Following are U.S. and international publishers who accept unsolicited (non-agented) picture book manuscripts or illustrations and often other kidlit and genres of writing as well.
Follow each publisher’s submission guidelines when submitting your query, manuscript, or illustrations. Failure to do so may result in rejection. Sometimes it pays “literately” to follow guidelines.
August House (Submission Guidelines) Seeking in these 2 categories: 1. General Trade: books related to folktales, oral tradition stories, scary stories, stories from diverse cultures, and resource books about using stories or storytelling in the classroom. 2. LittleFolk Children’s Picture Book: single-story manuscripts featuring traditional folktales. Not looking for: original stories in fable or fairy-tale style.
Behrman House (Submission Guidelines) Publish materials, books, apps, and lesson plans for Jewish education for children in grades K-12 in formal and informal educational settings. Also welcome submissions of materials for Jewish adult education, Jewish stories (especially stories for children), haggadot and siddurim, and books of a Jewish nature on any topic.
BrandyLane Publishers, Inc. (Submission Guidelines) Especially interested in manuscripts (in almost any genre) that promote and encourage understanding, tolerance, and peace; seek to improve the lives of people and communities in the U.S. and around the globe; promote environmental preservation; and promote and teach health and wellness.
Bright Sky Press (Submission Guidelines) Publish books by Texans and books that would be interesting to those residing in Texas, a diverse, open place with a wide variety of cultural riches and great stories.
Charlesbridge (Submission Guidelines) Publishes board books, picture books, early readers, and middle-grade fiction with lively, plot-driven stories and strong, engaging characters for ages 0-14. Nonfiction focuses on nature, math/science, social studies, the arts, and diversity/multicultural topics for ages 0-14. Accepts submissions by postal mail only.
Chronicle Books (Submission Guidelines) Seeking projects with a unique bent—in subject matter, writing style, or illustrative technique. Fiction and nonfiction books for children of all ages, as well as board books, decks, activity kits, and other unusual or “novelty” formats. Accepts paper submissions by postal mail only.
Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) (Submissions Guidelines) Presently, only Clarion Books (a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers imprint) is accepting unsolicited submissions. Accepts submissions by postal mail only.
Creston Books (Submission Guidelines) Their words of advice include: If your story is about a common theme in children’s books (the alphabet, colors, first day at school, sibling rivalry, etc), know what other books are out there on the same subject. If you don’t have a strong, distinctive take on an old motif, your book won’t be able to compete in a very crowded market.
Curious Fox (Submission Guidelines) A UK publisher that is an imprint of Capstone Global Library. Most of their titles are conceptually developed in-house and written and illustrated by freelance writers and artists. However, they are interested in receiving authors’ manuscripts and artists’ portfolios.
Dawn Publications (Submission Guidelines) A boutique publisher specializing in creative non-fiction. Their nature awareness titles—almost always picture books—are intended to encourage respectful participation in and an appreciation of nature. It is important—almost mandatory—the material be suited to supplement a school curriculum in some way.
East West Discovery Press (Submission Guidelines) Seeking multicultural and bilingual children’s books, usually with illustrations, and with an emphasis on a compelling cultural or multicultural theme and other specialized topics relevant to their needs. Manuscripts must be written in English and Spanish or another language with English, with topics that would be appropriate to be translated into other languages.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Submission Guidelines) Seeking honest, wise, and hopeful stories but also publish books that simply delight with storyline, characters, or good humor. Stories that celebrate diversity, or are of historical significance, or that relate to contemporary social issues are of special interest now.
Flashlight Press (Submission Guidelines) Only publish fictional picture books for 4-8 year old children. Picture book submissions should have a universal theme, deal with family or social issues, and feel like a Flashlight Press book.
Floris Books (Submission Guidelines) Their Scottish children’s picture book line, Picture Kelpies, is suitable for children aged roughly 3 to 6 years old. Submissions must be, in some way, Scottish — Scottish themes, Scottish setting, Scottish characters, or by a Scottish author/illustrator.
Free Spirit Publishing (Submission Guidelines) Seeking strong nonfiction proposals and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people.
Gecko Press (Submission Guidelines) Accept submissions only from the previously published, or from those with relevant professional writing or illustrating experience, or if work is recommended to them by an agent, manuscript assessor or book industry contact.
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. (Submission Guidelines) Both an eBook and print publisher that will sell and distribute your book online worldwide and in some brick and mortar stores. Submissions open August 1 – August 31, 2018.
Lee & Low Books (Submission Guidelines) Focuses on multicultural themes. Their goal is to meet the need for books that address children and teens of color by providing culturally authentic titles that all readers can enjoy.
Little Bigfoot, A Sasquatch Books imprint (Submission Guidelines) Publishes titles with stories that take place in the Pacific Northwest, as well as books that originate from the minds of that region but appeal to children anywhere.
Magination Press Children’s Books, American Psychological Association (Submission Guidelines) Publishes psychology-based books on topics of concern to children and teens, including everyday events like starting school and the growing family, as well as more serious psychological, clinical, or medical problems, such as divorce, depression, anxiety, asthma, attention disorders, bullying, death, and more.
Nosy Crow (Submission Guidelines) UK publisher of books for children from 0 – 14, mainly focused on books for children up to the age of 12. Also publish multimedia and highly interactive apps for children ages 2 – 7, and may publish apps for older children if the idea feels right.
Owlkids Books (Submission Guidelines) For Canadian authors & illustrators only. Seeking non-fiction, early chapter book, middle grade fiction, and picture books for children ages 2 to 13 from Canadians.
Page Street Publishing Co. (Submission Guidelines) Publish children’s books focusing on new talent and artist-led narrative picture books in all genres for ages 4-8, and occasionally board books for ages 0-3, and visually driven concept books.
Paula Wiseman Books. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Important Submission Note: Seeking submissions from new and published authors and artists only through the following 2 sources: SCBWI conferences and agents.
Pauline Kids/Pauline Teens (Submission Guidelines for Writers of Board Books & Picture Books) (Illustrator Guidelines) (General Writer’s Guidelines) Premier Catholic publisher of children’s books, toddler through teens. This Daughters of St. Paul publishing house evaluates manuscripts on adherence to Gospel values and Catholic tradition. They do not favor simultaneous submissions.
Pelican Publishing Company (Pelican’s Children’s List) (Submissions) Seeking books for children ages 5-8. Accept submissions by postal mail only. They do not accept multiple (simultaneous) or email submissions.
Penny Candy Books (Submission Guidelines) Seeking manuscripts that reflect a wide range of authors and illustrators from around the globe, focusing on underrepresented, unheard, or forgotten voices. Seeking an engaged world view, both in the design of their books and illustrations they consider.
Persnickety Press (Submission Guidelines) Imprint of the Cornell Lab Publishing Group that publishes a broad range of books for children and young adults, both fiction and non-fiction from picture books through teen titles. Persnickety is a little edgy, pushing boundaries to explore topics in unique and humorous ways.
Readers to Eaters (Submission Guidelines) Publish books, including picture books under 1,500 words, that give a fresh, fun perspective on what we eat and how we eat through good stories, beautiful writing, and a deep appreciation of food cultures.
Second Story Press (Submission Guidelines) Feminist Canadian press focusing on the writing of Canadian authors. Seeking manuscripts dealing with the varied aspects of the lives of girls and women, as well as social justice, diversity, and children’s empowerment.
Scholastic (Submission Guidelines) Seeking unsolicited ideas in the area of professional books only for educators and pre-service students (grades K-8). Scholastic Professional Books publishes 80–100 grade K–8 titles a year.
Schwartz & Wade Books (Submissions Guidelines) Penguin Random House imprint that publishes 15-20 books/year (mostly picture books but other kidlit as well). They recommend you look at their book list first before submitting to ensure your work is a good fit for them. Accepts submissions by postal mail only.
Splashing Cow Books (Submission Guidelines) An award-winning, author-owned, traditional publisher — “with a completely-different-way of publishing” for writers who may not fit into today’s formulaic publishing models,
Sterling Publishing (Submission Guidelines) Publishes fiction and non-fiction, including classics, picture books, joke books, and novelty formats, as well as baby and toddler books. Their Flash Kids imprint publishes workbooks and flash cards for preschool, elementary, and middle school students in curriculum areas such as reading, math, writing, test preparation, etc. Accepts submissions by postal mail only.
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