List of children's publishers in UK accepting unsolicited manuscripts · publishers · short stories · slushpile · Submissions · unsolicited manuscripts · writing resources

Children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts


You can’t get published without an agent, and you can’t get an agent without being published – or so the adage goes. Thankfully, there are still a few children’s book publishers who are happy to wade through the ‘slush pile’, that teetering tower of manuscripts we imagine fill up a corner of the office, each one representing an agent-less writer who is hoping against hope that they might be plucked from obscurity. So in the spirit of writerly comradeship here is my current list of writer-friendly children’s fiction publishers in the UK who still accept unsolicited manuscripts.  Check their website guidelines and submit away, but please do correct me if I’ve made any errors or incorrect assumptions. NB   Where there is a link, I have endeavoured to take you, the linkee, to the submissions guidelines page of the publisher’s website; where that is not possible I have linked to the main website page.

Bridge House Bridge House is a small press which specialises in themed anthologies of short stories, often for charity.  They are occasionally closed to submissions but check the website for future anthology details.  May be unsuitable for ‘darker’ material.

C.A.A.B. Publishing  This small indie is open for submissions of children’s books under 25,000, but not picture books, so think chapter book or lower middle grade.  Submit via the form, confirming you have read the guidelines, and expect to hear back in about 3 months.  Note: UK authors only at the moment, and you should be prepared to be actively involved in promoting your book.

Dinosaur Books Dinosaur Books are a small indie publisher looking for exciting fiction for the 5-12 year old readership with a traditional feel – see their wonderfully illustrated Dinoteks books for an example.  No picture books or rhyming books – think fast-paced adventure for 5-8 or 8-12.  They prefer email submissions of the first three chapters and synopsis of the book and aim to reply within six months if possible.

Everything With Words is a young indie publisher with high standards established by Danish writer and storyteller Mikka Haugaard.  They are looking for books for readers aged 7+, so think middle grade and YA for this publisher with a minimum length of 40K words.  They lean towards the literary with a hint of darkness.  Email with three chapters or the first fifty pages.

Firefly Press  This vibrant Welsh publisher had a short open submission window at the end of August 2020, so worth keeping an eye on for future opportunities – and they publish the wonderful Catherine Fisher!  They accept chapter books, middle grade and YA.  Make sure you read the guidelines as they have particular requirements for submission.

Fledgling Press This is a Scottish company that focuses on debut authors writing a variety of fiction including YA.  If you’re Scottish too that will help!  You should send three chapters and a short synopsis by email and they aim to reply within 6 weeks.  If accepted your book will be placed on a longlist for possible publication.  Note they do not want sci fi.

Floris Books This Scottish publisher accepts unsolicited submissions for their Kelpies imprint, but only from authors from underrepresented communities.  Alternatively you can enter the Kelpies Fiction Prize, where you can submit annually for their Picture Kelpies, and Kelpies range of books for 6-9 and 8-12 year olds.  Note: only approach if you are a Scottish writer or your book has a Scottish setting and/or theme.

Flying Eye Books Flying Eye Books are an imprint of publishing house Nobrow and are committed to producing a selection of high quality, visually appealing children’s fiction and non-fiction. They are currently accepting picture book and non-fiction submissions.  Email your submission as an attachment that includes the synopsis.  You will receive an acknowledgement and they aim to reply in 4 months, although that isn’t always possible.

Frances Lincoln (Quarto Group)  This well-established publisher publishes picture books, young fiction (6-9 years) and novels (9-14 years) and are looking for exceptional writing that really stands out.   They are part of the Quarto publishing group so submission requirements are on the Quarto website.  Submit by email only with the specific information listed, including a signed submission agreement.

The new, but already rather fabulous, Guppy Books don’t accept unagented manuscripts, but in the last couple of years they have held competitions for new writers with no entry fee, with the winner being published.  In 2020 it was young adult, and in 2021 it’s middle grade.  See the requirements here and submit between 7-11 June.  Fingers (or pens) crossed, this may turn into an annual opportunity.

Hogs Back Books This small publisher specialises in picture books for up to age 10.  Send your manuscript by post or email – full text for picture books, first three chapters and synopsis for young adult.  Paper submissions will not be returned so just include an SAE or email address for a reply.  View the catalogue on the site to get an idea of what they publish.

Imagine That Publishing (TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO SUBMISSIONS) specialises in picture books and chapter books for young readers.  No middle grade or YA.  They prefer email submissions but will accept postal manuscripts with a contact email address (no returns).  Email attachments should be under 1MB.  If you don’t hear back within 8 weeks then you can assume you have been unsuccessful.  No simultaneous submissions (ie don’t submit to other publishers at the same time).

Knights Of are a new, ambitious and diversity-championing publisher with an exciting range of inclusive books that aim to more accurately reflect society.  Their submission model is a bit different: go to the guidelines, get prepared to pitch and then hit live chat.  You may be asked at some point during the conversation to paste in a short synopsis, and if they want to take your idea further then you’ll be invited to submit via email.  Fiction for 5-15 year olds, no picture books or YA/crossover.

Lantana Publishing  Committed to publishing books that reflect the diversity of the children who read them, Lantana is keen to see submissions by writers of BAME heritage.  They are looking for short picture books, early readers and middle grade. Sign up to their newsletter, then send the whole text and expect to hear back in about 12 weeks; if not, it’s a no this time.

Levine Querido is a new independent publisher that champions high quality literature and picture books by people from underpresented backgrounds and from around the world.  You should submit a query letter plus either the full text for a picture book or the first two chapters for a novel.  They use Submittable, a manuscript submission system which allows you to track the process, and the waiting time is six months.  They can only take on a certain amount of submissions per month so if your Submittable application fails you can try again the next month.

Lomond Books  If you have a book with a Scottish theme then Lomond books would like to hear from you.  Their submission requirements are quite loose so I recommend the standard package of three chapters plus covering letter and synopsis, or the whole text if a picture book.  They aim to reply in 6-8 weeks.

Maverick Maverick publish a range of lively and colourful picture books.  They are looking for quirky, interesting reads with strong storylines.  Note that the maximum length is 650 words and preferably less!  Also no illustrations.  Unlike some picture book publishers they do accept stories in rhyme.  Email submissions are preferred as pdf or Word attachments together with a covering letter or email, but you can also submit by post.  Submissions are occasionally closed to allow them to catch up.  NOW ACCEPTING JUNIOR FICTION AND MIDDLE GRADE!

Mogzilla Mogzilla are an independent publishing company with educational links, currently looking for historical fiction only for age 6-15 years.  They ask for proposals to be emailed and they will then request the manuscript if they are interested, either by post or in pdf form, so don’t send them a manuscript unless you have had a proposal accepted.

Nosy Crow  Nosy Crow is a relatively young publisher that is going from strength to strength and is keen to embrace the latest technologies.  Currently closed to general submissions, they are still accepting manuscripts from BAME authors for ages 5-12, but middle grade in particular.  Email Tom with the first three chapters and synopsis.

O’Brien Press This Irish publisher accepts all age groups from picture books to young adults and they are now taking email submissions.  Send a cover letter, synopsis and the full manuscript.  They aim to reply within 8-10 weeks.  Irish authors preferred as able to do local events.

Owlet Press are a small, family run independent publisher championing diverse creators and books. Check out their submission requirements carefully as they require a certain length of content in the email. They publish picture books, chapter books and graphic novels but are particularly keen to see more of the latter two. Due to the amount of submissions, they will only respond if they like your idea.

Rocket Bird Books are a new imprint launched in 2021 under the Barrington Stoke umbrella.  They specialise in picture books and, although they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts generally, they plan to have an open submission day twice a year and have already had one on 30 November 2021, so keep an eye on their website or Twitter for more opportunities.

Salayira Publishing is a high quality, innovative independent children’s book publisher who are currently accepting picture books and non fiction picture books for their Scribblers imprint as well as graphic novels.  Browse their website to get an idea of what they are looking for and submit to the email address provided.  Don’t expect to hear back unless successful.

Scholastic – This large, exciting publisher doesn’t usually accept unagented manuscripts, but they have started having small ‘open season’ windows where you can submit picture books to them.  For 2021 this was 24-30 April with other dates to follow which will be announced on their Instagram feed.  Anything submitted outside that window will be deleted.  During the submission window you can submit up to 3 picture books at a time, of under 800 words each, and they will respond within 12 weeks if interested.  They are not looking for other age groups at this time.

Strident – KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEBSITE FOR SUBMISSION WINDOWS – Strident are looking for books for the 5-8, 7-10, 8-12 and YA age groups.  They don’t accept picture books.  Do not send the usual submissions package but email with information about your book as outlined on the submissions page on the website.  This should include a blurb you have written yourself (imagine the back of a book – how would the book be described which would make you want to read it?).  They will then contact you in around 3 months if they wish to take your submission further.

Stripes – KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEBSITE FOR SUBMISSION WINDOWS – Stripes are owned by the same company as Little Tiger Press and they publish books for readers aged 6-12 and young teenagers.  They have regular submission periods so don’t send anything until you’ve checked the website.  They accept email submissions only which should consist of a covering letter, a detailed synopsis and the first 1000 words.  Do not send picture books.  Expect a reply only if they are interested.

Sweet Cherry Publishing – This independent Leicester-based publisher accepts manuscripts for all ages but is ideally looking for potential series or collections.  You can submit by post or email, or use the form on the submissions page and upload your manuscript.  You should include the first two chapters or 3000 words, a covering letter, a synopsis, and author bio plus brief outlines of future books in the series.  They will reply within 3 months if interested.

Tango Books Ltd – NOT CURRENTLY CONSIDERING SUBMISSIONS BUT KEEP AN EYE ON THE SITE – Tango publish novelty books for age 1-8 with an international element.  They accept manuscripts by post or email and you should include the full text up to 1000 words and a brief author biography.  You should hear back from them within a month.

Tiny Owl – This independent publisher produces beautiful multicultural books and encourages submissions by diverse authors about diverse characters..  Keep an eye on the site for occasional submission windows.  Picture books should be below 600 words.

Tiny Tree  Tiny Tree is a children’s imprint from independent publisher Matthew James Publishing and they are looking for picture books and chapter books.  Submit by post or email with a covering letter, synopsis and author biography.  They confirm receipt and aim to reply within 4-6 weeks.

Upside Down Books is the new children’s imprint from mental health/wellbeing publisher Trigger Publishing, who donate proceeds to a mental health charity.  They are mainly looking for non fiction, but also accept fiction picture books.  Send a cover letter, proposal form, outline and the whole manuscript for picture books (otherwise first 2 chapters) by email only and you should hear back in 12 weeks.  (Scroll down in link to find specific requirements for Upside Down Books.)

Wacky Bee Books is a fairly new small publisher that began as an offshoot of the literary consultancy service Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books.  Although they prefer authors to have used their services, they are also open to general submissions and are looking for picture books, early readers (4-7) and middle grade books, with a particular interest in the early readers.  Submit the whole manuscript to the email address provided.

Walker Books A big name in the picture book publishing world, Walker don’t generally accept unsolicited work, but what they will accept is illustrated manuscripts – so if you are a writer/illustrator you have an opportunity to submit.  Use the email address given to send the whole document as an attachment using Word for the text and jpegs or pdfs for the pictures.  You can also submit by post with a dummy copy and/or typed manuscript but do not send original pictures, only copies.  They will only respond if interested.


Zuntold is a brand new independent publisher based in Manchester, looking for children’s fiction from middle grade upward.  Submit during their annual submission windows – these are 15-29 June for YA and 1-15 December for middle grade (9-12s).  Stories with a strong character journey or that touch on mental health issues would be a good fit for this publisher.

Short Stories

Cricket Media submissions

The US-based Cricket family of children’s print and digital magazines includes Babybug for up to three years, Ladybug for 3-6 years, Spider for 6-9, Cricket for 9-14 and Cicada for over 14s.  They all have different submission requirements so be sure to check out the word counts required by each one.  Themes vary each month for every magazine so see what they are looking for and that might inspire you!

The Caterpillar Magazine

This beautifully produced Irish-based print magazine accepts stories up to 1,000 words as well as poetry and art.


Knowonder is an online site that promotes literacy.  They are occasionally open for submissions of short stories between 500-2000 words but do not pay.

Alfie Dog Fiction

This small but ambitious publisher aims to be the foremost choice for downloading short stories on the web, and payment comes as a percentage of the small download fee charged to customers.  Length is 500-10,000 words.

Cast of Wonders

This site is a little different and features young adult fantasy stories up to 6,000 words recorded as podcasts.  See this blog post for more details and an interview with a Cast of Wonders author.


Zizzle is a new online international children’s magazine for 9-14 year olds.  They are looking for literary fiction from 500-1200 words and are a paying market.  Submit through their website.


When submitting to publishers it is worth looking through their current catalogue to see what they are accepting at the moment.  If you can’t find a link to a catalogue from the main site, try googling the publisher’s name, “catalogue”, pdf and the current year.  I have easily found quite a few catalogues this way.


862 thoughts on “Children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts

  1. I have just submitted one for younger readers to Piccadilly Press. Have had to send it again via email as the ‘brilliant’ Post Office lost the hard copy. Not the first time, and I wonder why so many insist on hard copy submissions.

  2. True, particularly as they can usually tell very quickly if it is the sort of style they are looking for. It is interesting that the new publishers all encourage email submissions, and I wonder if the more traditional publishers need to embrace technology a bit more!

    1. I’m looking for a children’s publishers, and I have been for several years now. You are right…you can’t find an agent without having your work already publisher and it seems you can’t find a publisher without having an agent. What gives? Okay, I’m looking for a publishers that accepts rhyming books. You know like the Napping House or books that tells a story while entertaining the child(s). Something fun and educational without boring the child to death. Something really sweet that you can tell a child for bedtime. Dr. Seuss…type and all the other rolled up into one. I have a fun book that kids will love and even teachers! I was an assistant teachers and read a lot of interesting children’s books to our kids.

      1. Loutreleaven could you choose another picture for me I don’t want to be a bat. I don’t care for them. You have a good site though. I rather be a heart, because I’m a warm and caring person.

      2. You are a bat, not a cat
        So dont you pur to Lou like that
        Bats are clever
        So dont you ever
        Ask our Lou
        To change it for you x

      3. Izola, if all the grammatical mistakes in your post are typing mistakes, you need to proof everything you send out more carefully.

    2. Hello, I’ve just found your blog which is great. One question if you don’t mind? If a children’s publisher specifies no poetry, does that also mean they have no interest in receiving a children’s picture book written in rhyming verse? Sorry if the question seems a bit ‘obvious’ but in my head, poetry and short story rhyming verse are different and am not sure if the rest of the world thinks differently?

    3. Lou – I don’t know if you will see this but I just wanted to thank you for the updated 2018 list of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Do you have any advice for children’s songwriters who have been writing for kid lit as both commissions and fan art, and want to submit a few kid lit songs to publishers? Any advice is appreciated. Your good karma can be easily felt and I like your spirit of community. It is also like this in the Kindie Music community. We all lift each other up. Take care Lou! Peace, Annie

      1. Hi Annie, I wish I could say I do but I’m afraid I don’t really know anything about that market. The only place I know that accepts children’s songs are the younger publications of the Cricket Magazine group in the US; they take action songs. See the magazine market section of the list for their details. If I find any others I’ll let you know! Lou

    4. I have recently signed a book deal with a publishing company. They wrote a terrific review but I need an Agent to look after my interest. I have tried and failed in the past, I will have to appear on TV and Radio.
      Please can you help me.

      1. Hi Lou. I’ve just found your website. Although I’m yet to act on it, it looks really helpful. I’ve just completed my first children’s book and have been reading a mix of ideas on what to do about submitting it to a publisher. Should I send off my manuscript to one of the houses at a time or should I spread my bets and send it to all appropriate ones? One place I read said to just send it to one at a time, but surely with the waiting times involved this practice could take years to get anywhere! Please help.

  3. Thanks for these addresses and all the information. Do you know of any children’s pubblishers that accept picture books for toddler age?

    1. Hi Anna! The good news is there are plenty of publishers who are looking for good picture books. Most of them ask for a length of between 500 and 1000 words, and it is usual to send the whole manuscript for this length rather than a sample. You can try Anderson, David Fickling, Egmont, Floris (Scottish authors/themes only), Frances Lincoln, Meadowside, Nosy Crow, O’Brien, Oxford University Press, Phoenix Yard, Piccadilly Press, Robinswood (very specialised, mostly with an educational slant) and Scholastic. See the list above for links to each publisher’s site. I will also update the list to include relevant picture book information, so thanks for the prompt!

      1. I was wondering if you happen to have a recent list of the USA Publishers accepting unsolicited submissions for children’s books…I understand your not here in USA but any help would be greatly appreciated. Should I send manuscripts to other countries?

      2. Sorry Stacey! My list is only for UK publishers at the moment. You could try researching books similar to yours that have been published and googling the publisher’s website to see if they accept unsolicited manuscripts. Here in the UK The Writers and Artists’ Yearbook and The Writers’ Handbook have lists of publishers; I’m not sure if there is an equivalent in the US – you could try Writers’ Market. Or try googling independent children’s publishers; they are usually more likely to accept unagented work – as usual, check their credentials and their body of work before submitting. Sorry not to be of more help! If you do find anything useful let me know so I can pass it on.

      1. Hiya, found your website really helpful. Loads of uk publishers out there to try after i have generated a bit more interest in my first children’s book.

  4. Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how helpful this has been. I am in the process preparing my finished stories to send to publishers for the first time, and this information is golden.
    There is one thing I have been wondering about that I hope you could help with. I have completely absorbed the advise given by yourself and many others to prepare myself for rejection, and I completely understand my work will not be everybody’s cup of tea. Though I have been wondering about the scenario of having more than one publisher interested in my stories. Am I right in assuming I am able to send copies of my work to all relevant publishers at the same time, and if I receive more than one offer to publish I can chose who I go with and the others will just discard the story?. In short, the publisher has no rights over my stories to use or keep them unless I have signed a contract with them?. Probably sounds like an odd question, though I wouldn’t want to follow the wrong etiquette or upset anybody in an industry I am just starting out in. Your advise would be greatly welcomed and appreciated.

    1. Hello Kathryn, I’m so glad you’ve found the information helpful.

      Your query about sending out your manuscript to more than one publisher (known as simultaneous submissions, as opposed to multiple submissions which is sending more than one manuscript to the same publisher) is an interesting one. Considering it can take 3 to 6 months to get a reply to a submission, if you are working through the list above one at a time it could take 10 years! Publishers understand this and it is acceptable to approach more than one, providing you are honest and clear at all times about what you are doing. For example, you could mention on your covering letter that you are also approaching other publishers. If asked for the rest of the manuscript, you should say if another publisher is interested as well. The book is yours until you have signed a contract. If you are still worried about avoiding this situation my advice would be to send out in small groups of 2 or 3 publishers at a time rather than a long list.

      I hope that helps and I wish you all the best in your submissions! (One thing I’ve found very helpful when I get a rejection is to send the manuscript out again the same day – imagine it’s a hot coal that you don’t want to hang on to!)

      1. you would send it again after a rejection. Why are different people looking at it.

    1. Hi Sherri,
      It is only UK publishers, I’m afraid, but there’s nothing to stop you submitting to them from the US, particularly the ones who accept email submissions so you can avoid postage expenses. Good luck!
      PS You may want to run your manuscript through a UK English spellchecker first to change to English spellings.

      1. Thank you. I have so many ideas, notes, scribbles on a wide range of stories for all ages that I need to try and get them out there.

        Success is not what my goal. Like a guy in a marathon, I don’t expect to win- I’ll just be happy to finish. Like that just being published will ‘success’ for me.

        Thanks again.

      2. I write rhyming books. I would love to find a publisher that accepts rhyming books. Some of my favorite is Dr. Seuss books and the Napping House by Audrey Woods.

  5. Hello, thank you so much for this info, it is very helpful. I wondered if you could tell me what a covering letter to the publisher would state. I’m going to try Scholastic first but want to get the cover letter right!

    Thank you

    1. Hi Amanda, glad you are finding the list helpful!

      The covering letter should really just act as an introduction to your work and you, but I would keep it short. Tell them you would like them to consider your book, and a little about it like a short blurb so they know the genre, age range etc. You should also mention any relevant information about yourself such as previous published work or if you have particular experience or expertise in what you are writing about. But don’t worry if you don’t!

      I have also been told you can mention other writers they publish that you admire, or think you are similar to. I find this difficult to do without sounding like I’m creeping, so I’ll leave that up to you!

      Good luck!


  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this list. I hope the warmth of your kindness in such gestures is reflected in your writing, and that you enjoy the success you deserve.

  7. A big thank you Lou for putting this excellent information together – I’ll send my first book on to you when it gets published! Your generosity will surely come back to you doubled.

  8. I have found this list very helpful. However, I am finding it hard to find the niche that my book fits in. Do you know the general submission guidelines for publishing a wordless picture book? I have seen many of them, but no proper way to explain the idea…

    1. That’s an interesting one, Ben, as most submissions procedures do ask for the first chapters, or the full text if it’s a picture book. On the other hand, a wordless picture book is a great product as potentially it has a much wider audience, ie no translation problems! I have also seen them used in schools as first ‘reading’ books so children can get used to the idea of interpreting a narrative. I think in your case, Ben, you should explain the concept in your covering letter or email, and then include all the pictures that will be used in the book. (I’m assuming you are the illustrator; if not, you will need to describe what is happening on each page.) Little Tiger Press is a good company to submit picture books to, and I have added their details to the list. Hope this helps!

  9. Thanks for this VERY helpful website. Our son died nearly 2 years ago leaving instructions to publish 3 short stories he’d written. Daunting, as I have no previous experience in this field. We have no illustrations and also wonder whether proceeds can go to charity if successful. Any tips or recommendations would be most welcome. Many thanks again for the work you’ve put in.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. It’s great though that he’s left you these stories and it would be wonderful to get them published. Have you looked at the Bridge House website, as they publish short story anthologies? They choose different themes so you might have to wait until the right theme comes up before submitting them. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for short story competitions, as you could donate any prize money to charity, although some do charge for entry. Prizemagic is a good (and entertaining) site to look at for competition listings. If you don’t have any success this way, it might be worth considering self publishing with a company such as Lulu, where it is free to put your book on their site and then the purchaser pays for a printed copy. Or you could talk to a local printer who could print the stories in a booklet which you could sell locally for charity. They would probably be able to give you good advice on how to manage layout etc. (Note – if you do go down this route, beware of publishers asking for lots of money up front – if in doubt you can check any name on the website Preditors and Editors. A local printer is usually the better and safer option.) Good luck.

  10. First of all, thank you for this very helpful site. I have just had a rejection for a picture book. It was a really nice rejection as it contained praise and some tips and wished me luck with another publisher. I had read that if an editor mentions your name and the title of your book then you are lucky. So to have comments does that mean I am doing something right? I took on board what was said to me and have sent it to another publisher. I have a different manuscript and would like to send it to the first publisher. Is it acceptable to send different manuscripts to separate publishers at the same time?
    thanks, Kim

    1. I hope it is, Kim, as I do it all the time! I have several manuscripts and they are all being looked at by different publishers, so go ahead and submit away.

      It sounds like the first publisher has given you some great feedback and I think you should definitely send them your other book. You are right when you say that it is rare to get comments – it is, so be encouraged, you are doing well! Also you now have a contact at that publisher and, who knows, they could be looking forward to reading more from you. Good luck.

  11. Thanks Lou, I have it all ready to post tomorrow. As soon as I have any good news I will let you know.

    Just read The Echo and Sweet things. I think The Echo would make a good movie, chilling stuff and Sweet Things reminds me of Grimms fairy tales. Well done!

  12. Thank you so much for this, it will come in so useful. I’ve been searching and searching and the only hope i had was scholastic, but this gives me a wider range of people to approach.
    I got accepted before by someone but then turned down because of my age! Then another company said age wasn’t a problem but it wasn’t quite what they were looking for.
    (I’m 14). Oh well, it’s all worth a try :).
    Thanks again!

    1. What a shame you were turned down because of your age, Kimblerly. I’m sure lots of publishing companies would look on a young author as a bonus – just think of Christopher Paolini, who wrote the first draft of Eragon when he was fifteen! Keep trying and I’m sure you’ll get there.

  13. Thankyou, Lou. You have saved me so much time by providing all of this information – it was such a relief when I found your site! I am just starting out in fulfilling a longheld ambition of becoming a children’s writer. I do prefer to write in rhyme, however, and I understand this is not the most favoured style with publishers but am going to give it my best. Julia McDonald has done okay out of it!

    It is clear from the comments that most people get considerable enjoyment from writing for children, and I hate to be the first to mention money, but obviously this is an important factor for anyone wishing to make a living from their work. I was wondering how much a new writer could expect to get paid for a picture book (text only) of around 800-1000 words? Is this normally a fixed fee or does it relate to how well the book sells? I know the value probably varies considerably from publisher to publisher but can you suggest a ball-park figure?

    Thankyou for this inspiring and informative site. You have helped me so much.

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Gemma, I’m glad you’re finding my list helpful. It’s great to be able to give support to other writers – it can be a lonely business! Your question about how much you could expect to be paid for a picture book is a good one. I can’t find a definite answer for you and, although it’s tempting to just say, “Not very much!”, that wouldn’t be helpful and if you look at someone like Julia Donaldson, she has been very successful. In terms of what you can expect when you are published, your payment usually comes in the form of an advance, after which you will be paid royalities from sales, but only after you have ‘earned back’ that advance. In other words if the book sells well you will make more than your advance, but if it doesn’t you will still have your advance but nothing extra. The amount for an advance will vary according to the size of the publisher, but for a debut picture book author the advance is likely to be small, which is why most authors either have another job as well or diversify by teaching or public speaking. I think the average salary for an author is something like £7,000 at the moment!

      The important factor, like you say, is to enjoy the process. If you are able to get paid for your writing, that is the icing on the cake. But remember to enjoy the cake as well!

      Good luck with your submissions and let me know if you have any good news.

  14. Thankyou for your reply, Lou. Most helpful.

    I meant Julia Donaldson (not McDonald!) – oh dear, well, clearly no plagiarism there: I can’t even remember the author’s name!

    I can’t imagine how wonderful it must feel seeing your first book in print ! I’m sure just holding it in my hands will mean more than the money.

    Thanks again.

  15. Hi Lou,

    Thanks so much for doing so much legwork. It’s really picked my wilting wannerbe writer spirits up today to find there are some publishers accepting submissions after all!

  16. Thanks to your comprehensive list of publishers, I have sent samples to Phoenix Yard books and Tiger Press and will let you know how things go!

    I hope to meet you in person at the Silsoe Dog Show!

    Thank you again.

  17. Heard back from Tiger Press. Sadly, `The Adventures of Seabrite Spider` isn’t suitable for their list but I appreciate the reply email.

    I feel like laying down my pen until a publisher picks up some of my work but this feeling only lasts a short time, then I have to write again!!!

    Best wishes


    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Annette. I hope you’ve sent it straight back out again – that’s the best thing to do. Try to imagine you’re playing ‘Pass the Bomb’!

  18. LOL well that’s a good way to look at rejections! I like the picture of passing a potential gift or parcel around until someone “opens” it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  19. Reading a book on a totally different subject; the author encourages us to believe we are “full of untapped potential and have everything within us to achieve that for which we dream”. What a great picture! We simply have to believe in ourselves and our God given gifts and talents and push forward until we succeed.

    I’ve been hesitant about `expanding my horizons` but with the help of your webpages I’m finding my confidence.

    Thanks Lou!

    1. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and enthusiasm Annette… I agree with you, like so much in life it’s a question of faith. So keep the faith y’all!

  20. Thank you so much for this awesome list. Especially as there are so many accepting email submissions here. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  21. Like everyone else on this site, I have found your lists a beacon of hope and practicality in an internet of advice, good or bad but no meat! Thank you. Alas, I am another one of the unwashed unpublished but I do have a question.

    A local weekly free community magazine with an audience of 54,000 in five small towns (plus the web) has offered to take a 600 word chapter a month from me after they saw my little story. I was over-the-moon but was warned by a local published author that there is nothing to stop a “rogue” author stealing my idea. You’d expect me to say I think it’s original but I do! I haven’t found the topic covered by any children’s books when I’ve googled. I am really worried to go ahead tho’ (even with copyright warning on the issues) as I really want a “proper” publisher and to get paid something!! Should I be concerned? I would love them to have it but I would be SO upset to see the idea in print by someone else! I don’t know what to do. I am just about to write to 3 publishers you’ve recommended, very nervously. Would being in the magazine put publishers off? Your views much appreciated with thanks, Ruth

    1. Hi Ruth! This is a very interesting problem and I do understand your dilemma!

      Firstly, congratulations on being given the offer to have your book serialised. It’s a great opportunity to have your work read and to get your name ‘out there’. Although I can understand your concerns about plagiarism, it isn’t that issue I’d be worried about. It’s great to have an original idea but it’s really the way you tell the story that sells the book. Even if someone were to copy your idea, could they do as good a job as you? Hopefully you can say no! A quick way to have instant proof of your authorship of the book is to print it out and post it to yourself. Keep the envelope when it arrives without opening it. You now have a dated copy of your work which can prove when you wrote it.

      My concern if I had the dilemma you have is: do I really want to give my ‘baby’ away for free? And if I do, how will it affect my chances of it being published in book form? You may have the problem that publishers will consider it already published. On the other hand, they may love the idea as you will already have potential readers. And it’s quite likely that readers may not catch every episode, and if they like the extract they’ve read, they’ll look for the book. So it could work either for you or against you.

      I think perhaps the best thing to do would be to actually speak to the publishers you are planning on submitting to. Give them a ring and ask them if their submission requirements exclude work that is being serialised. You may get some useful feedback which will help you to make a decision. They may love the idea! But if they say it would count against you in terms of submitting to them, as the work would be already published, you need to think about whether you want to save your story for a book or not. If you decide not to go ahead serialising that particular work, why not speak to the editor and say that you are trying to get your book published but you would love to offer him/her a new, original work along the same lines, written especially for their readers. Sell it to them well and you may get a good response – and you’ll certainly have lots of motivation to write each month (think of Dickens and ‘Household Words’!). Good luck with your decision and I hope it turns out to be the right one for you.

      1. Hi Damion. Tate Publishing appear to straddle the line between vanity publishing (asking authors to pay a lot of money for being published, ie a scam) and self publishing (charging authors a reasonable amount for printing their book). Personally I would steer well clear of them. Their hidden costs appear to lie in the marketing charges.

  22. Hi Lou, thank you so much for taking the time for such a detailed reply. I really, really appreciate it especially as there is noone else I know in the industry, so to speak. I will call the publishers, as you suggest and, if I can speak to anyone, take it from there. Also, I am such a “Doh” brain: it never occured to me to me to ask if the magazine would like another story instead! Great idea. You’re so right. Our stories are very much our babies! This one is, for me but the delivery was a lot less painful! Thank you very, very much. I hope I’ll have some good news eventually.

  23. Hi, this is my first visit to your blog and I’ve found this post extremely useful, but more than that I want to thank you for being so very kind and taking your time to share this information with everyone.

    I submitted a picture book manuscript to Nosy Crow a few months ago and received an almost instant rejection. I recently submitted another one and have heard nothing so either they’ve become inundated or they really are interested in it.

    1. Hi Rosalind, thanks for your lovely comments. I think Nosy Crow do tend to vary in their response times; I have also had a reply the same day, and on other occasions it has been some weeks. It can be frustrating not knowing if the reason for the hold up is a good one, a bad one, or just there’s a long queue! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  24. Here is something for you to consider….I recently bought a paper back written by one of the country’s “favourite” authors. It was intended to be a light read amidst my usual array of Christian study and children’s work.

    Before the end of the first paragraph, I found myself “editing” sentences and grammar! I tried really hard not to critique but found more and more unnecessary words or lack of style. I got as far as page 8 and gave up as my assessments were spoiling my read!

    I found the author’s website and a short 900 word story she had left for the reader to enjoy. I copied and pasted and improved on things as I found necessary.

    My question is; how does work of this nature (the story is probably riveting!) get into print? Surely minor edits should be picked up long before then? I would be happy to send a copy of my critique to you for your thoughts. (no names mentioned of course!)

    I am not critisizing the author or her talents – merely wondering how such loose work is passed fit for publication? Or am I bang out of order even discussing this?

    Kind regards

    Annette x

    1. That’s an interesting point you’re making, Annette, and I think it just goes to show how subjective the notion of ‘style’, and editing, can be. As a learner writer, I have been to lots of workshops and most of them teach the same style of editing – cut back adverts and adjectives, pare down descriptions etc. Yet in the right hands a text can soar whether we believe it plays by the ‘rules’ or not. As an example, a lot of people have views about the last few Harry Potter books being overlong and needing editing down; on the other hand, JK Rowling’s work is so loved that the majority of her fans want whatever she can give them (me included!). I’m not a fan of Dan Brown’s prose style although he can certainly tell a good yarn.

      It can be very frustrating when you read a published author and think, “Why has that got into print when I haven’t?” However, the answer is not to dwell on that feeling of unfairness but to work doubly hard on your own efforts and show the world that you can do even better!

    2. Hi Annette, as someone trying to start myself up as a literary agent, I am totally anal about spelling, grammer, high standard of writing style and I help my clients get their stories up to a very high standard, I won’t take on any story that doesn’t have an element of what I call ‘great readable writing style’, and if there are spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and continuity errors in the story, then it spoils the whole enjoyment for the reader, if the reader gets annoyed by that kind of thing in the books they are reading, then they can’t believe in the story or the characters, so I spend a lot of time going through my client’s stories correcting all these things and editing the story so that it is as high a standard as possible, so that by the time the publishers get the stories, I know they won’t reject it because of content, writing style, proof reading or continuity issues, I am a perfectionist and I am very particular and passionate about it and I believe it is extremely important to get this side of things right. I don’t understand how any publisher can let a book out with these types of errors, there really isn’t any excuse. I think that publishers do themselves an injury when they send books out that are not up to standard, it means they don’t particularly care, I think it also hurts the author, because the author is relying on the publisher to print their books in an accurate way and the author loses reputation because of it.
      I believe that yes, the author does have a responsibility to write as well as they can, there has to be an element of talent there, but if a publisher chooses to publish any story, then it’s their job and responsibility to edit and proof read the story to a professional standard.
      You are not out of order at all to critisize, but remember, it’s not the author, it’s the publisher and/or agent that bares final responsibility… sometimes authors are desperate to get published and will take something less than perfect, rather than not at all, but I would never do that to my clients and they know this upfront.

      1. Hi Rosalind – good luck with setting up as an agent. Just picking up on a small spelling mistake: grammar, not grammer!

  25. Lou thanks for your wise words. I totally agree that to harbour negative feelings re being published or not is a waste of good energy and potentially better writing! The episode has actually spurred me on to work harder – as you suggest! Then, when my time does come, I will be even more on track!

    BTW I sent 3 short stories off to Womans’ Weekly which were rejected some 12 weeks later. I also sent in 6 in a cardboard tube which got lost! so I have to resubmit, which isn’t so bad, as it has given me another chance to edit and tighten things up a bit. So many disappointment though… methinks us writers would do well to acquire thicker skins along with our ultra sensitivity to life!!

    Annette x

    PS If you would like to cast your `professional eye` over the short story I critiqued please let me have your email address and I’ll send it across.

  26. Just received a rejection email from Phoenix Yard books re my Sam the Patchwork Whippet. Nice but no thank you…hey ho!

    Annette x

  27. I received a reply from the agent of the author whose work I struggled with (see above) and she informs me that the author in question writes in` idiomatic Hiberno-English` which her many millions of readers love. As I have never even heard of this style of writing, perhaps I need to quit while I’m ahead!

    Best wishes

    Annette x

  28. Hi Lou,

    Thanks for the information you have provided! I trawled the net after writing a short story for children, only to find to my horror that nearly all publishers don’t accept unsolicited submissions.

    I then stumbled across your blog and I will be submitting my story to every one of them!
    My story is in rhyme though, this is the only thing that is now ‘bothering me’. Everything I read about a publisher’s perception towards rhyme seems very negative! Do you know why?

    Thanks again,

    1. Hi Pete, I like your positive attitude – go for it! With regard to rhyming stories, apparently the reason why we writers are warned against submitting them is because if a picture book is successful it is usually translated into other languages. As you can imagine, translating rhyme isn’t easy! So first time writers may find it more difficult to place a rhyming book. On the other hand, you only have to look at writers like Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo and many more) to see that rhyming books can be a huge success if they are good enough. The only way to find out is to submit and see! Good luck!

  29. Hi Lou,

    A week after sending my manuscript to a few publishers (all off your list!), and I’ve had 3 replies! The first was a rejection written in rhyme! The second was a rejection because it didn’t quite fit in with the kind of stuff they usually do. However the third, which I got today, was very positive. They said they loved it, and so did both the Creative and Editorial Directors!

    Great news! Apparently it’s going to a big meeting next week, when a decision will be made on publishing. They’ve asked for me to think about what sort of deal I have in mind – whether I would want paying up front for the work, or paid a royalty on the percentage of nett receipt of sales……in other words help!!!!!

    If I could trouble you for a bit of advice either on here or via email, that would help me in this unknown territory!


    1. Wow – that is really exciting news, Pete! I’m so pleased for you! I really hope they say yes! (I also like the sound of the rejection written in rhyme – that’s a rejection with style!)

      I really wouldn’t know what to advise you in terms of the contract as its not my area of expertise. I do belong to a very helpful online writers forum called Talkback which I’ve found great at answering questions, whether they be technical or just general advice. You can find it at You could also make contact with the Society of Authors who will help you with contracts if you join them; apaprently a lot of authors who don’t have agents find this very useful. They are at Sorry I can’t be more helpful but I do wish you the very best of luck, and let me know what happens won’t you!

  30. Hi Lou,

    Can I just say well done to Pete. This is what I have been waiting for. Some positive news from one of your posts. I wish you the best of luck Pete. This gives us all hope and it’s all down to you Lou for helping your fellow writers!

    1. Thanks Kim! I echo your comments about Lou’s blog – it’s been sooo helpful! I’ll definitely sign up to The Authors Society if/when I’m made an offer.

      I’m still waiting to hear back from 9 of the 12 publishers I submitted to, so I’m trying not to put all my eggs in one basket. It is very exciting though!

      I will keep you updated though.

      Thanks again,

    1. You’re welcome, Erik, and I hope you have success with your submissions. Now that more publishers are accepting submissions by email it makes life so much easier to submit overseas, and having a wider and more diverse pool of potential writers must also be beneficial to publishers – and us, the readers!

  31. Just a quick update. The publisher in question had their big meeting about the possibility of publishing my story. Got an email this morning to say that they would be looking to publish in 2012, subject to me agreeing to their offer which they would be sending to me by the end of the week!

    Exciting times!


    1. Pete, I am absolutely thrilled for you! Exciting times indeed. Will you keep in touch and let us know how you get on? Perhaps when things are more concrete I could do a post about your success, if you’re willing? It would really encourage others, I’m sure.

  32. Absolutely, I would never have even sent my manuscript off if it wasn’t for your blog, so I’d be more than happy for you to do a post about my success 🙂

    I’ll keep popping back on here and let you know more about my situation!

  33. Hi lou

    I have a couple of questions if thats ok. my friend is very good at drawing so we came up with a great children’s story idea- i would write it-she would do the illustrations but i have not read much about people submitting books this way ( generally i have read that publishers have their own illustrators) but i feel that my friends art work really compliments the story plus we wanted a project together. Are we fighing a losing battle doing this as i know the whole process of getting a book published is hard enoughas it is!!!

    The story is only about 500 words long and is based around a fairy but she is a little bit different and this would be shown through the art work. If i decide to submit the story alone this difference will not come through ( I’m trying to make the story stand out a bit by not using the traditional fairy concept) Do you think then that in the cover letter i should explain this or is this not the ‘done thing’. ( would it look like im telling an illustrator what i want before i have even got my foot through the door!!)

    Finally, if i do end up going down the agent route, should i expect to pay a fee or is it more a case of if your good then a good agent wont charge you?

    Any advice would be really great

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Hayley, thanks for your query. I’m no expert so I can only tell you what I’ve learned from my experiences submitting and from writing conferences. I have to say that authors are often urged not to ask friends to do illustrations, but that assumes firstly that the friend isn’t very good at drawing and so the manuscript will be rejected at the outset, and secondly that the author is determined to have his or her story published with or without the friend rather than as a team. But from what you say it sounds as though you have a talented friend and also that rather than roping your friend in to help you have evolved this book as a partnership. In that case I would encourage you to go ahead with your submission together, especially as you say it needs the illustration to make the story work. You both need to be prepared that the manuscript may be rejected due to the drawings or to the writing and not to lay any blame on the other if this happens. You also need to be sufficiently sanguine about your story to believe that, if you don’t get anywhere with it, you can shrug your shoulders and get on with the next one. If you want this published more than anything then it would be wiser to go alone. But personally I think you sound like a good team.

      With regard to agents, you are right in assuming that a good agent won’t charge. Agents make money out of their authors through selling their work and will take a percentage, typically about 15%, of your earnings for their services. If you aren’t earning, they aren’t earning, so anyone that asks for money in any other way is to be avoided at all costs. Picture books are not usually dealt with by agents, but the good news is there are some good publishers who still accept manuscripts directly as you can see from the list on this page, so start submitting and I wish you the best of luck!

    2. Hi Hayley
      I’m just setting myself up as a literary agent, and as an agent, I would not take money up front or take a fee from my clients, all my contracts say that I will take 15% of any royalties made if the stories are published and then it’s up to me to negotiate a good deal with the publishers for the authors. My advice would be never to go with vanity press (agents and publishers that charge), because you could find yourself paying for this service and that service (admin, proof reading and editing) on top and it just gets more and more expensive and you won’t be seeing much result. A reputable and good agent or publisher will always pay a percentage depending on your earnings from sales.

  34. Hello

    Thank you so so much for your help and advice, i really appreciate it as i didnt want mu friend to spend ages drawing pictures for no reason!!! Its also great to hear about agencies, there are always a few to con you out there so its good to know!! Thanks again for you help

    kind regards

  35. It seems Oxford University Press are no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Your blog has been very helpful to me, thank you Lou! Best Wishes, Mel Cabezas.

  36. Just catching up with all the replies on here. All very interesting.
    Wow! Well done to Pete!
    His success is giving me hope.
    Keep us informed Pete and well done!
    Thanks for this blog Lou, very helpful

  37. hi lou,
    firstly thank you for an amazing site. i have written three short stories and have no clue as to how to proceed. With regard to contacting either publishers or agents, is the shotgun approach the acceptable to do things? .i.e sending out to as many as possible. should i focus on one at a time?

    any advice for a rank newbie would gratefully received.

    yours David

    1. Hi David, thanks for visiting! Short stories can be very hard to place (I’m assuming they are for children). Wyvern Publications and Bridge House are the only two companies I’m aware of at the moment that accept short stories for children (see links on post). But if anyone else knows different please comment! I think the People’s Friend magazine might run children’s stories as well, but they do have a very precise style – they know their readership! Your other alternative could be to search for websites that publish online. You won’t get paid but could get some exposure. Publishers do prefer novels, which is why an agent probably wouldn’t want to take you on for just short stories. Have you thought about writing some more and bringing them together with a narrative, such as in Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror (Chris Priestly)? These are ghost stories for children but there is also a containing story – as chilling as the rest – about Uncle Montague.
      If you do find a market the usual advice is to tailor your story for that market and then send out one at a time. It’s the more professional approach. If you don’t hear anything within six months feel free to send elsewhere. Increasingly though authors are sending similtaneous submissions (submitting to more than one market). It’s a risk but in these days of long waits and tough markets it’s acceptable. Alternatively why not try competitions? The remit is usually broader and there’s some prize money to be had if you’re willing to pay the entry fee (try
      Hope this helps.

  38. HI Lou,
    I am the typical struggling writer and am working hard to crank out some childrens books…do you have any preference as to the best publishing places to send to that have a broader out look and are open to new authors…any info would be so helpful…your site here is so amazing well done…Thanks Sally

    1. Hi Sally, I too am a struggling writer! I’d say in terms of publishers to look at the websites (see links in list above) and see what they are putting out. Would your book nestle down nicely into their catalogue? A huge part of the success of submitting is matching the right material to the right publisher at the right time. Sometimes newer publishers or small presses can have a ‘broader outlook’ and be more ready to take risks but they will also want something that fits their brand. It’s okay to be a new author with any publisher but I do get the feeling that these days more than ever you need to prove yourself with something that really stands out in order to get your first break. Hope that helps and good luck!

  39. Thanks so much Lou yes it helps somewhat to confirm my already belief that its a hit or miss kind of thing. Kind of being at the right publisher at the right time…..

  40. Hi Lou,

    Here is another children’s publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts either by post or e-mail: QED Publishing, 230 City Road, London, EC1V 2TT, UK. Publisher’s e-mail:
    However, authors must enquire first before submitting texts.
    Good luck to all.

    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you for that one, Attia. I won’t put them on the main list yet as they do not want unsolicited manuscripts, but as you say they will look at emails with proposals. Anyone contacting them should bear in mind that they specialise in educational resources and mainly non fiction. The website is at

  41. Hi Lou
    What an great list!! Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together. I have a question regarding your writing process. How many re-writes/revisions do you usually do before you feel it is good enough to send to publishers? I have written a picture book and I am happy with the story (after LOT’S of revision!!), but feel that it still need’s edititing (I’ve got it to about 700 words).
    I read on another well known childrens book author’s website that she often re-writes a book 43 times!!
    p.s I would be happy to hear from any other writers 🙂

    1. Good question, Libby! I think in the past I’ve made the mistake of sending out a manuscript before it’s really ready. I’m learning more and more now that it has to be honed and polished so it can be the best it can possibly be. Others have the opposite problem, not knowing when to stop. I think if you can get to the stage where you are confident you have produced a work you are proud of then you are ready. It sounds like you are nearly there with yours; 500 words is supposed to be a good number for a picture book and the more you can edit, the more you will strive for the perfect sentence. Forty-three times does seem a bit excessive though! I’d say at a minimum you should do a first draft, then rest, then second draft, rest, then polish and proof read. The more you can repeat the process the better, but if you can do it brilliantly the first time then fantastic!

  42. Hi Lou – I just found your blog and its filled with great knowledge. I am a PreK teacher in the U.S.A. of 25 years with numerous original picture story books (some in the editting phase and others just detailed ideas). Your blog has given me hope and direction which I haven’t had in the past. When submitting picture story books; should the manuscript be in story form (words on page 1, 2, etc.) or can it be simply typed out as a regular story…not sure this will make sense. After reading through your replies, my understanding is no illustrations with picture story books. This is hard for me as I know exactly what I want the illustrations to look like and I’ve been told I will have no say in what the finished illustrations will be if I am fortunate enough to be published some day. After years of reading horribly illustrated picture story books I know the importance of well drawn illustrations with children. I know when I have looked at different publishers websites that the quality of their illustrations dictates whether I have any interest in submitting my work to them.

    Thanks again,

    1. That’s a good question, Robbin. I think you need to specify where the page breaks will be, as this can be very important in determining the pace of a picture book. Whether you use different pages or simply indicate with a few spaces or a number is up to you. (Although it’s always worth checking a publisher’s website in case they specify any particular style of presentation.) With regard to illustrations, I completely understand your point and I would say that, unless you can draw your own illustrations, it would be acceptable to suggest what you have in mind. Perhaps after each section of text you could write “Illustration sugggestion” with a brief outline. That way you are making your ideas clear without appearing to dictate to the publisher.

    1. Hi Gerry, this can be a hard one but if you can do it well there are loads of possiblities. How about making one of your verses into a picture book? Or looking for poetry competitions for children’s poetry (they sometimes crop up in Writing Magazine or check out Alternatively find some recently anthologies of children’s poetry in your library or local bookshop. Make a note of the publisher and write to them asking if they would consider seeing samples of your work for consideration in future anthologies. It may be a long slog but if you can make children laugh with your verse there should be an opening in the market for you. Another option if you have plenty of verse and wish to showcase some is to create a website or blog (free from wordpress or blogger) and put some poems up. Spread the word and mention your site when you send your poetry off to publishers. (Remember that if your poems appear online they may count as being published so you may not be able to send those ones off.)

      1. ty for the advice , i have lots of verse and so might do the blogger. Ty so much for your advice it has been very useful

  43. Thanks for your fast reply. I agree 43 re-writes does seem a bit over the top….She also mentioned that 97% of manuscripts get rejected..mmm…Well that just encourages me to try my hardest to BE one of the 3% that gets published 🙂
    I did another edit last night and am down to 650 words. There are only a couple of lines that I am not happy with, but I think that I am more likely to rewrite those rather than delete them. I only want to start sending it to publishers when I am 100% happy that my story is the best that it can be…..But I have given myself the dead-line of 15th November…
    eeekkkk Back to work.

    1. Also remember that probably 95% of those rejected are wrongly targeted or badly presented so probably don’t even get read, so if you are submitting a well presented, well researched (in terms of the publisher’s output) manuscript you put yourself into the 5% who have a chance!

  44. For anyone wanting my input as a soon-to-be-published children’s picture book author :-), I simply typed mine into a Word document, with four-line verses and a double space between verses. Font was Courier New, and text size 12. Mine’s all in in rhyme and IIRC it was 723 words long.

    It was in the synopsis that I described the way I wanted the story to be read/spoken, and it was also here that I emphasised how I would prefer the story to be presented. My synopsis was just over 400 words long – I tried to keep it to one page.

    I then simply looked on Lou’s excellent list to see which publishers accepted manuscripts by email, and sent the whole thing and the synopsis attached to an email that briefly described my experience as an author (ie, none!).

    However, at the end of the day, the publishers are usually the expert in these fields. They know what sells (or what doesn’t!), and they will know how their readers will want things illustrated. I was asked if I had an illustrator in mind, but I didn’t – apparently they prefer to pair your work with the appropriate illustrator. From sending the manuscript to receiving an offer for my work outright, I’d say it was a maximum of three months – but I believe that is very quick!


  45. Hi, I (just like everyone else) want to say thank you so much for this list! I have spent months looking for appropriate publishers. I have read the ‘writters and illustrators handbook’ from cover to cover looking for insperation for publishing.

    I have finally finished my book (it only took 8 years) and sent it to 5 different publishers. i have recieved 2 rejection letters, one a lot nicer than the other. I am on mat leave at the moment so currently spend the day waiting for the postman, then strop around like a teenager when he turns up without the letter i wanted!

    It is great to hear about other people in the same situation, and the success stories (Pete, congratulations). Well wish me luck, along with everyone else and once again thank you for the list it was very useful.

  46. Just a note to say what a great post Lou, very useful, and that I am impressed by the amount of research you do

    Keep up the good work


      1. Hello Lou

        Just a quick one as im getting myself confused!! I have written a children’s story about 500 words long.When I send my query letter off do I enclose the story with the letter or is a query letter simply just that-a query. I know when writing a longer boo you only include 3 chapters but as mine is quite short do i enclose the whole thing?

        Once again thanks for any help

      2. Hi Hayley! Yes, enclose the whole thing if it’s that short. The only exception would be if the pubishers specifically state that you should send a query letter first before submitting anything else. Good luck!

  47. Love this post very inspiring and useful information. I have produced a multiculutral childrens picture book about a cute little girl Amarapara that teaches children through fun stories about different cultures. I would really love to get it published and will contact the publishers above.

  48. Thank you Lou. You have created a very informative zone. I love the idea of writers and would-be-writiers (me) feeding back to each other and supporting each other. I have ideas for several different series of stories, one involving animials, one involving a little girl and one involving a little boy. Each ‘set’ of stories have kept the various classes I have covered very entertained. I have been making up stories for my own children, my grandkids and the children I teach – which varies from Reception class through and upto year six. The children ask me for another ‘Gary’ story or ‘Rosie’ story. It was one of my colleagues who suggested getting the stories into print. I didnt think it would be possible but your blog and the other aspiring writiers have given me hope. I will try your suggestions and list. If I dont have any luck, i will still have my stories and children to listen to them. So a great big thank you.
    Juls x

  49. Hi Lou
    Thank-you so much for all your great advice you’re a star, also hearing other peoples experiences really helps and gives me hope I have written several childrens picture books but have put off sending them to publishers as they are in rhyme and this seems to be the most difficult to sell however with Petes excellent news I feel newly inspired and I wondered which of the publishers was looking the most favorable for accepting my style of book ( i e rhyme) do you know Lou or Pete please.
    Anyway I wish everyone on here a Happy and very prosperous New year.
    Lots of love

    1. Hi Lisa, glad you like this post. It seems to have grown into something much more than just a list now! I think the best approach for your rhyming stories is to look at the books already published by each publisher; you can do this by either looking on their websites or by downloading their latest catalogue. Sometimes these are available from the site but sometimes if they are hard to find I google the publisher’s name and ‘pdf catalogue’ and that usually finds it as they are normally in a pdf format (a type of document you can read on your pc like an open book, for those who don’t know). If they are already publishing rhyme then you are in with a chance; but if not, maybe your manuscript will change their mind, you never know!

  50. Hello, I have found this page really useful, thank you for taking the time!
    Can I ask a quick question? I’ve written and illustrated a children’s picture book,
    would you send a full copy as an initial contact or just some of it. Is it legitimate
    to worry about your idea being stolen if you send all of it before making an agreement?

    1. Hi Juliette! I would send the full text as it’s a picture book, but just a few sample illustrations (and not original copies). But check the publisher’s websites to see if they have their own specific requirements. I wouldn’t worry about your idea being stolen if it’s a reputable publisher (hopefully all those on this list are!) but an easy way of proving copyright is to post a copy of your manuscript to yourself and then keep the unopened envelope with the manuscript in when it arrives. It will be postmarked with the date and can prove you wrote the book before anyone else if you ever need to. Hope this helps!

  51. I am proud that my tales for children do not affect a condescending or patronizing tone, but I’m under the impression that’s what publishers want. Why do I feel it is incumbent on me to write in a ‘dumbed down’ style? All my stories assume intelligence on the part of my audience; that’s why I write the way I do. Am I alone here? Thanks!

    CN : )

    1. It’s great to have your own voice and if you try to change too drastically to fit in with what you think is expected of you, you’re in danger of losing your own style, not to mention being unconvincing. A lot of children’s authors such as JK Rowling simply wrote the story they wanted to write, without aiming it at a specific age group or trying to dumb down (which could be the secret of JK’s success as she appeals to so many age groups). On the other hand it is useful to be aware of specific publisher’s requirements and if a few tweaks of style get you in the door then it’s definitely worth doing. I think it’s all about finding that middle ground that works for both you and your readers.

  52. Thanks, Lou. Hey, once I sent some tales to a prominent NYC agency who specializes in children’s lit. One of the agents wrote me back and said she never wanted to see anything from me ever again. You know what that tells me? That I’m ON TO SOMETHING!

    CN : )

  53. I think maybe I was just a tad too optimistic and enthusiastic after I came across this blog. I sent manuscripts to most of the publishers suggested,but they don’t bother to even reply and acknowledge receipt!!!!! Maybe its just the African in me,but where is the courtesy!! only templar wrote back to say that their editor was on maternity leave and I would have to wait longer. Then I later received a blank e-mail with just the title of my story as the subject(!!!!!) from them.When I sought further clarification, I got this email,which seemed rather rude to me, telling me how publishers follow procedures..bla,bla.I may be from Africa but I AM a published author and I know all about the publishing procedure.In future I am going to stick to African publishers,thank-you VERY much. :-((

    1. Oh dear, that is not good. I sometimes wish all publishers would use the policy ‘If you don’t hear back within x months, please assume you have been unsuccessful’. At least then we would not be left waiting for a reply that never comes. I have heard back from some publishers after more than a year, others the next day, and others not at all. It seems like quite a hit and miss process sometimes. You can understand why authors take matters into their own hands and self publish. Have you tried any agents? They do tend to have a more formal approach to submissions and you may find the process less frustrating!

  54. Hello Lou,
    I have just stumbled on to your site whilst looking for children’s publishers… and I have to say it’s
    a very happy accident!
    Thank you so much for all your hard work!
    I am an ( out of work!) actress and v/o and have always dabbled with writing,- mainly childrens, which I really love. I have several (incomplete!) stories and lots of ideas for more. I have a teaching background and was told by a self publishing house that I had just the right approach for very young and beginning to read children…not patronising with a good extension of vocabulary and repetition etc;
    I ‘m wondering if it is appropriate to e-mail the concept and idea for my stories. E.g. I have one idea for alliteration and have written the first and tried it out on my young student of 6 years, quite successfully, I think.
    So, who in your experience would be the most suitable to approach who might be interested in helping children’s comprehension of grammatical points?

  55. Hi, I’ve been a follower for some time now and I’m glad I’ve found the site. It’s reassuring (?) to know there are so many aspiring writers out there.
    I have written childrens stories for a while though as yet unpublished.
    What I would be interested in is how do you acquire the services of an artist to illustrate stories.
    I am lucky to know some artists but have not been successful in acquiring their help.
    My stories are really for the picure book market and wonder how you get published in that field without having any illustrations?

    1. Nice to hear from you, Mark. You’ll be pleased to know you don’t need to find an illustrator before submitting picture books. In fact, most publishers prefer you not too, as they have their own artists. So submit your manuscript as text only, and if you are accepted the publisher will arrange the illustrations. Hope this helps and good luck with your stories!

      1. Thanks Lou.
        I’ll submit to the publishers you had noted previously who accept unsolicited manuscripts.
        I write (or attempt to) various types of stories (not just childrens). In fact my most successful (in monetary terms!) has been letter writing to newspapers.
        I’m going to keep writing all various types and send away and hopefully someone will give me the nod.:o)
        It will be great just to have one book published!
        Thanks again for the time in contacting and advising not just me but so many other (as yet) undiscovered writers.


  56. Hello there – like all fellow bloggers here, I have been incredibly heartened by the enthusiasm and advice which saturates these pages. Thank you very much everyone. Having read all the posts for the last 6 months and watched Pete’s success unfold, I am even more excited about my new approach to writing – had previously been slogging on and off with an adult family saga that was thoroughly depressing me but have now switched to children’s fiction which cheers me and and makes me laugh every day.

    I have recently sent off 5 picture book manuscripts, which form part of a larger series that I am still working on, to 7 publishers. I will keep you updated on my journey!

    Keep writing everyone!


  57. This site is really helpful, do you know any Christian Children’s Publishers that will accept unsolicited manuscripts? I have my first manuscript sat on a consideration pile at Pegasus Publishers is this good news?

    1. Hi Pam, have not come across Christian Children’s publishers as yet but will post here if I do; I know there are some Christian publishers out there so there may somewhere you can submit to.

      Re the Pegasus publisher, I’m afraid if your manuscript is with Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie then they are a vanity publisher who may offer you a contract but will ask you for money. I hope this isn’t the case but if it happens do not give them any money as they send the same standard reply to everybody in order to get you to sign up. This doesn’t mean your manuscript is bad in any way but if I were you I’d start sending it out again elsewhere. It deserves a chance to be accepted by a good, legitimate, publisher. For more information go to Predators & Editors (you can check out any publisher you’re not sure about on this website), or read the discussions at the Absolute Write Forum or You Write On.

      Best of luck with your manuscript – keep submitting!

      1. Thank you for your advice, I will start sending it out again, but it’s been really difficult to find Publishers who will take Christian stories and non solicited manuscripts 😦 Thanks again for your help.

      2. Hi Adele – this is a hard one as I do feel that due to their vanity arm they don’t have the greatest image as a publisher, and how will your book stand out as having a traditional contract as opposed to the vanity ones? Also I’d consider what their reach is in terms of retail, publicity, libraries etc compared to more mainstream publishers. It might be worth having the contract looked at by The Society of Authors so you can be confident about going ahead. It’s your decision of course, but having heard so many negative things about the publisher it’s hard for me to give unbiased advice so I would recommand doing as much research as you can before proceeding. Best of luck! Lou

  58. Hi Lou. Since November I’ve sent several picture book stories (max 35 ko) for small children and for now I’ve had one rejection from Piccadilly and no news as yet from the others I picked from your blog. Taking a pessimistic point of view, as the rejections come in, should I send off other stories straight away to the same publishers as I have several others in the pipeline which might do better, or should I wait? And if so how long in your opinion?

  59. Hi Judith, glad you to hear you are submitting your picture books. There’s still plenty of time to hear back from the other publishers – six months is not unusual. I think it’s okay to submit further to the same publisher after hearing back from them (or if you haven’t heard back after six months you can probably assume it’s a no and resubmit something else then). Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  60. Hello Lou
    I was just wondering what the process was inside a publishing house once you have sent your manuscript in. Do they get dated stamped and read in strict order or is it much more ad hoc than this?

    1. Hello Rachel – the answer is that I don’t know but I will try to find out! In the meantime a very interesting insight into the ‘slush pile’ process is on the website for agents Conville & Walsh, where their reader David Llewellyn shares his thoughts on what he prefers to call the ‘talent pool’. Here’s a link: Scroll down and click on the link to David Llewellyn and it will download a word document.

  61. What I am wondering is,will it kill them to just write you a small note to acknowledge that they have your script and are looking at it,or are not able,for whatever reason,to review it,or are not accepting work in its genre,and how long it may take them to review and decide!!!? I have already gotten a response from the Kenyan publisher I submitted some of my work to TWO days ago!! that is how things should be!!! and I receive copies of the review reports on my scripts,and suggestions if any,of how I can improve on my work,or reasons why-if it is not going to be published.I think Kenyan publishers are a step ahead,and I am sticking to them.

  62. Lou, how do you find time to write? It must take you hours to reply to all the mail you receive. You’re obviously an extremely generous person. I find everything you write very useful, so thank you for being so giving and good luck with your own writing.

  63. Your comment made me smile – thank you! I’m really enjoying the issues and queries raised on this page and it’s nice to feel we’re all in the same boat and wishing each other the best in our writing journeys.

  64. Is self published an ideal way to go? My daughter 11yrs old wrote about 15 short stories and I wanted to published them for her, Please I value your opinion, Thanks

    1. Hi Nadia. It’s a lovely idea that you want to publish your daughter’s stories. My recommendation if you would like a nice professional looking copy for her is to go with a print-on-demand company such as Lulu or Blurb. You upload your text, formatted to the correct specifications, to their site, and then if someone wants a copy the company print one off and send it to them, and the customer pays for the printing (you set the price). The customer can be you or anyone else who wants to read it – ideal for giving copies to family and friends. You don’t pay anything unless you want a copy printed. These companies are increasingly used by wedding photographers who want to print off an album or people who have written their family history, as well as authors who want to see what their book looks like in published form. If you want to print a larger supply with a view to selling copies directly yourself, a print-on-demand system can be expensive, and the best route would probably be to talk to your local printers. Be very careful responding to self publishing adverts as you can spend a lot of money! Hope this helps.

      1. I think this site is fantastic, I’ve sent a submission to Authentic and awaiting reply, thanks again for all your advice and support, it’s a shame your not a publisher

  65. Hi Lou, I’m back 🙂

    OK so my first book is in the pipeline as previously mentioned. However, I have a second story (unrelated) that I think is almost ready to submit, and my publisher has already expressed an interest in reading anything else I have to offer. Would you recommend holding fire until my first one has got onto the shelves and tested the water (so to speak)?

    Or do you think I’d be better sending this one off ASAP and seeing what I can get for it, just in case my first one isn’t the roaring success I hope it will be?

    Alternatively, should I get an agent to put my second book about the bigger publishers, with the selling-point of already having a book in the process of being published?

    Quite a few different approaches there, but I’m concerned about possibly underselling my next story (it remains to be seen if I have already undersold my first!).



  66. Oh no Pete, what a quandary to be in (albeit a nice one)! I can’t really advise you on this. But if in doubt about what to do, it might be worth holding fire for a moment to see how the first book goes. Do you like how the publisher is presenting it? Are you happy with the way it’s being promoted? Do you feel they are doing the best possible job for your book? These are all questions that you can ask yourself as the book comes out and then you will be in a more informed place from which to make a decision. And let us know when you’re published so we can celebrate on here!

  67. Dear Lou
    Publishers ask to see three consecutive chapters of a children’s novel but they don’t always specify that they should be the first three, although that is the assumption. Could l submit the last three? I think the ending of my novel is much more exciting that the beginning because of the way the story builds up. Or would publishers think l was being eccentric and perverse and bin me immediately?

    1. Hi Victor. Without wishing to cause offense I think your second assumption is more likely to be correct! It’s great that your novel has an exciting ending and your synopsis will reflect that. But your book really has to grab people from the word go (or whatever your first word is!). So if you are in any doubt that your first three chapters cannot sweep the reader off their feet then look at them again and make sure they are so exciting that the publisher is desperate to read the rest. Then your last section will really knock them out. Go get ’em!

  68. Nice to hear from you again Pete. Please let us know when your book is published. I for one will be buying it. I think we should all support each other and I wish you every success.

    Lou, once again thank you for putting this site together. I visit it frequently and although I don’t know Pete I am very excited for him. Just think it was you that helped him on his journey. : )

    1. Cheers Kim! I never thought when I published this list that I would get so many responses. It’s great to hear from so many writers and, like you say, support each other in our endeavours.

  69. Thanks Kim! I expect many anonymous internet sales from readers of certain blogs haha!

    Thanks also Lou, I didn’t really look at it from the promotional point of view, and I suppose there’s a lot more to judge a Publisher on than simply how they printed it! I guess I will hold on with the second one and see how the first one goes…

    I have now been told the illustrator’s name, and hopefully I should receive a copy of the front cover any time now! I can’t wait to post a link on here to my book on Amazon 🙂

    Thanks again!


  70. Hi Lou,

    I haven’t long started writing a new story – Rite of the Angel and I already have a publisher interested in it. I’ve wrote about 3 paragraphs and I’ve got to finish it by June time, I’m 12. When I finish it do I send it to that publisher that is interested or to a few different publishers and ask for their opinions?

    Thanks ~Brook

    1. Hi Brook, nice to hear from you. It’s great that you’re writing at your age and you sound very focused. I love the title of your story.

      There are many examples of authors succeeding when they are young: Eragon author Christopher Paolini wrote the first book of the Inheritance Cycle when he was 15, and Daisy Ashford wrote The Young Visiters, a favourite of mine, at the age of 9.

      I think if you’ve got a publisher interested it would be good to send it to them first and then you’ve got the option of the other publishers afterwards. (A quick word to anyone starting submitting: if a publisher asks for money they are not a reputable publisher and you should not deal with them. This does not mean that Brook’s publisher is not reputable but it’s always good to be aware when you are choosing who to submit to. If in doubt, google the publisher name and take a while to read what comes up. Or go to Preditors and Editors and check their lists of publishers.) Another good route if you are young is to enter young people’s writing competitions – they can hone your skills and get you noticed. And some have prizes, which is always a bonus! I hope your story goes well and I look forward to seeing your name on the spine of a bestseller one day. (Or splashed across my Kindle screen!)

  71. Hi Everyone,
    I had no joy at Authentic, and I got a letter requesting a hard copy of my book to send to pegasus publishers but thanks to your advice I won’t be sending that. I may have to consider a literary agent do you have advice about them?

    1. Hi Pam. I have a list of agents for children at . The best place to look for lists of agents is the Writers and Artists Yearbook or the Writers Handbook. They are kept in libraries in the reference section if you’d rather not buy them. Sorry you didn’t have any luck with Authentic but keep trying.

  72. Lou,

    Thank you for a quick reply and I will do. I enter competitions, but mainly poetry ones. As I write quite a lot of poems. Recently I won a poetry competition for all ages across the UK and I am getting my poem published in a book. Thank you so much for this website, it helps a lot!

  73. Great info and tips. I cant thank you enough. It is encouraging for a new author to have this type of resource. Thank you for sharing!

  74. So happy to see there is HELP out there for fledgling writers in this big Cruel World!THANK YOU, MUCH!
    I guess writing is like singing–almost everybody can sing–there are just a few who sing really well!
    But writing is different–it is SO personal and not very obvious!So we forge ahead, us dreamers!
    Thanks to you, my dear, HOPE is the name of your site!
    I have written a children’s story, and I am just about ready to send out into the C.W.!
    By the end of the week! Goals, you know!
    P.S. Will Pete devulge the name of the Pub. co. accepting his story?

    1. Good luck with your story – hopefully the world will be Big but not Cruel to you! I’m hoping Pete will divulge all when he’s ready, probably nearer to publication date I should think.

  75. I have found another children’s publisher that accepts unscolicited manuscripts.
    Child’s Play accepts novelty and picture book manuscripts ( no novels).
    They have a very nice catalogue and are worth checking out!!
    I hope that this will fit on your already very impressive list.

      1. Hi Feng! I don’t know, but on the submission guidelines it says a response may take some time, so I would be prepared to wait a few months. They do recommend simultaneous submissions, which means they are happy for you to send your ms elsewhere at the same time, so you might want to do that if you haven’t already.

  76. Hi Lou, Thanks so much for the list. I have sent my picture book to a few on the list, but just wanted to double check one thing. At the top of the post you say that only picture book entries are accepted by all publishers ( Who normally don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts). So could I just go ahead and send it to the bigger publishers? Like Macmillan? Even though on their websites they tell you not to???
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Sorry, my mistake! When I originally wrote the list I didn’t include picture book publishers, but I have since changed it to include them. Sorry to be misleading (I have edited out that bit!). I’m afraid picture books aren’t accepted by publishers unsolicited unless they request them. There is a new publisher to add to the list, Child’s Play (see below) which is encouraging. Good luck with your submissions.

  77. I just want to add that I have found that publishing on kindle seems to be working! So if you can’t find a publisher…maybe try that??

    1. I might have sounded a bit pushy there- I just wanted to suggest it to other writers who read this website! And it’s a really good one, by the way!

    2. Self publishing on Kindle is absolutely exploding at the moment and there is no doubt that some authors are finding considerable success. As more and more writers join them, however, the difficulty is going to be standing out in the crowd. But there is potential there if you have the time and skills to promote yourself effectively.

  78. Hi, I found another publisher that you could add to your list: Shenanigan Books
    They sent me a rejection response for my manuscript, however I am not sure whether they do this all the time. You may want to search them before you add them, just to double check info.
    Also, I would like to know if Nosy Crow respond to your submissions even if you are not successful? Thank you for your time!

    1. Thanks for that, Saarah. It’s definitely a market to try, but I won’t add it to my list here at the moment as I’m just listing British publishers. Re Nosy Crow, I find their responses can be sporadic; sometimes I’ve heard back very quickly with a no or a request for a full manuscript and at other times I haven’t heard back at all, so I presume it depends how snowed under they are. A good guide to waiting is to leave 3 months before you try somewhere else (unless the publisher’s guidelines say longer).

  79. Great List! I am having a hard time find a place for my activity and experiment book for ages 9-13, any suggestions?

    1. I think you have quite a specialised subject there, Ty, as normally activity books are aimed at a lower age group. But on the other hand you have something new to offer. I would recommend trying Top That!, Robinswood or Egmont, and possibly Templar. They all have different submission requirements so make sure you check out their websites (see links above) before submitting. Good luck. (PS Top That! are keen on books that can be linked to internet activities.)

  80. Thank you Lou this list is so very helpful. I’m an illustrator ( not a writer and I am contacting publishers with the hope to break into children’s book illustration.
    I can’t thank you enough this list is a wonderful resource thanks 🙂

  81. I want to join the many other writers and say a big thank you for providing this information, it has really helped me. I believe that Maverick Books and Neate Publishing are also accepting unsolicited manuscripts, thanks again, Kaytie 🙂

    1. Thanks Kaytie, I will check them out! Looks like Neate Publishing aren’t operating at the moment, sadly, but Maverick looks interesting – I’ll add them to the list.

  82. This is a great site! Thanks for taking the time to put it together Lou. I’ve written a series of picture books so am going to get submitting them!

    1. Hi junkiegirl. Check out these links: (discussion forum re Mirror Publishing), (scroll down to Mirror Publishing) and The latter seems to be an old version of their website, where they are very upfront about it being a self publishing service (ie you pay them to publish your book). However on their current website ( they don’t mention fees. So if I were you I’d be a little wary until you find out more. If you are asked for money then step away – unless you actually want to go down that path. Sorry to come back with negative info – it doesn’t mean your manuscript is bad, just that this might not be the right publisher for you.

      1. Thanks, Lou!

        I know what you mean! Their new price is $299. Is it a bad thing when you are asked for money for a POD service? I know one other person who has used them and they had nothing but great things to say, but that’s only one person I know. Would it be better using Lulu or fastpencil? They also charge a fee so I am clueless! LOL!

      2. I know what you mean; it is very confusing! If you actually do want to go down the self publishing route and are happy to pay I’m not the one to ask as I don’t know enough about it, I’m afraid. My concern about Mirror is that they present themselves as a traditional publisher and some people can get misled. Do you not want to try the traditional publishers first? Alternatively I know people who have self published directly on to the Kindle which doesn’t cost them anything other than their time, although you don’t have a physical product.

      3. I have submitted to so many without any luck. Some I have received a rejection letter from and others have not responded. I did get one acceptance, but I did not like their contract and did not want to give up total control over my book. I also wanted to use my own illustrator and they would not allow me to. At this point, I feel self publishing may be my only option. I’m ready to do it for 2012! 🙂

  83. Hi, I’ve just stumbled across this website, and it is great, in particular as I am so very new to this! I’ve had my book almost complete for a couple of years, and determined to make 2012 the year it gets published.
    I am unsure about the copy write, does the publisher do this or should I do before submitting to publisher?

    1. Hi Pat, congratulations on finishing your novel and good luck with getting it published – 2012 could be your year! Don’t worry about copyright for now as the publisher will handle that but if you are at all worried about your copyright being infringed you can always post a copy of the manuscript to yourself, then when it arrives keep it somewhere safe. It will be datestamped by the post office and would be your proof that you are the original author of that work at the time of the date stamp.

  84. Wow! my name is Pip and I am new to all this, I have been writing short picture book stories for a few years now and only recently thought about trying to get published. this is the best site/blog thingy I have found. I need look no further for advice and inspiration! I do have one question though. I have 3 stories to submit, can I send them all at one time to an individual publisher or do I send one at a time? any hints gratefully recieved.

    1. Hi Pip, thanks for the nice comments. It’s best to read the publisher’s guidelines carefully and follow them to the letter if you can. (Click on the name of the publisher in the list to be taken straight to the submission guidelines.) Some picture book publishers will accept three stories at a time but if they don’t specify this I would be safe and send one. You can always send the others individually to other publishers at the same time to cast your net a bit wider! Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the advice. I have just realised that I look a bit like my gravatar (on a bad day)!!

  85. I am new to all this so please be patient! been writing for a while but never thought I would think about publishing. Then I found this site! inspiration has hit! one question. I have a few finished stories,can I send them all together or should I send one at a time to a publisher?

  86. Hi Lou – can you help me please? I am desperately trying to write a synopsis for a YA novel I have just finished. This might sound like such an amateurish thing to ask but should it be dead-pan and chronological e,g, The novel follows the plight of …. or should it start with more of a catching strap line e.g a teaser or a blurb? Hope my question even makes sense!

  87. Hi Lou, I was hoping you might be able to help me. I am in the painful process of writing a synopsis for a YA novel I have just completed. Ideally, should it be all catchy, wow – in your face as if you were trying to sell your book on the shelves? Perhaps more like a teaser or a blurb? Or should it be more dead pan and chronological so that the reader can clearly follow the timeline of one’s story? Any advice much appreciated. Thanks Rachel

    1. Hi Rachel. I feel your pain! Synopses are horrible things to write. They should be chronological, basically so that the publisher or agent knows what’s going to happen and can see if your plot stands up to scrutiny. It doesn’t do any harm to add a bit of pizzazz if you can, to showcase your style, but the main thing is to get the plot down clearly. No teasers and you have to reveal all twists and turns! See my post for more details and go to the links at the bottom for some great articles on getting through this tiresome and tricky task!

      1. Excellent advice and articles included. You really are on call for author emergencies 24/7 it seems! Thanks.

  88. This may sound totally silly but is it best to have a manuscript completley finished before submitting manuscripts that only require two or three chapters?

    1. It’s a gamble and I would advise not, especially as, in my experience, when I finish writing a novel I end up changing quite a bit of the beginning! It is acceptable when submitting non fiction books as they are quite often completed after they are commissioned, but in the case of fiction it’s best to be prepared, especially in these days of fast email submissions (I was once asked to send the complete manuscript the same day as I submitted the sample chapters!).

      1. Thank you, I shall make sure i’m all finished up before i submit any anywhere! this list is amazing by the way, its going to be crazy helpful when my manuscript is finished XD

  89. Thanks for this list. Been writing Childrens Stories and was using a book with Publisher in it. Your list is better to use than a book as you tell if they want your stories to look at, instead of trying to find out in the book. Sending my books to some of the ones on here. Will let everyone know how it goes. Thanks Again.

  90. Hi Lou,

    I am also grateful for your encouraging advice and list of publishers. It is such a welcome change reading positive feedback and words of encouragement. I am very new to the world of trying to get something published and I am finding it somewhat disheartening when I feel drawn back to my school days, reading of all the rules and regulations required by publishers ever before they have seen any of my work. Are they in such a position to be so fussy? Are there the most amazing amount of well-written submissions that they feel they need to create such an elitist selection, or is there a lot of rubbish they need to sift through?

    I am currently half way through a fantasy novel for kids. I decided to send out some feelers to see if anything would bite. It is far more difficult than I imagined. That is why your list was invaluable. I feel there is at least one person on my side. Thank you.

    1. What a nice comment Gwen, thank you. I know how you feel; it can seem as if everything is stacked against you. When I feel like this I remind myself that people are still getting published and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be me, or you!

      Although there are a lot of requirements when you submit, you can use these to your advantage as there will always be people who either don’t read the guidelines or submit blindly without doing the necessary research. If you can produce a top quality, professional submission which meets all their requirements you have overcome the initial hurdles and are much more likely to be read. In addition you have shown the publisher that you are able to produce work that meets their standards and style. So don’t let it put you off but see it as a way to prove to the publisher that you are their sort of author! Good luck.

  91. Well, I have to admit that some advice listed has been welcomed and taken on board. I just wish that submission pages on websites began with something like…
    “We would love to read your efforts. We understand how much blood, sweat and tears are put into each piece of work….” – something to that effect. That would be nice. Thanks for your prompt reply and your words of wisdom.

  92. Thank you for this fantastic resource. Reassuring to know there are genuine people willing to help others – was about to give up!!


  93. Hi again Lou,

    I’ve read that to copyright ideas is virtually impossible and that, if sending by post, I should merely keep a note of who I sent it to and on which date. Is this enough to ‘protect’ my idea/story? Is it the same with email (obviously the proof of dates etc is clearer here – i guess!?)



    1. Hi Rob, thanks for your nice comment. I don’t know if you’ve seen my suggestion further up the comments thread, but one idea to help protect copyright is to send a copy of your manuscript to yourself and, when it arrives, do not open but keep somewhere safe. As it is datestamped it will be a way of proving that you are the originator of the material. However, I personally wouldn’t worry too much. There are few original ideas but many original ways of writing. Keep a solid record of everything you send anyway.

  94. Hello Lou, this looks like a really useful resource, thanks!
    I’m an aspiring writer myself but never seem to get very far…my 13 year old son however has started seriously writing, he’s got some great ideas and a couple of chapters for what I would call older teenage scifi/fantasy/thriller genre. I am actually jealous of his writing ability it’s so good! I’d like to know if there’s any age limit to having a book published as I’d like to submit his current manuscript to a publisher?

    1. Absolutely not, Jane – submit away. And mention his age as I think it’s a selling point. Also have a look at Cast of Wonders who do podcasts of sci-fi/fantasy stories and actively encourage young writers. I will be writing a blog post on them with more information very shortly!

      1. Thanks Lou, Cast of Wonders looks interesting too, let’s see how we get on…

  95. Hi Lou,

    Thanks for such a great list! I have been following queries and comments above and have found them so useful!! I have recently submitted a first manuscript…and intend on writing an entire serires based on the same character. I was wondering, does it depend on the publisher whether the book is a success – their publicity and marketing skills?

    1. It’s really a partnership between the author and the publisher. A good publisher will certainly push your book but you are expected to do a lot to contribute such as book signings, author interviews (real or virtual), contacting your local paper, using social networking and so on. The more you can do to help, the better. It’s useful to have a good look at the publisher you are submitting too and seeing how they promote their books and if you are happy with their approach.

  96. Hi Lou
    I’ve just discovered this blog and have found it very useful-thank you. I would like to know how you manage to get any other writing done when you must spend so much time replying to all these comments. Have you discovered a parallel universe where there are more than 24 hours in a day? Thanks again!

  97. Hello Lou. Thank you for the great advice. I live in the USA and have written three picture books. Would you suggest submitting them at the same time to each publisher, or to send one at a time and wait on the others? Or to send each by separate post? I was wondering if sending them together might make me look like a more serious writer, even though unpublished as yet. Thank you.

  98. Thank you so much for your excellent web pages. They are extremely helpful and informative. Is there anything I can do for you in return??

  99. Hello Lou, I finally had a chance to go through you’re blog and I really appreciate all the advice and links for aspiring writers – thanks for sharing! Have you done any posts about writing competitions for writing for children?

    1. Hello Mrs Brown! I like your blog at I have done some posts about competitions in the past but they are closed now; the competition still open at the moment I am working on is the writing for children competition at The Winchester Writers’ Conference. You don’t have to attend the conference to enter and, although the entry fee is quite high, it’s a good way of ‘testing the market’ with the first 500 words and synopsis of a book for three different age groups (closes 1 June). There is also the Greenhouse Funny Prize which I will be blogging about very shortly!

  100. I just wanted to say thanks for this great list, I’ve submitted to as many as I can! Also, Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Allen & Unwin, Olympia Publishers, Dorrance, and Raider Publishers (I was accepted by them, but they wanted me to pay so I declined) are all publishers who will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Thanks again for the list.

  101. Hi Lou, thanks for the great list! I also wanted to say that Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, Dorrance, and Raider Publishers (who accepted my manuscript for publication but wanted me to pay so I declined) all also accept unsolicited manuscripts. Thanks again for the list.

    1. Hello Ocean! I would also steer clear of Olympia Publishers and Dorrance as they will also ask for money. A note for the UK readers: Penguin and Pan Macmillan in Australia accept unsolicited manuscripts but they don’t over here, apart from the Macmillan New Writing scheme and the occasional special limited ‘open door’ event at Penguin. Allen and Unwin, for those who don’t know, are Australia’s largest independent publisher and they welcome unsolicited material if you submit through their online process.

  102. My 15 year old has written a short story for older teens and I want to see if it is suitable to be published. Is there a particular publisher/s that you would recommend trying?
    Thank You.

    1. Hi Kim, have you tried Cast of Wonders? They do podcasts of young adult fiction. Take a look at my post about them at . Also look out for short story competitions – try .

  103. Thank you for this information. It’s difficult to know exactly how to proceed when following your dream 🙂

  104. Hello Lou 🙂
    I started writing children’s picture books over a year ago now and thought this year I must have the courage to at least send them out to publishers!! After reading nearly every single blog on your web site I have found it very inspirational and helpful!! I would like to thankyou so much for supporting other writers with finding the time to help us all to try and have our work published into our very own books 🙂 I look forward to holding my own published picture book and to see it in the shops or via the web 😀 Rita x

    1. Hi Rita, glad you’ve decided to sent sending your books out. It’s a great idea to visualise the finished product in your hand! The important thing now is to be persistent as it’s so easy to give up after getting a rejection. I try to always have at least one manuscript ‘out there’ so I can keep on hoping!

  105. Hi Lou – I was led to your fabulous site through google – some great info here. I’ve actually had a story kicking around the PC for a couple of years but have not known what to do with it. It’s about 3000 words and is aimed at 6 – 10 year olds. When I first wrote it, I remember finding a children’s publisher who accepted unsolicited ms and I thought their name was Alison (or Angela?) Pearson Publishing but I can’t seem to find them now so I don’t know if I imagined it!! For some reason – probably cowardice – I never submitted it. From reading through your extensive list (well done!) am I right in assuming that there aren’t many publishers who would accept such a manuscript? They mostly seem to want 2 or 3 chapters, not the whole story! Anyway, it’s nice to make contact with other aspiring writers. Paul.

    1. Hi Paul! The good news is there are some markets out there for children’s short stories. The ones I have covered on this blog that would fit your length and age group are Story Station and Alfie Dog. There is also Knowonder but you would have to cull your story to 2,000 to fit their requirements. Story Station and Knowonder are US markets so if you’re not from those parts you will need to edit your manuscript accordingly, eg US spellings and words.

      Alternatively have you thought of expanding your short story into a book? For that age group it would not need to be too long; 8,000 to 15,000 words is a rough guide, broken up into short, snappy chapters. You then open up a whole new market for yourself.

      Good luck and let me know how you get on!

  106. Hey Lou thankyou so much for this wonderful advice page its been so helpful!
    I have sent a picture book to a few publishers and had some very nice rejection emails so far which have all been encouraging (although a yes would have been nicer!)
    It says on the Tango website that you should hear back within a month, its been seven weeks and I haven’t heard anything, I know they must be incredibly busy but I have a friend who sent hers and it got rejected after only four days! This was last week.
    I’m just wondering really whether I should get in contact with them/give it another few weeks/or assume its a no.

    Ellen Grace

    1. Hi Ellen, sounds like you are doing well – even getting nice rejections is good news so don’t despair! Perhaps with Tango if you haven’t heard anything after another week send them a polite email asking if you should send it on to other publishers or not. If you don’t hear back after that I’d assume no and send it out again. But fingers crossed!

  107. Great blog Lou, Am on draft 6 of a picture book (thanks to sending it to some friends who are creative writing graduates, teachers and a children’s book buyer), my biggest hurdle now is to get it punctuated correctly – I’m bloody useless!! Hope Pete’s project is working out well, can’t wait to find out what the book is and who published. Very heartening to hear that someone has succeeded. I was going to start with Scholastic but the book buyer I know said he’d never think of going to them first for picture books – despite Julia Donaldson being published at Scholastic! Anyway, a few look like potentials so going to polish it, leave it a few weeks and then send it out. Good luck to everyone else in the same boat!

  108. hello, nice finding your site and reading through everything, thanks. wanted some advice please….I have a children’s picture book with vivid & bright artwork that has an educational theme as well as a good story for pre-school/nursery and primary age group. Helps with counting, finding things and colour recognition. I am having some good letters back from publishers, saying excellent, professional and then recommending another publisher. I am on about 6 or 7th publisher now. I am wondering if i should re-write at this stage/re-do artwork or try more publishers first? Many thanks, Naomi

    1. Hi Naomi, it sounds like you’re getting a good response for your manuscript so keep at it! I think if the feedback is positive there is no need to rejig it unless you yourself feel you could improve it. It might be worth thinking about why it’s been rejected; is it because there are too many other similar books with that publisher? If you feel you are trying to enter a flooded market you could think about making your submission more unique. There’s nothing to stop you making some improvements while continuing to send off your original and then you could compare the two and make your decision further down the line. Good luck!

  109. Hi Lou,
    Thanks so much for making this very thorough list of publishers. it can get frustrating for a beginning writer so this was a great gift. I have a question though: I am a picture book writer and i also illustrate the books myself. I notice however that many of the publishers ask for the text without illustrations. Does it mean they will use another illustrator if accepted or is it just so they can see the story better?

    1. Hello. This is a really tricky one! As you say, most publishers specify that they just want the picture book text. I believe this is because they have their own bank of illustrators or ‘house style’ that they prefer to use. However, a good author-illustrator is apparently a rare treasure, if you can pull it off! I suppose the problem is that you are presenting them with, in effect, two projects and they may prefer one and not the other. I think a good approach might be to send both but note in the covering letter that you are happy if they accept the text only (if, in fact, you are happy to do this). It gives them the option of accepting the text instead of turning the whole package down. But hopefully your artwork will blow them away and they won’t have to! Best of luck.

  110. Wow! As a young and 15 year old writer I have had the HARDEST time finding publishers i am able to send to, but i was able to send to almost everyone on your list, THANK YOU for being a HUGE help!!!!!!! ❤

  111. Picadilly Press – lovely email from a nice Lady there. A refusal but still so positive and supportive. Said the following: ‘We are a small publisher and in the present climate we have to be particularly selective I’m afraid.’. Thanks Lou.

  112. Hi Lou: I recently left the drudgery of the textbook design industry to start a few projects of my own. One is where I aim to pair writers and artists to create picture books for the iTunes platform. I’m still JUST getting things rolling, including having a publishing contract drafted, but for people reading this, I am currently also accepting manuscripts from writers and portfolios from artists. Please spread the word. Derrick

    1. That sounds VERY interesting, Derrick, and it’s certainly a growth area that hasn’t really been exploited yet. Thank you for the information and I have added you to my list of publishers.

    2. Not sure what the iTune platform is but I have recently written a dog story for 9-12yr olds.. 63000 length and would hope to illustrate it using pics I took of our canine friends in real life. Would be interested to hear more from you. Best of luck with your career change, Mgt Franklin, Doon, Co. Limerick Ireland. Also recently changed from 30 years in public library service to full time writer/researcher.

      1. Hi Margaret. Derrick’s company is looking for picture books – these are usually aimed at the under 7s and under 1,000 words in length. Have a look at the list above to find markets for 9-12 years and good luck!

      1. If you follow Lou’s link for CoopJack Publishing at the top Scott, there is a browse box for you to upload your manuscript . Just been looking myself!

  113. Had an auto response from Egmont that states they now only respond to successful submissions. Looks like it might have been the case for a while anyway but I guess that trumps what it says online and states it is a recent change to policy.

  114. Hi Lou,

    Do you have any more information regarding CoopJack Publishing? Are they actually a traditional publisher? It doesn’t say much on their website…

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Samir. As far as I know, it is a brand new venture that will be using e-publishing to produce picture books that can be downloaded via iTunes and read on iPods, iPads and similar devices. I will ask Derrick if he can give us some more information.

  115. Im so excited that you have a blog! This is exactly what I needed. I have been writing rhyming children’s stories for a while but just for my kids. Everyone kept telling me I should try to publish but I had no clue where to start! Such a useful list thank you so much. One thing I did want to ask though was should I be copyrighting something before I send it off? How can I be sure noone will steal the idea or is it just generally accepted by publishers as being copyrighted as soon as you send? Does that make sense???

    1. Hi Vicki. Don’t worry about copyright at this stage. If you look up the comments thread, you’ll see one idea I suggest if you are really concerned is to post yourself a copy of your work, and keep it somewhere safe but don’t open it. The postmark will date it. But it’s very rare for unpublished work to be stolen. Even if the same idea is used by someone else, you just have to make sure yours is the best! Good luck with your rhyming stories; they sound fun.

    2. You can seal hard copies in an envelope and post them to yourself. I find that it helps to put a keyword on the outside of the envelope to identify it as you’re supposed to keep it sealed until you need the proof (which hopefully you never will!) I also emailed the manuscript to my best friend and myself and kept all drafts of the work in a folder to show progression. Probably overkill since I’ve not had anything accepted yet but the latter 2 were things I’d have done anyway! Hope you get published, mine are rhyming ones too and I think its harder as they don’t translate well for international – still, doesn’t seem to have lost Julia Donaldson too much money!!! Good luck

      1. Thank you both. Tara I really hope you get some good news, I know this is a really tough market to get into but I think if at first you don’t succeed and if it’s something you enjoy and you’re good at then just keep trying! I’m so excited at the moment because I’m new to it all but I know I would have to be really lucky to actually get anything published – still, we can dream! x

  116. Hi Lou,
    At last I have found someone who has opened up the complex world of publishing!
    I have a short story for children (tried and tested with grandchildren) that desperately needs to be published! Can you suggest an agent that accepts children’s Picture books (Gruffalo style). Most seem reluctant to accept those.

    1. Hi John. It’s very rare to find an agent who accepts picture books. However you can submit straight to the publishers on this list who accept picture books. (An agent may be willing to take you on later with a few picture books under your belt.) So get submitting and good luck – your grandchildren will be proud! I’ve found a very good blog about writing with some great advice on picture books at Fiction Notes which might help too.

  117. An FYI – although it says on their website (the link above) that Picadilly accepts email submissions, I just received an email from them stating they *do not* accept in that form. I emailed back and said — your website indicates you do, so I just want to let you know. They sent another copy of a website back that says they do not. So – just a clarification there about the email submission. Thanks for this list.

    I am wondering about the CoopJack publishing…interesting idea!

    1. Thanks for that – I have checked out the website and there seem to be two pages in existance for submissions – one called submissions-guidelines and one called submissions-guide. I think one must have been replaced by the other since I listed that page but the old one hasn’t been deleted. I will change my link and the details for Piccadilly.

      An interview with CoopJack Publishing coming soon!

  118. Hi again Lou,

    Regarding CoopJack Publishing, has anyone dealt with them yet? I tried to contact them through their website but there’s no response. I even uploaded a picture book text but so far no acknowledgement either. Mmmm, I wonder..

    kind regards,

    1. Hi Samir,
      I’ve done the same and waiting to hear too, I know it’s in very early stages so just watching this space for more info.

      1. Methinks a little caution is called for. It worries me rather that CoopJack don’t reply and the website gives no clue as to where they are other than Boston USA maybe.
        I would have thought that a website offering such a service would have a little more info on it?

      2. Hello
        Just thought i’d add into this. I’m an illustrator and i emailed Derrick after i saw his post on here to find out about collaborating with writers for CoopJack and i did get an email back pretty much straight away.
        He was very helpful and did say he was busy trying to sort things out as the company is still under development so he’s probably just waiting to get things more sorted until he gets back to people.
        Sounds like hes got lots of messages to respond to 🙂

  119. My thoughts exactly, John. I think more information is needed. I emailed them as well, and have not heard anything yet. Could be super busy? I don’t know…

    1. I emailed them too, the day after Derrick posted. I haven’t heard back from them. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, I guess sorting out a new company can be pretty time consuming but I would have thought potential clients would have had some response.

    2. Well, In for a penny, in for a pound !
      I have submitted to CoopJack! I now await with my breath baited. You know, that really does not make sense. 🙂

  120. Hi Lou,
    what do you think about literary agents?
    .SBPRA: Literary & Rights Agency have asked to see my manuscript, it’s based in USA but have offices all over the world including London. What should I expect from them? and what should I be wary of?

  121. Hi Pam,

    Beware of Literary & Rights Agency, they do charge a fee for their services. They asked me, anyway, but that was a couple of years ago. Maybe they have changed their policy. Best of luck.


  122. Hi Lou, I sent a picture book manuscript off to Andersen Press Ltd on the 17th March. Do you think I should wait a bit longer or contact them as they say they aim to reply in two months. I did enclose a stamped addressed envelope. I am hoping no news is good news.


    ps Any news from Pete yet regarding his book being printed?

    1. It’s always a tricky one to know when to chase up manuscripts. If they say 2 months then you could chase, but personally as a rough guide I tend to think that after 3 months it is acceptable to send the manuscript elsewhere, and I don’t tend to chase unless they have already asked for the full manuscript. All publishers vary so much and I have had some come back to me after a year, and others the same day! But I hope no news is good news for you.

      I will try to get hold of Pete and ask him about his book.


  123. Thanks for the prompt reply Lou. I think I will wait a while longer.
    I also wish you good luck, you deserve it for the help you give to others.


  124. Hi there – great info, thank you! I have a (possibly stupid) question… is it acceptable to send out more than one submission at once, or is it considered rude not to wait for one publisher to come back to you at a time? I’m concerned that one at a time will take forever, but not sure of etiquette….


    1. Some publishers will specify whether they have an opinion on this. As far as I can gather, officially you should only send out one at a time, but unofficially a lot of people do send similtaneous submissions just because of the practicalities of waiting for such long periods. You can go down a middle path of staggering submissions so you could perhaps send your manuscript out a month or two months apart. It would give the publisher some time but also save you waiting around for an answer. Also spacing them out gives you more time to craft your submission package to suit that publisher; editors don’t like being part of a ’round robin’. Hope that helps somewhat!

      1. Hi, Lou.

        I have questions related to the above feed. If I have several manuscripts that I would like to submit, how do I go about doing so? Do publishers generally accept more than one piece of work at a time?

        If they request email submissions, do I send multiple separate emails with distinct query letters? And if they need paper manuscripts, would I need to send each story/query in an individual envelope?

        I am excited to get my work “out there”, but want to make sure I am doing so with the utmost professionalism.

        Thank you for your time and for your excellent blog! You have me inspired!

      2. Hello Christine! It’s great that you’re getting your work out into the big wide world. I’d say that most publishers prefer you to submit one manuscript to them at a time. The exception seems to be picture books, where some publishers allow you to send a few at a time – check their guidelines to see if they specify this. If I were you I’d get all your manuscripts out there but send them to different publishers. Make a list for each book and work through them (make sure your work fits what they are asking for in their submissions guidelines). If you get a rejection, try to send it out to another publisher the same day if you can – it really helps! Good luck and don’t be downhearted at getting rejections, it’s all part of the process and just means you are progressing down your list. The more you send out your work, the better chance you have of getting published! Hope that helps, Lou

      3. Hi Lou,
        As always, I will heed your advice and it was most helpful.
        I think you are the bee’s knees.

  125. Is this Derrick from CoopJack Publishing real? If you’re reading this, Derrick, can you please show some sign of life? Thank you.

  126. Hi Lou and Writers
    I’ve posted on here before to give a big thanks to Lou for this fabulous resource which i use as an illustrator not a writer – my goal is to do illustrations for children’s books.
    I was wondering whether Lou or any others could tell me where you look for potential illustrators for your books? For example do you go to a particular resource i.e. an illustration agency website or use a search engine to find potential illustrators? Or do you/would you just let the publisher suggest someone?
    Hope you don’t mind me asking its just i’m trying to look for ways to ger my work out there and the best places to get my work seen by children’s writers.
    It would be really helpful for me to know so many thanks for any responses in advance.

    1. Hi Lucy. I don’t know too much about this myself but I do know that a lot of publishers’ websites that I look at ask interested artists to send in a portfolio of work. They also tend to ask for text only from the author and then match them with an illustrator after acceptance. So if I were you I’d send samples to any publisher that accepts unsolicited material and see what responses you get.

      1. Thanks Lou. Thats what i thought probably happened, but thought some writers may look for an illustrator before they send to publisher and am intrigued to know where they may look.
        Very much appreciate the info 🙂 Will get submitting

  127. Hi, this is a wonderful website! It’s packed with great info and tips, I wonder how you find time for it all!!
    I was just wondering, if I ever had a book published by a certain publisher, would I be able to publish a different book (not in the same series) with a different publisher? Even if the genre is the same etc?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes, I think so. You do see it happen from time to time, when authors have radically different books that they want to keep very separate. Or sometimes an author will move to another, more prestigious, publisher. I suppose you lose the advantages of having everything under one roof though and would probably have to do double the promotion!

      1. Thanks! Just wanted to know….
        I have another question that I’d like to ask. I’m not exactly sure how to find the correct answer to this but maybe you can lead me in the correct direction?
        I’ve written a children’s manuscript which is quite similar to Erin Hunters Seekers. They are similar because they both involve animals and magic. Yet, the characters are different animals, the setting is different and
        the main plot is quite different too apart from the fact that both stories take the animals on a quest.
        Will I need to change it some more? Would this be considered Plarigisam?

      2. Well, I think that would be fine to be honest. There are books that have similar themes: I remember when Harry Potter came out I thought, “Oh, that just sounds like she’s copied ‘The Worst Witch’ – a child attends a school for witches and wizards. Of course it’s completely different because JK Rowling has her own unique style and takes us on a completely different experience. So if the plot is different I think that would be fine. I’m sure a reputable publisher would flag any issues if they thought there was any danger of plagiarism anyway.

  128. Hello Lou, great following on your site!…..very helpful for us hopefulls. You certainly do deserve success. My question, do you know of any publisher’s that like true adventure stories that follow on?

    1. Hi Mike! Not specifically but adventure stories are always popular. You could write or email a query first to find out, if you’re not sure whether to approach a particular publisher or not.

  129. This an extremely useful resource and it is a credit to your love for the profession that you go to the effort!

  130. Hello.

    Thank you for the list and great information! I am writing for the age group 8-12. Where do you suggest sending it? Thanks Vera

    1. Hi Vera! Have a look at the list of publishers and click on each one to read their submissions requirements. Some are picture book publishers but most of the rest will accept for that age group. You can also look at their website to see what else they are publishing for that age group, or you can google the publisher’s name + catalogue 2012 to get a look at their current books. Good luck with your submission!

      1. Thanks so much! Wonderful how you have put so much work into the site! Its great, still have not finished looking around!

  131. An excellent site, just what I needed after becoming overwhelmed with the number of websites only to find they don’t accept unsolicited submissions. I’m going to submit my children’s picture book today. My only apprehension is that it’s a rhyming story and I’ve read the advice that many publishers won’t accept stories in rhyme due to translation etc. but I’ve nothing to lose, so worth a try. Thank you for taking your time to put together such an informative piece.

  132. Hi, I think I have found another publisher that you could possibly add to the list? Try accept submissions by post and they are based in the UK, I think. I have prepared my manuscript to send to them.
    They are called Catnip Publishing- here is link.
    Thank you for creating this wonderful, helpful site!

  133. Hi, Lou, This is a great site, Just to let you you know I have completed my childrens story and posted it off to several of the publishers on your list. I am now celebrating just doing that and await the rejection letters!

  134. Great! Is there more? Cuz I think most of them will reject 😛 Still, thank you very much, very usefull!

  135. Hi Lou,

    What If someone has a great story but cannot write very well.

    For instance: hansel siad tu grethal we’ll soon find the way but they didn’t find it.

    And not: Hansel said to Grethel, ” We shall soon find the way,” but they did not find it.

    Would the Editor/Lit Agent work with the author because it’s such a great story or not even bother to look at it,or consider it anyway.

    Great site by the way Lou.

    1. Interesting question! I think the editor or agent would expect a high standard of written language. The best bet for the author who feels they need help with the mechanics of writing would be to either find a writing buddy who is prepared to invest a lot of time or perhaps get some professional editing help before submitting.

  136. Thanks so much for this list. I’m sending my picture book story and 3 example illustrations out over the next couple days. You’re blog is a true blessing 🙂

  137. Thank you for taking the time to do all this, I had no idea what I was going to do with the book I have written, but thanks to your list I have approached three potential publishers that would appear to fit with what I have done. Your information and advice have been a massive help, thank you again and all the best for the future.

  138. Hi Lou, I have submitted one of my picture books (I’ve written a series of 26 so far) to various publishers, I have had 4 very polite rejection letters then yesterday I got a letter saying they were putting it forward for consideration and once appraised would be in touch to discuss how they want to move the series forward. Needless to say I was very excited when I read this, I haven’t done anything lie this before so unsure exactly what this means.

    Fantastic site by the way, I have found it invaluable.

  139. Hi Lou

    Firsty, fab site, really good.

    I have sent my picture book MS off to quite a few on your list and so far had very nice rejection letters.

    Friday I got a letter saying my series of 26 books was being put forward for consideration and they would be in touch once appraised to discuss how they wish to move forward.

    Should I get my hopes up? I’ve not done this before so unsure exactly what this means.


    1. That’s great news, Amanda! Congratulations on getting a positive response. It sounds like they like your work but need to consider it more fully. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you – let me know when you hear more!

      1. Well my excitement hasn’t lasted long, the publisher in question is Pegasus Eliott Mackenzie, wish I had read more about them before I sent it off. All I am reading is they are a vanity press. Feeling quite stupid now.

      2. Don’t feel stupid, Amanda. I don’t even know what a vanity press is :-/
        What is this and should I avoid?
        Keep writing~

  140. Sorry to hear that, Amanda. Don’t feel stupid, it doesn’t mean your books aren’t worthy to be published. Just keep submitting and believe in yourself. If they are good and you are persistent there’s no reason you can’t succeed. Christine: a vanity press will ask you to contribute or pay towards publication. It’s always a good idea to google a publisher you aren’t sure about; if there are concerns you can be sure people will be talking about them!

    1. Hi Lou,
      Thanks for getting back to me regarding vanity publishers.
      Good information, as usual 🙂

  141. Hi Lou,

    Just found you – this article about Agents (and synopsis) is really useful, thank you!
    Can I ask you just one question though?
    When sending by stories by post I tend to send with proof of posting. It doesn’t cost anything and well, its proof of post. My safeguard if you like. But I never know if I should put a copy right symbol at the end of each page of my story. Either the ones I have posted or the ones I have emailed. Is there a correct procedure about protecting my stories before I send them out?
    Sorry if this is a silly question. Thanks

    1. Hi Cat. As far as I know there isn’t really a standard procedure for protecting copyright when sending out stories. It is generally accepted that copyright remains with the author until you get to the contract stage, where of course it all gets a lot more complicated. It is something I would like to look into, as I have had some questions on this before, so I may go off and do some research on it – expect a blog post soon! There is the age-old system of posting a copy to yourself and not opening it, meaning you can prove original ownership if you ever need to, but having said that I’ve never heard of anyone actually having to put this into practice.

  142. Hi Lou,

    Could you tell me what is a good rejection. I have had two by email only a couple of days after sending in my MS.

    (1) Hello,

    Thank you for submitting your work and thinking of us. It is always a pleasure to see new writing and we are greatful for your interest in our company.

    I am afraid however, that we are not interested in taking on your idea for publication. As we only publish about a dosen books each year, we really have to fall in love with a story before diciding to take it on. But another publisher may feel differently about your work. Should you wish to submit different stories in the future, please see the latest guidelines on our website.

    Thank you

    Yours sincerely

    First name only.

    (2) Dear Tony,

    Thank you for considering (company name) for publication of your manuscript ” Title of my story”

    Unfortunately it is not quite right for us, but I wish you the very best of luck elsewhere.


    first name only

    Logo with full name and contact details

    What do you make of these Lou.

    1. Hi Tony. These look like standard replies to me; in fact I recognise the wording of the first one, having received one myself in the past! Both very nice, polite communications which encourage you to submit elsewhere or resubmit something else. Don’t be downhearted when you receive replies like this; your work is out there and getting read, which is the most important thing. If you can come up with something that will catch their attention, you can be sure they will consider it. In the meantime, submit to the next publisher on your list and work on drafting and editing your next submission! Good luck, Lou

      1. Hi Lou,

        Just had another rejection email but it does seem a little better. What do you think?

        Dear (my full name)

        Thank you for your submission. I’ve taken a good look at your work and passed it on to the editorial director for his view also. Although it was agreed that (title of story) has potential , I’m afraid that we have outlined our publishing list for 2012/2013 and will not be taking it any further.

        Thank you for your time and consideration in(name of publisher) . I’d like to take this opportunityto wish you the very best of luckvin finding a publisher for your work.

        Best wishes


        Commisioning Editor

      2. Tony, it wasn’t Top That by any chance? Looks exactly like the email I have just received this afternoon. I have to say all the rejections I have had so far have all been very nice!

      3. Yes it was actually Amanda I somehow feel a little dissapointed now. It didn’t look like a standard reply. Unless of course they liked both our work!

      4. Oh no sorry Tony, I’m gonna stick with they like both our work, makes it a bit easier. Good luck with your other submissions.

      5. I’d take that as a very nice response and although you both received the same email it does sound as if the manuscript went on to the next level before rejection, which is very good news. And they wouldn’t say the manuscripts had potential unless they did, so stay encouraged and keep at it!

  143. Thanks Lou,

    I’m just happy to get some sought of reply. It was great to actually complete a story and post it, still got six more rejections to go!

  144. I just can’t thank you enough for using this website, for starters.
    I’m planning on send one of my stories of to curious fox, because whag their looking for is the type of genre i write. I just need a little help, because I’ve written it in word A4 meaning kts only 53 pages, but if I change the size a little it gets it to have 105 pages (A5) I so was just hoping you could tell me which size to go for.

    1. Hi Nicola. The standard way of submitting is to use A4 paper double spaced so I’d stick to that. You should mention the word count either in your covering letter or on a title page so the publisher will have an idea of length. Good luck!

      1. Thanks lou! Your an amazing person for helping authors to be found. I can’t wait to send of my story to curious fox.

  145. Hello, I am not a writer. I am a jazz musician but I wrote a short story to help kids (big or little) who are adoptees and have no hope of finding their blood relations. The short story turned into a novel which turned into a series over the coarse of the last 10 years. I am wondering which of these I should submit first, and are there any publishers who might be particularly interested in providing material to psychologists, therapists, ect. or adoption centers? Thanks you for all your hard work here to help us out!

    1. Hi Karl. That’s an amazing achievement! I’m not sure about which publishers would provide material to psychologists or adoption centres, unfortunately, but I would encourage you to submit what you’ve written. If the short story is not word-for-word the same as the beginning of the book then you can submit that at the same time as the novel. If you click on the category ‘short stories’ on the right hand bar of this blog it will come up with some possible markets. With the series, I would send the first three chapters and synopsis of the first novel, but also include a very brief outline of the rest of the books. You should also include a covering letter where you can explain the background of the series and how you came to write it. Be prepared for the process to be long, but keep at it. It sounds like a story that needs to be told!

  146. Hello,

    Does anyone wish to swap stories for reviews and comments. It might help. This is my e-mail address:
    If anyone is interested please let me know. Texts must not be longer than 1000words.



  147. Hi Lou, I’m just at the stage of of writing a covering letter and short synopsis of a children’s book, but what is niggling me slightly are the ‘publishers’. What do I mean? I mean I could set up a web site, call myself a ‘publisher’ and open my door to submissions. Then I could choose those manuscripts I like and put them into a book format with a fancy cover and advertise them on my site. And that’s it. All done in the corner of my bedroom. I guess what I’m getting at is – What do all these small publishers (like Curious Fox, Nosy Crow etc.) do for you and your book should they accept it for publication? One of my friends, for example, has set himself up as a ‘publisher’, and he has ‘published’ a small book of mine which is available on Amazon, BUT he hasn’t a penny to spend on promoting the book – so it just sits on a web site for the whole world to see but no one looks! So if a writer decides not to send their mss to small publishers they are back in the same position of sending unsolicited mss to large, well-established publishers who throw it in the bin.

    1. Hi Ray. I understand your concerns and I think the only answer is to do some research on the publisher and have a look at the books already in their stable. Are they selling? Are you seeing them in shops and libraries? Are they being talked about? Are they a good quality product? Also look at the experience of the people running them. For example, Nosy Crow’s Managing Director was previously MD of Macmillan Children’s Books and Scholastic, while Curious Fox is an imprint of established children’s publisher Raintree. So do some research to give you confidence when you are submitting, and obviously if your research throws up lots of complaints on forums then avoid! A good publisher is putting their money behind your book, so they will do everything they can to get it out there and selling. Good luck with your submissions. Lou.

  148. Hi Lou,
    Firstly, love your website! It is sooooooooooooo helpful. I’m a young want-to-be writer and this post is especially brilliant. Can you recommend a publisher that will take submissions from a young writer? Thank you!!!!! Did I say how much I love your site!! 🙂 ❤

    1. Hello Ellie, glad you are finding the site so useful! I should think any publisher would consider your submissions if they are suitable for them so submit away – and mention your age in your covering letter or email as it could be a good selling point. (Remember, as always, to be wary of publishers that ask for money or a contribution towards costs.) Good luck!

  149. Hello everyone,

    Has anyone dealt with CoopJack publishing yet? I sent a text weeks ago but I’m still awaiting a reply.


    1. Hi, Samir.
      I submitted a manuscript the middle of July and have not heard anything yet. I am ever-hopeful, though. I think that an immediate rejection is worse than a delay in response, don’t you? Let me know if you hear anything and good luck!

  150. Hi again I have written a story with a Historical fiction genre but the history is correct and as accurate as possible, but I don’t know which publisher might accept that sort of story. I was thinking possibly scholastic, but I’m just asking which do you thinking?

    1. Hi Nicola, I think your best bet is to look at each publisher’s catalogues or websites to see what historical fiction they are printing at the moment. It’s still a popular genre so I would think you would find markets for it but check the age group and length is right. Good luck! Lou

  151. Hello Lou,
    i wrote a historical poem for my son aged 6 about the hundred years war. I know i know! It’s v good i’ve been told, quite funny and historically accurate, may need a bit of polishing. Was thinking it may make a good little illustrated kids book. Where do you reckon would be my best bet to send it?

    Cheers Will.

    1. Hi Will, sorry to take so long replying! You will need to do a bit of research on the publishers in my list. Visit their websites and look through their published work to see if they are currently publishing work similar to yours. Humourous history is very popular at the moment so you might be on to something but the publisher would probably want evidence that you could produce further stuff in the same vein. So it might be worth sharpening your quill again and thinking about choosing another episode in history to versify, or at least have some ideas in mind. You will need to decide what age group you think it is for and see if it’s the right sort of length (see my blog post on wordcounts). If it’s quite short, how about a rhyming history book? There are all sorts of ways you could go with this! Good luck.

  152. I’m going to sound like a broken record but your comprehensive list of publishers is such an enormous help! I can’t thank you enough for compiling these companies for all of us! I’m actually quite nervous to submit my work, as it will be my first attempt at trying to get published, but reading through your advice and comments has been just the encouragement I needed. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

  153. Hi
    I have a series of very short un illustrated stories < 300 words. All interlinked through characters and end with a moral slant. Primarily aimed at the 4 – 10'ish age range.

    Can you please advise as to the most suitable lit agent or publisher?

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Dick. I think your best bet would be to either make these stand alone picture books or, if you think they would be more suitable for older children, put them together into a book. 4-10 is a large age range; publishers will normally split books into 0-7 for picture books and then 5-8 for beginner readers and 8-12 for confident readers. Once you’ve decided which age range to concentrate on, you need to do some research and see if there’s anything similar out there. Have a look at the list of publishers above and what they are producing. If you go for the picture book market there are only a few which accept unsolicited manuscripts but it’s difficult to get an agent interested in picture books when you are starting out so these publishers are probably the way to go. If you are aiming for the older market you need to see which publishers are accepting or publishing collections of stories. There is no short cut other than to look through their websites or visit your local library and see what’s out there. I wish you the very best of luck!

  154. Hello Lou!

    I just self-published a children’s picture book ( I am soooo thankful for this article. I am in the US but my illustrator is from the UK. I never considered this market but now I will. I will probably need to have the book edited again for the spellings but this certainly opens a new door for me. Thanks again!

  155. Hello Lou, i would sincerely like to thank you for taking time to make out this comprehensive list of “friendly” publishers. I am very new to writing children’s books, any books for that matter and therefore inexperienced in this field. I have been trawling through the internet looking for appropriate Publishers and Agents, only to find that they are not suitable or they are not taking submissions. As you more than anybody will know, this takes up a considerable amount of time, time that i cannot afford. Therefore i have found this site and your list very very useful and again would like to thank you. FYI, i have published my book on Amazon Kindle, so will see what kinda response i get there, but meantime will now approach Publishers on your list. Do you offer any advice ? ie i am in need of an illustrator or is that something a publisher will provide should they like my manuscript ?

    1. Hi Sam, thanks for your kind words and good luck with your Kindle book! You are right in thinking that the publisher will provide their own illustrator if they like your book; they will match you with someone they think will suit your work.

  156. Hello everyone,

    Has anybody heard from CoopJack Publishing yet? Why are they taking so long to reply? I’ve been waiting months to hear from them. I’m giving up!

    1. It can take up to six months for a publisher to reply, but I think if you’ve waited a few months it’s perfectly reasonable to submit elsewhere and see if you do hear back later.

  157. Thank you very much for
    providing such a comprehensive
    list of children’s publishers accepting
    unsolicited manuscripts.
    The information that they require was
    really clear and helpful.
    I have been meaning to do something about
    the stories I wrote years ago, and
    now I have no further reason to
    Many thanks.

  158. Thank you Lou for this excellence resource! I wondered what your thoughts were on on how many rejections or nill responses for a particular manuscript should make a writer realize that the story might not be too appealing and that it is time to scrap that story and move on? I haven’t sent out my latest story yet but I really have conviction in it and I don’t want to give up on it too quickly like I may have done in the past with my earlier submitted manuscripts. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  159. Hi guys,

    Sorry I haven’t provided an update for aaages!

    Anyway my book, “Little Ronnie and Magic The Horse”, was championed at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month, which I believe is one of the biggest book festivals in the world! I’ve had a few emails back and forth to the publishers, and I’ve asked to be involved in all the marketing side of things if I can be of help. They inform me the book has been sold into the UK and US markets, but since the book fair has also been sold into Australia!

    Luckily, my partner is a teacher at a Primary School and she has asked the school if I can go in and do a reading/sign autographs for the kids etc, which is ideal because those kids are my main target audience.

    I’ve also suggested going to the local press and asking them to do a piece on me (I could even write it myself :-)) which should also drum up a bit of interest!

    In the last couple of months they’ve also sent me a fully illustrated front cover of the book, shortly followed by a pdf of every page of the book, and I’m pleased to say it’s looking fantastic due to some top quality illustration!

    If Lou wants I’ll email her the front cover for her to upload onto here. Also Lou, I’d be delighted to help you in any way, relating to your question in your last email.

    Finally, I’m thinking of setting up a Twitter account so I can keep people updated etc. Would anyone be interested in following me?


  160. Hi Lou, I thought I had some good news regarding the publication of my ‘True Adventures of two small boys’ series. Then I find the people offering a contract are listed on the ‘THUMBS DOWN AGENCY!….has anyone else had dealings with SBPRA?…..oh well, back to researching a publisher who might be interested. Great info you provide, thankyou. Michael

  161. Congratulations once again Pete. I will definitely buy your book as promised. Unfortunately I do not use Twitter. How about a facebook page?

  162. Hi Lou, I submitted my children’s picture book in July to a number of publishers on your list. So far I’ve only had one reply (a rejection unfortunately). I’m wondering what the protocol is for chasing them up? Not sure whether to just accept it’s been unsuccessful after all this time or whether to contact them again?

    1. Hi Karen. It’s best not to chase, to be honest. It can take six months to get a reply so it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been unsuccessful. If I were you I’d try to concentrate on your next project for another couple of months. After that you can probably safely assume you’ve been unsuccessful but in the meantime you’ll have something new to send out.

  163. Hi Lou, what a fantastic site! I am fairly new to the idea of getting a book published until I was looking for a longer Christmas story to read to my class. I spent ages looking on amazon and could not find anything. This led me to think about writing my own! I had thought about it before but never really felt passionate about anything enough to do it. I have been writing since 3.30 this afternoon and am on my 5,000th word which will be about half way through. I am hoping to test it out on my class on Monday- the worlds best critics! Do you have to have completed the book before sending a synposis and chapters into publishers?

    1. Hi Jo, great to hear that you are writing and you are obviously on fire with this project if you’ve completed 5K words already! Re completing a book, it depends how brave you are feeling! Personally I think it is better to get something completely finished, checked and redrafted before submitting although it is very tempting to submit too soon. (I have done it myself many times and I feel now I should have waited.) Also sometimes a publisher can surprise you and ask to see the rest of the manuscript the next day – it has happened to me! You don’t want to be in the position of not being able to respond because you’re not finished. Good luck with the class reading – hope they love it.

  164. Hi Lou, I just wanted to say thank you so much for this brilliant and helpful list. I’ve ended up in an unusual situation in which I’ve illustrated a book for an author in the Middle East. It was a pilot book for a proposed reading series and although things haven’t quite gone as planned, we both agree the completed story is worth trying to get published in the UK. It’s a lot of work researching all the many publishers and finding your list has been so, so useful in helping me find out more about which publishers expect what when it comes to submissions and also about promoting myself as as an illustrator.
    When I first finished university, I submitted some work to publishers. It was a major trawl doing all the research and it became pretty disheartening as the rejection letters piled up. Finding your list and reading all the kind words of encouragement to people here has been a major help as I start again. Thank you.

  165. Thanks for putting up this list. I have been trying to find a publisher for a long time. I have written many children’s picture books and every kid that hears the stories loves them.

  166. Great list, Plan on trying out a few of these publishers, the only problem I have is creating a cover letter. I have never had anything published and I’ve checked a few websites that purport to help you with writing cover letters for publishing houses. Each ones advice is completely different, so I was wondering if you had any advice on creating a basic cover letter or could list any websites that might help with this. Thank you

    1. Hello, sorry for the delay in replying. The main thing to think about when you write the cover letter is to be businesslike. Tell them you are enclosing (or attaching, if it is an email) your manuscript for their consideration and briefly outline what it is about (imagine a blurb on the back of a book). Some publishers want to hear a bit about you, but if they don’t ask this, just be brief and mention anything you think might help your pitch (for example your job might be relevant or your life experiences might have inspired the book). Finally, you look forward to hearing from them. Try to use their name if you have a name for submissions; if not Dear Submissions Editor will suffice. That’s basically it; if in doubt, be brief, be businesslike and be accurate! Good luck!

  167. I’m beginning to get paranoid. Why do publishers, and the BBC, ask for academic qualifications? The only answer, that makes any sense, is to keep out the chaves like me. It doesn’t happen in America. They don’t care where you went, or did not go, to school. They’re interested only in your work. They never ask these social racism questions. And let’s be honest, that’s what “Chave” is. I’m in my late 60’s and have never been to collage or university, and I really am becoming paranoid. If someone said to me, “I’ve written a book and/ or poem”, I wouldn’t say, “Fill me in on your academic background”, I’d simply ask if I could read it.

    p.s Your site has given me the urge to try submitting some more books. Thank you.

    1. Hi Peter. I’ve not been asked for academic qualifications myself when submitting; only general background. Perhaps you’ve been unlucky? Don’t let it put you off; I’m sure you are much more interesting for not having been moulded by the system! You are right, it shouldn’t make a difference.

  168. Hi, Thank you so much for this list it was really useful and inspiring. I am very new to all this and have an idea for a series of children’s picture books. I have written the first two and I am ‘resting’ them again at the moment to review in a week or so, then I think I might be ready to submit……maybe.
    I will keep an eye on your site for more hints and inspiration, thank you again.

  169. Thanks Lou,
    Would you mind if I ask you a bit of advice? I am planning a series of books rather like Postman Pat i.e. a main character with stories of different days. I have the first book which sets the scene about how my character chooses the career she follows, the next book is how most of them will be set out – a day in the life of my character. Should I submit both books together and explain in my cover letter that the second book is the path the remainders will follow? Or should I submit just one?

    1. Hi Sarah. I would submit the first book on its own but do as you suggest with the covering letter, ie explain the series, and also submit the synopsis of the second book and perhaps even the third book if the synopsis is ready (one page max per synopsis or less).

  170. Hi Lou, Thanks for this excellent resource! Used this site to help me find publishers for my picture book, Dear Sister. One sister has Down’s syndrome and it looks at their special relationship and how they communicate through letters. I wanted to share that disability can be a normal part of family life and can be a natural part of children’s books. Have submitted to 9 of the publishers on your list…still waiting a month later!!! have you any advice about including characters with a disability naturally into a text? Feel a bit lost as I start out on this new adventure of writing but loving it all the same! Thank you

    1. Hi Allison – what a great idea for a book. A month isn’t long to wait – it can take 3 to 6 months, sometimes longer – you just have to be patient! I think when you use the word ‘naturally’ in terms of incorporating disabled characters into books you have hit the nail on the head; publishers are keen at the moment to have more books featuring disabled characters, especially children’s books, to reflect the realities of life. Disability is a natural part of life and so some book characters will have disabilities just as some people do. The only thing I can really advise is to remember that your readers may know less than you about the subject so ensure your writing is clear and easy to understand and any jargon is explained without getting too technical! But then I guess that goes for all writing! Best of luck.

  171. The information i gleaned here is very rich in an insightfully refreshing way. Thanks a bucketful. Please, how do I get a publisher for my children book (protagonst is eight years) with a completely African setting?

    1. Hello! An African setting is no hinderance at all – in fact it sounds wonderful. So I would think more about the age group you are aiming for and the type of books the publisher is selling. When you have decided who to submit to, you need to contact the publisher with (generally) a covering letter, synopsis (a one page summary of your plot), and the first three chapters of your book. See the publisher’s individual requirements to check the specifics – links are in the list above. Most now accept email submissions. Good luck with your book.

  172. Thanks Lou!
    You are so encouraging and helpful in your comments to everyone, I love to read the whole blog! I realise now I sounded very impatient after just a month so am on with my next project and will try to put it out of my mind. As a new writer you try and balance positive thinking and believing in yourself with a healthy dose of realism, just so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the process! I love reading success stories though like Pete’s story and I discovered Nosy Crow on your list. I followed their story of Kate Wilson seeing the John Lewis advert and writing a book in response. What struck me was she had a gut instinct, followed it through by being proactive and stuck gold. You can read the story on their website. I know we are not all in Kate’s position and don’t all have her contacts but she has clearly worked hard to get where she is and has developed a superb company. She began somewhere and I am inspired by her success! Lovely story and I am encouraged to keep going. There are stories to be told all around us and inspiration in every little corner of our lives – keep looking and writing! Thankyou.

  173. Hi Lou,
    Thought I’d let you know that my children’s book is going to be published by the American publisher Little Devil Books. The book is called Krystal Bull Rain Dancer and will be out in May or November.

  174. Hi thanks for you list it’s been extremely helpful.
    I am new to this and have wrote my first story for a children’s picture book.

    any tips??

    1. Hi Ian, glad you are finding the site helpful. Re picture book tips, I would recommend this site: If you follow the links (chapter headings) you will see Darcy has shared some great information. Making up a dummy (a rough paper version) is really useful for picture books as it allows you to test the material in a traditional picture book layout. Don’t forget, when you submit to publishers you can submit all the text in one document, as long as you clearly show where the page breaks will be. And you don’t need to send illustrations (unless you are a writer-illustrator).

  175. Hi, thanks for the site it has many tips for me. I have sent my story off to a few publishers, a few have replied back and said they are not interested. I shall change it somewhat and send it to some more and see what happens. hopefully someone might be interested.

  176. Hi Lou, thanks for the list above (and your blog in general)! I have just completed my first rhyming picture book and I’m sending the manuscripts out next week. Your list has been invaluable and it’s so helpful to have it updated so regularly. I’m going to get a move on however, as two of the publishers that were originally on my list now no longer accept unsolicited work!

    Many thanks.


    Ps – Have just noticed your post to Ian – is it essential to include page breaks? I’ve read mixed messages about this! I haven’t done them but I know where they are going to go as I made up a dummy book to make sure the text fit the 32 pages…

  177. I always thought you should include them, Sally, as it suggests natural pauses and makes your text read better – but the publisher may decide to break the text at different places anyway so I’m sure it wouldn’t be a deal breaker if you didn’t have them! Good luck.

    1. Hi Lou, thanks for the advice! Also, I noticed your update about Walker Books taking illustrated stories – fantastic news as mine is illustrated!
      Many thanks

  178. Hi i came across your site and the advice is amazing! Although i am in Australia so i’m not sure if it works for me? Will these publishers accept stories from other countries?
    If not would you happen to know any in Australia that accept children’s short stories?

    1. I’m sure they would, Gemma. Just be open about where you are sending it from and then if it is a problem they can always say no! At least in these days of email submission you are not wasting money on postage so I would go for it! As for the Australian market, I’m really not familiar with it, although Walker Books who are the leading children’s publisher in Australia at the moment recommend contacting “the writers centre in your state or local area for further information on how to get published”. However you lucky Australian writers can submit directly to Penguin, providing you time it according to their submissions windows – read the bottom section of this page to see what they accept and when as each month is dedicated to a different genre or age group: There are also some useful links right at the bottom. Hope that helps a bit!

    1. Samir,
      Submitted to CoopJack July, 2012 and haven’t heard anything yet. I am ever-hopeful.
      I will probably start sending to other publishers to get out there a bit more.
      Let me know if you hear from them and good luck!

      1. Looking at their website and reading the interview here, I’m not convinced CoopJack are genuinely serious or particularly knowledgeable about publishing at all. Definitely try somewhere else! You never know what opportunities may come up, but before submitting work to anyone, I thinks it’s worth spending some time researching the company and thinking about what they might be able to offer you should they like your work.

    1. I’m not sure on this one, but if in doubt I would send a very short synopsis with it, just so they can see the story at a glance. It won’t hurt your submission if it’s not needed.

  179. This week i sent off to three publishers for the first time. posted on teusday recieved my first ever (not suitable for us letter), on thursday, is this possibly a record?

  180. Lou, first, thank you so much for this very informative guideline. I am new at this. Your blog has been the most helpful that I’ve come across for my purpose. I have recently written two stories for children between the ages of 8-9. They are just under 4,000 words each and have elements of fantasy/fairy tale/fable in them. I was wondering what your opinion is as to the most suitable publishers for me to submit my stories to. I’d appreciate you input. Thank you in advance!

  181. Dear Lou,

    Hope you can guide me…. I am looking for a publisher in the US that is willing to accept unsolicited manuscripts for spiritual/self help/inspirational children books (picture books). Most of the publishing companies focus on fiction.

    Thank you in advance.


    1. Hi Marlene! Sorry for the delay in replying; day job getting busy! It would be quite a search to go through the publishing companies in the US, but what I suggest is you find a site with similar books to yours, look at who the publishers are and then find their websites and see if they accept unsolicited manuscripts. For example, this page shows a selection of spiritual/inspirational picture books. However you may find that most of these are based around stories so it might be worth having a look at your material to see if you can present it in a publisher-friendly way that’s similar to what’s out there, to give you more of a chance.

  182. How caring and self-sacrificing you are Miss Treleaven to distribute information and give advice to those of us who would like to see something published. I have written a series of children’s stories. The style of my writing is more English than American. My grandfather came from England, I lived in England for a while, and my personality seems to be more British than American, thus I feel that my stories, about a dog and her antics and misadventures would be more accepted in the UK. Even how the words flow from pen to paper, or fingers to computer, are in the style Victorian England. The age range would be perhaps four to eight. I have been critiqued by a publisher who says my writing is descriptive so the books need not be all pictures. I have not been published and feel quite passive about pursuing this endeavor. One of my favourite movies is “Miss Potter.” This is the story of Beatrix Potter and how she wrote and drew until Frederick Warne Publishing took a chance on her ‘bunny books.’ I should think that is how every writer envisions and holds to an image about what they have penned. I do hope your ideas are successful, as you give so much with an open hand and heart. Do you have any advice for me? Are my stories only for my family or are they worth pursuing to share with other children? My maiden name is Potter. So I am the other Miss Potter. Blessings to you.

    1. The other Miss Potter is a great name! I loved the film as well. My advice to you would be to keep on creating your stories whatever happens. You sound very passionate about your writing. If you do decide you want to try to be published, you have to be driven and determined because you get knocked back so many times, so be prepared for some heartache along the way. Personally I think it’s always worth a shot at these things – like Beatrix Potter, who knows what might happen? And if it doesn’t, you’ll always have your stories for you and your family to share. The best of luck with your endeavours.

      1. Miss Lou,
        Thank you so very much for your words of encouragement. How overwhelmed with gladness my heart was when I read your reply.

        I have written approximately 18 short stories about a dog named Angel Daisy, a Bichon Frise puppy. Each story shows how she grows in grace and stature. Her journey includes escapades, amusing antics, sensitivity, and selfless giving. Angel is the dog every child should meet. You have probably met Angel. Oh, that was not or is not your pet’s name, but you have felt the unconditional love and loyalty that an animal can give. It is my hope, with this series, everyone can have an Angel in their heart as parent and child explore Angel’s world together.

        I am not afraid of rejection, as I know that must be part of the process. Ouch. I just do not know where to begin. After reviewing children’s publishers here in the states, I find that they do not want unsolicited manuscripts.

        It was a blessing to find you on the web. How thoughtful and kind you are to post your thoughts and advice for others to glean. Again, thank you for your response and all you do.

        Janet Potter

  183. I’m a new reader and this is all incredibly helpful! It’s good of you to spend so much time supporting everybody! I have a very short simple little text aimed at 3-5 year olds that I would like to publish My daughter is working on the illustrations, which would be a key part of the book. I am a Scottish teacher. Could you give me a suggestion for publishing? I think the content might appeal to pre-school establishments as well as to young children generally.
    Thanks very much

      1. Thank you! I’ve had a look and I think Picture Kelpies with Floris looks like a good route! I’ll keep you posted. Elspeth

  184. Dear Lou,

    Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done on this blog. Reading through some of the old posts answers a lot of my questions.I noticed that you’ve been asked the same questions on several different occasions, maybe it would save you time if you had a FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section on your site? You are so patient with all of us desperate to be published authors! I have sent my picture books off to a couple of agents that said that were happy to look at picture books from unpublished authors and had no response at all from Caroline Sheldon and a polite auto rejection from David Higham.
    It is really disappointing when you don’t even get a response, but I guess it is just the way things work. I will try sending my books off to some of the publishers you suggest. After waiting 8 weeks each previous time with no success, I have decided to send it to a few at once, as you said that is okay as long as you tell them. Note to self -must keep trying and not get too dis-heartened! Good luck to everyone else who is trying too. Celia

    1. You are right about the FAQ, Celia! In fact it’s something I’ve been working on but may be a while before it sees the light of day. I know what you mean about responses; no answer at all is the worst possible outcome for us writers as you can’t help secretly hoping, even after a year! Mind you, I have sometimes heard back after 6 months so sometimes you can be surprised. Keeping positive can be hard. It helps to make a list to tick through; the further you get through the list the more chances you have given your book to be published. Maybe promise yourself a treat at the end for your hard work, whether you are successful or not. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself and your work out there!

  185. Another question… Would you recommend hiring an agent? If so,do you know how I would go about that? I live on the Big Island of Hawaii. Thanks again!

    1. It’s quite hard to get an agent for a first picture book, but I see Julia Churchill at Greenhouse Literary Agency has recently started a picture book list. If you do approach an agent, use the same method as you would for a publisher: covering letter or email, sample chapters (in your case the whole text as it’s a picture book, which will usually be 1000 words or below) and sample illustrations. A synopsis is also useful as a brief summary of the plot.

  186. Hi Lou, When a publisher says they have outlined their list for 2013 does it mean they have already chosen books/manuscripts that they want to publish or that they have decided what type of manuscripts they are looking for?

    Thanks, Kim

  187. Thanks Lou, The publisher that have outlined their list for 2013 is Top That and we are only in February. What a shame.

  188. thank you lou
    it has been many years since i first looked for information like this, i couldn’t find any then, what a blessing to find all that you have shared. thank you so much for doing so and your time in presenting it to all

  189. Hi Lou, I have just come across Little Devil Books. They are looking for books from the age of 8 plus. Don’t know if this is any use to you.

  190. I want to say thank you for this wonderful resource. I am in the USA, and as more than one literary agent has rejected my works because of the competitive nature of domestic children’s picture book market, I am trying to get published in the UK. If you have any advice, please pass it along.

  191. Hi Lou. just working my way through your list and notice that Egmont no longer accept submissions. Fran

      1. I sent my manuscript to Egmont 4 weeks ago when their website said they were still accepting them, yesterday I had an email to say they no longer do – shame they wouldn’t even read mine as I sent it so long ago 😦 But Hey ho got another 5 publishers I have sent to – just got to wait and hear

      2. I received the same email yesterday Sarah. Never mind, onwards and upwards, we must persevere! Every rejection is a step nearer getting that wonderful email or phone call that says, “we love it!” It is hard, but it’s important to keep trying and we can all encourage each other :O) Celia

      3. Hi Lou,
        I received a very frank and direct critique of my picture books yesterday and I was advised to look at the illustrators on Bright Agency and Advocate Art to see the sort of quality that is required. It was hard to accept, but it was clear to see that my illustrations were flat and nowhere near as exciting as the best selling artists. My stories were ‘just okay’ and not very exciting, so as you can imagine I felt pretty deflated. However, I am really glad to have had an absolutely honest critique as it means I won’t keep sending out what is actually sub-standard work to agent after agent, just to get an auto reply rejection. I was also told that picture books must be 32pp, made up of 12 spread (24pp) with a mix of double spreads and single pages, so my books weren’t even the right size! I’m going to lay my storybooks to one side for now and do a lot of research as suggested. I just thought I would send this message to say to other aspiring picture book writers, do a lot of research, get the format right, check your illustrations against the best selling picture books and do everything you can to make it absolutely brilliant. It is so competitive, but with the current system of auto replies you could waste a lot of time sending your books off when in fact you could be using that time to make them truly wonderful. Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes! I’m not giving up, just going to take some time to research, think and hopefully come up with something more dazzling!

  192. Hi Lou,
    Such a helpful website which has given me so much inspiration.
    Just a quick question though if I may, am I still able to submit manuscripts even though I have gone down the self publishing kindle route?
    Many thanks

    1. You definitely can if they are different manuscripts. If it is the same one you have self published, some publishers will not want to look at it, but others will if it is selling well. You could always email them to ask if you are not sure.

  193. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your advice and information – I have just come across your site and have already learnt so much. It’s also been very reassuring to see that others are asking the same kind of questions that I wanted to ask 🙂 Wishing everybody well in their writing & publication journey – I shall keep returning to learn more!

  194. After the email I received from Egmont I replied to them to let them know I had sent my manuscript 4 weeks ago when they were still accepting them – just so they didn’t think I hadn’t checked the website. I got a reply……Dear Sarah,

    Apologies for the confusion whilst we are undergoing changes with our submissions policy and are updating our automated response/creating new email addresses.

    If you would like to check the Egmont UK website by the end of the week, there will be updated information about where to send submissions and what will be or not be accepted


    There may be hope! 🙂

  195. Hitting ‘like’ seems lazy. This is a fabulously useful list (especially for prevaricating whilst I hack the Synopsis of Evil down below four figures) and I’m especially impressed by the time your taking out to answer questions etc. Nice one!

  196. Dear Lou,

    Do you think you could get in touch with Derrick Alderman from CoopJack Publishing and find out what’s going on? I e-mailed him a dozen times with no response whatsoever. I’m beginning to believe that his company is never going to take off.

    Best wishes,


  197. Dear Loutreleaven, I’m so glad to find your website and the long list of publishing house, all for free! I wrote some picture books of my childhood memories and am writing kids molecular biology and biochemistry short stories, but have no idea where to submit, although I see so many publishing houses in your list. Could you advise me? I’m a retire scientist from the University of Toronto and wish to contribute my science knowledge to our children-our future. May I send you my manuscript so you can help me better? they are short. Thanks a lot. Hailun Tang, Ph.D. I’ve published two photo books, using my diving photos to make a story of fish and corals, in and .ca (60% of my profit for donation. In 2012 I received $10 from Amazon, but, But I donated $350 to the hospitals and Canadian Olympics. My friends want to buy my book, but they failed even after I sent them the instruction, and they ask me to buy the book for them. I then realized most people are far away from the e-world, so I’m thinking to submit new ones to a publishing house. Thanks for your time and advice. Hailun

    1. Hi Hailun, nice to hear from you. I am not an expert, just another writer like you but I would be happy to look at your manuscript if you would like me to.

  198. Dear Lou, Thank you very much for your prompt and nice reply without any charge. I’m very much impressed. We new writers need a mentor like you. Thank you for spending time to send me the long list. I’ll read carefully and follow your instruction to try my submission.
    Is it possible to attach a photo of my book to you without list here for public? I’d like to show you the cover page of my book. hailun

  199. Hey, thanks for this site! I went to see David Fickling giving a talk in Cardiff’s City Hall a few weeks back called ‘Can you write a children’s book’ as part of Cardiff’s Lit Fest. He was quite humorous, it was a bit like watching Michael McIntyre actually ha. I have already submitted my 42,000wrd YA MS to him (after being rejected by 4 agents). I simply sent it first class but was wondering, do you send yours recorded so that you know that they’ve been received, or just 1st class like me? lol

    1. Sounds like he is a great character! I tend to send 1st class although mostly by email these days. I’m too tight to pay extra for recorded! Good luck with the YA book.

  200. As promised I have bought Pete’s book Little Ronnie and Magic the Horse. Love the story Pete. Well done you and well done Lou for helping Pete on his journey to become a published author. Just waitin g for my turn 🙂 Kim x

  201. Wow, it is amazing how thoroughly and considerately you have answered each question! How long do you try to get your book published the traditional way before you throw in the towel?

    1. Personally I have vowed never to give up, as the traditional route is definitely something I want to achieve success in, but some people who opt out of that don’t see it as throwing in the towel but taking charge of their work and becoming an indie. So it depends how you look at it and also how you prefer to manage and control your writing career.

  202. Hi Lou, thank you for this resource. I was wondering what the process is for submitting writing without the art? I plan for my book to have art but I can’t draw for toffee. I have experience with writing comics, and in the comic industry you have to have an artist to get a look in. Do children’s publishers accept manuscripts and then source an artist?

    1. Yes Michael, you’re right. They will match your writing with an artist so you can submit text only. It’s interesting to hear that in the comic industry you need an artist first.

  203. Hi guys, it’s me Pete!

    Just thought I’d drop by and see if there were any other budding authors that had managed to get their foot in the door! Thankyou so much Kim, that’s great to hear and I’m glad you enjoyed the book! 🙂

    I’ve done a couple of Primary school readings and Q&A sessions, newspaper/blog interviews and I’m also in discussions with Waterstones to do a couple of book-signing events!

    If anyone would like to follow me on Twitter, it’s @pdshaw09. You can also ‘like’ my Facebook page called ‘Little Ronnie and Magic the Horse by Peter Shaw’.

    I’ll keep popping back in here!


  204. Hi Lou,
    I have to say, I’m completely blown away by the effort and time you’ve put into this website and into helping others succeed. I’m a university student and I wrote a children’s book when I was in college. Like Pete (who, by the way, is a total inspiration) my story is written in rhyme. I’m honestly not looking to go into a career as an author, but, taking into account recent events, I’ve been given a new outlook on life that has made me take chances and strive to make the most of life. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is have a book published. Even if it’s not going to be a massive success, it’s just something I would like to have done in my life. I’m not sure if I’m coming to the right place, but this page makes me feel hopeful. I’m very serious about wanting to publish a book and I’m willing to work hard to get it done. Please could you give me your honest opinion. I’d love to hear what you think and whether it’s worth pursuing.,

    Thank you,

    1. Of course it is, Salma! If this is something you want to do in your life, you should definitely try it. Nobody is going to walk into the room unless you have opened the door. I think I just made up that phrase, but I quite like it! You have nothing to lose by submitting your manuscript. Just make sure it is the very best it can be before you send it off, and remember that sometimes it can take many many tries (and many many books) before you succeed.

      1. Thank you, Lou.

        I will continue to pursue it. I like that phrase 🙂
        I’ve given it to a few people to read and they liked it, but i think i will tweak it a bit just so that it reads a lot more smoothly.
        Thank you for your advice and your prompt reply. I will update with any progress I make.
        Thank you again,

  205. Hi Lou- I really enjoyed reading all of your responses. This site does give me some hope! My question is how long do you keep on submitting your story before you either e-publish or move on? I have been submitting 2 different books for over a year and sometimes it is so disheartening… Also, can you make any $ when you e-publish or is it basically your friends and family buying your book? Thank you so much for taking the time out to respond.

    1. Hi Michelle. It’s really a matter of personal preference as to how long you keep trying when you’re pursuing the traditional publishing route. In my case I like to think I’ll always keep trying, although I haven’t ruled out trying to e-publish myself in the future but it would probably be non fiction rather than fiction. My thought would always be: what if the next publisher/agent had said yes? On the other hand some people really love putting out their own e-books and get an enormous amount of satisfaction from having complete creative control (and a bigger share of the profits). And now we come to profits. I wouldn’t expect to make any money, just see it as a nice bonus. Similarly to being published traditionally, really! Only a few people make their fortune. You could do an Amanda Hocking and achieve huge sales plus a traditional publishing deal as a result, or you could quietly sell a few copies here and there. I think you have to be prepared for the latter to happen, but there’s nothing to stop you hoping and aiming for the former!

      1. Thank you Lou for your response! I think I am going to pursue the traditional publishing route some more. I just needed some incentive that you provided. I do have another question. I have written a series of 3 books geared for 1st-3rd graders. Each book is approximately 6500 words. Would you suggest that I condense the story so it is just one longer book?

      2. Lou- Thanks for the link to the word count article. I think I will keep it a series. The books are just shy of 7,000 words and the minimum states 8,000. They aren’t that picky about word count, are they? Also, can I add your link to my website of publishers lists? The word count article is very helpful! Thanks for your responses.

      3. Course you can! Re word count – it might be worth trying to tweak to get to the minimum, as anything you can do to comply with their requirements will help your submission.


  206. Hi Lou, I have been reading all the Q and A’s and it is full of great information. I am hoping you can help me out too. I recently self-published two children’s books in a series. I am being told I need to go the tradition route and try to get a publisher. How should I go about doing that since I already published through self-publishing? Send it in as a finished self-published book and then they would reprint it if they like it? Or send in the third book since I haven’t published it yet? Thank you for taking the time to help out!!

    1. Oooh, that’s a tricky one Jennifer! Some publishers won’t touch self published books, while other authors have been picked up by publishers after a good track record in sales. You are probably more likely to attract a publisher if you are very successful with your self published books and in that case they are more likely to seek out you, as they want a piece of your success! I would be inclined to send the third book and see if you get interest in that. Alternatively you could contact the publisher before you submit and ask if they consider previously self published work. Unfortunately, going it alone does sometimes affect your chances which is why you need to be absolutely sure you are happy to be your own publisher before you commit. Best of luck.

  207. Thank you so much for making my search for a publisher easier; I left my agent in London because she wouldn’t consider my PB texts. I will keep you posted about my progress.
    Keep up the good work!

    Kevin Whelan

  208. Hi

    I’ve just received this back after submitting in July last year!!!

    Thank you for your submission.

    Your work is still under consideration by our agents. We really value your interest in our agency and, due to the extreme volume of submissions from artists and writers, we regret that we haven’t contacted you sooner.

    Even though we cannot give you a definitive response at this time, you will hear back from us by July at the latest. If you would like to pull your submission please let us know, but we have enjoyed your work and would like to keep it a little longer

  209. Hello Lou
    I sent you a comment yesterday but i must’ve done something wrong because i do not see it here. What i had said was that i deeply appreciate what you are doing through your blog. You need not have, but you have; and thereby you are helping loads of people by doing all the groundwork about each site and giving so much information. I represent a writer and when i showed him your site he said ‘Where does she get the time to reply to people’ and i told him that you find the time in the goodness of your heart.
    By any chance are you a literary agent besides being a writer?
    Clifford W. DeSilva

    1. Hello Clifford, what a lovely message! I think writing can be a lonely business and it’s nice to reach out to other people and share any helpful information. No, I’m not knowledgable enough to be a literary agent, I’m just an enthusiastic amateur!

  210. Hi Everyone.. I was in publishing several years ago for eight years and I loved it, after a 15 year gap being a mum, I now want to get back into it, and I am setting myself up as a literary agent, I am starting from scratch, I have no contacts, no credibility, but I really believe I can do this and I’m going to give it my all. I have three clients at the moment that I am working with and I have submitted their children’s stories to some publishers, just waiting on replies, I am also working with adult fiction too. First I want to say ‘thank you’ to Lou for great advice to all those questions you’ve received from people, I just want to say to all those that have talked about being rejected, that Katherine is right, you MUST send out again straight away… remember JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame? She sent out hundreds and hundreds of submissions before she got a hit and look what happened for her…it just takes one, and if you give up, you never know if the next publisher will be the one to accept your manuscript, so just keep going, as long as you feel your manuscript is the best it can possibly be and that you believe it could be a success, then keep going. Good luck.

      1. Lou, I don’t have a web site at the moment, only because I have enough clients to keep me going a while, and also, I want to see if I can do this first with the clients I have, before taking it further, I have three clients, one has written a great children’s picture book story, and I have two authors who have written excellent adult fiction stories. I like to do all the editing and proof reading too, I absolutely love it and eventually want to set myself up to offer this as a service, but I’m not sure how viable that is yet, I need to do more research. I feel if I can find a publisher for at least one of my clients (if not all three), then I’ll have more credibility and actually have something to put on a web site, but I don’t really want to advertise at the moment as I’m not sure how this is going to go, I’m taking it very slowly and building it up gradually. I only started in November last year, so not been doing this very long at all.
        Fining publishers is the most challenging thing about it, I have the Writers and Artist’s Yearbook which I’m going through and also searching for publishers online, I came across your site in the process of doing that. The name of the company is One Voice Literary Agency and my tag line is ‘makes the whole world write’ lol, hoping that comes to fruition in the future lol, I have a lot of plans for the company and just hope I can make it happen.

      2. Lou, I certainly will do, thank you.. What I find incredible is, that there is no shortage of talented writers, I’m astounded by the reaction I have had to what I’m doing and I have had to turn people away for the moment as I’m just too busy with the very few clients that I have, it’s such a shame that it is so difficult for people to get published, just like the music business (I write lyrics and songs as well (another long story lol)), it has to be THE most difficult thing to get into.. I’m also looking into publishing online that I could perhaps help people with as well in the future and like one of your posters said, I’m also finding that a lot of publishers want hard copies and not submissions by email, which makes things more difficult as well, you’d think it would be so much easier to do things online, and I don’t quite get that, but anyway, we’ll see how things go.

      3. Hi Lou, if you are setting up as a literary agent, when can we all submit to you?….can’t wait to get critiqued from someone who is as passionate as yourself…Michael

      4. Ha ha! Being a literary agent would be a fabulously exciting job, but as I know nothing about contracts, rights and negotiating with publishers I would be an extremely bad agent and make my clients a pittance!

      5. Hiya, I’d like to ask everyone a question. I’m setting myself up as a literary agent, starting from scratch with no contacts whatsoever, I have knowledge as I worked in publishing for eight years. Recently I have edited and proof read a children’s picture book story, edited and proof read the full manuscript of an adult fiction story. I have researched relevant publishers and sent packages to quite a few (some of which I got from this site, thanks Lou). I totally love the editing and proof reading side of things, it really is something I adore doing and my question is… if you could, would you pay to have your story proof read and edited to a very, very high standard, so that manuscripts would have more chance of being accepted by agents/publishers? Some agents do this as part of the package, others offer it as a service as well, and I’m thinking of offering it as a service, and I’m doing my research to find out if that is viable or not. Be totally honest with me in your replies.. thanks.

  211. hi lou i was wondering if you could help me ive worte a book this would be my first ever book ive wrote and i dont know how to go on to get it published can you help me or push me in the right direction thanks miss wood

    1. Hi Samantha. I suggest browsing this very site and picking up some tips from me and other submitting writers posting comments! You need three chapters and a synopsis to submit – read the post on writing a synopsis for more details on that. Then look through the list of publishers, visit their websites and choose one you think would fit your work. The links on this page take you to their submission criteria – make sure you give them exactly what they ask for! I would also highly recommend getting people you know to read your work and redraft it at least three times, if not more, so it’s the very best you can get it before you send it off. Good luck!

  212. Lou,

    I am astounded by your attention to every comment in this thread. I am in California, and I just finished a childrens book, so I am looking for publishers. You have a great list here, and even though they are all in the U.K., I learned some things about the industry. I just wanted to say that by reading all your answers to everyones questions, I can tell that you have a very warm soul. This thread is long, but I enjoyed reading every post. Thanks for putting in the time and effort. Very cool. Have a great weekend! Cheers from the Napa Valley!

    Michael Turner
    a.k.a. The Cabernet Kid

  213. Hi Lou
    I am almost ready to submit my latest story and plan to send it to Nosy Crow first. The website says that you should email your work to, should I write my submissions letter to ‘Adrian Soar’ ( commercial director, and as far as I can see the only Adrian who works as Nosy Crow)? I would prefer to address my letter to a person (Dear Mr Soar) then ‘ To the editor’ or ‘To whom it may concern’ , but I don’t want to address the wrong person!! Can I ask what you have done in the past? I really love my latest attempt, so I want to get everything right.
    Thanks in advance.
    p.s I just ordered ‘Little Ronnie’. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂