Wednesday, May 21, 2014

23 US Children's Book Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly From Writers

Updated 1/8/23

If you are a children's or young adult author, you have the option of submitting your work directly to publishers without needing a middleman. While most of these are small to mid-range publishers, some are big names in the industry.

As always, go to the publisher's website and read their list to see if your work would be a good fit. Read their submission requirements very carefully. If you don't follow their submission guidelines to the letter, they will not read your manuscript.

Be forewarned that if you submit your work directly to a publisher, and are rejected, you can't backtrack later and submit it again through an agent. Most agents will not represent works that have been previously "shopped" to publishers.

Albert Whitman & Company

Albert Whitman & Company has been publishing award-winning children’s books since 1919. Albert Whitman’s special interest titles address subjects such as disease, bullying, and disabilities. Submissions: Albert Whitman and Company currently has an open submissions policy. They read and review unagented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Email submissions only. Note: They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.

Levine Querido

Arthur A. Levine Books was founded in 1996 as an imprint of Scholastic Press. They produced more than one hundred seventy-nine works of hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children, teenagers, and adults. In 2019, Arthur A. Levine started an independent imprint, Levine Querido, focusing on diversity, with a mix of 75% minority creators, including people of color, Indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals. Levine Querdio launched in fall 2020, with a debut list of 20 U.S. titles and five of what he described as “the world’s best books in translation.” Read submission guidelines here.

August House

August House focuses on world folktales and the art and uses of storytelling. Submissions are by regular post only. Please review their guidelines before contacting them about publishing your work. They do not respond unless they are interested. Read guidelines here.

Yeehoo Press
 is dedicated to publishing fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children’s books foraudiences around the world. Their books are published and sold in simultaneous English and Simplified Chinese editions. Yeehoo Press has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, California, and Shanghai, China. Yeehoo is a boutique press publishing 10 to 15 books per year. They are looking for fictional and non-fiction picture books, both text-only and author-illustrator projects, aimed at ages 3-8. Read guidelines here.


Capstone publishes both fiction and nonfiction books for struggling and reluctant readers. They have four imprints and three separate divisions with over 3,000 books in print. Submissions: Most of Capstone's books are produced in-house. Currently, they are only  interested in work-for-hire assignments. Read more here.


Charlesbridge publishes both picture books and transitional “bridge books” (books ranging from early readers to middle-grade chapter books). Nonfiction books focus on nature, science, social studies, and multicultural topics. Fiction titles include lively, plot-driven stories with strong, engaging characters. Submissions: Please submit only one or two manuscript(s) at a time. For picture books and books, please send a complete manuscript. For fiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed plot synopsis, a chapter outline, and three chapters of text. For nonfiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed proposal, a chapter outline, and one to three chapters of text. Regular mail only. They also accept YA.  No simultaneous submissions. Read guidelines here.

Free Spirit

Free Spirit publishes nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people. With the exception of board books for early readers, they do not publish fiction. Submissions: Proposals to be considered must be sent by mail (not by fax or email). Include the following: A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise; A current résumé; A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline; At least two sample chapters. (If a full manuscript is available, you may send it.); A market analysis with a comprehensive listing of similar titles and detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products; A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach). Read guidelines here.


Heartdrum is an imprint of HarperCollins focusing on Indigenous stories that reflect Native people whose Nations are located within the borders of what’s now called the United States and Canada. "We are open to considering picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel, and young adult novel manuscripts as well as middle grade and young adult nonfiction manuscripts, and both poetry and graphic novel formats. Writing that reflects young protagonists and/or youth-related topics are welcome. Our emphasis will be on contemporary, near histories and/or futuristic works, including realistic fiction and genre fiction." Read guidelines here.

Holiday House

Holiday House specializes in hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction for ages four and up. They do not publish mass market books, including pop-ups, activity books, sticker books, coloring books, or licensed books. Submissions: Holiday House only responds if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please send the entire manuscript, whether submitting a picture book or novel. All submissions should be directed to the Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. They do not accept submissions by email or fax. Read guidelines here.

Just Us Books

Just Us Books publishes children’s books that celebrate the diversity of Black history, culture and experiences. Submissions: Just Us Books is currently accepting queries for chapter books and middle reader titles only. Please send a query letter pitching us your manuscript, 1-2 page synopsis of your manuscript, 3-5 sample pages of your manuscript, a brief author bio that includes any previously published work, self-addressed stamped envelope. Read guidelines here.

Lerner Publishing Group

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. Their Jewish-themed imprint, Kar-Ben, is the only division accepting submissions. Submissions: Kar-Ben accepts unsolicited manuscripts by regular post only. Read guidelines here.

Pants On Fire Press

Pants On Fire Press, located in Winter Garden, Florida, publishes picture, middle-grade and young adult books. They are always on the lookout for Action, Adventure, Animals, Comedic, Dramatic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Supernatural and Suspense stories. Submissions: Pants on Fire is acquiring Chapter Books, Middle-grade and Young Adult fiction. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Quirk Books

Quirk is a Philadelphia-based company that publishes just 25 books per year. Their titles are distributed through Random House. They are always on the lookout for "strikingly unconventional manuscripts and book proposals. A well-written novel with an off-the-wall editorial premise? That’s Quirk. A playful cookbook or craft book with cool photography or crazy illustrations? That’s Quirk, too. We publish across a broad range of categories—always with the goal of delivering innovative books to discerning readers. Put more simply, we publish books that are smart, original, cool, and fun."

 Read submission guidelines here.

Tilbury House  

Tilbury House is an independent publishing company founded forty years ago as the Harpswell Press, publishing Maine books. They publish children’s picture books about cultural diversity, social justice, nature, and the environment. Their primary emphasis is on nonfiction picture books that appeal to children (ages 5 – 10). They also consider nonfiction chapter books and graphic nonfiction for early readers (ages 8 – 13), and nonfiction for young adult readers (YA, age 12+). Read their submission guidelines here.

Pajama Press

Pajama Press publishes picture books—both for the very young and for school-aged readers, as well as early chapter books, novels for middle grade readers, and contemporary or historical fiction for young adults aged 12+. Our nonfiction titles typically contain a strong narrative element. Pajama Press is also looking for manuscripts from authors of diverse backgrounds. Stories about immigrants are of special interest.

See their submission guidelines here. See submission windows.

Skypony Press

Sky Pony Press is the children's book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. They publish picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction and nonfiction. "We’re open to any genre and style, and we’re always looking for something new and different. We love original concepts, fresh voices, and writing that knocks us off our feet."

See their submission guidelines here.

Jolly Fish Press

Jolly Fish Press is an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc., based in Minnesota. They publish trade fiction and select nonfiction books in the national and international market. Right now they are seeking middle grade and young adult titles in science fiction and fantasy with an epic and visual scope; thrillers with strong, carefully crafted characters and a unique voice; and unconventional love stories.

See their submission guidelines here. Has submission windows.

Sasquatch Books

Sasquatch Books publishes 30 titles per year in a variety of genres and have a Little Bigfoot children’s imprint. The editors say, “Sasquatch Books publishes books for and from the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and California is the nation’s premier regional press. Sasquatch Books’ publishing program is a veritable celebration of regionally written words. Undeterred by political or geographical borders, Sasquatch defines its region as the magnificent area that stretches from the Brooks Range to the Gulf of California and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.”

How to submit: Potential authors can submit a query, proposal, full manuscript, or a combination of all three. See their submission guidelines hereHas submission windows.

Flashlight Press

Flashlight Press publishes fictional children’s picture books for 4–8 year olds. Their titles are distributed in the U.S. through IPG (Independent Publishers Group), and internationally. Manuscripts must be under 1000 words, have a universal theme and deal with family or social situations.

Read their submission guidelines here.

Page Street Publishers

Page Street publishers, located in Salem, Mass, is one of the fastest growing publishers in the US. They have recently launched a children’s program, headed by a 20-year children’s book publishing veteran. This program includes picture books as well as young adult titles for ages 12 and up. Page Street titles are distributed by the Macmillan sales team: a Big Five publisher. Their books can be found in every major retailer and most independents, as well as in mass merchandisers like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s, and special sales accounts such as West Elm and Crate & Barrel, and occasionally QVC, Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.

How to submit: Children’s Books: Please include a query (1 page) with the text as a word document or a pdf sketch dummy, 32-40 pages, as an attachment in spread layouts. Your query must contain: 1) synopsis, pitch, age range; and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript. If you are an illustrator, please also send your website. If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio.

Young Adult: Please label your submission YA and state the title of your manuscript in the subject line of your email. Include a query (1-2 pages) with the first three chapters of your manuscript in the body of your email. Your query must contain: 1) a book synopsis that includes your novel's pitch, word count, and classification (literary, historical, fantasy, mystery, etc); and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript (including any endorsements, if applicable). If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio. All submissions must be edited and proofread. Ideally, your manuscript's length is 60-90K words and your protagonist is 15-18 years old.

Read full guidelines HERE.

Flying Eye Books

Flying Eye is an imprint of Nobrow Books. Flying Eye accepts submissions for picture books that are 24 pages or 32 pages long (story) with a word count 500 words (1000 max) for picture books. For children’s non-fiction submissions we will accept pitches for books of up to 90 pages. They require a brief synopsis of the story and the complete first draft of the text, this must be sent in attachment.

If you are an illustrator/author or an illustrator author duo, you should supply a minimum of two finished double page spreads. In the case of a picture book submission, the remainder of the pages should ideally be visually roughed out as a first draft.

Read full guidelines HERE.

Princeton Architectural Press

Princeton Architectural Press accepts fiction and general nonfiction picture books for children ages three to eight. They only review complete submissions, which include text and illustrations. Please send a low-resolution PDF of your proposal to Read their guidelines here.

Little Press Publishing

Little Press Publishing is a traditional publisher located in Wood Ridge, New Jersey. They publish picture books, early readers, chapter books (5,000 - 15,000 words), MG and YA. Books are distributed through Baker & Taylor.  Read submission guidelines HERE

Note: See submission periods.


  1. Great post! Thanks for all the helpful info. in one place.

  2. Thanks! This helps a gazillion for a newbie like me 😀

    1. Love your name "GS Free" .... sounds like a world renowned author!!

  3. So nice of you to do this. Thanks so much.

  4. Just getting started and appreciate your advice ~

  5. all i can say is thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! :)

  6. Thanks a bunch for the very helpful links. I was under the impression that NO ONE took manuscripts anymore.

  7. This, in a word, is awesome. 😊

  8. Thanks for doing this. It's always helpful to find information already distilled in this way. I really appreciate the tips. John Bishop

  9. Cuts down on the research time, thanks A TON!!:)

  10. This was great! I appreciate the work! (and me not having to research!)

  11. I love writing childrens stories, but don't have the money to publish them.
    can anyone tell me how to get them published.

    1. Your best bet is to submit, submit, submit to as many independent publishers as you can find names for, like from lists similar to this one. Make sure they're currently accepting submissions and always follow their guidelines to the letter. Some will require single spaced, others double-spaced, if it doesn't meet all of their particular specs at a glance then it's immediately discarded before it ever reaches anyone's eyes. And you'll find that every publisher's submission guidelines vary from one to the other. It's a grueling process but you can't get discouraged or lose hope because rejection is pretty much the policy these days. Every rejection takes you one step closer to publication. Good luck and happy Hunting, I'm in your same boat. Oh, and if a publisher asks for any amount of money upfront, politely inform them that you are no longer interested and you would like your information erased from their database. Be firm because they're relentless. Well I hope this was helpful; again, good luck to you!

  12. thank you for believing in the potential of other writers...i found this information to be a guidelight on my path


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