Tuesday, March 19, 2019

21 Publishers Accepting Picture Books - No Agent Required

Settling in to devour a good book  (credit: Max Pixel)
Updated 10/23/20

There are many children's book publishers that do not require an agent, which means children's book authors generally find it easier to break into publishing than those who write adult fiction and nonfiction. This holds true for juveniles of all ages, from birth to young adult.

Picture books are geared to children ages 3 - 8. Lengths can vary from 500 to a thousand words. In most cases, the author provides the text, while publishers arrange for an illustrator. (An exception is  made for author-illustrators.) Rarely do publishers take on both a writer and an illustrator.

You can find more children's book publishers that accept unagented writers here: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts. All of these are traditional publishers.

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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. Novellas accepted. Email submissions only. Note: They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.

Annick Press accepts submissions of picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and non-fiction for kids of all ages. "Our stories feature contemporary themes (even if the setting is historical) and aim to instill kids with the joy of reading." Read guidelines HERE.

Penny Candy Press publishes kids' books that reflect a wide range of authors and illustrators from around the globe. "We are not interested in perpetuating a publishing culture that ALL authors, illustrators, and readers do not have access to. While we will not exclude anyone from our catalog, we focus on underrepresented, unheard, or forgotten voices as part of our mission." They are open to submissions from January to March. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Levine Querido Founded in 2019 by Arthur A. Levine, Levine Querido is an independent publisher of children's books. SubmissionsPicture Books: Query letter + the full text; Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsis; Other: Query letter + five page samples (five poems, five nonfiction pages, etc.); Illustration: Three sample illustrations via attachment, and links to online portfolios. Do not send full manuscripts. Read submission guidelines here

Boyds Mills Press is the trade division of Highlights for Children, Inc.They publish under five imprints. SubmissionsPicture Books: Please submit the entire manuscript of your picture book; Middle Grade Fiction: Please submit the first three chapters (do not include chapters from the middle of the book) and a plot summary; Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission and a detailed explanation of the books in the marketplace that are similar to yours. Regular mail only. Read guidelines here.

Flashlight Press publishes books for 4 - 8-year-olds. Books must be under 1000 words, have a universal theme, and deal with family or social situations. Read guidelines here.

Free Spirit publishes books for infants to age 4 and picture books for ages 4 to 8 that focus on social skills and getting along, early learning, character education, self-esteem, and other topics related to positive early childhood development. They also consider fiction that relates directly to these areas of focus. Read guidelines here.

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. They do not accept submissions by email or fax. Read guidelines here.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers are the oldest publishers in the world. Submissions: They do not respond unless they are interested in publishing your work. Response time is twelve weeks. Manuscripts should be typed and submitted via regular mail. They do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax. For picture books and novels, please send the entire manuscript. For nonfiction, submit a synopsis and sample chapters. Please submit exclusively to one HMH imprint only. Read guidelines here.

Kane Miller is expanding its picture book, chapter book, and middle-grade fiction lists. They are interested in all genres (mystery, fantasy, adventure, historical, etc.). Submissions: Please send either the complete picture book manuscript, or a synopsis and two sample chapters of your fiction work. Electronic submissions accepted. Read guidelines here

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+. PP also published nonfiction. Pajama Press is looking for manuscripts from authors of diverse backgrounds. Stories about immigrants are of special interest. See their submission guidelines here. Has submission periods.

Red Deer Press is a Canadian company that publishes books for children across the ages, from picture books to young adult fiction and non-fiction. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Ripple Grove Press is a new family-owned publisher based in Massachusetts. They are seeking picture books. Read submission policyHas submission periods.

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.

Second Story Press is a Canadian feminist press publishing books of special interest to women. Their list is a mix of fiction, non-fiction, and books for young readers. They look for manuscripts dealing with the many diverse and varied aspects of the lives of girls and women, as well as social justice, diversity, and children's empowerment. They not publish poetry, short story collections, traditional romance novels, rhyming picture books, or books with anthropomorphized animals. Canadian authors only. Read guidelines HERE.

Sleeping Bear Press is a publisher of quality children’s books. They specialize in picture books and middle grade novels. They accept both fiction and nonfiction submissions. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Immedium publishes picture books for ages 4-8 or 6-10. The general format is 32-pages with color illustrations. "Do not submit children's picture books which you consider to be complete with "finished art", since we want the flexibility to help improve and refine your concept."  Please read complete author guidelines here.

Nobrow Press publishes graphic novels, picture books, novels and novellas for YA and adults, as well as nonfiction. Flying Eye is their children's imprint. They require a brief synopsis of your novel as well as the complete first draft which should be sent as attachments. Manuscripts should be a minimum of 40,000 words and not exceed 90,000 words in length. Read guidelines here.

UK PUBLISHERS

Frances Lincoln publishes over 100 new books a year for both adults and children. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books publishes picture books, multicultural books, picture books and information books. Submissions: Proposals must be sent by regular post. Click here for details.

Hogs Back Books is a small publishing house that publishes picture books and YA novels.  Submissions: For children’s books aged 0-10 years, send a complete manuscript along with a cover letter. For young adult novels, include a synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. Click here for details.

Nosy Crow is a small, independent company established in 2011. They publish commercial fiction and non-fiction books for children aged from 0 to 14. Submissions: They prefer email submissions, though regular postal submissions are also accepted. For novelty/picture books email the full text. For longer works, submit a short synopsis plus the first chapter (double-spaced) with a cover letter containing all relevant information about you and your work. Click here for details. Currently only accepting submissions from BAME authors.
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