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 even those not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts. I have also included some hybrid publishers: Hybrid publishers combine aspects of traditional publishing and self-publishing.
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: June 2019
Children’s publishers accepting unsolicited submissions
Affirm Press – Affirm press accept unsolicited submissions from authors and agents and consider literary fiction plus all genres. They only accept email submissions. For picture book submissions check their website.
- Submissions: One submission per author only. Email a short synopsis to firstname.lastname@example.org; first three chapters; biography and ‘why you think you’d be a god fit with Affirm Press.‘
Allen and Unwin – voted publisher of the year 13 times, this is a major independent publisher. Allen and Unwin offer the Friday Pitch where writers can send in unsolicited submissions. They publish over 80 new children’s and Young Adult books each year, but they don’t take unsolicited picture books, poetry or short stories. Go to their website for links and details.
- Submissions: They require a 300 word synopsis and the first chapter.
ASJ Publishing – Launched in 2012, ASJ Publishing is a Hybrid Publisher: Hybrid publishers combine aspects of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Children Books will also be available as Board books from 2019. They do Print books, E-books, Audio books and Virtual Reality Books with Oculus Rift. See their website for details.
Berbay Books – ‘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.‘
- Open until 30 April 2020 – looking for chapter books and junior fiction from 6 – 12 years.
- Submissions: a cover letter and 50 pages to email@example.com
Big Sky Publishing – support Australian writers and illustrators and are mainly interested in non-fiction. ‘We also publish children’s books, and while we always receive a very high volume of submissions, we are always on the look out for books that fill a gap in the market and help children learn and grow.’ See their website to check formatting guidelines and current submission deadlines.
- Submissions: One page synopsis and full manuscript (children’s books).
- They ask for an ‘overview (2 – 4 pages) including: why someone would want to read your book; the target audience it is written for; review of any books, already published, that cover a similar topic and why your book is different; key selling points; an overview of contents; author’s writing experience and any relevant contacts.’
Black Dog Books (A division of Walker Books) – Black Dog Books is an award-winning imprint of Walker Books.
Black Inc. Books – Black Inc. is an independent publisher based in Melbourne, since 2000. They are looking for proposals from Australian authors of non-fiction and commercial fiction. They currently do not accept ‘fantasy, science-fiction, travelogues, crime/mystery, erotica, poetry or picture books.’ They also own the imprint Piccolo Nero – ‘books that keep children reading and help their young but amazingly potent imaginations develop.’ See Piccolo Nero for details.
- Submissions: email them with a synopsis, full manuscript and bio/relevant information. See their website for full details.
Blake Publishing/Education – look 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 – it looks like this publisher is entering or has entered redundancy – 25.1.19
Boolarong Press – only appear to offer self-publishing services. ‘Boolarong Press is a commercial trade publisher, established in 1976 to enable authors, particularly Queensland authors, to produce, market and sell their stories to readers.’ They currently have over 350 titles in print. Boolarong is a member of the Australian Publishers Association and the Small Press Network.
Brolly Books – are an independent Australian children’s publisher. They offer self-publishing services.
Celapene Press – publish ‘Short and Twisted’, an anthology of twisted tales (short stories for adults and, occasionally, for children). Check their website for details and submission deadlines. There isn’t an anthology for 2018.
Daisy Lane Publishing – this appears to be a vanity publisher – authors must pay to be published. They offer a variety of packages.
Debut Books – ‘Debut Books is an independent Melbourne-based publisher. We are passionate about Australian stories because we believe they possess a unique magic. At Debut Books, we are committed to creating more space in the Australian publishing market for first time authors. Our books celebrate diverse, marginalised, minority and intersectional identities.’ Check their website for details. They are looking for YA manuscripts at the moment.
- ‘From August 2020, submissions open from the 1st to the 7th of each month. As much as we love receiving snail mail, only email submissions during these dates will be accepted.’
Dirt Lane Press – ‘made up of writers, career publishers, academics, booksellers, artists, illustrators, journalists and corporate entrepreneurs.’ Currently only publish a small selection of books. I’m not sure if they intend to accept unsolicited submissions in the future but thought it appropriate to include here.
DoctorZed Publishing – was established in 2006. They offer traditional and self-publishing options and authors are asked to email manuscript details in an online ‘inquiry to submit’. They will then forward submission guidelines.
EK Books – They only publish children’s picture books and are looking for educational stories with a strong message. They are aimed at children aged 4 – 8 years. Their motto is ‘books with heart on issues that matter’
- Submissions: Email 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. See their website for full details.
Era Publications – they commission books for schools – K-9. They no longer publish picture books. ‘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 – check their website for submission details and deadlines.
Ford Street Publishing – They are looking for ‘children’s through to young adult fiction‘ only. Check their website for details. They only publish Australian authors and illustrators and are interested in themes of contemporary relevance – ‘literary works that explore the significant social issues of our time with intelligence and ingenuity.‘ Allow 3 months for a response.
- Submissions: They require hard copy manuscripts to be mailed (not on disc). They advise that replies can take up to 3 months.
Freemantle Press – 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. Check their website for details.
- Submissions: Must include, ‘brief synopsis (200 words), an author biography (200 words) anda brief description of intended readership (200 words).’ Manuscript must be submitted through their online portal as a word.doc or pdf file.
Glimmer Press – is a new publisher based in Adelaide. Keep an eye on their website for submission details. This looks to be an exciting new opportunity.
Hachette Children’s – Hachette Australia is one of Australia’s largest publishers and only accept unsolicited submissions from Australian or New Zealand residents. Check their website for current submission details.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, full manuscript, biography and cover letter to be emailed.
Hardie Grant Egmont – say that they are always ‘looking for fresh, exciting and well-written stories that kids and teenagers will love to read. We especially welcome ‘Own Voice’ stories and manuscripts from diverse authors.‘ Check their website for submission windows and details. Hardie Grant Egmont run an annual award – Ampersand Award – for debut Middle Grade and YA novelists. Little Hare Books is an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont.
- Submissions: They require manuscripts to be emailed as attachments, along with a synopsis and brief biography. Picture books should be no more than 500 words.
HarperCollins – do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Hinkler – ‘mainly publishes children’s activity, early learning and picture books, as well as adult lifestyle titles, covering subjects such as fitness, cooking and craft.‘ They mainly commission on a ‘work-for-hire basis with authors and illustrators.’
IAD Press – 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 – ‘IP is a global independent publisher of physical books, e-books and digital media under its imprints Interactive Press, Glass House Books, IP Kidz, IP Digital and the Digital Publishing Centre.’ IP Kidz collaborates with authors and offers royalty contracts. They are a hybrid publisher.
- Submissions: They are open for proposals from March – December. Check their website for guidelines.
Lake Press – is an independent publisher based in Victoria since 2009. They specialise in illustrated children’s books. Check their website for submission periods.
Larrikin House – started up in 2019. They are looking for ‘funny stories by funny people’. Check their website for submission periods and details.
Little Book Press – Little Book Press is the publishing arm of Raising Literacy Australia. They accept submissions from emerging and established writers who are Australian residents. Check out their website for current opportunities. Submissions closed until 2021.
Little Hare Books (see Hardie Grant Egmont)
Little Pink Dog Books – check their website to see current submission deadlines. At the time of updating this blog, their website advised that submissions are closed until ‘14th February 2020‘. 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 – are partnership publishers so the author pays for production. Go to their website to look at the packages they offer.
Magabala Books – 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 – are always accepting unsolicited submissions and say that they respond and read every single one – as long as you include an email address. ‘We want our readers to be entertained. We want to challenge, excite, enrage and overwhelm. Therefore, we publish books in any genre that have touched us in some way.‘ Submission guidelines changed in late 2018 – they now accept digital submissions.
- Submissions: They require that the first 20 pages be emailed along with a cover letter. Check their website.
Morris Publishing Australia – check their website for current submission details. They publish picture books to YA. There is also a link to self-publishing options.
New Frontier Publishing – is an independent publisher based in NSW. ‘Established in 2002 with the motto: to inspire, educate and uplift. We publish books both for the trade and the educational market.‘ They specialise in books for primary school children, however, they are venturing into YA fiction.
- Submissions: Made via their online portal. They first suggest you buy their $60 submission pack, which includes their submissions guidelines.
New Holland Publishers – 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 Australia – major Australian publisher since 1904. Check their website for submission details. Manuscript Monday: Held on the first Monday of every month between 10am and 4pm only.
- Submissions: The first 50 pages plus a synopsis via their online form. They don’t appear to accept picture books. Check their website for format.
Pantera Press – currently welcome unsolicited submissions, however, they don’t publish fiction for children below the age of 12. Check their website for full details and up-to-date deadlines.
- Submissions: They require a synopsis, biography and full manuscript to be sent via email.
Penguin Random House Children’s Books – dating from the 1800’s and with over 70 Nobel Prize laureates, Penguin Random House is ‘a cultural institution’. They accept unsolicited picture book submissions from 1st April to 30th Nov 2019; through Kids Pitch. All other children’s book submissions from 1st Feb – 30th Nov 2019. 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. Check their website for full details.
Peppinot Press – Their website is currently being rebuilt. I’m not sure if they are active.
Piccolo Nero – is an imprint of Black Inc Books. Black Inc. is an independent publisher based in Melbourne, since 2000.
- Submissions: email them with a synopsis, full manuscript and bio/relevant information. See their website for full details.
Random House – See Penguin.
Red Paper Kite Publishing – is an independent publisher based in Perth. ‘We are dedicated to creating quality picture books filled with artistic flair and quirky stories, all the while making sure our books inspire our readers … to read and write, and draw. They include colouring pages with each picture book.
- Submissions: email them with stories of no more than 500 pages. See their website for full details.
Rhiza Press/Rhiza Edge – imprint of Wombat Books. They are interested in publishing fiction and non-fiction for age 14 and above. They operate two imprints; Rhiza Edge, for edgy, relatable teen fiction for today’s youth. And Rhiza Connect, for faith-based and inspirational stories, predominantly adult fiction. See their website for current submission deadlines and details.
Scholastic – (includes Scholastic, Koala and Omnibus) They do sometimes accept unsolicited manuscripts so it’s best to check their website for up-to-date details. They are currently accepting Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction – 25.1.19.
Scribble – are an imprint of Scribe Publications. They publish 6 titles a year. They are open during the month of June. Check their website for full submission guidelines.
- Submissions: Email only. Submit 3 paragraph synopsis, manuscript plus CV.
Simon & Schuster Australia – their website advises authors to submit using an agent.
St Paul’s Publications – 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 – ‘Starfish Bay Children’s Books is an imprint of Starfish Bay Publishing Pty Ltd, which is an independent publishing house located in Adelaide, Australia’. 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. Check their website for guidelines on formatting.
Text Publishing – are ‘broadly interested in publishing fiction and non-fiction, including upper primary and young adult.’ They run the Text Prize for Young Adult’s and Children’s Writing. Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) winners – Small Publisher of the Year.
- 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 – Five Mile was founded in 1991. They are looking for books that ‘awakens a lifelong love of reading.’ Check their website for current submission details. In 2018, Five Mile was acquired by Regency Media.
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.
Wakefield Press – is a small, independent publisher based in Adelaide. They are open to unsolicited submissions after being closed for a number of years. See their website for the limited types of children’s books they publish and guidelines. They also publish the winner of the Arts South Australia Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award.
Walker Books – ‘Australia is the leading children’s publisher in Australia and New Zealand.’ Walker Wednesday: Walker Books usually accepts unsolicited submissions of middle grade and young adult fiction on the first Wednesday of every month (Australian and New Zealand authors). Check their website for submission details.
- 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 – 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. They are not currently accepting submissions.
Windy Hollow Books – are 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 – this is a small independent publisher (since 2009) looking for middle fiction, early readers and picture books. They publish approximately 6 – 10 books a year. There is a very informative video on their website that explains the types of manuscripts they are looking for. Rhiza Press is their imprint for older readers (ages 14+). Find out more at: www.rhizapress.com.au.
- 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.
Yellow Brick Books – is an emerging publisher based in Queensland. They accept unsolicited manuscripts for picture and early readers. Currently looking for ‘quirky, fun and engaging books.‘
- Submissions: They require authors to create a profile then submit using their online portal. It can take up to 6 months to get a reply.
Thinking of Publishing in the UK?
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.