Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts

On my long and tedious research to find a children publisher who would accept submissions, I found an excellent article by a writer called Lou Treleaven who posted whose children's publishers accepted unsolicited mss. Unfortunately I am after realising that a lot of them are not accepting any mss or too full, so since I did that research I thought I might as well share my updates with you.
This would be for the UK Market.

Based on her very good blog, here is an update of her very thorough research.

A&C Black Publishers Ltd
Last time Lou enquired in July 2010, A&C Black were only taking submissions for their Chameleons, Black Cats and Flashbacks series.  They ask for the complete ms for the Chameleons and a synopsis and 2 chapters for the longer series.  They reply promptly with a personalised letter.  Chameleons are chapter books for newly confident readers, 1200 words divided into 6 chapters; Black Cats are short illustrated novels of 9-14K words for ages 7-10 and Flashbacks are historical novels supporting the key Stage 2 curriculum of 12-14K words.
** update** I must say I went on their website and couldn't see any submissions guidelines.

Andersen Press Ltd
Anderson Press publish picture books of approximately 500 words (1K max), juvenile fiction of 3-5K and older fiction of up to 75K.  They require a synopsis and 3 sample chapters, hard copy only, and aim to reply within 2 months.  They use a standard rejection slip and reply promptly.
** update** They still accept mss.

** update** Their publishing programme is currently full and we cannot accept manuscripts

Bridge House
Bridge House is a small press which specialises in themed anthologies of short stories for children.  They also publish a yearly charity anthology with a guest writer.  Check their website for the current themes, to which you should submit via email.  May be unsuitable for ‘darker’ material.
** update**  They are currently closed for submissions for themed collections at this time.
They can not look at novel submissions or short stories sent ad hoc I'm afraid.

David Fickling Books
David Fickling Books publish picture books, and fiction for 5-8 years, 9-12 years, teens and young adults.  They require the first three chapters by post only, and aim to reply within 3 months if they are interested.  If you don’t hear back by then, you have not been successful.

Egmont is a large publisher with a huge range of titles for all ages.  They accept submissions of synopsis plus first 3 chapters by email only to childrensreader@euk.egmont.com.  Although the site says they reply to all email submissions, I have never had a reply from them.

Floris Books
This Scottish publisher accepts postal submissions for its Picture Kelpies, and Kelpies range of books for 6-9 and 8-12 year olds.  Books should be between 30 and 60K words.  Note: only approach if you are a Scottish writer or your book has a Scottish setting and/or theme.

Frances Lincoln
Thank you to one of my readers for suggesting this publishing company to add to my list; they publish picture books, young fiction (6-9 years) and novels (9-14 years) and are looking for exceptional writing that really stands out.   You can email submissions as long as they are below 2MB in size.

Little Tiger Press
Little Tiger Press publish picture and novelty books up to 750 words.  They also publish early readers for children up to age 7.  Submissions should be sent by post only, and they offer some useful tips on their submissions page.

Meadowside Children’s Books
Meadowside accept picture books of less than 1K words, junior fiction of 6-10K words and older fiction of any length.  They ask for the first three chapters with a word count and one page synopsis.  They prefer email and do not reply to unsuccessful submissions, although they did actually reply to mine, so perhaps it depends on when you catch them!

Mogzilla are an emerging independent publishing company with educational links, specialising in pre-teen and teenage fiction from 45-75K long.  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.  They do not return paper manuscripts.  You should also avoid sending them a historical cat series (see website)!

Nosy Crow
Nosy Crow are a new publisher keen to embrace the latest technologies who accept ms for readers up to age 14.  They ask for a short synopsis and the first chapter plus a covering letter about you and your work.  They accept by email or post and aim to reply within 6 weeks.  To Lou Treleaven's latest submission (July 2010), they replied the same day!

O’Brien Press
This Irish publisher accepts picture books of less than 1K words, and fiction for 6+, 8+, 10+ and 13+.  They ask for a synopsis and 2 or 3 sample chapters by post only.  Although they state they do not return unsuccessful submissions, they did return mine recently.  Also note that if you send an SAE don’t use English stamps!

Oxford University Press
This huge publisher accepts hard copy submissions of a synopsis and first 3 chapters for readers up to age 16.  They aim to reply within 2 months but are usually quicker.

Phoenix Yard Books
This new publisher accepts submissions for readers up to age 12, although they are particularly seeking stories for 7-9 year olds, and comic book style or graphic novels.  (They also take ideas for apps.)  Send a synopsis and the first 3 chapters by post or email.
  ** update** They still accept submissions.

Piccadilly Press
Piccadilly Press specialise in contemporary fiction for 6+, 8-12 and 11-15 year olds.  They also publish picture books of between 500 and 1K words (32 pages).  They accept both post and email submissions consisting of a brief covering letter, synopsis and 2 chapters.  They reply promptly, within 6 weeks.

Ransom Publishing Ltd
Ransom publish books for reluctant readers, specialising in low reading age/high content age books.  They will consider unsolicited manuscripts and ask you to email in the first instance rather than submit straight away.
** update** I must say I went on their website and couldn't see any submissions guidelines.
They have a Cutting Edge series. I read most blurb of their series books and I was surprised to read how indeed most stories take an honest and hard-hitting approach to subject matter such as self-harm, family breakdown, suicide and sexuality. Very bold of them and fairplay to them!
At 25,000 to 35,000 words, the books are shorter than your average novel, but they don't look like it. The clear, carefully chosen font is slightly larger than normal and paragraphs are broken with a space.

Ragged Bears Publishing
Ragged Bears only publishes picture books, so do not send them anything else.  Their website says they do not accept email submissions, but their entry in the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2011 says they prefer email submissions, so I can’t confirm which is correct!  However you send it, they take three to four months to reply.
 ** update** They still accept submissions.

Rebel Books
This new independent publisher is looking for novels for children and young adults.  They also publish anthologies.  Check the site before submitting as they occasionally close submissions to catch up.  Manuscripts should be sent by email only.

** update**  Unfortunately due to an unexpected illness within their team and the high volume of manuscripts already received they are closing their doors to submissions of unsolicited manuscripts until further notice. Please check back for updates. If you have already submitted we will get back to you as soon as we can with feedback.   

Robinswood publish fiction from 3-12 years plus educational material.  They have very specific guidelines on how they prefer you to submit, which you can read by using the link above.  You need to send the information they request on a single email with no attachments and they will reply within 4-6 weeks if they would like to see more.
 ** update** I have checked their website and they seem to publish exclusively educative material with realistic and sometimes hard case situations ( such as story of a missing kid, stories with anger, alcohol, physical fights and other challenges that life throws at teenagers) and nearly all of the books they publish for their Primary and Teenagers Wallchart were from one author only. His name is Paul Kropp and he has written more than 60 novels. A productive writer. He writes for reluctant readers.

Scholastic Children’s Books
Scholastic publish a wide range of fiction for 5-9, 8-12 and older readers as well as picture books.  They ask for postal submissions only and say to expect to wait up to 6 months, though I have always found they reply very promptly.  However they did address me as Mr Archambrault on a recent rejection letter!

This energetic young publisher is looking for books for the 7-9, 9-12 and YA age groups.  Submit by post or email.  They would like you to specify in your covering letter who you think will buy your book, why, and how.  Unusually, they request the blurb and first three chapters rather than the synopsis.
 ** update**  As of February 14th 2011 we are not accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Submissions will reopen as soon as possible, please check back for further updates.

Stripes are owned by the same company as Little Tiger Press and they publish books for readers aged 6-12.  They accept postal submissions only which should consist of a detailed synopsis and the first 3 chapters.  Although they aim to reply within 3 months, Lou Treleaven never received a reply from them.

Tango Books Ltd
Tango publish novelty books and accept manuscripts by post or email.  Their website is currently being updated so if the link doesn’t work go to the main site at www.tangobooks.co.uk.
** update** I must say I went on their website and couldn't see any submissions guidelines.
Templar Publishing
Best known for the wonderful ‘ology’ books, Templar have branched out with a small list of intelligently written children’s fiction.  They encourage email submission.
** update** I made an enquiry and received an automated response. This was the reply:
"Thank you for your email regarding unsolicited manuscripts.
We will review your submission as soon as possible, but as our Submissions Editor is currently on maternity leave, this may take longer than usual, however, should you require an urgent reply, please contact us. Thank you for your patience. Best regards.  Templar Submissions team."

Top That! Publishing plc
Top That! specialise in children’s picture and activity book and internet-linked fiction.  Their submission guidelines are brief and advise you to study their catalogue (on the website) before submitting as they are very specialised.
 ** update** Which I did and all I could find in their 5 to 7 sections, were drawing books, fact-packed book and activities books. As for the pre-school sections, they are picture books about the story of one vegetable or one fruit going on an adventure. And the drawings are like clay-like similar to Wallace and Gromit stop motion clay animationanimation. So their style are indeed very specific!

Sparkling Books
Check their website for submission guidelines as they currently do not accept poetry, short stories or children's fiction.

Owing to the large volume of manuscripts received, they are currently unable to accept any unsolicited fiction or picture book submissions.
And they are re-directing you to The Literary Consultancy for professional editorial advice. www.literaryconsultancy.co.uk.

Wyvern Publications
Their teen and YA categories are closed at the moment due to a backlog of submissions, but  this independent small publisher is still accepting manuscripts for 6-8s (2-8K words) and 9-12s (10-25K words) in their Pixiefoot Press imprint.  Stories for the anthologies should be between 2-5K.  They prefer email submissions if possible.
** update** I checked their website and they do not accept submissions. They are full for the next three years!

This article was updated thanks to the article previously written by Lou Trelaeven.
Here is her website:

I hope this helps.


  1. Wow! That is a lot of research! I kinda wish I was in the UK so that I could use it ;) Awesome job!

  2. This is great to see. I think it's important for writer's to explore their options and not get bogged down with the query letter blues. Small publishers are a great way to go, especially for a first book. Good job for compiling a list.

  3. Ah cheers for this. Just started sending out my book and its a confusing and disheartening business but this list helps a lot.

  4. Hi and thanks for the link to my blog! I'm glad you are finding my list useful. I do try to keep it up to date, so let me know if you find anything that I need to change. PS Thanks to seeing your blog I think I am now going to become addicted to Shelfari!

  5. Wow, Loutreleaven has certainly done a lot of research hasn't she?

    Congratulations Lou and well done for the amount of research you've has put in to the original post. It's such a great blog Lou, other people want to copy you word for word practically.

    I for one will certainly be returning to Lou's for updates.


  6. thank you so much for this list. I also found one called Tanglewood Press.

  7. Great list, thank you for sharing! I have submitted to Kindred Rainbow Publishing - they also accept unsolicited manuscripts if anyone would like to give it a go :)

  8. thank you for this lists. Bravo!