Being an Author · Ramblings

37 Children's Book Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Authors who want to have a book traditionally published must submit their manuscripts to literary agents or publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts are manuscripts that have not been requested.

Submitting manuscripts often leads to rejection. But not submitting any manuscripts guarantees no book deal with a traditional publisher.

 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Many literary agents prefer receiving manuscripts that have not already been sent to multiple publishers. On the other hand, having a publisher interested in a manuscript may help gain the attention of a literary agent. So, what is an author to do? Each author must make his or her own decision.

If you are a children’s book author looking for resources concerning the publishing market, you may be interested in looking through The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2020, The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children (provided by SCBWI to its members as a free download), The Writer’s Market 2020, or The Christian Writers Market Guide 2020.

Keep reading if you are a children’s book author specifically looking for traditional publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. I have listed 37 traditional publishers who are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts (at the time of this writing) along with the links to their submissions pages.

Even though these publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts, quite a few of them have separate links or instructions for agents to submit manuscripts. I’m guessing these publishers will take agented manuscripts more seriously than unagented manuscripts since the manuscripts have already been vetted by someone in the writing industry before being submitted to them. With that being said, please do not claim you have an agent for your manuscript if you don’t.

Please visit their websites (not just their submissions pages) before submitting to them to make sure they are still accepting unsolicited manuscripts, to see what style of books they publish and if your manuscript would be a good match, and to read their manuscript submission guidelines.

All of these publishing companies are kind enough to allow authors to submit unsolicited submissions. As a result, they may receive literally thousands of manuscripts each year. Please don’t waste their time (or your own time) by submitting manuscripts that do not fit their book lists. Make sure to properly format your manuscript, cover letter, and whatever else you are required to submit. Follow their submission guidelines exactly as stated.

Some of these publishers may respond within a specified time frame. Others will only respond if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please don’t continually pester them if you don’t hear back from them. Be patient and professional.

These are all publishing companies I have found on my own, but I have not had personal experience with them. Please do your own research to make sure they are reputable companies before submitting to them. You can do this by checking out books they have published and reading reviews of their companies online.

Traditional publishers will not charge authors any money to publish their books.

37 Children's Book Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

1. Albert Whitman & Company

Currently seeking fiction and nonfiction picture book manuscripts, middle grade fiction submissions, and young adult fiction submissions. Accepts manuscripts by email.

2. Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publishes “poetry, inspiration, humor, and children’s books”. Accepts submissions by mail or email.

3. Arbordale Publishing

Currently seeking books on “physical science, engineering, earth science, science or math manuscripts with a cultural/social studies connection, and manuscripts for Pre-K3 to kindergarten-age children”.

Won’t accept manuscripts in rhyme. Does not want books about pets, new babies, magic, fantasy, biographies, counting, ABCs, poetry, fairy tales, or holidays. Also does not want any book series.

Accepts submissions by email only.

4. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.

“Currently interested in children books, foreign language learning books, business and financial advice books, parenting advice books, art instruction books, sports, fashion, crafts, and study guides.” Accepts queries by email.

5. Cardinal Rule Press

Publishes children’s realistic fiction picture books with less than 1,000 words only. Accepts unsolicited submissions only at certain times of the year by email. (The submission window just closed on February 1st.)

6. Charlesbridge

Publishes fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Accepts manuscript submissions by mail.

7. Chronicle Books

Currently seeking fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Accepts submissions by mail.

8. Creston Books

Publishes picture book biographies, informational picture books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult books.

9. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers

Publishes a total of 12 to 18 books each year. These include “picture books, middle reader and young adult fiction and nonfiction” Accepts submissions by mail.

10. Enslow Publishing

Has multiple children’s book series for elementary, middle school, and high school ages. Accepts queries by email.

11. Flashlight Press

Publishes fictional children’s picture books under 1,000 words in length with a universal theme dealing with family or social situations targeted to ages 4-8. Accepts submissions by email.

12. Flyaway Books

Seeking “manuscripts that reflect themes of diversity, inclusivity, compassion, care for each other, care for the world, social justice, and contemporary issues…appropriate for a general trade market and found in bookstores, libraries, and schools.”

13. Flying Eye Books

Publishes picture book manuscripts up to 1,000 words long and children’s nonfiction books. Accepts submissions by email.

14. Fox Chapel Publishing

Publishes (along with its imprints) “illustrated, nonfiction, instructional books for children and adults”. Accepts submissions by email.

15. Free Spirit Publishing

Does not accept biographies, autobiographies, or religious content. Publishes early childhood board books and picture books on social skills and positive behavior. Accepts submissions through Submittable or by mail.

16. Holiday House Books for Young Readers

Publishes children’s books for ages 4 and up. Accepts submissions by mail.

17. Immedium

Currently seeking children’s picture books. Accepts submissions by mail.

18. The Innovation Press

Interested in nonfiction and fiction submissions for picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and graphic novels for PreK-5th grade audience. Accepts submissions by email.

19. Jolly Fish Press

Accepts submissions for middle grade and young adult fiction. Welcomes “applications from authors interested in producing fiction manuscripts on a work-for-hire basis.” This is an imprint of North Star Editions. Accepts submissions by email.

20. Kane Miller

Currently not seeking holiday stories. Accepts submissions by email.

21. NorthSouth Books

Accepts picture book manuscripts under 1,000 words. Don’t like rhyming text. Seeking “fresh, original, fiction with universal themes that could appeal to children ages 3-8”. Accepts submissions by email.

22. North Star Editions

Accepts resumes from experienced authors for work-for-hire on fiction and nonfiction projects intended for a middle grade and high school-aged audience.

23. Page Street Publishing

Publishes picture books (ages 4-8), biographies (ages 8-12), young adult fiction (ages 12+), “nonfiction books in such categories as cooking, sports, science, nature, interior design, crafts, and parenting”, and occasionally board books (ages 0-3). Accepts submissions by email.

24. Peachtree

Publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books, Early Reader fiction, nonfiction chapter books, fiction and nonfiction for middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Accepts manuscripts by mail.

25. Pelican Publishing Company

Publishes young adult fiction and nonfiction with a minimum of 25,000 words, juvenile fiction and nonfiction for ages 8-12 with a maximum of 25,000 words, and juvenile fiction and nonfiction picture books for ages 5-8 with a maximum of 1,100 words (plus author’s note). Genres include holidays, history, biography, African American, regional, and STEM depending on the age range. Accepts manuscripts by email.

26. Peter Pauper Press

Publishes journals, personal organizers, and children’s activity and picture books among other works. Accepts manuscripts by mail.

27. Phaidon

Publishes board books, novelty books, and picture books for children ages 0-8. Accepts submissions by email.

28. Pow! Kids Books

Prefers author/illustrators. Seeking children’s books that “represent diverse characters, cultures, identities, and points of view” and “deal with contemporary topics”. Prefers submissions by email, but does allow submissions by mail.

29. Press Box Books

Seeking “new projects that offer a fresh perspective or untold story in the sports realm.” This is an imprint of North Star Editions. Accepts submissions by email. 

30. Quarto Knows

Has multiple imprints. Quarto Kids is the imprint for children’s books. Accepts submissions by email.

31. Ripple Grove Press

Currently only accepting manuscripts from July 1 to September 30. Seeking unique picture book manuscripts for ages 2-8. Accepts submissions by email.

32. Sky Pony Press

Publishes “picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction and nonfiction.” Accepts submissions by email.

33. Sleeping Bear Press

Publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle grade novels. Accepts submissions by email.

34. Star Bright Books

Publishes board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books (fiction and nonfiction). Seeks to publish “books that are entertaining, meaningful and sensitive to the needs of all children.” Accepts submissions by mail.

35. Sterling Publishing

Publishes picture books, board books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction under the Sterling Children’s Books imprint. Accepts submissions by mail.

36. Versify

States that part of their mission “is to publish writers whose voices haven’t been heard before.” Accepting picture book and graphic novel submissions by email.

37. Workman Publishing

Publishes nonfiction books for children and adults. Not accepting picture book submissions. Accepting submissions by email.

Whether you decide to submit to literary agents or directly to publishers, you should keep track of all your submissions. If you have your own way of doing this that works for you, great! I’d love to hear about it. If you don’t have any chart of your own, you are welcome to download the chart I use to track all of my submissions.

The chart is pretty self-explanatory. I write the title of the submitted manuscript in the column that says “Manuscript title”, the name of the publisher or the literary agent (along with the name of the agency the literary agent works at) under the “Publisher/ Lit. Agent”, and the date I sent the submission under the “Date Sent” column. Under the “Method” column, I record whether I sent the submission by email, mail, Submittable, or some other online portal. I write the response (along with the date I receive the response) under the “Response” column. Any additional information such as how long it generally takes for them to respond if they do respond and what was submitted (if different than usual) gets written under the “Additional Info.” column.

I keep the chart in an easily accessible folder, so I can update it as needed. Color coding the book titles by putting a specific color dot (with a marker) next to the manuscript title (just to the left of the chart) makes it easier to find specific titles.

This is just what has worked for me up to this point. I’d love to hear what has worked best for you or if you know of any other children’s book publishers currently accepting unsolicted submissions in the comments section below.

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Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Now Available as Hardcover Edition

The hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles is now available with an updated cover my daughter helped me create.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Book Available

The softcover edition will remain the same. Here is the back of the updated version.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles

Free coloring pages, activity ideas, and a teacher’s guide to go along with Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles can be found on Fun Extras.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Free Coloring Pages Available!

I love that the book is now thick enough to have text on the spine of it.

pickles pickles i like pickles

The hardcover version is now available on Amazon and It is more expensive than the softcover edition, but it should also be more durable.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles!

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles

Secret Project Revealed

I’m still waiting for the Sermon Notes journal I created to be approved and published, which should be any day now as long as everything goes as planned. When I was giving a sneak peek to the Sermon Notes Journal, I mentioned I had a secret project I was working on. Well, here it is…

It’s a hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles with an updated cover. The softcover version will remain the same.

I was really excited to receive the hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles by mail today. Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of mistakes on the first page.

The comma is missing and the words are too close to the picture. I’m disappointed I had missed that, but I’m glad all of the other pages looked good.

I have corrected the mistakes and reuploaded the file. I’m hoping the updated version without the mistakes will be approved really soon because the original file with the mistakes is already available for sale on Amazon. Oops! I will let you know as soon as the updated version is available.

I’m really excited about having Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles as a hardcover book. Not only was the front cover updated, but the back cover was also updated.

And it is now thick enough to have a spine with writing.

Hardcover copies are more expensive than softcover copies, but they are generally more durable so kids can read them over and over again more times.

Free coloring pages, activity ideas, and a teacher’s guide to go along with Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles are still available under Fun Extras.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Free Coloring Pages Available!

Do you think I should create a hardcover version of Jobs of a Preschooler? I’d love your thoughts!


Sneak Peek of Sermon Notes Journal

I have really enjoyed creating and publishing journals for various reasons. I published reading journals for my daughters to record all of the books they read, adventure writing prompt journals for some writing fun with my daughters, and field trip journals to record all of our field trip adventures.

Below is a picture I took last month. One of my daughters was filling out her field trip journal for the field trip we took at an airport while my other daughter was filling out her reading journal for the latest Who Was book we had read together. (You can see the list of Who Was series books we have read together so far on my Pinterest board here if you are interested.)

Now, I am in the process of publishing a sermon notes journal. I received the proof yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, a proof is the physical copy of the journal (or book) I receive to review before publication. The proof says “Not for Resale” across the front cover, but the actual copies will not have that banner.

Below is a picture of the cover of the sermon notes journal proof. I chose to use a matte finish on the cover, which I think turned out well. All of my other books and journals have had a glossy finish, but I think the matte finish suits this journal better.

This easy-to-carry 5.5″ x 8.5″ softcover sermon notes journal allows the journal owner to record and reflect on sermon notes, prayer requests, upcoming church events, and more. The journal is about 1/2 inch thick and should be small enough to fit inside a Bible case.

I considered publishing the journal as a spiral-bound journal instead of a softcover journal because I thought that would make writing in them even easier during a sermon. Unfortunately, I had some issues with this idea including the fact the cost would be substantially higher.

There is a page for the journal owner to write his or her name. I also included a customizable table of contents. (Journal owners can write the name of the sermon title and/or date of the sermon on the line next to the appropriate sermon number in the table of contents for easy reference.)

I have space for 52 sermons which is enough to write one for each week of the year. I considered doing a few extras for additional sermons around the holidays but decided to stick with 52.

Each of the 52 weeks has the same repeating four pages.

The first page of each week provides space to write the date, speaker, scripture reading, sermon title, upcoming church events, and prayer requests/praise. (The text in the journal appears much clearer than it does in these pictures. Sorry about that.)

The second and third pages of each week provide space for the actual sermon notes and reference verses.

The fourth page of each week has space to write personal application/thoughts from the sermon and further study/read for next week.

The end of the sermon notes journal includes “a call to action”.

I also included a page for all of the image credits for the images I used throughout the sermon notes journal.

There are a few things I would like to update in the sermon notes journal before officially publishing it. My goal is to have it published and available on Amazon by the end of March 2020.

I’ve got some more ideas for other journals, which I hope to create and publish yet this year. I’m also still working on Aah! Blown Away, Crash! with my daughter, the first draft of an adult nonfiction book all about self-publishing basics, and a secret project.

I hope to share information about the secret project with you before the end of this month. Stay tuned! (You are welcome to join my email list to receive a monthly e-newsletter to stay current with all of the fun extras, journals, books, and writing projects.)

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May you have a wonderful week!

Themed Books · Writing Appearances

10 Children’s Books for St. Patrick’s Day

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. I greatly appreciate it when you make purchases through these affiliate links. Thank you!)

St. Patrick’s Day is already next week! If you are looking for a fun St. Patrick’s Day activity to do with your kiddos that is perfect for spring, make sure to check out my most recent post on Hands On As We Grow: Grow a Leprechaun Craft for St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day Planted Leprechauns

My daughters and I actually made these on Thanksgiving Day, so I could submit my post by January 1st. The little leprechauns are still hanging out in one of our windowsills. My daughters had a lot of fun charting the growth of their leprechaun’s hair. They even held a contest amongst themselves on whose leprechaun’s hair grew the longest and the craziest. It didn’t take long for the leprechauns to receive their first hair cuts!

As a side note, I noticed my post was edited to include the words “Erin Go Bragh”. I have to admit, I had no idea what that meant. After a quick online search, I found that it means “Ireland till the end of time” or “Ireland Forever”. Interesting!

Besides doing some fun St. Patrick’s Day crafts, make sure to curl up and read a few St. Patrick’s Day books. All of the books I have listed below are books I was able to find at my library.

Books about Leprechauns

Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling

Count the leprechauns from one to ten as you repeat “Fiddle-de-fizz, ’tis magic, it is!” throughout this simple rhyming book.

The Littlest Leprechaun by Brandi Dougherty

Liam is a leprechaun who wants to have an important job like the other leprechauns. He tries many different jobs but discovers he is still too small to do any of them until someone needs his help, and he is just the right size for the job. Soon, he is busy doing many different jobs that only he can do with his new special friend.

How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace

A sneaky little leprechaun is on the loose and wreaking havoc throughout this rhyming picture book. The reader never learns how to actually catch a leprechaun but sees various examples of traps that didn’t work. The mischevious leprechaun was too smart or too quick for each one of the traps! Will you be able to make a trap to catch a leprechaun?

How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess

This is another rhyming picture book. A group of kids devises a clever plan to trap a leprechaun, and they think it works. Unfortunately, the leprechaun escapes. But there’s no need to “shed a tear” since they can “try again next year”!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day by Roger Priddy

This rhyming board book tells all about leprechauns. The shamrocks are cut through the book and appear on every page going from biggest to smallest.

Books for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Let’s Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party by Rachel Lynette (8-12 years)

Learn about St. Patrick’s Day, St. Patrick, shamrocks, and how to throw your own St. Patrick’s Day party. Use this book as a reference of ideas as you consider food, decorations, invitations, and crafts to go along with a St. Patrick’s Day party.

Let’s Bake St. Patrick’s Day Treats! by Ruth Owen (6-9 years)

Use this book to learn how to make shamrock cookies, St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, green pistachio muffins, a giant leprechaun cookie, a rainbow layer cake, and rainbow treasure cupcakes.

More Books for St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrating Holidays: Saint Patrick’s Day by Rachel Grack (4-8 years)

Simple text explains St. Patrick’s Day. A recipe for Irish soda bread is also included.

What is St. Patrick’s Day? by Elaine Landau (5-8 years)

Learn about St. Patrick, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, symbols of St. Patrick’s Day, and more. The end has an explanation of how to grow your own “cup of green”. (I actually didn’t see this book until after we had already done our St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun grass project.)

Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting (4-8 years)

Rabbit decides to plant some shamrocks in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. He continues to take care of his shamrocks plants as they grow day after day. Unfortunately, he gets up the morning of St. Patrick’s Day to discover his yellow pot filled with his precious shamrocks has disappeared and no one seems to know where it could have gone until…he talks to Goat. Will Goat and Rabbit be able to compromise in time for the St. Patrick’s Day parade?

Check out these posts for more themed books:

14 Children’s Books About Flowers

14 Children’s Books About Seeds, Plants, and Gardening

21 Children’s Books About Apples