Not every writer has an agent but then not every publisher requires that you do, and although making unsolicited submissions can be a daunting task, there are many children’s publishers who are quite willing to search through that horribly named ‘slush pile’ we all have heard so much about. Finding out who these publishers are is another matter, but having spent a ‘cheerful’ afternoon searching the web, and being the digital hoarder that I am, I have compiled yet another list. This one is for the children’s fiction writers out there.
What does the list cover?
At present the list covers Australian children’s publishers only, however, I have added a link (at the bottom) to a UK writer who has done exactly the same thing, only with British publishers. After much thought, I also decided to include all the publishers whose websites I checked – while making it absolutely clear which ones are currently open for unsolicited submissions.
Please let me know if I have missed anything or made mistakes, and I will adjust the list accordingly.
So here it is – with links to websites and some basic submission information. Please refer to individual websites for detailed formatting guidelines and other requirements such as cover letter/synopsis. I realise that the list won’t remain ‘current’ for long, however, I hope it is useful and I will try to keep it updated.
Updated: March 2018
25 children’s publishers accepting unsolicited submissions
Affirm Press – CLOSED. Affirm press do accept unsolicited submissions from authors and agents and will consider every genre. They only accept email submissions.
Allen and Unwin – OPEN through the “Friday Pitch” where writers can send in unsolicited submissions. They publish over 80 new children’s and Young Adult books each year. They don’t take unsolicited picture books, poetry or short stories.
- Submissions: They require a 300 word synopsis and the first chapter.
Berbay Books – CLOSED. ‘Great children’s stories and illustrations have immense power over us: their images and stories stay with us and help shape the way we see the world. Berbay Publishing produces such books.‘ Their website advises that they aren’t currently accepting manuscripts.
Big Sky Publishing – OPEN. They support Australian writers and illustrators and are mainly interested in non-fiction and children’s books. ‘We are accepting children book submissions in the following categories: early readers, junior fiction, non-fiction books, personal development and chapter books.’ They are not currently looking for picture books.
- Submissions: The full manuscript, cover letter and a synopsis should be emailed.
Black Dog Books (A division of Walker Books) – Black Dog Books is an imprint of Walker. I can’t find submissions details.
Blake Publishing/Education – CLOSED. Looks like they supply schools and teachers with books/resources. They publish Primary Literacy books but are currently NOT accepting children’s books.
Bonnier Publishing Australia – I have no real idea how this publishing house operates so if anyone can enlighten me I’ll update this resource. I did notice that they had published one of the books shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council Awards – for Early Childhood 2017.
Boolarong Press – They only appear to offer self-publishing services.
Brolly Books – CLOSED They are currently NOT accepting unsolicited submissions. They offer self-publishing services.
Celapene Press – CLOSED. They publish ‘Short and Twisted’, an anthology of twisted tales (short stories for adults and, occasionally, for children). It looks like the next deadline will be sometime in 2018. One for the diary, maybe. They haven’t updated their submission window so not sure when …
DoctorZed Publishing – UNSURE. Authors need to submit an ‘inquiry to submit’ before submitting. I can’t find many details about them.
EK Books – OPEN. They only publish children’s picture books, aimed at children aged 4 – 8 years.
- Submissions: must be accompanied by a 1-2 page written proposal explaining why your book should be published, who the readership is, and how it differs from other similar books.
Era Publications – they commission books for schools – K-9. ‘If you think that Era Publications may be suitable for your work and you wish to submit, please do the following:
- Email a standard CV and tell us about you as a writer and/or teacher
- Include your email address and a synopsis of your manuscript
- Do not send valued manuscripts – send copies only as we do not return works unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is supplied
- Submissions should be addressed to our Senior Editor‘
Five Mile Press – CLOSED.
Ford Street Publishing – OPEN. They are looking for ‘children’s through to young adult fiction‘ only
- Submissions: They require hard copy manuscripts to be mailed (not on disc). They advise that replies can take up to 3 months.
Freemantle Press – OPEN. They only publish authors of Western Australian origin or stories with strong WA content. They won’t consider fantasy, children’s text books or graphic novels. They are closed between 15th Dec and 1st March.
- Submissions: Hardcover only (emails, disc and USB submissions won’t be considered). Manuscripts to be accompanied by a cover letter.
Hachette Children’s – OPEN. Hachette Australia is one of Australia’s largest publishers and only accept unsolicited submissions from Australian or New Zealand residents. They are currently accepting limited types of Fiction and Non-fiction books. They don’t accept ‘science fiction/fantasy, illustrated children’s books, illustrated books, cookbooks, poetry, self-help, screenplays or academic submissions’.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, full manuscript, biography and cover letter to be emailed.
Hardie Grant Egmont – OPEN. They are currently looking for picture books for children aged 0 – 5 years.
- Submissions: They require manuscripts to be emailed as attachments, along with a synopsis and brief biography.
HarperCollins – CLOSED.
IAD Press – OPEN. They are publishers/distributors of Indigenous and Torres Strait islanders’ writing and art work. I couldn’t find submission details but it looks like they are OPEN to unsolicited submissions/proposals.
IP Kidz – It looks like you have to pay to be published.
Little Hare Books (see Hardie Grant Egmont)
Little Pink Dog Books – CLOSED. Check their website to see when they will reopen. Their website advises that they intend to re-open in ‘late 2018‘. They are looking for new and emerging Australian authors and illustrators to write books for younger readers, ages 4 – 8 years. They are particularly interested in stories about families, animals, mental health, and dogs.
- Submissions: they require that submissions be emailed but don’t appear to give any guidelines. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
Little Steps Publishing – They are partnership publishers so the author pays for production.
Magabala Books – OPEN. Magabala publish books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Collaborations are accepted as long as there is 50% authorship by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person/s – from inception.
- Submissions: They require manuscripts to be mailed along with a cover letter and author CV/profile.
MidnightSun Publishing – OPEN. MidnightSun are always accepting unsolicited submissions and say that they respond and read every single one – as long as you include an email address.
- Submissions: They require that the first 20 pages be mailed along with a cover letter.
Morris Publishing Australia – CLOSED. Their website says that they will open for unsolicited submissions later in 2017. This hasn’t changed so I’m not sure if they are active.
New Frontier – OPEN. They are accepting unsolicited manuscripts, however, they try to sell you their $60 submission pack, which includes their submissions guidelines.
New Holland Publishers – OPEN. They deal ‘primarily’ with non-fiction books.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, cover letter and the first three chapters (or entire manuscript) to be mailed.
One Day Hill – I can’t find any details on submissions. They publish work that addresses aspects of Australian culture that are under threat; in an attempt to preserve them.
Pan Macmillan – OPEN. They aren’t looking for picture books at present but will accept just about everything else.
- Submissions: They are open on the first Monday of every month between 10am and 4pm only. Submit the first 50 pages plus a synopsis via their online form.
Pantera Press – OPEN. They openly welcome unsolicited submissions, however, they are currently accepting submissions for YA fiction only. They don’t publish fiction for children below the age of 12.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, biography and full manuscript to be sent via email.
Parsons Publishing – They publish religious books. I can’t see if they are open or not.
Penguin Random House Children’s Books – OPEN. They are accepting unsolicited submissions from Feb to Nov; through Kids Pitch. Expect to wait 4 months for a response. If they don’t respond assume they are not interested.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, short biography and full manuscript submitted via email to kidspitch.
Peppinot Press – Their website is currently being rebuilt. I’m not sure if they are active.
Random House – See Penguin.
Rhiza Press/Rhiza Edge – OPEN. Rhiza Press are interested in publishing fiction and non-fiction for age 14 and above. They are currently accepting unsolicited submissions for Young Adult Fiction (45,000 – 80,000).
- Submissions: They require at least four chapters, three of which must be from the start of the manuscript, a synopsis and a CV. Submissions are via their online form and replies take 2 – 6 months.
Scribble – OPEN. They are an imprint of Scribe Publications. They publish 6 titles a year.
- Submissions: Email only. They are currently looking for picture book submissions but will only be open during the month of June. They will assess all manuscripts by the end of September. Check their website for submission guidelines.
Simon & Schuster Australia – Their website advises authors to submit using an agent.
St Paul’s Publications – OPEN. They publish works from various Christian denominations, including books for children.
- Submissions: Hardcopy only. Post a sample chapter, detailed proposal (see their website) and a covering letter. Include a SAE if you want material returned.
Starfish Bay Publishing – OPEN. They are looking for children’s picture books for children ages 3-8 years. They are interested in supporting emerging and unpublished authors.
- Submissions: Email a biography, one sentence summary of the book and a 300 word synopsis. For picture books, submit the full manuscript.
Text Publishing – OPEN. They are currently assessing manuscripts for the annual 2018 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing so expect delays. They publish books for ages 8 and above, in particular upper primary and young adult fiction.
- Submissions: Send them the first 3 chapters and a one-page synopsis by hardcopy. It says they take approximately three months to assess manuscripts.
The Five Mile Press – CLOSED to authors but accepting submissions from illustrators.
University of Queensland Press (UQP) – This is a small press. They don’t usually accept children’s book manuscripts, however, I noticed that they published the ‘Book of the Year winner – for Older Readers’ in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards CBCA.
Walker Books – OPEN. They are accepting unsolicited submissions of middle grade and young adult fiction on the first Wednesday of every month (Australian and New Zealand authors). The next submission date is on Wednesday 6th Dec.
- Submissions: Email the first 50 pages of your manuscript and a 1-page cover letter which includes a synopsis. They will contact you within three weeks if they want to see the rest of your manuscript.
Wilkins Farago – CLOSED. They are a small, privately-owned publishing house based in Melbourne. They publish a wide range of quality children’s fiction, including picture books and YA.
Windy Hollow Books – OPEN. This is an independent publisher based in Melbourne. They publish high quality, literary books for children.
- Submissions: They accept hard copy submissions only. Include a SAE if you want your manuscript returned. They don’t have any other guidelines. Expect to wait 2 – 6 months for a reply.
Wombat Books – OPEN. They are looking for middle fiction, early readers and picture books. There is a very informative video on their website that explains the types of manuscripts they are looking for.
- Submissions: They require a detailed cover letter (see their website) and full manuscript submitted via their online from.
Working Title Press – ‘Working Title Press regrets that it is unable to accept unsolicited fiction or picture book manuscripts and art portfolios until further notice.’ At least it doesn’t say forever.
Thinking of Publishing in the UK?
UK publishers that accept unsolicited submissions – website by Lou Treleaven: updated June 2017.
Do you know of any other publishers?
Do you know of any websites that might be helpful?
Please let me know. I’d love to hear.
And good luck with your writing.