There are plenty of United States-based publishers that accept submissions directly from new authors. If you dream of seeing your own children’s book published one day, there’s nothing holding you back from your goal.
Here is a complete list of 26 top children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts in the US.
This famous American publishing house has a rich history, spanning over 65 years of bringing young readers into the world of beautiful stories. They publish all kinds of children’s books for 4 years of age and up, including non-literary books such as coloring books, pop-ups, arts and crafts books and so on.
Year founded: 1935
Home city: New York
Famous authors published: Margaret Ferguson, Neal Porter.
Submission guidelines: You can find an official guide by the publishing house here, on the company’s FAQ page. The bottom line is that you need to simply mail out the manuscript of your book to them in full.
This esteemed publishing house is open to receiving submissions from almost all genres, including children’s books and young adult. Chicago Review Press releases over 60 new titles every year, and they prize originality above all else.
Year founded: 1973
Home city: Chicago
Notable books published: The publishing house has an award-winning line of children’s books named ‘For Kids’. You can see more details about the line here. Still, you shouldn’t misunderstand this line and think that CRP only publishes children’s books which can fit into this series. They are open to any type of kid’s book, just try your chances; you never know what this could lead to.
Submission guidelines: You can find out more about their submission guidelines here. The main take-away is that it’s best if you mail a brief query to one of the editors first, and only then follow up with the full manuscript submission.
A most esteemed publisher of children’s books, this publishing house releases over 70 new titles for children a year, in hardback. Covering all ages from toddlers to teenagers (YA), they are truly a haven for young readers.
Year founded: 1961
Home city: New York
Famous books published: Dragons Love Tacos, the Ladybug Girl series and The Book with No Pictures, alongside many, many others.
Submission guidelines: You can find their submission guidelines here. You simply need to mail out a copy of your book to them, and if they like they will be in touch.
Known as America’s last independent publisher, they don’t specialize in children’s books but they do accept young adult submissions.
Year founded: 1974
Home city: New York
Famous authors published: Fern Michaels, Lisa Jackson, William W. Johnstone and many other best-selling New York Times authors.
Submission guidelines: available here.
An independent publishing house full of happy and positive vibes, Chronicle Books has distinguished itself by publishing a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles for children of all ages.
Year founded: 1967.
Home city: San Francisco.
Famous authors published: Cathy Camper (author of the Lowriders series of books), Marlon Bundo.
Submission guidelines: They accept submissions for children’s books by physical post, but you should first read their guidelines here. Books for teens and young adults are also part of the publishing house’s collection, so feel free to send them your manuscript if you’ve written something of the kind.
A friendly and well-established publishing house, Peachtree harbors a huge focus on books for children.
Year founded: 1977
Home city: Atlanta
Famous authors published: Caroline Miller, Erskine Caldwell, Ferrol Sams and many others.
Submission guidelines: You can read about their submission review process here. Take into account that it might take them 6-9 months to get to your submission, since they receive a lot of manuscripts.
Year founded: the children’s offshoot was launched in 2011, the main group in 2006
Home city: New York
Famous books published: They have over 60 titles in the list of New York Times bestsellers, and they also published the Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan.
Submission guidelines: Very easy submission procedure detailed here. Only email submissions required.
A relatively new publishing house, this one is still fairly well established, and children’s books are among the key interests of their team. Pagestreet Publishing is expanding its illustrated children’s books collection in 2018-2019 and are always looking for more valuable works.
Year founded: 2012
Home city: Boston
Famous authors published: Sarah Dees, Colleen Kessler, Craig Caudill.
Submission guidelines: You can check out the guidelines here. The process is pretty straightforward: you should send out a brief outline / query first and only afterwards the full submission. Everything is sent via email.
This group has a very strong presence in the schoolbooks sector across all niches and age groups. Arbordale Publishing are among the few publishers aligned to national standards for state education. They publish approximately 20 new titles every year.
Year founded: 2004
Home city: Mount Pleasant, SC
Famous authors published: Mary Alice Monroe, author of The Beach House and Swimming Lessons.
Submission guidelines: All requirements for submitting manuscripts are available here. Each manuscript should only be mailed to them in a brief version of under 1,000 words, and everything takes place via email.
An established children’s books publisher, Flashlight Press specializes in titles for very young readers. Relationships between people and multiculturalism is a frequent theme in their books.
Year founded: 2004
Home city: New York
Famous authors published: Lois Brandt (author of Maddi’s Fridge), Donna W. Earnhardt (author of Being Frank).
Submission guidelines: They accept submissions of children’s books less than 1,000 words, for kids aged 4-8, and which address a universal theme. Family or social situations are an especially welcome topic. More details about the submission process here.
This publishing house covers a wide range of genres, and for some it has created a different imprint. Children’s books get published under the Ramsey & Todd imprint, for example.
Year founded: 1984
Home city: Nashville, Tennessee
Famous authors published: Eugenia Price, Alice Randall, Deepak Chopra, Alan Dershowitz and many other best-selling authors.
Submission guidelines: The process is detailed here and you only need to submit your proposal via email.
A publishing house focusing on world folk tales and mesmerizing storytelling, August House is open to new submissions for various of their lines.
Year founded: 1978
Home city: Atlanta, Georgia
Famous authors published: Donald Davies (nicknamed the ‘dean of storytelling’) and Margaret Read MacDonald (author of tens of illustrated children’s books based on folk takes from various cultures of the world).
Submission guidelines: They accept direct unsolicited submissions, but only by regular post. Read more about the mandatory guidelines here.
As a funny nod to the publishing house’s name, the editorial team behind this one focuses on so-called ‘bridge books’, that manage to connect a reader’s habit of reading books for primary school to the budding interest in middle grade-oriented books. Thus, many titles in the Charlesbridge portfolio act as transition books for children in between conventional age groups.
Year founded: 1989
Home city: Watertown, MA
Famous authors published: Stuart J Murphy, author of the I see, I learn series.
Submission guidelines: They accept submissions only by physical post, and they don’t accept authors who practice simultaneous submissions. More details about their policy and process here.
A highly prestigious publishing house, Albert Whitman and Company has a long tradition of delighting its readers with timeless children’s books. Nowadays, they are committed to continuing their dedication to finding and publishing quality children’s titles.
Year founded: 1919
Home city: Park Ridge, Illinois
Famous authors published: Too many to count, but we will mention a few recent authors who achieved critical acclaim: Carole Boston Weatherford, Andrew Fusek Peters & Polly Peters, Sarah & Ian Hoffman.
Submission guidelines: They are open to receiving direct submissions, but you need to follow their guidelines to the letter in order for your manuscript to be even considered. Submissions can be sent via email, accompanied by a cover letter and contact information.
They are one of the divisions (or imprints) of the Highlights for Children publishing house. Their focus is on picture books, novels for kids and young adults, chapter books and any storytelling endeavor featuring strong characters.
Year founded: 1990
Home city: Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Famous authors published: Judie Hedlund, Gail Jarrow, David L. Harrison and others.
Submission guidelines: If this sounds like a place you could call home, send them a submission of your work by physical post, following the policy explained here.
A publishing house focusing on children’s books from a Black and biracial cultural point of view. Their mission is to bring into the lives of African-American children stories and characters that they can actually identify with, while not excluding kids of other races either. Most of their books are for children between the ages of 4 and 8.
Year founded: 1987
Home city: East Orange, NJ
Famous authors published: Nikki Grimes, Valerie Wilson Wesley.
Submission guidelines: At the moment, they are only looking for chapter books or middle reader books. If you have a manuscript that fits into one of these categories, you must mail part of it according to the guidelines present on their Contact page. To get to the guidelines, hit the Contact tab on the main page and scroll down.
This publishing house is focused exclusively on books for children and young adult readers. As one of the most prestigious publishers in the field, they receive numerous submissions and kindly ask their fans to only send one at a time.
Year founded: 1996
Home city: New York
Famous authors published: David LaRochelle, Russel Freedman, Shaun Tan, Andy Rash and many others.
Submission guidelines: They encourage all aspiring authors to first go through their catalogue and get a feel for the kind of books they publish. If you think you’re a good fit for their profile, you are welcome to submit a proposal according to these guidelines. You don’t need the entire manuscript completed in order to apply; in fact, you’re not allowed to send a completed manuscript. A synopsis and a few pages are enough, depending on the exact genre.
This publishing house focuses on non-fiction titles and learning material books for children of various ages. They are not accepting any fiction work submissions at the time.
Year founded: 1983
Home city: Minneapolis, MN
Famous authors published: Judy Galbraith, Michelle Borba, Trevor Romaine, Elizabeth Verdick etc.
Submission guidelines: A list of documents needs to be sent by regular mail, according to the submission procedure detailed here.
A well-known children’s books publisher, Lee and Low is especially recognized for its efforts towards multiculturalism. Several of its titles were also published in Spanish or bilingual editions. Diversity is one of their core values, and they apply it in everything they publish or do.
Year founded: 1991
Home city: New York
Famous authors published: Valynne Maetani (author of Ink and Ashes),
Submission guidelines: The publishing house is currently looking for middle grade books, chapter books young adult novels and graphic novels, as well as booklets geared towards early readers. More info about how to submit a manuscript here.
A children’s books imprint which is actually a part of WM B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, this cute publisher releases under 20 new books every year. In spite of the restricted flow, the titles they do publish are most impressive and actually get read.
Year founded: 1910
Home city: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Famous authors published: Katie Beebe, Annie M. G. Schmidt, Linda Vigen Phillips, Beatrice Gormley and more.
Submission guidelines: According to their web page, they are looking first and foremost for books which are ‘wise’ or have good humor. If you manage to check box boxes, you probably stand an even better chance of getting published. To submit a manuscript, you are required to carefully follow the guidelines here.
A newly established but ambitious publishing house, they are also centered around young readers of various ages.
Year founded: 2007
Home city: Winter Garden, Florida
Popular books published: Sinister Sites, The Capture of Daniel Ortega, Catching Santa and more.
Submission guidelines: Read the guidelines for authors carefully before sending in your submission. For example, note that any emails with attachments get deleted (you are supposed to send a query first and follow up with the manuscript only if they ask).
Immedium was created with the goal of publishing gripping tales that dig up the very surface of possibility. Over the next couple of years, they gained steady popularity, and as of now, Immedium stands as one of biggest publishing houses of San Francisco, publishing children’s books, Asian American stories, and books about arts and culture. While the company has published several fiction and non-fiction titles, they usually accept narratives that address the larger concerns of life, come with a cultural perspective and have some kind of a social message.
Year founded: 2004
Home city: San Francisco
Submissions guidelines: The platform is currently open for submissions and you can always send them a copy of your manuscript with a cover letter. Visit this page to find out about the submission guidelines in detail.
Started by Mr. Gibbs Smith and his wife Catherine, Gibbs Smith had its humble beginnings as an independent publishing house that specializes in educational books, textbooks and cookbooks for children. However, within the next one decade they gained decent visibility, and by the mid 1980’s, Gibbs Smith evolved as a mid-sized publishing house that received more than 100 manuscripts every week.
Year founded: 1969
Home city: Utah
Submission guidelines: The platform is currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts for interactive children’s books, children’s illustration books and board books. Your manuscript needs to be within 15,000 words and you need to send in a detailed outline with a copy of the manuscript. In case you’re looking to collaborate with Gibbs Smith, visit this page.
With almost 2500 titles of which 40-50 are published yearly, Pelican Publishing Group is a prestigious children’s publication in the U.S. The company has a rich history that dates back to 1926, and over the next couple of years, they’ve collaborated with award-winning personalities like William Faulkner. Pelican publishes a diverse range of genres.
Year founded: 1926
Home city: Gretna
Examples of books published: Some of its best-selling books are Think like a Winner, See You at the Top, and Cajun Nights before Christmas.
Submission guidelines: The company is currently open for submissions and while they accept both solicited and unsolicited manuscripts, they particularly favor the former. In case you’re looking to get your works published by them, visit this page for a detailed scoop on the submission guidelines.
If you’re proud of your children’s picture books with zany themes and humorous undertones- Ripple Grove Press is one of the best platforms for you. Formed by husband-wife duo, Rob and Amanda Broder, this Portland based company has come up quite a few titles over the last four years.
Year founded: 2013
Home city: Portland
Examples of books published: Too Many Tables and The Gentleman Bat.
Submissions guidelines: This publisher is currently welcoming unsolicited submissions and you can always send in a copy of your manuscript here.
Boyds Mills Press is one of the oldest children’s book publishers of Pennsylvania. The platform is an imprint of ‘Highlights for Children’ and it is best known for the contributions made in fiction, chapter books, illustration books and non-fiction texts. The publication encourages newbie authors to send in their work and if it manages to make the cut, you’ll hear back from them within just three months.
Year founded: 1990
Home city: Honesdale
Submissions guidelines: Boyds Mills Press is currently open for submissions. Visit this page to find out everything that you want to know about the submission guidelines.
Try to choose a publisher from the list according to the titles they seem to prefer and the types of books they announce to be looking for. This way you will improve your chances of having your manuscript selected, or at least of getting an answer with helpful feedback. Also make sure to read the guidelines carefully, so that you don’t break any rules unknowingly.
Keep trying and remember that the famous authors of the moment were rejected countless times before finally succeeding. Good luck!
Are you aware of any other children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts in the US? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Author bio: Miriam Cihodariu is a former academic scholar in anthropology and social sciences, then turned digital marketer and storyteller. She currently serves as the editor of the BookYogaRetreats.com blog. A lifetime ago, in high-school, she published poetry and theater books, to enthusiastic local acclaim. She plans to pick up writing again in the near future and she’s currently working on a short story collection.