Good News for Children’s Writers

by Nancy I. Sanders

children reading

A week and a half ago, 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:


Arthur A. Levine Books

Albert Whitman and Co.

Boyds Mills 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

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

About Nancy I. Sanders

Nancy I Sanders

Nancy I Sanders

Bestselling and award-winning children’s author of over 80 books, Nancy I. Sanders wants to help you experience success writing for kids! It’s hard work, yes, but it’s also lots of fun and very, very rewarding. Learn tips of the trade and secrets of success in her Yes! You Can series of how-to books for children’s writers.

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