SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Manuscript submission

Discussion started on

Hello, I'm thinking about submitting a picture book I wrote to a publisher. What are some publishing companies that will accept unsolicited PB manuscripts? Is it appropriate to self publish or enter this story into a writing contest after I submit it?

I appreciate your help. Thanks.
#1 - June 02, 2015, 03:01 PM

There are many publishing companies that will accept unagented PB submissions. Some good ways to find them are by looking in Children's Writers and Illustrators Market or the SCBWI publication (can't remember the specific name) and then, of course, cross checking submission guidelines online. Also, read lots of books and take note of the publishers where you think your book might fit and look them up to see if they are open to submissions.

If you are going to submit to publishers you should not self publish until you have played that avenue out. Publishers are looking for unpublished manuscripts.

Entering some writing contests could be fine. It depends on the rules.
#2 - June 03, 2015, 11:18 AM
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 12:26 PM by heatherayris »

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region losangeles
Hi Blue Moon,

As Heather mentioned, the Children's Writers and Illustrators Market is a great resource for finding potential agents, publishers, etc. The SCBWI publication is available online to SCBWI members. Joining SCBWI is great -- it's a huge wealth of information.

If you plan to submit to publishers, no, I would not self publish it in the meantime. Most publishers do not look at a book that has already been published. (Sure there are a few notable exceptions but in general, one chooses whether to go through traditional publishing or self publishing.)

Submitting to a contest may be okay, just be mindful of the rules of the contest as well as the publisher's own guidelines. For instance, if the contest intends to publish your work or any part of it, just be aware of that. If you ever have questions about a specific contest, post the contest guidelines here on the SCWBI blueboards and I am sure you will get some wise feedback about whether it should be okay to submit to that contest while subbing to publishers, or not.

You might also want to have your work critiqued, if you have not already. You can find peer critique groups by joining SCBWI.
#3 - June 03, 2015, 02:59 PM

Children's writer
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region australiaeastnz
Also, the old fashioned way of going to the library and looking at PBs you like, or which are like yours, can set you on the path of appropriate publishers. Then you can consult their web site to see if they are accepting unsolicited PB submissions at the moment. Googling might help too. A few authors sometimes list on their web sites who's accepting what kind of subs.
Best of luck with your ms.
#4 - June 03, 2015, 05:47 PM
Odd Bods: The World's Unusual Animals - Millbrook Press 2021
Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths - CSIRO Pub. Oct. 2021

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Is there a reason you don't want to look for an agent first?
#5 - June 04, 2015, 11:25 AM
"We either live happily ever after or we get killed by horrible curses." -The Wolf, The 10th Kingdom

I'm not sure I can afford an agent.

I have one of SCBWI books from the mid 2000's, but I'm sure it's outdated by now.
#6 - June 04, 2015, 04:20 PM

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Blue Moon, that's not quite how agents work. They earn their $ when they sell your books--they usually take ~15% commission.  Never, ever, sign with an agent who asks for money up front to represent you.

You might find this post in our FAQ section helpful:;sa=show;faqid=8
#7 - June 04, 2015, 04:57 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)

Thanks for the info, it's something I'll consider.
#8 - June 10, 2015, 12:06 AM


0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.