Have you written a book for teenagers that you want to publish and are looking for literary representation? Here are 19 young adult literary agents.
If you’re searching for opportunities to submit your manuscript directly to publishers, below are 19 top young adult book publishing companies.
1. Clean Teen Publishing
Writing for young adults is always a challenging task. You need to ensure your content is relatable without being condescending. That’s why publishers like Clean Teen Publishing have different disclosure labels. These labels allow children, young adults, and parents to judge if a book is sufficiently comfortable for you. You can be a young, budding writer seeking to narrate your experience to your peers and the world. Clean Teen is eager to find young, amateur authors who are 18 or older and build themselves into a brand. This can be an amazing opportunity for aspiring authors. It can be a chance of a lifetime to work with this upcoming publishing house. They are currently seeking young adult and new adult novels between 50,000 to 111,000 words. Preferred genres include horror, mystery, and historical novels, with surreal elements like witches, fortune tellers, psychics, magicians, and escapism. You can read the complete submission guidelines here.
2. August House
For more than three decades, August House has been committed to finding and printing the best stories for children and young adults. The independent publisher based out Atlanta picks stories and books that rely on timeless topics. Their popular books and novels focus on ideas and values such as courage, friendship, honesty, and morality. This enables children and young adults to broaden their imagination. They publish textbooks, novels, picture books and audio books for children of all ages. As of now, they are looking to acquire folklores, tales from the oral traditions, stories from diverse cultures, spine-chilling scary stories, and classroom-focused resource books for their General Trade line. For their LittleFolk picture book line, the company is seeking single-story manuscripts featuring folktales with traditional tropes. Note that August House isn’t looking for original titles written in fable/fairy tale style for the LitteFolk imprint. They are not soliciting proposals for their audio line either. Writers or authors will have to send a manuscript via post. You can find their detailed submission guidelines and postal address on this page.
3. Jolly Fish Press
Launched in 2011, Jolly Fish Press has been one of the most prominent and promising names in publishing for middle grade and young adult. With their unique take on writers and stories, they have created a catalog of quirky, entertaining and educational books for young readers globally. If your story is one of a kind, offbeat and richly layered, they are the publishers for you. Jolly Fish Press is currently accepting middle grade and young adult fiction. You can send a query letter, with a brief plot synopsis, three sample chapters, and a short bio mentioning your previous works, writing credentials, email address and contact details. You can read the entire submission guidelines on this page.
An imprint of North Star Editions, Flux is a privately owned publishing house specializing in books for kids and young adults. Based in Minnesota, this company has published quality YA content in both fiction and non-fiction. Their books are not just bold, but also inspiring, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining. Some of their notable titles include How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles, The Town Built on Sorrow by David Oppegaard, and Gigged by Heath Gibson. Flux is currently open to submissions, and you can pitch your work with a short query letter, plot synopsis (one to two paragraphs), three sample chapters, and a brief author bio. Queries can be emailed here. For detailed submission guidelines, check this page.
The right book can spark a lifelong interest in a young reader. This is a motto that Charlesbridge takes very seriously. Publishing well written characters, gripping storylines and imaginative universes, they cater to children of all ages. They also believe in finding positive, uplifting voices that create an encouraging atmosphere for children and young readers. Charlesbridge acquired Imagine Publishing in 2010 and launched themselves in the field of publishing for adults. The publisher based in Watertown is primarily a children’s publisher and strives to find emerging talents for young readers. The company accepts both fiction and non-fiction titles across multiple categories like picture books, early reader books, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction, and young adult novels. In non-fiction, they are especially interested in topics covering nature, science, math, social studies, biography, history, and the arts. You can email your board book, picture books, early reader books, and middle-grader titles here. For YA novels, you can drop an email here. Detailed submission guidelines and contact details can be found on this page.
6. Arthur A. Levine Books
Established in 1996, Arthur A. Levine Books has printed a whopping 300 books since then. Arthur A. Levine was the Editor in Chief at Knopf Books for Young Readers. Having worked at this position gave him a clear idea about the interests and passions of children and young adults. Growing minds need to be nurtured with promising ideas and beliefs. That’s why their books are selected with care and attention. The publisher has given writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures a chance to share their story with young readers. Their books have won notable prizes and awards such as ALA Best Book for Young Adults, World Fantasy Artist of the Year, Publisher’s Weekly Best Book and many more. They are currently accepting queries for picture books, chapter books, young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, and middle grade and young adult non-fiction. You can send your submissions for one or more categories on this page. For detailed submission guidelines, check this link.
7. Soho Teen
Based in Manhattan’s Union Square, Soho Teen is an imprint of the iconic publisher Soho Press. The Teen imprint was launched in 2013 and since then they have published multiple best-selling books for teenagers and young adults. Over the years, Soho Teen has broadened their niche to publish novels exploring adolescent identity and the theme of self-discovery. They are also keen on publishing novels with a unique format and narrative voice. Some of their notable novels for young adults include Wider Than The Sky by Katherine Rothschild, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed. Unfortunately, Soho Teen is closed for submissions in 2020. You can keep checking this page for latest details about their upcoming open reading periods.
8. Page Street Publishing
Named ‘Publisher’s Weekly Fastest Growing Publisher’ for four years in a row; Page Street Publishing is located in Boston. Printing a staggering 120 titles annually, they don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Each book is carefully chosen for its writing, the story, the voice and the message behind it. The publisher started with cookbooks and slowly expanded to other genres such as children’s books, young adult, and non-fiction. The environment friendly publisher also does a lot to keep its books eco-friendly. Right now, they are looking out for authors of young adult fiction in all genres. To submit your work, you need to email a manuscript query with a short synopsis and author bio. For detailed submission guidelines, check this page.
9. Red Deer Press
Red Deer Press was initially a college press in Canada launched in 1975. Over the decades, it turned into a global publisher with full scale operations. Its success is attributed to the team’s commitment and dedication to supporting the best local and national writers. Fitzhenry & Whiteside purchased the company in 2005. The company’s authors and writers have been recognized and appreciated with national and international awards. It is known through the country for its list of children’s books and young adult fiction. You can send your manuscripts of young adult fiction and non-fiction to them via e-mail or post. The contact details and instructions are outlined on this page.
10. Pajama Press
The small Canadian press was established in 2011. A team of industry experts helmed this literary press and managed to take it to the forefront of the publishing world. Genres such as children’s books, young adult, fiction, and non-fiction are preferred by them. They have given budding writers and new authors a stage to narrate their stories and ideas. Pajama Press is accepting submissions for children’s books, middle grade, young adult fiction, and picture books. Unfortunately, Pajama Press is not open for submissions at the moment. You can, however, keep checking this page for updated details about their upcoming open submission period.
11. Albert Whitman & Company
An independent publisher in Illinois, Albert Whitman & Company was established in 1919. With over a century of publishing experience and knowledge, they have perfect insight to what the reader needs and likes. Despite being a big and traditional publisher, they have an intimate team of publishing professionals who work with writers and authors. The styles and genres they print include action, holidays, LGBTQ, disease, disabilities, relationships, families, culture, history, pets, animals, romance, humor, science fiction, and young adult. Writers and authors of young adult novels, middle grade, and picture books can send their manuscripts for review. In young adult, the company is seeking young adult fiction up to 70,000 words. You can send a query letter with a brief author bio and details of up to three comparative titles published over the last five years. These books should have a similar audience as your title. In addition, you also need to include a manuscript synopsis/chapter summary and the full manuscript. Detailed submission guidelines are available here. Find the guidelines available here.
12. Polis Books
Polis Books is a leading independent publisher of young adult books. Based in New York, the company publishes both fiction and non-fiction titles for young adults in almost all genres. They also accept titles in other categories and are always looking to add new talent to their ever-growing list of authors. Polis Books is driven to introduce its readers to fresh new voices while also reintroducing them to existing authors who deserve better and wider readership. Some of their best young adult titles include Potter’s Field by Rob Hart, The Ninja Daughter by Tori Eldridge and Heartless by Leah Rhyne. As of now, they are actively seeking submissions in young adult fiction. You can email them a query letter with three sample chapters and a short author bio to get your manuscript considered. For more details about the submission process, check this page.
13. Quirk Books
Based in Philadelphia, Quirk Books is an independent publishing house specializing in both fiction and non-fiction titles. Over the years, the company has consistently delivered titles that are not just bold but also unique, unprecedented, and amazingly designed. Their young adult titles are best known for quirky twists and unexpected subplots. Some of their popular titles in this category include Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Geekerella by Ashley Poston, and The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. Since the company only publishes 25 new titles every year, they are extremely selective about the kind of content they produce. As of now, the company is seeking submissions in young adult fiction and you can direct your queries to Senior Editor, Alex Arnold via email. Detailed submission guidelines can be found here.
14. Sky Pony Press
The children’s imprint of Sky Horse Publishing, it was formed in 2011. True to their parent company’s philosophy, they want to publish books for every child and young reader. Instead of streamlining genres or themes, they are open to new ideas and categories. As young readers are growing, their tastes evolve and they need educational yet entertaining material. This is what Sky Pony promises to deliver with its books. Don’t be afraid to think different or unconventional, they love unique and fresh materials. Amateur and debut writers can also send their material for review. Writers of young adult fiction, middle grade, children’s books, and young adult non-fiction can submit their queries after reading the guidelines.
15. DCB Young Readers
Based in Toronto, Canada, DCB Young Readers is an imprint of the iconic publisher Cormorant Books. The company publishes fiction and non-fiction titles for middle graders and young readers. Once in a while, they also publish children’s picture books. DCB Young Readers is driven by the commitment to help readers explore their own worlds through beautifully written books. They constantly celebrate the potential of young authors and are always looking to add fresh, budding talent to their list of existing authors. Some of their best titles in YA fiction include Burning From the Inside by Christine Walde, Deep Girls by Lori Weber, and Fifteen Point Nine by Holly Dobbie. DCB is currently accepting submissions for young adult titles and submissions can be emailed or sent via post. For more details on the submission guidelines, check this page.
16. Persea Books
An independent publishing company, Persea Books was launched in 1975. It has been printing and publishing important, engaging, and popular books for adults, children, and young adults. They have given young and intellectual Americans a new avenue for literature. Poetry, essays, journals, non-fictions, classics, memoirs, and biographies are some of the things they are renowned for. The publisher has also started building its list of children’s books and young adult novels. Like their adult books, their books for young readers are also vital and perfect for starting conversations or empowering teenagers. The New York based publisher is currently open to YA submissions. While they accept both email and postal submissions, Persea Books prefers manuscripts that are sent via post. You can read the detailed submission guidelines here.
17. Peachtree Publishing
One of the most successful and popular publishers in America, Peachtree Publishing was founded in 1977. Helen Elliott started the company to promote local, regional, and Southern authors. It was one of the first and earliest publishers in the US to give Southern authors and writers a chance. Many of their books and authors received national and international awards. They were named on several Best-selling lists for their talent and genius. While the company accepts submissions in young adult fiction, they aren’t open to new submissions at the moment. You can keep reviewing this page for fresh details about open submission calls.
18. Tor Teen
Based in NYC, Tor Teen is an imprint of Forge Books that is entirely dedicated to publishing YA and middle grade fiction. Over the last one and a half decades, the company has garnered several rave reviews for their ground-breaking YA titles. Notable YA titles include Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry, Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard, and Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson. Unfortunately, Tor Teen doesn’t provide any details about their submission policies. However, you can direct your manuscript submission queries via email. Check this page for complete contact details.
19. Free Spirit Publishing
Judy Galbraith was a teacher and educator. She noticed that a lot of her students were unable to find helpful material that discussed real and relevant issues. So in 1983 she started publishing educational materials under the company Free Spirit Publishing. The goal and aim of the publisher remains the same till date. It is focused on providing contemporary, useful books and materials on topics that touch the lives of children and young adults. Children have to face several challenges while growing up and these books can be the support system they need. The Minneapolis based publisher only prints non-fiction for children, middle graders and young adults. The genres and categories they publish are intense and include topics such as self-help for teens, behavioural difficulties, picture books, Special Education, and conflict resolution for children and young adults. As of now, they are looking for YA titles focusing on conflict resolution, bullying prevention, character building, leadership, community engagement, and more. View the detailed submission guidelines and contact details here before sending your manuscript.
An Additional Publisher of Young Adult Books
The exclusive publisher of children’s books and young adult fiction has been in the business since 1935. It actually gained a standing as the first children’s publisher in America. Over the years it has managed to cultivate a warm, dedicated and passionate reputation with writers and authors. As the publishing landscape changed, they have kept up with the modern ages with their vision. They publish award winning, popular and loved books like the ‘I Love to Read’ series for young readers. Located in New York, they accept children’s books for kids aged four and above. Note that Holiday House does not publish mass market, pop-up, and sticker books for kids. Writers can consider sending their manuscripts for submission after reading the submission guidelines on this page.
Do you know of any other young adult book publishing companies? If so, please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.