Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Orca Books seeks kid lit, board books to middle grade, plus reluctant readers, nonfiction, and graphic novels

Orca Books

1016 Balmoral Road
Victoria, BC

https://www.orcabook.com/

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Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher. With over 1,000 titles in print and more than 80 new titles a year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors (only) and bringing them to a wider market.

Orca Books is seeking manuscripts in the following genres:

            

             Board Books

Picture Books

Orca Echoes: Early chapter books for ages 7-9

Middle Reader fiction: Ages 8-13

Orca Footprints: Ages 9 and up

Orca Currents: For reluctant readers ages 10-14, with a reading level of grade 2.0-4.5

Orca Soundings: For reluctant readers ages 12 and up, with a reading level of grade 2.0-4.5

Teen or Young Adult fiction: Ages 12 and up

Graphic Novels

Nonfiction

Rapid Reads

Email all submissions to: submissions@orcabook.com but first, see particulars below…

Board Books

Manuscripts should have minimal text and be aimed at ages 0–24 months.

No art should be included with board book submissions unless you are a professional illustrator. Original art should never be included.

Please send submissions to the attention of Liz Kemp.


Picture Books

Good stories, well told. Any lesson or moral should be secondary to credible characters, an engaging plot and strong writing. The point of view should invite the child reader into the story.

Even if you have written a series, please send only one submission. We rarely publish sequels to our picture books, and then only if the first book has been very successful.

Picture book manuscripts should typically be 1,500 words or less.

No art should be included with picture book submissions unless you are a professional illustrator. Original art should never be included.

Complete manuscripts (no queries, please) should be sent to the attention of Liz Kemp.

Orca Echoes

Early chapter books aimed at ages seven to nine

Contemporary stories or fantasy with a universal theme, a compelling, unified plot and a strong, sympathetic child protagonist who grows through the course of the story and solves the central problem him/herself

Currently seeking stories where humour, imagination and play are at the forefront

Any lesson or moral should be well-disguised, and secondary to an engaging plot, strong characters, and child-appeal

6,000 to 8,000 words (max.)

Submissions should be sent in their entirety to the attention of Liz Kemp.

***

Note: Orca editor Liz Kemp will be the guest speaker at our Writing for Children and for Young Adults Saturday, April 24. Details here.

Middle Reader fiction

Contemporary stories with a universal theme, a compelling, unified plot and a strong, sympathetic child protagonist who grows through the course of the story and solves the central problem themselves

35,000 to 50,000 words

Target audience: readers for this genre can range anywhere from 8 to 13 years old. Please be clear about the target age group for your work in your cover letter.

A cover letter and the first three chapters should be sent to the attention of Tanya Trafford.

Orca Footprints

Straightforward books about the complex environmental issues that kids face every day. Each 48-page book aims to inspire kids to take action in any way they can.

Well-researched, simply-expressed information and powerful images to readers ages 9 and up who are asking questions about the state of the natural world.

2,000 words (or less); approximately 60 photographs (with captions)

Please submit query only to Kristie Hudson.

Orca Currents

High-interest novels aimed at reluctant readers aged 10-14, , with a reading level of grade 2.0-4.5

Protagonists are between 12 and 14 years old and should be appealing and believable.

These stories should have middle-school-appropriate story lines (family issues, humor, sports, adventure, mystery/suspense, fantasy, etc.).

14,000 to 16,000 words, 12 to 16 chapters.

A cover letter, a short (100–200 words) synopsis and a chapter-by-chapter outline should be sent to the attention of Tanya Trafford.

Orca Soundings

High-interest novels aimed at reluctant readers aged 12 and up, with a reading level of grade 2.0-4.5

Protagonists are between 14 and 17 years old and should be appealing and believable.

These stories should reflect the universal struggles that young people face. They need not be limited to "gritty" urban tales. Can include adventures, mystery/suspense, performing arts, romance, sport, and fantasy.

14,000 to 16,000 words, 12 to 16 chapters

A cover letter, a short (100–200 words) synopsis and a chapter-by-chapter outline should be sent to the attention of Tanya Trafford.

Graphic Novels

We are looking for stories for all ages that can be told in graphic novel format. We are not looking for manga and anime.

Submissions should include a cover letter, synopsis and full text of the story. The more complete the submission, the better. If you are working with an illustrator, please include samples of their work and any finished art (copies only).

Send submissions to: submissions@orcabooks.com

Nonfiction

Orca publishes a very limited selection of nonfiction titles. We are looking for unique, stand-alone projects that will have broad appeal to young North American readers.

Material should be appropriate for juvenile and young adult readers.

Query first, please. Do not send outlines, sample chapters, complete manuscripts or illustrations.

Queries should be sent to the attention of Kristie Hudson.

 Email all submissions to: submissions@orcabook.com

In the Subject line, include genre, name of project, and your name; e.g., Query: Orca Echoes {TITLE} by {Your Name}

Your cover letter may be in the body of the email; if it’s sent as a separate attachment, provide a short description of your submission in the email itself.

Attach the manuscript (or partial manuscript) in a single, separate document. Word or PDF preferred. Do not send links to shared documents; these will not be opened.

Additional images may be sent as jpg’s or pdf’s

See full guidelines here. See also Guidelines for Illustrators.

Orca book editor Liz Kemp

If you’re interested in writing for children, don’t miss Writing Kid Lit and Young Adult Fiction course, offered online Wednesday evenings, April 21 – June 16 (see here) and Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop with Orca Books editor Liz Kemp, offered online Saturday, April 24. Details here

Beyond that, Brian Henry’s schedule continues to take shape...

Online: How to Write a Bestseller, with New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, Saturday, April 3.  Details here.

Online: How to Build Your Novel, with author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Sunday, April 11. Details here.

Spring classes:

Online: Writing Personal Stories, nine weeks of creativity and fellowship. Thursday afternoons, April 15 – June 24 {no class May 27}. Details here.  

Online: Welcome to Creative Writing, an introductory, low pressure course to get the creative juices flowing. Thursday evenings, April 15 – June 24 {no class May 27}. Details here.

More workshops:

Online: How to get Published Saturday, May 8, with literary agent Meg Wheeler of Westwood Creative Artists (see here).

Online: Beginning Right – How to open your novel, Saturday, May 15. Details here.

Writing retreat:

Algonquin Park: Writing Retreat at Arowhon Pines Resort, an island of luxury in the middle of a wilderness. Friday, May 28 – Monday, May 31.  Details here.

Summer classes ~ in person:

In-person: Exploring Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.

In-person: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25, in Burlington. Details here.  

Information about online summer courses to come.

For more details or to register for any workshop, retreat or weekly class, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

 Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. For more children’s and young adult publishers, see here {and scroll down}. For book publishers in general, see here {and scroll down}.

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