Sunday, May 14, 2017

One Canadian and eight British Publishers that don't require an agent seeking Kid Lit (and lots of other things)

Anne Shone
Scholastic Canada publishes recreational reading for children and young people. Its publishing focus is on books by Canadians or of Canadian interest. The original Scholastic company founded in 1920 by M.R. (Robbie) Robinson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Incorporated in 1957, Scholastic Canada Ltd. was the first of an international family of companies that now includes members in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India and Asia.
Scholastic Canada has its own editorial and acquisitions office. They do not usually accept un-agented manuscripts, unless you’ve heard their senior editor, Anne Shone, speak at a workshop. Anne will be the guest speaker at the “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop on Saturday, May 27, in St. Catharines (see here). So don’t miss it!
Also, Scholastic Canada does welcome submissions from Professional illustrators interested in working with Scholastic. They’re invited to email sample art and links to an online portfolio to Andrea Casault at
Full submission guidelines here.

“Writing for Children & for Young Adults” will also be offered Saturday, July 29, in Collingwood, with literary agent Monica Pacheco (see here), and in the fall, I’ll be offering a weekly class on writing Kid Lit, Thursday mornings, Oct 5 – Nov 30, at the Woodside Branch of the Oakville Public Library, 1274 Rebecca St, Oakville, Ontario (map here). For more details or to reserve a spot, email:

Nosy Crow is an independent company that began publishing child-focused, parent-friendly children’s books and apps in January 2011, with the aim of creating books and apps that encourage children to read for pleasure. This year, 2017, it was named Children’s Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards.
They’re on the lookout for exciting projects by both new and established authors, illustrators, paper-engineers, designers and other creative talent. They buy from agents, and, sometimes, directly from authors and illustrators.
They publish books for children from 0 – 14, mainly focussing on books for children up to the age of 12. They’re looking for “parent-friendly books” and 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. As a rule, we don’t like books with “issues” that are in any way overtly didactic. We are aiming for distribution throughout bookshops in the UK and beyond, so we can’t easily publish things with a niche and/or a local interest.”
Email submissions to:
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. Full submission guidelines here.

The O'brien Press is Ireland’s leading general publisher of both adult and children’s books. Their list includes biography, humor, photography, history, art, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel, plus children’s fiction and nonfiction.
Mail submissions to:
Submissions Department
The O’Brien Press
12 Terenure Road East
Rathgar, Dublin 6, Ireland
For works of 1,000 words or less, submit your entire manuscript. For anything over 1,000 words, send a synopsis and 2 or 3 sample chapters. No email submissions. Full submission guidelines here.

Piccadilly Press publishes stories for children aged 5 – 12. They’re looking for fun, family-oriented fiction. Submit your manuscript to: enquiries@
Attach your work as a Word file or PDF. Full submission guidelines here.

Ransom Publishing specializes in books for for struggling and reluctant readers and young, emergent readers.
“We are proud to be the first publisher to produce easily accessible, high-interest books which have a very low reading level and are genuinely suitable for older teenagers and adults. Our first series of books in this range, Dark Man, won the Educational Resources Book Award in 2006.”
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 and request information about submissions.

Strident publishing is currently looking for:
Illustrated children’s fiction for ages 5-8. We are particularly keen on humorous stories. (We usually commission illustrators separately, but we will consider self-illustrated work.)
Shorter fiction for ages 7-10. This can be illustrated or non-illustrated. By ‘shorter’ we mean typically 15k-40k words.
Mid-length fiction for ages 8-12. Any genre. We love humour, jeopardy, excitement and anything thought-provoking. Twee and traditional is not our cup of tea.
Young Adult fiction. What we have published already gives a good indication of what excites us – quirky (e.g. Kirkland Ciccone’s Endless Empress),  existential (Janne Teller‘s Nothing), dystopian (Gillian Philip’s Bad Faith).
Query Strident at:
Do not send manuscripts. Send an email query stating what you have written, appropriate age range, word count, blurb (very important), books yours may be compared to, why your book stands out. Full submission guidelines here.

Templar Publishing 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. They’re probably best known for the Ology series, which launched in 2003 with Dragonolgy.
Submissions: Templar is currently accepting Picture Book and Novelty Book submissions. Mail your submission to:
The Submissions Team
The Templar Company Ltd
Deepdene Lodge, Deepdene Avenue
Dorking, Surrey, RH5 4AT
Do not submit picture book manuscript by email. Full submission guidelines here.

Top That
books and apps cater for pre-school children to adults and are designed to promote child development, enrich relationships, and foster creativity and imagination.   There are over 100 million Top That books in print and their titles are available in more than 70 countries around the world.
Top That Publishing Ltd is a company of the Tide Mill Media group which includes Playcreate Media Ltd and Loved By Kids Ltd. Top That Publishing accepts submissions from authors, illustrators and designers but note they don't currently publish regular children's or adult fiction. They favour novelty books. Check out their current offerings here.
Submit to Josh Simpkin-Betts:
Full submission guidelines here.

Don’t miss the weekend writing retreats at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park. There are two retreats scheduled for 2017: the June in Algonquin Retreat, Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4 – or extend your retreat to Monday, June 5 (see here) and the Fall Colours Retreat, Friday, Sept 15 – Sunday, Sept 17 (see here). Read about my first stay at Arowhon Pines Resort here.
To reserve a spot or for more information, email:

This summer Brian will be leading three creative writing courses, introductory to advanced:

Exploring Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, July 4 – August 22, in Burlington. Details here.
Next Step in Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, July 5 – August 23, in Burlington. Details here.
Intensive Creative WritingWednesday afternoons, July 5 – August 23, in Burlington. Details here.
      Details of all three courses here.  

Hannah McKinnon
Upcoming workshops include: “You can write great dialogue,” Saturday, June 10 in Guelph, with author Hannah McKinnon, (see here), Saturday, July 15, in Mississauga (see here), and Saturday, July 22, in London (see here), and “How to Write Great Characters,” Saturday, June 17 in Burlington (see here).

For more information or to reserve a spot in any workshop, retreat, or weekly course, email

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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