About Cicada

About Cicada #

Cicada Creative Magazine is an interdisciplinary, all-arts publication. Submissions typically open twice a year, roughly coinciding with a semester system. During these issue cycles, submissions are anonymized and reviewed by two editorial teams. After submissions close, we carefully arrange accepted pieces into a free digital issue. Print versions are upcoming and pay-only.

We acknowledge that art doesn’t always come box-shaped, perfectly ready to fall into a category. Cicada Creative Magazine exists to showcase that artistic exploration and novelty. We accept submissions of visual art, photography, creative writing, music, cooking, and more. If we can publish it online, we’ll review it.

Our Origins #

Cicada was founded in 2018, the brainchild of seven undergraduate students at Colorado State University. We wanted to assemble something new: a creative magazine accessible to all CSU undergraduate students across all disciplines. At the time, our on-campus publications were open only to a sliver of students based on GPA or major, and most literary magazines focus exclusively on writing and/or visual art. We believe these limitations stifle creativity and expression. There is artistry in science, in math, in lines of code – and we wanted to include it all. We made this spread on our third meeting to guide our vision.

A photo of a board with three broad categories stating What We Do, How We Do It, and Why We Do It. Messy notes line the margins. The title is CICADA - Brand foundation Brain Spread.

We’ve evolved a lot since our first meetings at a coffee shop on the corner of campus, but our core mission has never wavered. Instead, it has expanded. When the COVID-19 pandemic moved the world online in 2020, we adapted and went fully remote, opening our submissions to undergraduates everywhere. By Issue 07, we expanded even further. CCM currently accepts submissions from anyone, anywhere.

Vision #

One of the ways we stay tethered to our mission is by putting our ideals down to paper and committing to specific goals that we want to move toward together.

  • Create an accessible space for creative people anywhere to build community and share art.
    • In service of this goal, we either are or are moving towards: managing a Discord server with movie nights and other community-building events, arranging an online book club, collaborating with other creative publications, and planning virtual workshops.
  • Build a sustainable project that can outlive its original creators. We do this by creating meticulous documentation, refining our processes, and seeking financing options.
  • Eliminate traditional barriers for artists, such as educational and financial requirements. In addition to opening submissions to everyone and ensuring they remain free, we want to pay submitters for published pieces and staff for their time.

Financial Goals #

  • Create an online store that sells print copies and branded merchandise. Print copies would be $10-20 per. We would also sell merchandise like stickers, tote bags, and clothing.
  • For additional revenue, we’d set up a system in which submitters can also pay for expedited response time and more thorough written feedback on their work.
  • We want CCM to be a revenue-generating endeavor to pay for our domain name, the labor of our staff, and to compensate creatives for their work. We would need anywhere from $2100-$9100 per year to achieve these goals. Ideally, we’d generate at least $15000 per year.
    • Our target funding is $10-$50 for each accepted piece. We typically publish anywhere from 25-75 pieces per issue cycle, which means we would need to have anywhere from $250-$3750 per issue cycle, which is $500-$7500 per year, to pay contributors.
    • For staff, payment would vary, but assuming we paid each staff member at least $50 per issue cycle, we would need apprixmately $800 at minimum, which is $1600 per year.