Whether or not to seek agent representation is one of the biggest decisions in an author’s career. If you find yourself unagented by choice or by circumstance, however, finding publishers who accept unagented submissions is critical.

While odds may be long in the slush pile, they’re better than no odds at all. Here are nine publishers (in alphabetical order) I’ve found that currently accept unagented picture book submissions.

[Note: Please research all publishers thoroughly before submitting your work.]

Charlesbridge

What they’re looking for:  According to its website, Charlesbridge is seeking stories for young readers that “offer accurate information, promote a positive worldview, and embrace a child’s innate sense of wonder and fun.”

How to submit: By mail. Details here.

Chronicle Books

What they’re looking for: According to its website, “Chronicle Books publishes an eclectic mixture of traditional and innovative children’s books. We are looking for projects that have a unique bent—be it in subject matter, writing style, or illustrative technique—and that will lend our list a distinctive flair. We are interested in fiction and nonfiction books for children of all ages, as well as board books, decks, activity kits, and other unusual or ‘novelty’ formats.”

How to submit: By mail. Details here.

Creston Books

What they’re looking for: According to its website, “Creston Books is author/illustrator driven, with talented, award-winning creators given more editorial freedom and control than in a typical New York house. ”

How to submit: By email or contact form. Details here.

Holiday House

What they’re looking for: According to their website, they specialize in

  • Stories for ages four and up
  • “Quality hardcovers”
  • No mass-market books (e.g., activity books, pop-ups)

How to submit: By email or mail. Details here.

Innovation Press

What they’re looking for: According to their website, they are seeking submissions

  • “that appeal primarily to a PreK-5th grade audience”
  • “hybrid texts that blend fiction elements with nonfiction elements”
  • “that make [them] laugh”
  • have an #ownvoices perspective

How to submit: By email. Details here.

Little Bigfoot (Sasquatch Books)

What they’re looking for: Little Bigfoot, the children’s book imprint of Sasquatch Books, introduces the wonder found in the Pacific Northwest to young children and their families across the country.”

How to submit: By mail. Details here.

Page Street Publishing

What they’re looking for: According to its website, Page Street Publishing “publish[es] children’s books focusing on new talent and artist-led narrative picture books in all genres for ages 4-8, biographies for ages 8-12, occasionally board books for ages 0-3, and visually driven concept books.”

How to submit: By email. Details here.

Penny Candy–Open February and March only

What they’re looking for: Penny Candy focuses on “underrepresented, unheard, or forgotten voices.” Additionally, owing to their founders being poets, they are interested in finding work that reflects their belief that language is an “intricate, complex, wonderful, and diverse affair.”

How to submit: Through Submittable (open only in February and March). Details here.

Sky Pony Press (Skyhorse Publishing)

What they’re looking for: Sky Pony is open to all genres and is looking for “original concepts, fresh voices, and writing that knocks us off [their] feet.”

How to submit: By email. Details here.

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