Now, most US publishers require agents. Children's book publishers in the UK, however, seem to be carrying on the tradition. Most of these are small, specialty publishers, but some are big names in the industry.
As always, make sure you examine their lists to see if your work would be a good fit, and read all of their submission requirements carefully.
(Go here for the Top 5 Resources for Children's Book Writers)
Andersen Press specializes in children's books. They publish picture books, approximately 500 words (maximum 1000), juvenile fiction 3-5000 words and older fiction up to 75,000 words.
Submissions: Please send all submissions on paper, by regular post, along with a stamped, addressed envelope. They do not accept International Reply Coupons. Click here for details.
Buster Books is the children’s imprint of independent publisher Michael O’Mara Books.
Submissions: Submissions of fiction and non-fiction ideas are welcome from authors, compilers and illustrators. They do not accept picture book or poetry submissions. Synopses and sample text are preferred. Please do not send original text, illustrations or artwork in case of loss or damage. Submissions by email or post. Click here for details.
Established in 2010 by Shaun Russell and Justin Chaloner, Candy Jar Books publishes both children's and adult titles. Marston Book Services Ltd, one of the leading independent distributors in the UK, is responsible for distributing their titles.
Submissions: They are currently only accepting non-fiction ideas with a strong market appeal. Click here for details
For nearly twelve years DFB was run as an imprint – first as part of Scholastic, then of Random House. Now they are an independent business, DFB Storyhouse. They publish 12-20 titles a year.
Submissions: Send the first 3 chapters of your writing (or just 3 samples of your artwork) attached to your cover email as a PDF document or by regular post. Click here for details.
Floris Books is an independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They publish books in two main areas: non-fiction for adults, and books for children. Within their non-fiction list, they focus on books that cover all aspects of holistic and alternative living. Submissions: Scottish themed books only for ages 2-15. Printed submissions by regular post only (no emails). Click here for details.
Frances Lincoln is part of Quarto’s UK publishing unit, the Aurum Publishing Group. It publishes over 100 new books a year for both adults and children. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books publishes picture books, multicultural books, picture books and information books. Submissions: Proposals must be sent by regular post. Click here for details.
Hogs Back is a small publishing house with a short list. They publish picture books and YA novels.
Submissions: For children’s books aged 0-10 years, send a complete manuscript along with a cover letter or email. For young adult novels, include a synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. Click here for details.
Little Tiger is a small publisher with four imprints. Little Tiger Press has been publishing children’s books for over 25 years.
Submissions: Manuscripts need to sent by regular mail with a detailed synopsis and include the first three chapters, plus a cover letter with any relevant information about yourself. Send hard copy of your manuscript, in double line spacing in a plain font on white paper. No submissions by email or on disk. Click here for details.
This publisher specializes in bilingual books designed for teachers. No poetry - it is very hard to translate. Keep the word count to about 800 for children up to 7 years, and not over 1400 words for readers up to 12 years. They also need translators for Bengali/Sylhethi, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Hindi, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam and Panjabi. They are always looking for good translators in all languages. Worldwide distribution.
Submissions: Submissions should be sent via email. Click here for details.
Maverick Arts is a picture book publisher in both print and Nook formats. They accept poetry or prose. Preferred style: "quirky." (Their website is suitably whimsical.)
Submissions: Maximum word count – 800 words, but under 600 is preferable - submitted either as a PDF or in a Word document. Postal submissions accepted. Double line spacing, legible font, text running from one page to another (i.e. not one sentence/stanza per page). Click here for details.
Mogzilla and Caboodle books are two independent publishing companies that share a commitment to creating brilliant books for young readers. They've created a new imprint, Mogboodle, for authors and poets. Submissions: No submissions for the under 6 age group. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide details of your proposal and they will send you the submissions address. Click here for details.
Nosy Crow is a small, independent company established in 2011. They publish commercial fiction and non-fiction books for children aged from 0 to 14 by well-known authors and illustrators and by new talent. "We’re looking for “parent-friendly books”, and we don’t publish books with explicit sex, drug use or serious violence, so no edgy YA or edgy cross-over. And whatever New Adult is, we don’t do it." Submissions: They prefer email submissions, though regular postal submissions are also accepted. For novelty/picture books please email the full text. For longer works, you should submit a short synopsis plus the first chapter (double-spaced). You should also send a cover letter containing all relevant information about you and your work. Click here for details.
O'brien Press is an Irish press publishing children's fiction, children's non-fiction and adult non-fiction. They do not publish poetry, academic works or adult fiction.
Submissions: For works of 1000 words or less, submit your entire manuscript. For anything over 1000 words, send a synopsis and 2 or 3 sample chapters. Regular post only. (No email submissions) Click here for details.
Phoenix Yard is a socially aware company that is"spectacularly proud to be an independent publisher because it means we can be innovative, responsive and have a lot of fun." They belong to the Independent Publishers Guild. Submissions: Submissions by email only. If you do not include a full cover letter, a synopsis and the required number of sample chapters, they will not consider your submission. Click here for details.
Piccadilly Press publishes new titles in these three areas: 1) Picture Books for young children (2 to 5 years old). Texts should be 500 to 1,000 words long. 2) Children's and Teenage Fiction, mainly contemporary and humorous, dealing with the issues and problems which teenagers face in their own everyday lives. Children's books can range from aiming at 6+ to 8–12 and can vary in length –generally longer for older readers; books for teens are intended for 11–15-year-olds. and they are usually between 25,000 and 35,000 words in length. 3)Teenage Non-Fiction, mostly humorous, giving practical and sympathetic advice.
Submissions: By regular post only. Click here for details.
Ransom Publishing specializes in books for reluctant readers. They produce easily accessible, high-interest books for older teenagers and adults which have a very low reading level.
Submissions: Ransom does not include submission guidelines on their website. To receive submission guidelines, send an email to general enquiries on the contact page and request information about submissions. Click here for details.
Robinswood books are aimed at increasing literacy, especially for those who 'don't do books' (e.g. people with learning disabilities). Submissions: Send a bio (see Becoming a Robinswood Author page) and a summary of your book: A synopsis – the story or content – some short extracts, a list of characters and their descriptions, and practical data like proposed number of chapters, word-count, the expected number of pages. Send everything in a single email. Click here for details.
Strident publishes a broad range of fiction. They license their books internationally. Most of their titles are available as ebooks. Strident accepts fiction aimed at ages 8-12, teenagers (13-16), and young adults. They do not accept submissions for:non-fiction, poetry, short stories (unless in a themed collection), or pre-school picture books. Submissions: Do not send manuscripts. Send an email query stating what you have written, appropriate age range, word count, blurb, books yours may be compared to, why your book stands out. Click here for details.
Templar is part of the Bonnier Group. Founded in 1978, Templar has become one of the world's most respected publishers and packagers of illustrated children's fiction, novelty and picture books. They have an extensive backlist built over 30 years and sell their products in over 25 languages in more than 50 countries.
Submissions: Templar is currently accepting Picture Book and Novelty Book submissions. They are not currently accepting fiction submissions. Click here for details
Top That books caters to pre-school children. They focus on pop-up books, magnetic books, felt books, and other novelty books. They do not publish "regular" fiction. Top That Publishing Ltd is a Tide Mill Media PLC company. Submissions: Send submissions via email. They buy worldwide rights in all languages. No simultaneous submissions. Click here for details.
Walker is a large company, publishing over 300 books a year in the UK alone. Its sister companies are Walker Australia and Candlewick in the USA. They have a wide-ranging list, but they do not accept submissions in every category. Submissions: Walker accepts illustrated picture-book stories and/or artwork samples via post or email. They do not accept fiction manuscript submissions. Click here for details.