* UPDATED JUNE 2021 *
Following on from my list of children’s publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, I thought I’d post a list for people who are submitting children’s books to agents, as I’m considering that route for one of my novels and I thought others might find it helpful. Publisher or agent? There are mixed opinions about which to try first. As we know, there aren’t many children’s publishers (or indeed adult ones) who accept unagented manuscripts these days, but on the other hand some small publishers may be more likely to take a chance on an unknown than an agent. Some people argue that if you approach publishers first then the agent won’t be able to submit to them, but to my mind there are such a small number of publishers you can approach yourself that I don’t think this would be a problem. If you have decided to take the agent route, this list of agents is not exhaustive but will give you a starting point. You can find full listings of UK agents in the Writers and Artists Yearbook or the Writers Handbook. You will find that agents are more likely to respond promptly than publishers as they are always searching for the next breakthrough book. The turnaround can sometimes even be brutally quick! You are also more likely to get a standard rejection form, so you need to develop a tough skin and not take the lack of feedback personally – it’s simply a lack of time. If you haven’t approached agents before, take these points into account before submitting:
* Be professional. Make your submission business-like and to the point.
* Study the agency website thoroughly. Get a feel for the type of work they like and the authors they represent.
* Links to submissions requirement pages are included on this list. Make sure you following the guidelines for submitting to the letter or risk the wrath of the reader! Missing something simple like what should be attached and what should be pasted into the email could cost you a response. Note that quite a few agents don’t take postal submissions any more.
* Make a note of whether the agency prefers to be exclusively submitted to. Some recommend you approach multiple agencies while others discourage it.
* Some agencies don’t accept picture books; others prefer literature for older children or teenagers only.
* Make a list of your favourite agencies and work your way through them. If your manuscript returns home or to your inbox with a rejection, send it straight back out the next day to the next name on your list. Don’t waste time feeling despondent when your bestseller could be back out there finding a home! Good luck and if this list helps you in any way, I’d love to hear from you.
Alice Williams Alice Williams set up her own agency after ten years at David Higham and represents a growing number of children’s authors and illustrators. Follow the helpful guidelines on the submission page to ensure you include the correct information and respond during an open submission window. She aims to respond within 6 weeks.
AM Heath This is one of the UK’s leading literary agencies with 7 agents and with a huge list of clients. The children’s agent is Julia Churchill who is looking for picture books right up to YA. They only accept electronic submissions; you should use their submissions form and follow the instructions to type or paste in a covering letter and synopsis, and attach your sample chapters. They suggest you follow up after six weeks if you haven’t heard back from them.
Andlyn A boutique literary agency, Andlyn focuses on nurturing a few select authors across various media. Agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch is looking for chapter books, middle grade and young adult, including graphic novels but not picture books at present. Find something that will ‘smack us between the eyes and capture our hearts’ and send it to the email on the submissions page (covering letter, one page synopsis and the first three chapters or 3000 words).
Andrew Nurnberg This London agency also has a number of overseas offices. They have a large number of authors on their books including Cornelia Funke. Send a covering letter, synopsis and the first three chapters or 50 pages by email to the specific agent required. If you do not hear back within 3 months you can assume you have been unsuccessful. No picture books please.
Anne Clark Literary Agency Anne Clark, previously from Piccadilly Press, has founded an agency specialising in children’s and YA authors and it is growing fast. You should paste a synopsis and the first 3000 words into a covering email. Picture books can be sent as a complete text. Anne favours the personal touch with dealing with clients so prefers UK or UK-based authors.
Annette Green Authors Agency This is an independent agency who pride themselves in the personal service they provide between agent and author. Annette Green and David Smith are the agents. They accept fiction for older children and teenagers (preferably not science fiction or fantasy), by post or email, and you should send a covering letter or email, a brief synopsis and sample chapters up to 10,000 words (Word not PDF).
Antony Harwood This Oxford-based agency has a large list of high profile authors writing in many fields including children’s literature. They accept manuscripts by post or email; you should send a covering letter, brief outline and the opening 50 pages. Jo Williamson is the children’s agent and accepts picture books to YA.
Bell Lomax Moreton This is a large agency which handles adult fiction and non-fiction as well as children’s books for all ages, including picture books. Agents handing childrens books include MD Paul Moreton, Lauren Gardner (not picture books) and Lorna Hemingway. To submit, send the first 3 chapters up to 50 pages (full text with sample pictures, if any, for a picture book), a short synopsis, and a covering letter. You can send up to 3 picture books. You can email or post material, and response time is 8-12 weeks.
Caroline Sheldon This is a leading literary agency who are very selective about their work. They have two agents and a large list of clients including the incomparable Julia Donaldson. Submit by email (although post is acceptable as well) for the attention of Caroline or Felicity Trew (read about their preferences on the site) and attach a synopsis and the first three chapters or 10,000 words, whichever is shorter. If the children’s book is under that length you may submit it in its entirety, or up to three picture books. You should also read their twelve pet hates! In fact, read them anyway whether or not you are submitting. They aim to respond in 4-6 weeks.
Caroline Wakeman Literary Agency This growing agency with international offices founded by author and industry expert Caroline Wakeman represents illustrators and authors of picture books and early chapter books, but has recently expanded into older chapter books and middle grade. Submit a synopsis and first chapter to the email address provided. They usually deal with published authors only but at present have an open window for new authors.
The Catchpole Agency – CURRENTLY CLOSED TO SUBMISSIONS – This is a small agency with two agents who take on only one or two new authors a year. They have a very specific way of handling submission: a dedicated email address to which you should send a brief email and a small sample of your work pasted into the email itself (no attachments). If they are interested they will ask for more.
Conville & Walsh This large, established agency takes pride in championing first time authors. They have 14 agents for both adults’ and children’s books. Email your covering letter, synopsis and the first three chapters or 50 pages to the appropriate agent by visiting their page and using their contact email. They aim to reply within 2 months. They encourage authors to submit to other agencies at the same time, but you should mention if your manuscript has or is being read in full by anyone else. They are not looking for picture books.
Curtis Brown – CHILDREN’S SUBMISSIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED – Curtis Brown are a large, long established agency with a huge number of clients working in literature, TV, film and theatre. They have a brand new submissions system on their website and no longer accept postal submissions. Prepare a covering letter, synopsis of no more than 1,500 words and the first 10,000 words of your manuscript and follow the prompts in the link above to submit directly – do not send by email. The children’s agent is Stephanie Thwaites and you can read my interview with her here. Curtis Brown aim to reply in 10-12 weeks.
Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency A spin off from the main Darley Anderson agency dedicated purely to children’s authors, it has around 40 of them on its books. Send a covering email, synopsis and the first three chapters or up to 3 picture book texts to Clare Wallace or Lydia Silver – or if you are not sure which agent to choose you can also send to the general submissions email. They aim to respond to all submissions within 8-10 weeks.
David Higham This is a huge, long established agency with a large stable of authors. The children’s agents are Veronique Baxter, Christabel McKinley and Caroline Walsh. The email should take the form of a covering letter to which you should attach a word document consisting of a synopsis and the first three chapters plus a CV. For picture books attach the whole manuscript and you may send up to 3 texts. They aim to respond within 6 weeks.
DHH Literary Agency is a London agency with an editorial focus. They have a large number of authors and Hannah Sheppard is their children’s agent and director. Send her your covering letter, first three chapters or 10,000 words and synopsis in that order pasted into the body of the email (see her individual page for details). You should hear within 8-16 weeks if they are interested.
Eddison Pearson This is a small London-based agency run by agent Clare Pearson that deals mainly with children’s books and has a select number of clients. The website asks you to email them for their latest submissions details, which then provides you with a form to respond. They should reply in eight weeks.
Eve White – CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING CHILDREN’S FICTION – This small agency has a good number of authors including the brilliant Andy Stanton, author of the Mr Gum books. About half her authors are children’s writers. You should submit by email only with one attachment consisting of a brief synopsis, word count and the first three chapters. She is currently not accepting picture books. You will receive an automated conformation of receipt and impressively she aims to reply within a week. See also the FAQs.
Fraser Ross Fraser Ross Associates deal mainly with children’s writers and illustrators. They have two agents and many clients. They accept submissions by post or email using the form provided which should consist of a synopsis, the first three chapters, and a writing CV – read their guidelines for more details about this. They warn on their website that a response may take some time so assume it’s a no after 8 weeks. In my experience they can take a long time to reply but have given valuable feedback to me in the past.
Greenhouse This UK/US-based agency has three agents and a large number of clients and has a focus on nuturing their author’s careers. They prefer to be a paperless office and use a system called Query Manager with which you can check the status of your query. Note that they only accept picture book submissions if you are an author-illustrator.
Kowal Stannus Agency (KSA) This boutique agency with a global perspective is run by American rights and publishing expert Angharad Kowal Stannus. She represents a select number of children’s authors and illustrators and is open to new submissions. Send the complete manuscript to the email address provided together with a few lines about the work and yourself.
Lindsay This one woman agency is keen to develop new talent and currently represents over twenty authors You can submit by email but check the website as they are currently catching up with their backlog. Attach the first three chapters and the synopsis as two seperate Word documents. A covering email should introduce yourself and your work. They accept picture books in which case you should send the whole manuscript. As a small agency they don’t commit to a time frame for a response so you need to be patient.
Luigi Bonomi Associates This growing agency has five agents and a large number of clients and is keen to develop new authors. Louise Lamont is the children’s agent (but note she is not currently accepting picture books). You should submit by email directly to your chosen agent and attach the synopsis and the first three chapters. They will respond within 12 weeks if interested.
Madeleine Milburn A leading London agency actively looking for new authors. They have six agents, and Chloe Seager is looking for middle grade and funny books across all ages. She is also a horror fan! Read the specific submissions requirements carefully before submitting by email only to the dedicated children’s email address. You will hear back within 12 weeks if they are interested.
Marjacq Scripts This is a large book, film and TV rights company. They have six agents and numerous authors as well as directors, screenwriters and software developers. Catherine Pellegrino accepts middle grade and YA submissions. Submit via email to which you should attach the synopsis and first fifty pages. No picture books.
MBA MBA are a large agency who represent writers in all media. They have five agents and a number of authors including children’s writers. Agent Sophie Gorell Barnes handles children’s writers and is particularly looking for middle grade fiction. Email submissions should be marked for the attention of the appropirate agent; send a covering email and attach the synopsis and first three chapters. They will reply in eight weeks if interested.
Miles Stott Children’s Literary Agency is a small but dynamic dedicated children’s agency. They have three agents and represents both authors and illustrators. They focus on all children’s writing from board book up to young adult and including non fiction, and are happy to hear from both debut and mid-career authors. Submission is by email only and response time is 4-6 weeks if they are interested. If submitting picture books, send up to three.
Pickled Ink This wonderfully monikered agency began as an illustration agency but now represents authors and author-illustrators as well. They have three agents, two for illustrators and one, Helen Boyle, for authors. Pickled Ink are looking for chapter books, middle grade and young adult books in particular and are not currently looking for picture books unless you are an author-illustrator. Email only and expect a response if they are interested in taking your submission further.
RCW (previous known as Rogers, Coleridge & White) are one of the world’s leading literary agents with a vast stable of big name clients including the brilliant Katherine Rundell. Three of their 13 agents handle children’s writing: Claire Wilson, Sam Copeland and Georgia Garrett. You should submit directly to them with a covering email, synopsis and the first 3 chapters or 50 pages (no US submissions). They aim to respond in 6-8 weeks.
Skylark Literary Agency A boutique children’s literary agency run by two industry experts. Looking for anything from chapter book to young adult. Send the full manuscript with one page synopsis and covering email. Lots of useful information on the site, including guidance as to what to put in your covering letter. They confirm receipt and respond in a month.
The Ben Illis Agency (BIA) No, it’s not the secret service of the literary world (or is it…?) – it’s the young, dynamic literary agency of Ben Illis, previously of AM Heath. Submit using the form on the submissions page to which you can attach your synopsis and sample pages, and you should hear back within 2 months. No picture books You can read an interview with Ben on the Golden Egg Academy website.
The Bent Agency (TBA) The Bent Agency is a large agency with a boutique ethos, and two offices on either side of the Atlantic. They deal with both adult and chldren’s literature and non fiction plus memoir, lifestyle, history – you name it. A number of their agents represent children’s writers so look through the bios to see who would suit your work and submit to them directly. Read the submissions guidelines on how to structure your query, which involves pasting a sample of the work into your email. Response time for requesting further material is one month.
The Blair Partnership This large, modern agency packs a punch with a large range of authors including JK Rowling as their clients. They also have 2 production companies and adapt some of their own work. Josephine Hayes is the children’s literary agent. Submit the first 30 pages and a synopsis in Word or PDF and take account of the email content requirements on the submissions page. Reponse time is 6-10 weeks.
The Soho Agency Lucas Alexander Whitley or LAW has merged with Factual Management to form dynamic new agency The Soho Agency representing large list of bestselling authors internationally. Philippa Milnes-Smith is the children’s agent and managing director. You should submit a covering letter, short synopsis and the first three chapters or first thirty pages if shorter to the email address specified. Read the tips before you submit – and you should hear back quickly or not at all.
Tyild’s Agency This recently founded small agency specialises in children’s authors and illustrators who are, or have come from, the teaching profession, from where many amazing authors have sprung! Send them your fiction or non-fiction for ages 2-12, preferably as a PDF. They respond promptly within a month.
United Agents United Agents are a large literary and talent agency with interests in many fields and big name children’s authors including Anthony Horowitz, Ali Sparkes, Rick Riordan and Ian Whybrow. Their two dedicated children’s agents are Jodie Hodges and Emily Talbot, to whom you should submit by email. Picture book authors can send three picture books. Expect a response in 12-15 weeks.
Watson, Little Watson, Little handle a wide range of writers among their 6 agents and their children’s agent is Megan Carroll. See her page on the website to find out what she is looking for. They ask for a covering email, synopsis of 1 page maximum and sample chapters. Submit by email only. You should expect to hear back in 6 weeks.
210 thoughts on “UK literary agents for children’s books”
as always, the information you supply is invaluable to authors seeking publication. Well done, you!
Just trying to spread the love, Eileen!
I’m in love with your site. You simply have some great info that I was desperately needing. Thanks.
Great! It’s just information I needed to compile for myself as someone at the submitting stage but it’s nice to know it’s helping other writers. Come on everyone, we can do it!
Reblogged this on The Quill Wielder and commented:
Found this blog while looking for children’s publishers. She has a great list of publishers and agents worth checking out.
This is an amazingly useful site! Thank you so much.
Hi Lou I was just wondering how many picture books to send to each agent? My picture books are very short only a few hundred words in length and it would be great if i could send two or three to be looked at, but is this asking too much? should I just pick one? And would you suggest that it would be best to choose one which does not rhyme?
Thanks for the brill website!
Hi Ellen. I assume you mean publisher rather than agent? I would send one out at a time unless the publisher specifies otherwise in their guidelines. But there is nothing to stop you sending different ones to other publishers so you can still have a few ‘out there’ at a time. Rhyming stories can be harder to place as they are more difficult to translate so the publisher loses any possible overseas sales. But it’s worth a go, and Maverick definitely accept rhyming stories.
A really useful list – thank you!
what an absolute goldmine of useful info you have here!
Do you have any pointers for a covering letter at all please?
This article is quite useful – https://www.writers-online.co.uk/Features/How_to_write_a_covering_letter_to_a_publisher,_editor_or_agent/ – although I would add that it’s always good to mention your online presence too – blogs, twitter, facebook etc.
That’s great stuff, thank you so much:)
we are at the stage of being able to send our books out to the publishers and wondered when the best time of year was to catch them please?,
According to agent Lorella Belli, it’s advisable to avoid submitting manuscripts in the New Year (overload of submissions due to people’s New Year’s resolutions!) and around the time of the book fairs – London, Bologna and Frankfurt. The London Book Fair is 15-17 April 2013, Bologna is 25-28 March and Frankfurt is 9-13 October. Hope that helps and good luck!
Just outstanding. The information you supply is a godsend, and you do it all out of kindness! I’m a bit in love with you 😉 x
Ha ha! But I do have an ulterior motive, as you will find out when I post my forthcoming blog entry, ‘Building an Author Platform’…!
Author platform is the way to go I’m in the process now and Its getting the attention. 🙂
Wow Lou – this is very informative and interesting. Thank you – I feel that the mountain might still, one day, be within reach! I have written a children’s book and am still looking for an illustrator – do you think I could submit the story only to a publisher or agent ? – Or would you advise having it illustrated first? – (it’s a big ask of an illustrator – to draft a 45 page for gratis!)
Hi Nick. Normally you would submit without illustrations, and the publisher will match you with an illustrator later on. So go for it and good luck!
Hi Lou – An extremely useful article – thank you! I have self-published two sequential childrens stories told in rhyme and have my own illustrator. Would you recommend sending agents/publishers copies of the actual book or partial manuscripts if that is what they specify?
That’s a tricky one, Rod. If the book is already self published you would normally need to show that you are selling in large numbers in order to attract the attention of a publisher. And if that is the case they will find you! It might be worth writing or emailing to the publisher concerned and asking them if they would be prepared to look at a self published book.
Thanks Lou. It’s weird – I’m told by teachers & mums alike that there’s a shortage of good children’s rhyming books, they all say mine are great and that I should submit them to publishers – which I did (to about a dozen of the world’s largest publishing houses) who all say dismissively it “doesn’t fit our current profile” or words to that effect. I understood the job a publisher is to sell in large numbers so it would seem they would want their job half completed by me before they would be interested ! Anyway, frustrated but undeterred, (and like myriad authors before me) I shall try a zillion smaller publishers – but certainly not any who want money up front!
Thanks hugely for this page, and others on your site. I’m trying to get myself off the ground book-wise and this is a real help in addition to the yearbook lists. Puts my blog of nonsense and random splutterings to shame!
Thanks for this information Lou. It has been extremely helpful.
It is really generous of you sharing this list. Thanks so much. Really good luck with your writing.
This is so incredibly useful! Thank you very much.
Brilliant list, thank you!
THis is brilliant – many thanks for putting all this info together.
Oohhh Lou, you’ve given us hope!! What a fab site. I’ve had another spurt of sending my ms off but only because of all this helpful advice!! So thank you, you’ve helped us to wade through some of the treacle. ( :
Thanks a lot Lou. As a first time author, I was trying to find my way and your help is extremely useful. Shall let you know if I find an agent. Most agents ask for a synopsis and the first 3 chapters. My whole book is only three chapters so can I send the full MS without a synopsis?
Hi Nimal. That depends on the chapter length! If the book is very short you can send it all in, but you always need to send a synopsis with it anyway; it’s useful as a precis and can be passed round to other departments, eg marketing.
You are so helpful Lou – incredibly generous with all this information. Nia is right – you have made it a lot easier to wade through the treacle! I have made a few submissions to some agents – so I’m holding thumbs!
Thank you for this post. I live outside of the UK and am new to the ‘agent’ world. Do agents consider/accept submissions from around the world?
Hi Kerry! As far as I know they do, if you are planning on selling to publishers in the UK. But it might be a good idea to email your chosen agency and ask them before you submit.
Thank you, your list really took the work out of looking.
Thank you for your advice.
Hi Lou, thank you very much for this list! I’m looking for a foreign agent for my book that was published in my country, and this information is really useful. Thanks again!
Hi Lou. Do you know of any good competitions for writers of childrens stories? I am working on a rhyming picture book at the moment. Many thanks. Caroline
I don’t at present, Caroline, but a site that is very useful for checking out current competitions is Prizemagic at http://www.prizemagic.co.uk/html/writing_comps.htm. You have to browse through the list but it’s worth it for the deadpan comments the author likes to throw in! Good luck with your picture book.
Many thanks for the very helpful links. I’ve written a children’s adventure book – for readers 8 and above or maybe slightly older, and at the moment it’s around 97 A4 pages / 48k words which I think is roughly 190 pages of a Harry Potter book. Should I categorize this a children’s novel?
Many thanks, NIck
(P.S. – I noticed your blog – you may like my comic book made with plastic figures – http://www.thomasswiftproductions.co.uk)
Hi Nick, the length should be fine for most publishers although double check the individual publishers’ requirements before sending just in case they specify length. Just been checking out The Green Man – amazing! I am in complete awe!
Many thanks for your quick response 🙂 The Green Man is currently available to read as a series of videos on YouTube (with music and sound effects), but I’m hoping to have an electronic ‘flip book’ version available on my web site soon, which will show it in its original comic book format.
I really appreciate for your work. Please update this regulaly.
Hi Lou, I have just finished writing my first Children’s book. It’s currently on a word document 150 words in length, suitable for age 2-4. When printing it out to send to agents shall i just leave on the one page in short paragraphs to indicate the page breaks or do i print the small amount of text on each page? Thanks, Coo
Hi Coo. Short paragraphs should be fine, as long as it’s obvious that it’s a page break. Best of luck!
thank you ever-so-much for this list, really really useful for a first timer like myself.
I have written and illustrated a rhyming children’s book. I’ve had a small amount printed to a high quality (christmas gifts!). Who would you advise would be the most receptive or useful agent or publishers to send my expensive/precious copies to, rather than just email or printouts?
Hi Ben, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you! It’s a difficult question to answer. To be honest an agent or publisher should be just as receptive to a paper manuscript as they are to the finished product so if I were you I would save my printed copies for gifts. But if you would like to send them out, you need to research your market and find a publisher who prints similar subjects and lengths. Have a look through the list here, browse their websites and catalogues and choose the ones you think most fit your style. Good luck and I hope the other recipients enjoy their books too!
Thanks very much for your help!
I came across your website and was amazed with the information you have generously offered.
I would like to put together a picture book for small children. However as I cannot draw I am very uneasy about submitting just words? As a first timer could you advice what I should do? Should I get an illustrator to help sell my manuscript? Thanks
Hi Alia. Don’t worry, words are all you need! The publisher will find an illustrator for you. In fact, submitting with an illustrator can hinder your submission as, if they don’t like the pictures, they will reject the whole thing. So go for it and make sure your words are brilliant on their own!
Great links. Thanks for collating it. I just checked Eddison Pearson and they are not accepting until Mar 2013 and Sarah Manson is not open yet.
Thanks for the update!
Thank you so much for taking your time and experience to do this for others, it is very much appreciated!
It’s wonderful that you should take the time to collate all of this very valuable information for us new writers hoping to be published. When we have a story to tell we concentrate solely on getting the story written, and have very little knowledge in the hard work that follows – submitting to Agents/Publishers etc. Your help and guidance in this area is of immense help and I just wanted to say thank you.
It was great discovering you.
Thank you very much for providing us a big list of book agents and relevant helping hints. You have taken a big load off my head. I have some finished.Children’s stories to send to the agents. I hope I will find good ones from your list.
thank you again.
Did I mention how awesome you are Lou? 🙂 I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog!
I wondered how many agents on average one should typically consider querying, or is there no such thing as too many? I have sent a recent manuscript to 8 different agents – no bites yet but it hasn’t been long since I’ve queried them. I just don’t want to give up on this one. 🙂
Hello goose! Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you are open about it to the agents – some may require you to state whether you are sending to them alone; others recommend you send to others as they cannot guarantee when they will have time to respond. I like to send separately but with a gap of about three months; if I haven’t heard after that, I carry on down my list. I hope you hear back with some positive news soon.
Brilliant list, thank you very much!
Hi Lou, I have written a short rhyming picture book that has characters already drawn up by a budding artist and it all needs putting together. What agency would you recommend that specialises in children picture books and wouldn’t mind using the illustrations that I already have?
Hi Steven. Not all the agents listed accept picture books but those who definitely do are The Greenhouse, David Higham, Caroline Sheldon and United Agents. Usual advice is to send without illustrations, but if you definitely want to get published together with that illustrator and don’t mind being turned down if they don’t like the illustrations then it’s worth a try!
Hi Lou, thanks for your quick response and advice. I may try a few with illustration and if it does not work out, try without. Great page by the way. Really informative and useful for people trying to break into the world of children’s (and other) books. If I need any more advice you will be the first person I come to. Thanks again
Lou thank you for doing this, I know lots of people have said it but i just wanted to add my thanks. This is my first time looking at your blog and must say I will be back for sure to print the list of agents. Ive done some writing and would love to get something published, many of my friends have read my stuff and some work colleagues and tell me I must pursue publication and now thanks to you and this site Im going to try.
That’s great, Simon! Good luck and I hope you find success.
Hi Lou, and fellow fans of Lou’s amazing blog!
I’ve just been doing a bit of agent research this morning and have a couple of disoveries to throw into the ring:
Julia Churchill has now left The Greenhouse Literary Agency and starts at another agency, A M Heath, on 15th April 2013.
Eddison Pearson are not accepting submissions until after 1st October 2013
Thanks Annie; I’m just updating the list so that was very timely!
Thank you do much for all of the really useful information that you have so kindly put together. After much soul searching I have just submitted my first manuscript to Curtis Brown, so am waiting to hear their response.
Your blogs etc have given me the courage to give it a go! So fingers crossed as I plunge headlong into the big wide world of agents & publishing!!
With kind regards
Enjoy your plunge – hope you meet with a soft surface!
Reblogged this on elizabethfrattaroli and commented:
As usual Lou is a mine of useful information and I would recommend her blog for anyone interested in pursuing publication of children’s books.
This is an absolutely fabulous resource. Thank you so much.
Dear Lou, Thank you for all the guidance on this page. I just have a couple of short children’s stories, not books & wonder what I can do with them please? Thank you very much, Kirstie
Hi Kirstie, sorry for the delay in replying. Children’s stories can be hard to place but if you click on the category for short stories in the right hand bar of this blog it will bring up some opportunities. Your other option is to rework them as picture books.
Hi Lou, loving the work. Just wondering if you would ever consider submitting 3 chapters of an unfinished manuscript, to determine whether it would be worth continuing? Or, what I am really asking, is if you received some interest following a submission and the rest of the book was unfinished, would that be the end of the interest? Thanks and keep up the good work!
It’s a very risky strategy, John! It could be the end of the interest – it really depends on who you are sending it to. This is where an agent would come in handy as once you have one they are more likely to look at work in progress. Another strategy could be to enter some competitions which require an extract and synopsis (such as the Winchester Writers’ Conference competitions). It’s a good way to test out the marketplace without committing to writing a full book.
It would be a shame to ruin your chances by not having the rest of the manuscript ready if required, so I would say for the first book at least, get it finished before submitting.
Thanks for your reply Lou.
Thanks for all the info you provide, gives me somewhere to start.
Hi Lou, I’ve just come across and am very impressed by your blog. I write entertaining ‘world’ poetry for kids of all ages. About fifty have been illustrated by a very clever Sri Lankan illustrator friend. (Been based over there for the past 10 years). Since returning to London for my 7yo daughter’s ‘formal’ education, I have done a number of very well received readings at various schools & recently submitted a professional pitch to one of the publishers on your list but have not as yet had a response. Could you point me in the direction of specific agents or publishers who are more likely to be interested in something completely different to picture books and novels? All suggestions gratefully received. Many thanks and best wishes, Michael
That’s a tricky question for me, Michael. I think you would need to approach poetry publishers, so you would need to look at what children’s anthologies are coming out and who is publishing them. Have you thought of writing rhyming picture books? That would give you an additional outlet for your work. Poetry competitions are also a good way to get your work out there. Writing Magazine always has some good tips on markets for poetry too.
Thanks Lou, it’s just that I’ve got such a lot of really good material that needs to find a home before I consider a new tack.
Fraser Ross now appear to accept emailed submissions.
Great – thanks. I’ve updated the details and also mended the link!
Hi Lou, Pollinger not accepting at the moment. Bit of a backlog apparently!
Thanks – have made a note!
Thank you, have just emailed two agents, will post an update
Hi Lou, thanks for the great article. For submitting picture books to agents or publishers is it better to create a full working draft with professional illustrations, the same but with draft sketches7concepts, or just the text?
Hi James. Generally just the text, unless you are the illustrator in which case include a few sample illustrations.
Hi Lou, Thank you for answering my prayers, just what I need to help a confused new writer.
This list has been a much needed starting point for me. So far I have had 5 rejections. The first one hurt like hell, but the past 2 rejections have been served with a large dose of positivity. Overall, the whole advice, guidance and site in general have been really helpful, so many many thanks. Fingers crossed for all of us budding writers 🙂
Thank you for your help, Lou, it was selfless
Wow! This site is a Godsend. Thanks for putting it together. I’ve just written, and partly-illustrated what I think is quite an original 400-word picture book, and I have a few questions to ask:
1. It’s set on Halloween night, and I’d like to know, do Halloween books sell as well as other books?
2. If I submitted it to an Agent or Publisher’s in the next couple of weeks, and they showed an interest in it, would it be too late in the year to be released in time for this Halloween?
3. I’ve drawn the main character myself, because I’m quite a good cartoonist, and I’ve completed the front cover and a couple of other pictures. Could I get an Illustrator to finish the book, using my character? If so, would I get credited for creating it?
Hi David, sorry for the delay in replying. I’m sure a Halloween book would be popular, but do bear in mind that it normally takes at least a year from acceptance to publication so don’t worry too much about the timing as it wouldn’t be this year! I’m really not sure about your third question. Is there anything to stop you doing all the illustrations yourself? An illustrator may want to take the book in his or her own direction rather than continue your work. In any case this would probably be an issue you would discuss with the publisher if they decide to take your submission further.
Your site has helped cut out so much confusion thank you. I wonder if you can suggest any pre-school age publishers.
Kind regards Vicky
Hi Vicky. For pre-school you would be looking for picture book publishers so you’ll need to pick those out of the list. I have tried to indicate on each entry whether they publish picture books or not so hopefully that should help. Good luck!
Thank you for collating this really useful information. I have 3 picture book texts ready for submission, so it is particularly helpful to see that I can submit them all at once!
Again, many thanks,
Yes, I didn’t know that either Jo! Good luck with your submission.
Thanks for that Lou. The one problem I do have with the illustrations is that I’m a really slow worker. For me, every detail has to be perfect, meaning I usually spend most of my time rubbing out and re-drawing things over and over. By the way, do Illustrators get paid as much as writers?
If they don’t, they should do!
Excellent and extremely helpful post – thank you so much and wishing you much well-deserved success!
I’ve used your website a lot and have just had an offer from a publisher A& C Black for my first manuscript, should I get an agent before I accept their offer?
Any advice welcome
How exciting, Margaret! Congratulations! The decision about an agent is entirely up to you, but bear in mind that it can take time to secure an agent and the publishers will be waiting to hear back from you. What a lot of people tend to do in your position is join the Society of Authors. You are eligible to join if you are published or have a contract. There is an annual fee, but you can then ask them to check over your contract for you. A&C Black are a reputable publisher so I’m sure there should be no problem but you do have that resource if you need it. Good luck and let us know when the book comes out!
Just came across this post Lou. It is heaven sent. Terrifically helpful. Thank you!
I am children book writer from Bangladesh.( http://www.kabirdhali.com). I have a manuscript for children readers, Translated by Sajal Roy chaudhury ( I write Bengali language). Its a short story manuscript. I want publish this Manuscript. How possible?
Hi Kabir. I presume you wish to be published in the UK? You’ll need to send your manuscript plus a synopsis and covering letter or email to suitable UK publishers. I have a list here with links to their websites. The submission guidelines on the sites will tell you how to send your work and in what format. If you want to get a UK agent, have a look at the list on this current page and see if anyone is handling similar work to yours. Again their websites will give more information on how to submit. Sorry to be brief but hope that helps!
Thanks Loutreleaven, I will that very soon, as your information…
Like everyone else. I’m so grateful for this list: it’s really made me feel the whole thing’s possible! thank you Lou 🙂
Great – best of luck with your writing journey!
Nice website, you have done a good job of putting this together, It’s very helpful. I have a question about sending an attachment with pictures inserted using Word, which l am unfamiliar with. If l send an email with Word doc…when it is opened by the agent will the pictures be there? I use QuarkXpress and l would need to send jpegs with a document in that program. Alan
Hi Alan. Yes, once the pictures are in Word they are treated as part of the document so you don’t need to send separate jpegs.
Hi Lou thanks for clearing that up for me. I have been thinking for sometime about the many aspiring writers who spend months, even years slaving over a manuscript and l know the majority will be disappointed by the rejections they receive. So ‘cut to the chase’ what does the writer do with the piles of double space manuscripts he/she has…possibly store them under the bed never to see the light of day after all the hours spent in a failed attempt to bring their stories to readers. What options are there now? This is where printers suggest self publishing you will have something to give to family and friends. Of course the downside is the expense, the printer will want to run 5,000 copies saying it will bring the unit cost down…our budding writer may finish up with 1,000’s of books under his/her bed and a large hole in their bank balance. I have found a way of dealing with this and producing a small number of copies maybe a hundred or so of a standard novel at very low cost. Simply do it yourself…l have produced books for myself quite easily at very little cost.
This is getting long for a blog sorry Lou, l would like to pass on how to go about doing it yourself…maybe you can give me some feed back. Maybe l could do you an article which readers could open on your site… it could be under your name if you wish. It would certainly save them some serious expenditure. Alan
Hi Alan, that sounds interesting although may not be suitable for this blog which focuses more on submitting to publishers. Why don’t you blog about it yourself? You are welcome to post a link here. Don’t forget you can also self publish an e-book for no cost at all!
This is brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing xxxx
Hi Lou, yes you are right you can use e -kindle but is it quite the same giving granny an e-book version for Christmas? There surely is still something special about feeling…even smelling a new book. Alan
You are right, Alan!
I just want to say a huge thank you. I found an agent through your website. I sent my manuscript to the Anne Clark Literary Agency and she has taken me on.
Very best wishes,
Wow, Tamsin, I am so excited for you! Congratulations. Please come back and let us know how you get on, won’t you?
Of course I will. It’s all very exciting.
Thanks once again,
Thank you, Lou for this extensive list. It is generous of you to share and the list has eased my own research process.
Thank you Lou.
I have spent a few years developing an idea for a picture book and I feel at last I am at the point where I can start to consider sending it off to agents. The story is 1320 words long, spread over 24 pages. Is this too long? Also, I have illustrated the story myself, but at present without colour as I would like some advice. Do you think I should hold off sending these to an agent with the story? My only concern is that the story may make less sense without them.
Hi Meg. I would direct anybody with picture book questions to the Darcy Pattison site where there are loads of guides on every aspect of picture book writing, including length, page numbers, illustrations etc. The length sounds fine although some publishers prefer nearer to the 1000 word mark. Illustrations is a tricky one – it all depends on how good they are! If you’re confident and don’t mind the fact that the book could be turned down on either text or illustrations then I’d go for it. Also it means you can submit to Walker books, who only accept unsolicited manuscripts if illustrated by the author. However if you think an in-house illustrator could possibly do a better job then just send the text.
Hi Lou, I had the standard rejection notices from my first two books. However my third book although a rejection, came with a long letter which suggested l might use a literary consultant and to mention l was recommended by them. Have you yourself used literary consultants… do you have any thoughts…and what kind of fee might be involved? Alan
Hi Alan. I have received similar recommendations myself, but haven’t acted on them. Having a critique done by a literary consultancy is expensive, but some people do swear by them because you are getting a detailed professional opinion. In addition some act as scouts for literary agents. Personally I wouldn’t use them because of the price. But if you can afford it and do wish to proceed, check out the consultancy thoroughly first. Some of the well known and respected agencies are: Cornerstones, The Literary Consultancy and Hilary Johnson. There’s a fuller list on the Urban Writers’ Retreat blog here. Writing Magazine also offer critiques and you can have the first nine thousand words critiqued for forty-nine pounds. I have tried this last service and although it’s not in-depth and is obviously just a partial critique, it was useful and affordable.
Thanks Lou, l rather guessed using a literary consultant would be expensive, l won’t being going down that route. The consultants you listed were the same as l was given so you have done your homework of this one. I am beginning to understand how difficult it is to get an agent and there could be factors other than your writing skills (or lack of) which might just act against you from the viewpoint of an agent. Being retired (past your sell by date) could be one and living some distance from the UK (3,250 miles) could well be another!
An amazingly helpfule site! Thank you.
I have gone through your website and read most of the question answers with the emerging writers. I am quite impressed with your generosity of helping the people by furnishing answers to their various queries. In one of the answers, I remember, you had assured one of the persons to read/do critique/evaluate about the potentiality of his/her manuscript.
I too have a manuscript of a picture-book and would like to ask/request you if you could kindly read it and advise me whether or not it is OK to approach a publisher. By the way I have already published 14 books for children in Kathmandu,Nepal in our own language. I want to get published abroad in English language. Would you mind checking my manuscript? It contains only 3 pages. Thank you very much.
Hello, you are very welcome to send your manuscript to me although I’m not an expert by any means, just a budding author like you! But I’d be happy to give you a second opinion if it would help. Lou
The Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency is also looking for new children’s authors. We represent children’s and Young Adult books, and love new talent! http://www.mmla.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for the link – I will add you to the list too. Best wishes, Lou
your blog is great! full of helpful information. I am in the process of writing and illustrating a children’s picture book. I took a course for putting it together in which we were advised to prepare the book in a 24 page format and submit to the publisher the following
1-a dummy version with simple illustrations (more like sketches) that gives an idea of the story line
2- 3 double page from the book (any pages from inside the book) with finished illustrations and words. This is to give an idea of my style as an illustrator to the publisher..
And if the publisher is interested in my book, they would get back to me with suggestions to modify the story or the illustrations.
In the instructions for submitting that you posted you mostly say “submit the first three chapter”. I am not quite sure how this rule applies to short picture books like mine. I am wondering if I was misinformed by the course instructors?
If you don’t mind could you please comment on this, how to prepare a children’s picture book for submission to a publisher?
Thanks very much for all the help and I apologized if this issue was addressed in one of the previous comments.
Hi Gulsen. Yes, the advice given on your course was correct, although it also would probably help to submit a Word document with the full text as not all publishers ask for dummy versions. And always submit the full text if it’s a picture book. Good luck with your submissions – let us know how you get on!
Can you tell me if I need to complete all my illustrations before I send the cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters. My illustrations are detailed pencil drawings and take time. I have already drawn six, yet feel I need another ten at least. The text is ready though.
They usually ask for sample illustrations, so I think as long as you have a few good samples you don’t need to have all the others ready. However, if you get a quick response and they want to see the whole manuscript you may have to work fast!
Thank you so much for this. I am attempting my first children’s book whilst on maternity leave.
I have been submitting my entire book as it is short, and I intend to write a series of short books. At the moment I feel like I am getting nowhere but I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Hi Lo. Thank you so much for your ever so useful page. I have found it so helpful. I have in the past been writing picture books texts and have sent these out to a number of agents without success. I have now turned to writing for older children 7+ and I recently received a positive and very encouraging comment from an agent in which she highly recommended me to pursue other options. What I need to know is whether I can send my book to agents I have approached in the past. It is a different book, for a different age group so I guess it’s okay. I just wondered if I stood a chance of being accepted if I have been turned down in the past.
Thanks again for helping fledgling writers.
Oh yes Sally, you can certainly approach agents again with a different book. Good luck and well done for the encouraging comments – they are to be treasured!
Just a few rather basic queries, if I may….
When the category of “middle grade” books is so described does this apply to the UK literary world? I know it called this in the States, but wasn’t 100% sure if its also a UK term.
What’s the generally accepted desirable word count one should aim for with a such book?
FWW I’m on the final draft before submitting of what I’d call an upper middle grade realistic story (think Tracey Beaker but for boys, or Karen Saunders or Cathy Cassidy)…
Thanks for any feedback… I look forward to really checking out this site as I’ve only just stumbled upon it.
Hi Rohan, sorry for the late reply! The term ‘middle grade’ is beginning to catch on here, but generally you’ll hear that age group referred to as 8-12 year olds. Word count can be anything from 20-75K, depending on the publisher. Good luck with your book, it sounds interesting!
As others have said, an incredibly useful article. Great to hear of your experiences, and gives us all heart to keep on trying!
I appreciate all your help and advice, thank you.
This is a fantastic article, so useful. I have a question. What is the safest way to protect your own work when sending it out to various agencies? With sending out electronic copies of your work is there a danger it could get into the wrong hands?
Thanks for your help.
Hi Malc. If you are ultra-paranoid you can post a copy to yourself and keep it unopened as proof of having written it. But to be honest this is a concern that a lot of authors have but that rarely happens. Another thing you could do is keep an early draft on storage (eg on a memory stick) – it will be saved with the date you last changed it and could be used as proof if you ever needed to claim ownership.
A thought for Malc…it’s not always a bad thing when someone takes a liking to your work. A very well known author was thought to have been involved in plagiarism. Two authors were to bring a case, however a handsome sum thought to be millions of dollars was paid to them out of court by an American movie company, so the story goes. It is doubtful that their published work would have earned them that sum of money.
Hi, I really need help finishing my first book, I am unemployed at the moment and am not feeling too good in myself. I have had this children’s story on the go now since I got divorced in 2001 and still haven’t finished it, there are 15,500 words at the moment and as I previously mentioned I desperately need help to finish it as I have another two children’s story ideas, that I really want help with getting finished, as well. I am very worried about getting my stories copied or stolen. If there is any honest help out there, and not too expensive, I would be very grateful for any help. It is a really good story with lots of fun and surprises for children and is about 70% to 80% finished,so still needs work.
Have you thought about joining a writers’ group, Pat? If there’s one in your local area they are a fantastic resource, and can be free or you just pay a small sum each week to attend. It’s a great way to get motivated, swap tips and be inspired.
I have a manuscript, I have search children book publisher. How get?
Hi Humayun. See my post on how to submit a children’s book here.
I have a question Lou regarding the position of a title page. I am working on a self cover children’s illustrated book just a dozen pages (a series) and l need the first 3 pages to make it work and so the title page falls on page 5. Any thoughts on that?
Hi Alan, sorry to take a while to reply! I’m not really sure what you mean – do you mean there is some introduction first, or some prologue?
Hi Lou, I was checking out the united agents site and noticed that I am required to send three books in order to attract the interest of an agent; is this necessary? Also, I have a halloween themed book completed and think that maybe an american publisher might be more into this…would appreciate your thoughts.
That’s interesting. I had a look at the United Agents site and they do indeed ask for three picture books to be sent in. I can only assume that they need to see you’re not a one-book author as perhaps a single picture book is not worth their while. You are right in thinking that anything Halloween is more likely to appeal to an American audience; however it really is catching on here as well so you may be lucky with the UK market.
Hi, can you please advise on what to put in a covering letter? Do I kind of include the blurb I would like to see on the back of the book or just a much shorter one/two line synopsis?
Hi Amma. A short blurb is fine, maybe two or three sentences. Introduce the book by giving its title, intended age group and any other relevant information like genre, style etc. Be businesslike and brief, unless the publisher specifically asks for personal details, but do include anything relevant about you that might help (such as experience in the field you are writing about, literary prizes or a vast horde of social media followers).
A publisher has suggested to me that I try to find an agent for my book. The only thing holding me back is that I have ME/CFS and I have read that many agents want people who want to make writing a career and that a lot is required of the author through self promotion when they get published. I have no problems with writing the books and could promote myself through social media etc but would have problems traveling around. Should I let this hold me back? Also do you think I should tell agents about my condition or will it put them off? I love writing and it really keeps me afloat so I still want to pursue my dream! I would welcome any thoughts you have regarding this. Thanks. Sally
I have a manuscript for children. Now i search a literary agents…
I had a thought regarding your situation. Often writer’s use a pseudonym…using a fictitious name. Well clearly that doesn’t break any laws…so taking that a step farther….why not get someone to take on the roll of the pseudonym. I know it may not be that easy….maybe it’s an idea for a novel! Good luck.
Hi Sally. Yes, you should pursue your dream and don’t let anything put you off! Even though you can’t physically promote you can certainly do it online and will probably reach more people that way anyway. If an agent gets a good book they certainly aren’t going to turn it down on those grounds so I wouldn’t worry about disclosing medical details (unless it’s relevant to the book). Best of luck and let us know how you get on. Keep following your dream!
Thanks Lou, I was sort of coming around to that way of thinking so thank you for your encouraging words. I am feeling quite frustrated lately. I have received some encouraging and positive comments about my work but then more rejections are received and I feel somewhat deflated ! If only more publishers accepted unsolicited work! Still , I can’t give up and I will keep on trying. Sally- P.S Thanks for your replies and help. Much appreciated.
Fantastic information. 6 submissions off this afternoon, thanks a lot. x
Wow, go for it!
Thanks for all the information. I’m a writer of young adult books, but based in The Netherlands. I hope that won’t be a problem when approaching agents. Heidi.
I think that would be fine, Heidi, as long as you’re writing in English!
Hi Lou, I just wanted to say a huge thank you. About June 2013 I found your website and saw that the Anne Clarke Literary Agency was looking for submissions. I nervously sent off my manuscript and in September 2013, the wonderful Anne Clark signed me. And something really exciting has happened – Oxford University Press Children’s are publishing my book Silent Thief and its sequel. The first comes out in July 2015. It’s been an amazing journey – one that I’m still on, and one that you played a part in. Thanks once again, Tamsin
Wow, Tamsin! That’s brilliant news! I’m delighted for you (and only a tinsy bit jealous!). Would love to interview you for the blog some time as stories like yours are very inspiration to everyone who is still trying. Perhaps I can email you about it next year? Enjoy the countdown to your publication, and keep in touch to let us all know how it goes.
Hi Lou, Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and help. I would love for you to interview me. Just email me when you want to. Very best wishes, Tamsin
I just came across your website- it has very clear and useful information- thank you thank you! I shall study it with interest and submit my story to the right place now. Thank you so much your site is a lighthouse in a very stormy sea 😉
Hi Lou…l know we creative people do it for love! However…l am in the dark regarding rewards…sorry to bring up the vulgar subject of money, however how does it all work? We, if we are lucky find a publisher….and we are ‘over the Moon!’ But what should we be doing next…do you have any guiding thoughts?
Vulgar indeed! But writers have to live too. The next stage after acceptance would be a contract which should hopefully reveal the vast riches the publisher is keen to bestow on you (ahem). Some publishers pay an advance, others royalties only. An advance just means that you are getting some of your royalties up front instead of as they come in. This is where an agent comes in handy as they will handle the contract details for you, but if you don’t have an agent you can always get a publishing contract checked by the Society of Authors (you do have to join them first for a small sum). You should make sure you are totally happy with the terms of the contract before you sign, particularly with regard to copyright. The golden rule is, of course, never to pay money to a publisher – the money should flow from them to you, not the other way round. In terms of amounts, most authors earn small sums which they supplement with other activities such as teaching, book signing etc or a ‘day job’.
Thanks Lou for another enlightening explanation. Just one other point…do publishers differ a great deal in how they value your work?
I haven’t seen it in your list above, and not sure if someone has already pipped me to the post, but Hpt Key Books are open for submission: https://www.hotkeybooks.com/about, looking for literature for 9-19 year olds, electronical submissions only. My email was sent last night 🙂 xoxo
Thank you Lorna – Hot Key books is in my publishers list. Good luck with your submission
Hi Lou, Just come across your website and can only thank you for bestowing your worldly wisdom. You’ve already answered so many of the questions that I would have asked. Would you mind giving me a little advice also. I, (like so many others) am attempting to write a children’s picture book series – in rhyme, however I was thinking that I should also try and write it without the rhyme. Would it be a good idea to submit the first book, in rhyme and non rhyme, to perhaps give the series a chance with a prospective agent. I also worry about my grammar – could this put an agent off. Any advice would be appreciated. Happy New Year by the way…
Thank you for the nice words, Jess. I think you need to look at your story and decide how you want to tell it. If you are going to write in rhyme this should be an integral part of the book. Imagine your favourite poem with the rhymes taken out! If the book works just as well without the rhymes, ie it is the plot and character rather than the language that drive the story, then you don’t need it. So I would pick one approach and stick to it for that book. Why not write the next one differently instead? Re grammar, it’s always best to get a manuscript as grammatically correct as possible – try asking a friend you trust to look it over for you. The odd grammar mistake will be forgiven but continual errors can grate! There are plenty of websites that can help you improve your grammar, such as http://www.talkenglish.com/Grammar/Grammar.aspx. Good luck with your submission!
Hi Lou, thank you so much for your advice. My heart says I should go with the rhyme but I’ll have a good think about it first. With regards to the my grammar, I just should have listened more at school, never could quite grasp the old exclamation mark !!!!!. Thanks again, really appreciate your reply. Best of luck yourself! Jess xoxox
Hi Lou, thank you so much for your list of agents, this list has been published just when I need it! 🙂
Hi Lou. This is great but we’re missing from your list and we’re doing lots within the children’s book world http://www.belllomaxmoreton.co.uk . Feel free to add us in. Thanks Paul Moreton
Thanks Paul – now added! Lou
This is most useful list – especially for those of us living overseas. Thank you very much! Tip from my latest workshop on ‘pathways to traditional publication’ (none of my 6 books have been contracted from the slush pile or through agents, though I do now have an agent in Australia)… It can take editors a long time to find an established illustrator who is not fully booked for years ahead, and they prefer to match an unknown author with an illustrator with a strong track record for sales (and vice versa). Save them the search and provide a name that can hint ‘profitable book’ (via an agent if approaching agents – and it may also help in gaining representation). An author can give ‘famous illustrator XXX’ their ms, perhaps having met them at a conference, and ask if the person would be available and willing to illustrate the story if it’s accepted and the contract is favourable. The author/agent can then submit the ms and say in the cover letter that XXX is currently available and willing to illustrate it. This worked for my current picture book, and it’s been illustrated by my dream illustrator.
Interesting Post :-), I started my books because I love illustrating, having an art degree. So I’ve illustrated my own and then I submit as copy only, because that is the requirement for a particular publisher…I quickly and unexpectedly secure a contract, so I then ask (and I haven’t signed yet ) can I illustrate… they say OK but, if we don’t approve we’ll do it in house… do I take the risk of loosing out on the illustration… what If I don’t like the style they opt for… i.e. I hate cheep looking clip art style cartoons! I do understand your message about the relationship between Author and Illustrator, as a lot of Authors do not have a have the ability to produce their own.
Hi Steve – see my answer to your other query below re the contract. I think you need to take the plunge and either submit with your own illustrations or without – it’s difficult to bring it up at the contract stage. The author-illustrator complete package is rare but highly valued, so if you can do it then go for it, but do it at the start of the submission. Good luck! I love your fox pictures.
Again thank you so much for taking the time to share your valuable thoughts.
Thanks for that tip, Peter. Sounds like you’re good at networking!
Hi Lou, a great read. I am a new children’s picture book writer. I have a contract that is contribution based in front of me to sign. The publisher suggests a lot in the way of promotion and I have been through all the clauses and I have a production and marketing programme, it all seems fair. Should I be thinking about an agent to see if I can use them to negotiate on my behalf to lessen the contribution or do I simply sign it, give money to the Publisher and trust them to deliver on the content (the advance to them can be made in installments) … of course they make no promises (do you think I might be being hoodwinked into an otherwise self – publishing scenario?). In the grand scheme of things the contribution is small if they carry out the print run,TV, Radio, online and newspaper campaign,which lasts for month. They will setup book signings on my behalf. I feel out of my depth as I am so green.
Hi Steve. I’m afraid I really don’t like author contribution-based contracts. They used to be known as vanity publishing, and I think if you are going to pay towards publishing then you can do it much cheaper through a local printer or through print-on-demand companies. An agent will not touch these contracts. If you believe in your book, send it to a publisher who has enough confidence in it to pay you money rather than you paying them money. I like your blog. Keep submitting!
That’s what I thought… thank you for your expertise 🙂
Hi Lou – thought you might like to know there’s something wrong with the link to Andrew Mann. It takes you to some kind of rather scary threat of legal action in the USA!
Oh dear! Will amend asap! Thanks Martyn.
This post is so helpful. I’ve now submitted my children’s book to five agencies. Within a week Curtis Brown UK replied to tell me my book stood out but that they didn’t feel strongly enough about it to take it further. Encouraging though a little disappointing! Guess I’ll keep going through the list.
That is promising – not often do you get a personalised rejection so take it as a compliment. Good luck!
I’m from Canada, so i was wondering if you think a Publishing Agent from the UK would take on someone from Canada? Or do you think it’s highly unlikely.
Incredibly helpful list of children’s book agents, thanks so much! Best wishes, Sophie-C Cooper
Really helpful, thank you for taking the time and trouble to compile such a useful list.
Thank you so much for this! Really glad I came across your blog! I have a couple of MS ready but am wary of sending them out so close to LBF and Bologna.
Do you think I should wait?
Interesting question. Although general advice is to avoid those times with agents, most publishers have such large submissions piles that your manuscripts would take a few months to work their way to the top anyway, so I would just go for it!
Thank you Lou!
Just found this wonderful resource and am firing off some new subs as a result. Thanks for your hard work compiling this.
Reblogged this on freelancer555 and commented:
Keep an eye on this list
Fabulously helpful. I will be using this source again no doubt! Thank you.
Hi Lou. What a wonderfully helpful and encouraging site this is. I’ve completed my first book which is 50k words long. I’ve sent it to a line editor and she did a great job of finding some pot holes in the plot and helpful comments. I like what I’ve done but there are a lot of animal characters in it which means the story moves from one chapter/place quite often. In your opinion can you have too many characters in a book if they are individualised? And my story doesn’t really get going, action that is until approx. 5k 6 A4s. The title gives a good clue what it’s about. I think I’ve kept it interesting but I’m not 12 anymore. I would be really grateful for your advice. Kind regards Adrian
Hi Adrian. 50K is a long length for a children’s book. Is it for young adults? If not and your reader is 12 as I’m guessing from your comment, I would aim to cut down. (You could even start by getting rid off the first 5K where it doesn’t get going!) As you edit down you will find your story becomes a lot pacier and you keep only the essential parts of the plot and the really interesting characters.
Hi Lou – I have just had my first children’s book published and I am looking for an agent to represent me in the further nine books I have written in the series, what advice can you give me in my submissions.
Your list of agents is very helpful to me thank you.
Hello Lou, such a useful site, thank you.
In short, I aspire to be an author/illustrator, picture books and illustrated poems under 500 words. A couple of q’s:
1. What is a picture book ‘manuscript’? I would assume with illustrations but some do not want those.
2. Can you send the same book to many agents/publishers at a time? Should you disclose this?
3. Many submissions ask for the first 3 chapters. Are these the wrong agents to send them to (assuming they don’t want picture books), or is there a 3 page replacement for this?
Thank you so much!
Great stuff! you have been a great help to many including myself. Shalom!
Glad to be of help!
Hi Lou, what a hugely helpful blog, thank you! I have submitted to a handful of agents a week or so ago and understand that the turn around for responses is usually 8-12 weeks (or as advised on their website). In your experience is it likely that you would get a favourable response sooner or do most agents take the full time just to get to your email? I am a budding picture book author. Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts!
This is a fantastic post. Thank you so much for putting it together. The only thing I would mention is that you have gone to the trouble of paraphrasing the agencies’ submission guidelines, but those guidelines are subject to change, and you obviously can’t be expected to keep updating this post. So, I think budding writers would be just as happy if you simply said something along the lines of “Please read the agency’s submission guidelines”.
Many thanks for all your hard work!
That is a very good point, Kam! And I do need to update the list so I will definitely bear that in mind!
This is a wonderful resource, Lou. Makes the process of tracking down agents so much easier, so thank you.
One note: Conville and Walsh no longer accept postal submissions. They say that “You should send your submission (in Word.doc format) via email directly to the agent you would like to consider your work following the guidelines below. Contact details are listed under our agent profiles.”
Thanks for that – will update! Lou