Writer and Illustrator Guidelines
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.
At Boyds Mills Press, we welcome unsolicited submissions from published and unpublished writers and illustrators. The review process is time-consuming, and we require that anyone interested in submitting to us use https://www.highlights.com/working-for-highlights/submission-guidelines. After creating a password-protected account, you’ll be guided through the submission process. We review each submission in the order it was received and try to respond within three months.
Types of Submissions
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 an illustrator submitting a picture book, please review the picture book guidelines at https://www.highlights.com/working-for-highlights/submission-guidelines. To submit art samples only, please send them to email@example.com.
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.
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.
Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Teen Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission. We highly recommend including an expert's review of your manuscript with 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 your 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.