Posted by: nancyisanders | September 30, 2015

Good News for Children’s Writers!!!!


In September 2015, my husband Jeff and I packed our bags for Houston and headed to the airport early in the morning only to find out that the entire airport terminal was closed because of a bomb scare! Flashing lights. Police dogs. Helicopters. And crowds of people lugging suitcases standing at a “safe” distance. As we joined the crowd, workers informed us that a police dog had discovered a suspicious suitcase and given the signal for danger.

Well…that was quite a start for our trip, but I’m happy to say that after an hour of investigation they opened the airport and we made it to Houston safe and sound without even missing our connecting flight.

Why were we going to Houston? To attend Pat Miller’s amazing conference for nonfiction children’s writers, NF4NF. I was honored to be part of the faculty.

And boy, am I glad I got to go. Not only was it THE BEST conference I’ve ever attended, I came away with a sense of more hope for us as children’s writers than I’ve had in years.

You see, in recent years when I’ve taught in writing conferences and critiqued manuscripts for children’s writers, when it comes to submitting our manuscripts, I’ve had to paint a bleak picture. Most publishers were requiring agents. The overwhelming process of submission seemed doubly intimidating if not even impossible.

But I am happy to report that is not the case any more! Right now in the children’s industry there are a significant number of big name publishers who have an open door policy for unsolicited submissions. So for those writers who don’t have agents, this is good, good news. In fact this is GREAT NEWS.

The catch is that you do have to do your homework first. Some only take picture book submissions and not children’s novels. Some only take unsolicited submissions if you’ve already been published. Some are very very specific about what they accept and what they don’t. So click on each link to see if it’s a fit for your manuscript. And if it is, then submit! Yay!!! And do a happy dance because this is a wonderful opportunity right now for YOU!

Here is the list of trade book publishers that Pat Miller, the fearless and amazing leader of the NF4NF conference, gave each of us (plus some I know of as well):


Arthur A. Levine Books

Albert Whitman and Co.

Boyds Mills Press


Chicago Review Press

Chronicle Books

Creston Books

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Holiday House Publishers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children

Ideals Publication

Kane Miller

Lee and Low

Peachtree Children’s Books

Pelican Publishing Company

Sterling Publishers

Storey Publishing

Isn’t that a great list? Now we have oodles of opportunity to submit our manuscripts in the trade book market!

But wait…there’s more!

Here are a couple of of publishers in the Christian market who also accept unsolicited children’s book manuscripts:

Master Books/New Leaf Press

Sparkhouse Family 

Standard Publishing

And if you’ve been following along with my blog this summer you know we’ve talked about all the great opportunity to submit manuscripts in the educational market as well! You can find a list of these publishers at Ev Christensen’s amazing site:


So what are you waiting for?!!! Get out there and submit your children’s manuscript today.




  1. Good Morning Nancy,
    So glad to hear you made it to your conference. 🙂
    And thank you so very much for the encouragement to submit, and for the links. I’ll be keeping this post for sure!

    • Yay for you, Tracy! Keep us posted on your submission progress. Praying for success!

      • Thank you, Nancy, for your prayers. It’s God that opens the doors…I just have to submit. LOL The list is now saved in my Evernote file! 🙂

  2. I saved this in Evernote as well! Thanks, Nancy. I do hope to attend one of your workshops one day. I’d love to make it to Texas next year. Thankful your traveling went well after the bomb scare.

    • Ooooh, Sally, that would be so much fun to meet up in Texas next year…how fun would THAT be?!!!!

  3. I would love to make it to that conference one day… thanks for sharing what you learned,

    • Be sure to sign up for updates, Sue! As I said, it was the BEST conference I’ve ever attended. I’ll explain some of the perks in an upcoming blog post so you can see just how wonderful it was.

  4. Thank you, Nancy, for this inspiring post. I hope to attend one of Pat’s conferences in the future. Your feedback is heart warming for a writer still getting her chops wet with as much knowledge as she can collect 🙂 You are a treasure!

  5. Great information! Thank you!

  6. Thank you for sharing this, Nancy!

  7. Thanks for the list. I have submitted to most of them at one time or another. And I will keep submitting until I get an acceptance. I haven’t tried Eerdman’s yet. I will have to go check them out.

  8. Thanks for highlighting the great experience we all had at NF4NF, Nancy. Yes… writers WILL want to be there. The treasure trove of info and inspiration you and our other faculty shared with us was priceless. Still processing all the possibilities.

    • Damon, it was so great to meet you and your wife in Houston! Best wishes with your writing!!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing this! Wowzers! Encouraging too!

  10. Hi, Nancy, what an encouraging post! Thanks so much. I plan to send a couple of px bk manuscripts out tomorrow.

  11. Thank you for including IDEALS PUBLICATIONS on your list. We have updated our website and author submission guidelines are no longer posted there.

    Writers are encouraged to email us and request submission guidelines. We do not accept manuscripts sent by email at this time.

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