If you’re about to embark upon the writing of your first middle grade fiction novel, our guide on this genre will help you to get started.
On the other hand, if you’ve written your book and need a publisher, take a look at the following 19 top publishers seeking middle grade fiction.
The following banner is an affiliate one. That means Writing Tips Oasis receive a small % of the sale if you purchase The Novel Factory, but at no extra cost to you:
A small and dedicated publisher of children’s books, Albert Whitman & Company is all heart. The independent publisher has been in business since 1919 in Illinois and has stayed true to its core values of publishing quality, clean, ethical and moral stories for children across different ages. They want stories that allow the child to feel intellectually respected and creatively involved by writing well sketched characters and sharp storylines. They accept unsolicited submissions through the year from authors of middle grade fiction, picture books, young adult novels and general materials. You can find the submission guidelines specified here for the genre of your choice.
Part of the family driven media group ‘Highlights’, Boyds Mills Press is their children’s book division. From 1990, the publisher has strived hard to print engaging, authentic fiction and non-fiction stories for children of all ages. Children are inquisitive and the press wants to help them learn real life lessons and morals with illustrations, stories and fun characters. They accept unsolicited submissions from authors, illustrators and writers. Currently they are seeking authors of middle grade fiction, poetry, picture books, young teen non-fiction, and non-fiction. Find the submission guidelines and the link to submit your manuscript on this page.
Made specially to create books that spread a positive worldview, Charlesbridge is children’s and adult books trade publisher. Their books talk about social, cultural, scientific and topical issues. Dealing with topics like intolerance, community building, engineering, math and literacy can be complicated since children are yet to develop their thinking skills. Yet the publisher has a history of printing nuanced and simple books that allow for a general overlook of the subject. They want illustrators and writers of middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, children’s picture books, and activity books. You can find the postal address and the submission guidelines for the company based in Watertown here.
It is very important to let children be aware of cultural diversity in today’s world. Providing them literature written by diverse and colored people can give them a fresh perspective on things. Lee & Low, the largest multicultural publisher in US was started with this goal in mind. Launched in 1991 in New York, this minority owned independent publisher broke the mold in children’s publishing. Instead of going the talking animal or thing route that oversimplifies children and their imagination, they started to publish real stories about real people. Their books and authors have won several awards for their honest, real discussion about how our culture shapes us. They have different imprints and they accept unsolicited manuscripts for all of them. At present, they want picture books, graphic novels, young adult fiction and middle grade fiction. Find the submission guidelines here and the link to submit your book on this page.
Now operating under Sourcebooks, this publisher is one with a message. All of their stories have explicit messages about issues which today’s children might deal with such as racism, adoption and how to tackle those problems. Keeping up with the digital age, they have taken things to the next level and started working on videos, films, merchandise and a story app. They haven’t forgotten the traditional print medium and it remains their focus. If your story can transcend genres and be expanded or adapted into an interactive e-book or digital film then that’s even better. They want middle grade and young adult fiction from authors and writers. You can find the submission guidelines and link to submit your manuscript available on this page.
Kar-Ben is an imprint of the one of the largest independent children’s publisher in US, the Lerner Publishing Group. Aimed specifically at promoting and discussing the Jewish culture, tradition and roots, Kar-Ben prints 15-20 titles a year. With the Jewish community in America spread far and wide, it is vital that children are taught about their heritage from a young age. These books use unique characters, tight storylines and wonderful illustrations to engage children. The Minneapolis based company is interested in stories about middle grade fiction, holidays, Bible tales, folk stories, Jewish history and heroes. You can find the submission guidelines and contact details listed on this page.
Founded by Arthur A. Levine in 1996, the publisher is steeped in history. Being an editor at Knopf Books, he wanted to use his publishing experience and create a diverse, rich and impeccable collection of children’s books. The company is an imprint of Scholastic and has won several awards for their books. Levine hasn’t forgotten his editorial roots and even edits certain books here on a project to project basis. Their list of rosters is enviable and boasts of names such as Sarah Moon, Eric Gansworth, Mike Jung and several others. They enjoy working with new authors and establishing close creative collaborations with illustrators. The focus is on simple, clean writing and memorable characters that stay etched in your mind. Writers of middle grade fiction and non-fiction, picture books, graphic novels and young adult fiction can read the submission guidelines here. You can use the Submittable link to submit your query letter and synopsis.
A small, independent publisher with grit, OnStage Publishing is a children’s book publisher. They choose unconventional, edgy stories that intrigue children and young adults. Mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels for children, middle graders and young adults are some of the books they have published. The style of writing and stories sets them apart from simple, illustrated books. Right now they want chapter books, illustrators, middle grade fiction, young adult novels and ebooks. Writers and authors can read the submission guidelines on this page.
From its inception in 1935, Holiday House has had a long tradition of printing and publishing well loved and well read children’s books. From the whimsical to the wise, there are books in all genres and for all reading levels. Catering to such a fickle audience can be difficult but the publisher has managed so with ease by choosing writers who have honed their craft. Their award winning list of books and novels have also been universally adored and loved by children, middle graders and young adults. They want books for ages four and up. You can submit a manuscript to the New York based company after reading the instructions here.
10. Groundwood Books
An independent Canadian publisher, Groundwood Books is an imprint of the House of Anansi Press. Proudly printing and supporting books that confront difficult subjects head on, the publisher is based in Toronto. The right kind of books and stories can empower a child with the necessary tools to face life. With over 4 decades of experience, they have printed books written in a compact, intelligent manner. Writers and authors of literary fiction for children, middle grade and young adults can consider sending their manuscripts for review. Find all the guidelines and contact details mentioned on this page.
A publisher as unique and whimsical as its name, Pants on Fire is a small and independent children’s publisher. They encourage writers to take flights of fancy so children can read and experience raw, unadulterated stories. There is no limit on imagination and the publisher appreciates quirky, edgy stories in action, mystery, thriller, comedy, drama, dystopian fiction, history, science fiction and suspense for children, middle graders and young adults. They also offer pre-publishing services to interested authors and writers. This doesn’t mean self- publishing or paying them to publish your book. It simply means you can hire them to edit, review and proof your manuscript or book should you wish to. They are a traditional, royalty paying publisher. Find the submission guidelines and contact details for writers and authors on this page.
12. White Mane Kids
Part of the White Mane Publishing Group, White Mane Kids is their children’s publisher. Formed to print and promote books, stories and tales about the Civil War, they primarily focus on historical fiction. For the past 35 years, they have shared real stories of what happened, fictional stories, guides and traced American history right up to the American Revolution. Children can select from civil war stories or stories about the history of the African-American and their roots. They want adult historical fiction and non-fiction, middle grade historical fiction and young adult historical fiction. You can use their detailed online form to submit a query as they don’t accept complete and unsolicited manuscripts.
Peggy Tierney established Tanglewood in 2003. They don’t make books they think children have to read; instead they find stories with simple, genuine and comforting stories. Their characters spellbound and daze the child and leave you wanting more. A long history of publishing and printing books for children, middle graders and young adults has ensured Tanglewood is at the top of the game. They are actively seeking fiction in children’s books, middle grade and young adult. Writers can find submission guidelines and contact details on this page.
14. Sky Pony Press
The children’s imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Sky Pony Press was formed in 2011. Their style is to focus on the individual and their interests so they can cater to their needs. Genres are fluid for them and content is king as it is imperative the material be interesting and entertaining without being preachy. Writers, authors and illustrators of children’s books, middle grade fiction and young adult fiction can send their manuscripts for review. All the submission guidelines are mentioned on their website along with the contact details.
In the publishing business since 1922; Eerdmans has published a wide variety of books. A tradition of publishing unconventional, risky material in various genres has kept the company on the top of its game. Authors including C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, George MacDonald, Martin Marty and Philip Yancey among several others have worked with this publisher and collaborated successfully. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is their division for children’s books. They print books in varied genres such as humor, art, grief, death, bullying, values, history, religion and social issues. If you are a writer of children’s books, middle grade or young adult fiction you can submit a manuscript for consideration to the Michigan based publisher. The guidelines and contact details are listed here.
An independent children’s publisher in Atlanta, Peachtree has been around since 1977. Focusing on Southern authors and history, they use pictures, illustrations and stories to educate and entertain children. The publisher is known for working closely with the author right from editing to designing to marketing and ensuring the book reaches the right audience. They have an adult backlist of titles in fiction and non-fiction. Right now they are only accepting children’s books, middle grade fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction and non-fiction and picture books. Read the submission guidelines and contact details on their page for writers, authors and illustrators.
17. Quirk Books
Staying true to their brand name, Quirk Books is perfect for the slightly offbeat, eccentric and unique stories. The Philadelphia based press prints only 25 books annually and all of them have that special connection of being a story never heard of. Beautiful, meaningful illustrations and prose that sounds like poetry and affordable books are priority here at Quirk. The popular Young Adult series Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of their bestselling titles. They have assigned various editors for genres such as young adult, science fiction, adult fiction and middle grade fiction. Read all the required guidelines here and the editors assigned to your genre.
The name says it all. Books for the eager, inquisitive minds that enrich, inform and amuse you are preferred by this independent publisher. No limits on genres or topics as they want the unexpected, the unheard of and the unknown. If your imagination has no limits and you want to bend the rules of the genre then Curiosity Quills is the press for you. They want fiction, science fiction, paranormal, romance and speculative fiction for young adults, new adults and middle graders. You can also have a look at what the Acquisitions Editors are seeking so as to get a better idea for your submission. Read the extensive guidelines here and submit your manuscript or query for review.
19. Jolly Fish Press
Established in 2011 in Minnesota, Jolly Fish Press only publishes middle grade and young adult fiction. Actively seeking debut or amateur writers and authors, they help them polish and hone their skills. A chance to work with one of the most respectable and popular publishers in the country can boost the career of a debut or promising author. Every book and author is provided with support in editing, marketing, designing, promoting and packaging. They take your book from the rough draft to the finished stage and hold your hand throughout. Jolly Fish is accepting unsolicited submissions from authors and writers of middle grade and young adult fiction. Find the guidelines and contact details listed on this page.
Do you know any other publishers seeking middle grade fiction that should be on this list? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.