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.
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Press is a leading children’s book publisher that publishes distinctive children’s titles, rich in gripping content. The company came to inception in 1988 with their famous book ‘The Legend of Sleeping Bear’. Over time, they published many such interesting titles, establishing their reputation as one of the best children’s book publishers of Michigan. Over the last few decades, Sleeping Bear Press has won several prestigious awards and critics have consistently lauded them for their thoughtful content.
Year Founded: 1998
Home city: Michigan
Famous Authors Published: Sonia Levitin, Varsha Bajaj, Alison Barber.
Submission Guidelines: Sleeping Bear Press specializes in picture books and middle grade novels. They only accept email submissions. For more details about the submission guidelines, visit this page.
Established by Madeline Kane and Sandy Miller, Kane Miller Press is an award-winning children’s book publisher based in California. Since their inception, Kane Miller had been focused on publishing titles that reflect the diverse cultures of children across the globe. In 2008, Kane Miller was acquired by the Educational Development Corporation; the press currently runs under their banner.
Year Founded: 1984
Home city: San Diego
Famous Authors Published: Tim Nicoll, David O’ Connell, and Lorena Carrington.
Submission Guidelines: Kane Miller Press accepts titles based on diverse cultures. You can also send in manuscripts about American subjects. For more details about their submission guidelines, visit this page.
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 subsidiary of Workman Publishing, Experiment Publishing is a leading publisher of non-fiction titles. Although they do not exclusively publish children’s titles, they will consider your nonfiction children’s book if your content is fresh, innovative, and engaging. This publishing house also accepts picture books.
Year Founded: 2008
Home city: New York
Famous Authors Published: Allison Hershey, Diane Landy, Lucia Barros.
Submission Guidelines: Experiment Publishing only accepts non-fiction titles. While sending your manuscript make sure it has a title, subtitle, author bio, and a table of contents. More details about the submission guidelines can be found on this page.
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 tales 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.
Tanglewood Publishing is an independent publisher that churns out fresh, engaging content that kids and young adults want to read. Their books focus on authentic characters who capture the spirit and experience of our daily lives.
Home city: Indianapolis
Famous Authors Published: Ginger Churchill and Hildi Kang.
Submission Guidelines: Tanglewood is currently accepting middle grade titles, young adult fiction and narrative non-fiction. More details about their submission guidelines can be found on this page.
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.
Tilbury House is a leading US-based publisher of children’s picture books. The company focuses on publishing titles that beautifully nurtures the imagination of little ones. They also publish some selected non-fiction and fiction titles for kids, teens and young adults. The company will consider your work if it is innovative, insightful and diverse.
Year Founded: 1979
Home town: Thomaston, Maine
Famous Authors Published: Pat Brisson, Mary Beth Owens, Rebekah Raye.
Submission Guidelines: Tilbury House is currently accepting submissions for picture books and children’s non-fiction. Visit this page for more details about their submission policies.
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 centred 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: Layton, 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: New Orleans
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, Oregon
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.
Sasquatch Books has published several award-winning children’s books under their children’s imprint, Little Big Foot. Over the last few years, they’ve published some best-selling non-fiction titles, picture books, and activity books. Their titles are distributed through Penguin Random House.
Year Founded: 1986
Home city: Seattle, WA
Famous Authors Published: Kelly Milner Halls, Sharon Mentyka.
Submission Guidelines: Sasquatch Books accepts queries from both authors and agents. You can access their submission guidelines here.
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.