lovely white helmet over your head while you’re at it? My, how big your eyes are. Now answer these questions in whatever way you like. Remember, there are no wrong answers, just ungrateful insubordinates. 





You are a…

Faithful and happy CICADA reader. Congratulations! After incredibly complicated calculations on our part that you needn’t bother trying to understand, we have determined that you take great pride in being a happy, industrious reader of CICADA. Yes, CICADA is central to your very identity, and you would be lost without it. Utterly lost. Read on—forever and ever and ever.



Pick Your Favorite Ice Cream Topping and We'll Accurately Guess Your Checkered Past



Hot fudge
 Look, we all want to be world-renowned Olympic bobsledders, but most of us get there through good old-fashioned hard work instead of by making dubious bargains with that man in the sunglasses who waits at the crossroads at midnight. That’s all we’re saying.

 The lobster tank thing? Sure, maybe it got a little out of hand and, okay, some might say you went too far. And yeah, you and any future descendants are banned from all Whole Foods Market stores for the next five generations. But for the record, it was justice long overdue and you’d do it again in 
a heartbeat. 

 Once during a particularly competitive game of Trivial Pursuit you excused yourself to the bathroom and looked up an answer on your phone. You felt kind of bad about it later.

 You’d heard it all your life—that call, that song without words or melody that buzzed in the roots of your teeth. On the night your damp little fishing village was besieged by storms, you knew it was time to answer. You waded out into the tormented sea, guided by writhing shadows with impossible shapes. You followed the song down, down into the wild depths, and you finally shed your mortal husk, and you made a new home among old things with many teeth and many eyes and names that have passed out of living memory. 

You really thought you were going that extra mile for your first backstage gig at the local community theater. You realized too late that “break a leg” is an idiom, not a suggestion.

Whipped cream 
“Just beam down and check it out,” your Beloved High Commander told you with curiously smug smiles on all five of their faces. They deposited you on the humid blue planet with a ration supply and a cheerful parting promise to “swing by and pick you up later.” That was five years ago, by this planet’s reckoning.

 You told your friends you couldn’t hang out on Saturday because you were so busy—honestly, just completely swamped—but really you just stayed in bed all day and watched seventeen episodes of Guiding Light.


CICADA and WRITE THE WORLD Joint Competition: Monster Flash Fiction


From the Dementors to the Dark Riders, Sasquatch to Cyclops, Frankenstein to Loch Ness, monsters have long occupied our storytelling traditions and haunted our imaginations. But what makes these mythical beasts so monstrously fascinating? Is it their otherworldly origins? Our innate fear of the unknown? Or the age-old good vs. evil theme they represent?    
This month, Write the World and CICADA invite you to submit a piece of monster-themed flash fiction to our joint competition. Drawing on the brevity of poetry and the story-arc of novels, flash fiction compresses the best parts of literature into half-pint packages. So come celebrate the art of tiny tales with us, dear writers, in monster form! Whether you write about fabled mountain creatures roaming snow-capped peaks, real-life monsters of the deep, a sympathetic monster hero, or metaphorical monsters of modern day, give us a new monster tale for our time—one that will endure for years to come.

The winners will be featured on Write the World’s blog, and published in the March issue of Cicada online as well as on Writetheworld.com.

Visit the official contest page for more info and rules!

Key Dates 
February 12: Competition Opens  
February 19: Submit draft for Expert Review (Optional. We will review the first 100 drafts submitted.)      
February 23: Reviews returned to Writers  
February 27: Final Submissions Due
March 9: Winners Announced  


Hello, genteel and affable hominids,


Welcome to 2018, and welcome to the first week of digital CICADA. It’s been a long road getting here, and frankly we’re all about to curl up under our desks and hibernate for a few years. Or we would, if we hadn’t been living on coffee for the past month (that glamorous deadline life, heyyyy).


So, to start, here’s a bit about how the new digital mag is going to work.  Instead of inundating you with a whole bunch of content at once at the top of the month, we’re going to give you some new stories, poems, and comics to enjoy every week over the course of the month (plus some new weekly features like horoscopes and the Prompt of the Week). Releasing content on a weekly basis means we’ll be able to give you more stuff than you would’ve seen in the print magazine, so that’s pretty exciting. Make sure to check back every Monday to see the new pieces we’ve posted!


We’re pretty excited for this first week. You’ve probably seen us put out calls for reinvented fairy tales before, and I adore a creative retelling, but we’ve always been super leery of Snow White retellings because they tend to focus on women hurting one another to get ahead. That’s why Virginia Mohlere’s “A Cookpot, A Knife, A Pile of Rags” is so, so special. It’s a quietly beautiful story about women helping one another to manage trauma and heal. Plus, we get to see more of Kelsey Wroten’s gorgeous illustrations—you may remember her from our May/June 2017 cover. We get another clever (and considerably more menacing) fairy tale reworking in Sarah Allen’s poem “little red,” as well as some classic lit nods in Sarah Waring’s heartbreaking “Alice.”


In addition to some great pieces by talented folks, we’re very pleased to announce that this issue’s contest is a collaboration with Write the World, another community for young writers. Please keep an eye out for the official prompt and contest rules, and pay Write the World a visit while you’re at it! They’ve got some really fantastic resources for teen writers, as well as regular competitions.


That just about wraps it up for now, but we did want to take a quick second to thank you all for being so patient with us as we work the bugs out of our new site. It’s been a learning process for all of us, and we couldn’t have done it without your feedback. Keep it coming!


All our love,



We’ve all bought into the propaganda. Houseplants “purify the air.” They “improve your mood.” They “bring more oxygen into the home.” They’re an “easy” and “cheap” way to “decorate.” And above all: they would never harm you. Right??

WAKE UP, houseplant owners of all nations. Stop being such LEMMINGS. You really think these aesthetically pleasing green florae have your best interests at heart? Here’s an easy way to find out just how bad things have gotten in your home. Answer yes or no to each question, and may the gods of vegetation have mercy on your soul.

How many "Yeses" did you get?

0—5 “yes” answers: You are probably—almost definitely—but not assuredly—fine. Your houseplants are feeling a little restless, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Just be sure to keep watering them regularly so that they stay happy. Oh, and keep your fertilizer on a high shelf. Just to be safe.

5—10 “yes” answers: Your plants seem to have gotten their vines on some radicalized literature, like The Coreopsis Manifesto, Plantocracy in America, Vegetable Farm, or Rights of Plant. You may want to consider investing in a heavier lock on your bedroom door and moving that murderous string-of-bananas vine OUT of the bedroom. Now is the time to make alliances, so try striking up a conversation with the succulents. Isn’t it a lovely day outside? What’s new with them? Do they have any, um, demands that have yet to be met? 

10—16 “yes” answers: Flee, pitiful human, flee! It is not safe to live here anymore. Your plants have already taken over the living room, and their razor-sharp vines are encroaching on the kitchen as we speak. Grab your keys and the Miracle-Gro and run before the string-of-bananas vine snags you around one ankle and the majesty palm leaps on your back, shrieking revolutionary slogans and demanding instant surrender. Run!