Writers and Illustrators Guidelines

Boyds Mills Press
Guidelines for Writers and Illustrators

Please note: Boyds Mills Press is a publisher of books for children. Please review our online catalog to see the types of books that we publish before you submit your work.

Submissions Policy

At Boyds Mills Press, we welcome unsolicited submissions from published and unpublished writers and artists. The review procedure is time consuming. In order to review fairly the large number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to acknowledge their receipt. To the same end, should we decide that a manuscript is not for us, we will respond to the sender with a form letter. We review each submission in the order that it was received and try to respond within three months.

Types of Submission

Picture Books: We accept submissions from both writers and illustrators. If you are an author, you do not need to send a query first. Please submit the entire manuscript of your picture book. If you are a professional illustrator submitting a picture book or if you are an author working with a professional illustrator, please include the manuscript, a dummy, and a sample reproduction of the final artwork that reflects the style and technique you intend to use. Do not send original artwork, as we cannot be held responsible for its damage or loss.

Poetry: Please send a book-length collection of your own poems. Do not send an initial query. Keep in mind that the strongest collections demonstrate a facility with multiple poetic forms.

Middle Grade Fiction: Please submit the first three chapters (do not include chapters from the middle of the book) and a plot summary. We will request the balance of the manuscript if we are interested.

Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission. We highly recommend including an expert’s review of your manuscript and a detailed explanation of the books in the marketplace that are similar to the one you propose. References to the need for this book (by the National Academy of Sciences or by similar subject-specific organizations) will strengthen your proposal. If you intend for the book to be illustrated with photos or other graphic elements (charts, graphs, etc.), it is your responsibility to find or create those elements and to include with the submission a permissions budget, if applicable. Finally, keep in mind that good children’s nonfiction has a narrative quality—a story line—that encyclopedias do not; please consider whether both the subject and the language will appeal to children.

Illustrators: We review picture book projects and sample illustrations. To submit a picture book, please review the picture book guidelines above. To submit samples, please send them in the form best suited to the art (postcard, 8½-by-11 sheet, etc.). Keep in mind that one well-presented submission will be more attractive than several submissions or a submission in many parts.

Where to Send Your Submission

Please submit your manuscript with a cover letter of relevant information, including your own experience with writing and publishing. Label the package “MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION" and include an SASE if you would like the manuscript returned. For art samples, please label the package “ART SAMPLE SUBMISSION." All submissions should be sent to:

Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

All submissions will be evaluated for all imprints.