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.
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 on the first Monday of each month. For picture book submissions check their website.
- Submissions: One submission per author only. Email a short synopsis to email@example.com; 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.‘
- Submissions: a cover letter and 50 pages to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
CSIRO – ‘CSIRO Publishing welcomes new authors and suggestions for books. The types of publications we seek include: children’s non-fiction books that introduce young readers to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) topics in an engaging and informative way.‘
- Submissions: check their website for how to prepare a proposal and for what they are currently looking for.
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. Due to illness they, are reviewing the future of Debut Books in early 2022.
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.
Giramondo Press– ‘Giramondo Publishing accepts unsolicited submissions. We read all manuscripts carefully but are only able to publish a very small number of those we consider.‘ Check their website for details.
- Submissions: are through their submissions portal.
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. 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.
National Library of Australia Publishing – ‘NLA Publishing creates books that tell stories by and about Australians. We produce award-winning non-fiction and children’s titles in the fields of history, art, photography, the environment and literature.’
- Submissions: They ask that you email them directly for submissions advice. They are setting up a portal 2021.
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.
Omnibus – (See Scholastic Australia)
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.
Riveted Press – you can find Riveted Press under the Yellow Brick Road Website. They published a 2021 notables book for Younger Readers.
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.
Thames and Hudson – ‘Named 2018 ABIA Small Publisher of the Year, Thames & Hudson Australia publishes nearly 30 original Australian titles each year into subject areas including children’s books.‘
- Submissions: Send them a proposal through an email. Details are on their website.
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.
Wild Dog Books – ‘A multi-award-winning Australian independent publisher of the best books for children and young people. We publish beautiful picture books and brilliant non-fiction books that children will devour.‘
- Submissions: check their website.
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.‘ They publish books for older readers through Riveted Press.
- 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?
UK publishers that accept unsolicited submissions – website by Lou Treleaven: updated June 2017.
Short Stories for Children – Getting Published.
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.
42 thoughts on “Children’s publishers accepting unsolicited submissions”
I’m getting ready to publish my first book. I sent my work to several publishers they accepted but some came with the contract so quickly and wanting too much money that I decided to hold off until I find the right fit. Thankyou so much for compiling all this I information as it’s been so helpful to me and all fellow writers.
Kind regards Frances
Any new children’s book publishers in the U.S.?
Hi Geary, at the moment I’ve only researched Australian publishers. Time and circumstances don’t allow me to search wider though I’m sure there are many!! Alys
I thank you kindly Alys for publishing this article and the list. I must admit it was very handy for my quest to search for a home for my little book. Thank you again.
You’re welcome Ashvin. I’m glad my list it has proved useful. Best of luck with your writing. Alys
Dear Alys, I am seeking a publisher who provides creative artwork in childrens books. My short stories have inanimate objects that come to life with human characteristics, Some of them introduce scientific processes to the children in creative “fairytale” ways that assists the children when they are at the stage of that learning at school. They have already mentally accepted the process prior to the introduction at school level. I have already published a book (available on Amazon Kindle) “Retail Focus for Success”
A great many of the childrens books that have artwork are almost copies of each other in style. I am looking for a very creative artist to interpret the writings and am willing to assist in advice of style and design. I have ten stories ready to be printed. Some of them are very short and could be 3 or 4 in one book. Thank you for your assistance.
Graham J. Bradbury
Dear Graham, I’m afraid I’m not quite the right person to be asking – I’m sure there are many great illustrators out there with varying styles and prices. If you are a member of a Facebook writer’s group, you could send out a message asking for an illustrator to contact you through Messenger/email. I have done that with success. I even met up with two local illustrators although the book didn’t go ahead in the end. I am a member of SCBWI too which is a great organisation for Children’s fiction writers – they have many illustrators – so perhaps start there. Otherwise, you might want to contact your local writers association. They may well have illustrators looking for work. Good luck with your project. It sounds wonderful. Alys
Dear Alys, Thank you for your reply and advice. I will certainly work on some of the options you have suggested.
I have also written a book “Retail Focus for Success” which is on Amazon Kindle. Amazon Kindle should be avoided. They have used all sorts of excuses to avoid paying me for sales even though I agreed to their terms. Some of the buyers of the book have contacted me but Amazon has consistently refused any payment. At one stage they even removed the book from their list to avoid paying me and then, weeks later, relisted it at and increased price. That says something about the culture of the company. Money means everything! Principle means nothing!
I am looking forward to publishing to assist the children in their learning and also, hopefully, help to increase their creativity. My writings also increase their acceptance that the things that they see as part of everday life have elements of creativity, passion, human response, and psychological development. My best regards, Graham
Dear Graham, thank you for the information regarding publishing through Amazon Kindle. I can’t believe they have treated you so poorly! Best of luck with finding an illustrator and I hope you find more success with your children’s short stories. It sounds like a very worthy project! Alys
Dear Alys, Thank you for your reply and the good wishes attatched to it.I will certainly will do all I can to make sure other authors are aware of the way Amazon Kindle operates sometimes, and assist the authors to protect themselves. I have at least 10 childrens stories ready for the graphic/artistic process at the moment and have had very enthusiastic responses from teachers who have introduced some of the stories to their young classes. They have seen the benefit of the creative way in which scientific and psychological processes and learning are being introduced to the children and enable the children to learn and understand without the difficulty of the normal learning process. The children suddenly understand because their minds have accepted and enjoyed the process rather than the normallearning process that can be difficult. regards, Graham
Thank you Alys
You’re welcome. I hope it helps.
Thanks so much Alys for your thoughtful gift and list of these publishers. 2 self published books down and doing well, but my new one deserves a greater audience, and its now out there. Merry Christmas and HNY.
My 2 previous ones if you’re interested?
Books called ‘The Butterflies, Field of Lies’ through Xilbris in 2014
& a spiritual healings quote book called ‘Where You Open Is Where You’re At, A Universal Guide To Healing’ through Balboa Press in 2018.
Good luck everyone with your writing successes
Much Love, Rod
Thank you Rod. I will definitely take a look at your publications and the best of luck with your writing. Happy New Year – Alys
Just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing this. Best wishes to you.
Thanks Marie. I hope you find it useful. And thank you for the thought.
Thank you 🙂
Alys, many thanks for this list – I’ll try my luck!
Thank you Lyn. Good luck with your writing!
Great list, Alys. I see you’re published in The School Magazine and hope those reading this are prompted to check out their submission guidelines too. I look forward to the release of your first picture book.
Thank you so much, Emma.
Hi Alys, people like you out there doing so much unselfish work for fellow writers is astonishing. Fabulous site and enough to motivate the most reticent of us to actually do something with the piles of manuscripts we end up giving a home to.
Hi Jan. Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback. I started creating the lists because I have always found them so useful and it seemed such a pity not to share. Good luck with the writing!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to create this list. It is incredibly useful and a great starting point to investigate further!
Thank you for letting me know, Karen. Best of luck with your writing.
Thank you so much taking your time to compile this list and sharing it. As a first time author and illustrator, I found this list to be very valuable, as I approach unchartered waters. Thank You
You’re welcome Audrey. Best of luck with your writing.
Thank you SO MUCH for all your hard work with this list! I am a firs-time author of a picture book, and really appreciate this list. It’s a fantastic stating point.
Hi Anna, thank you so much for your enthusiastic comments and the very best of luck with your picture book!
Thank you for the work that went into this – very helpful. I have 2 books published via a publisher but I am struggling with the marketing side of things…the 3rd book is halfway through but I need the profit from the 2nd to get it out…
Hi Jan, thank you. It’s great to know you found the list useful – marketing is such a struggle. Good luck with your 3rd book.
An invaluable list! Thank you, Alys.
You’re welcome – thank you for your comment.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. It has been invaluable!
Thank you, that’s lovely to know. Alys
Thank you Alys for this very helpful list of publishers. I have written a few children’s short stories and it would be such a dream to get them in the hands of young children. They have to be published first of course.
Good luck with getting your short stories published and thanks for the comments Lesley 🙂
You have obviously worked so hard to get this list together and now you are sharing it with everyone else. You are so self-less and thoughtful. I am sure lots of aspiring writers will benefit from this post, so I hope you get to hear about it. This could be life changing for some people 🙂 Well done.
Thank you Sally.
I agree with Sally.
Very generous and self-less.
Thank you very much Alys 🙏
Thank you Rowan. I truly believe that it’s important to support each other as writers – best of luck…