Allen & Unwin publish over 80 new books for children and young adults each year, many of these from established authors and illustrators. However, we know how difficult it can be for new writers to get their work in front of publishers, which is why we decided to extend our innovative and pioneering Friday Pitch service to emerging writers for children and young adults. We now accept submissions of children’s fiction, novels and graphic novels for teenagers and narrative non-fiction.
We have already taken on a number of projects that came to us through Friday Pitch, including The Anti-Princess Club series by Samantha Turnbull and Kathryn Barker’s YA thriller, In the Skin of a Monster.
Please note we will not accept submissions of picture book texts, poetry or short stories.
Below are some general guidelines regarding age groups and word counts:
• For beginner readers, aged 5-7, word length 5,000-10,000
• For confident readers, aged 7-9, word length 10,000-25,000
• For middle-grade readers, aged 10-13, word length 25,000-50,000
We are looking for fresh, original storylines, strong engaging characters, a flair for language and an authentic voice that will appeal to children.
• For young adult readers, aged 14+, word length 50,000-100,000
Novels for young adults need to be extremely well-written and engrossing. We are looking for fresh, original voices and powerful storytelling. We also accept one or two graphic novels a year by Australian and New Zealand creators only. You are welcome to submit your graphic novel for children or young adults through the Friday Pitch.
We publish very few non-fiction books, but are looking for those powerful true stories that resonate with children, especially those in primary school. Therefore we will only look at non-fiction submissions if they are narratives, and are imaginative, timely and authoritative in areas that, traditionally, educational publishers don't cover.
So what should you send? It's simple: copy and paste the title information sheet (see below) into the body of your email, and fill in the gaps. Then attach the FIRST chapter of your manuscript and a short synopsis (of no more than 300 words) as separate Word documents (please, no PDF documents).
List any previous publishing history and/or any awards or residencies (eg at Varuna) you've received:
What genre would you categorise it as (eg, fantasy, mystery, romance, family drama, social issue, thriller, literary, memoir etc)?
Please summarise the story in one sentence (eg: An unrequited love story between a vampire and a teenage girl/A boarding school story set in a school of magic/A child's eye view of an escape from war-torn Vietnam)
What book would you see as a comparison title to yours?
What recent children's book have you read and liked?
When you send us your submission, you’ll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt. No other acknowledgement will be sent to you.
Should Allen & Unwin wish to pursue your project, we will be in contact with you via email within the fortnight. Please note that we do not send individual acceptance or rejection letters. If you do not hear from us, please assume that we do not wish to pursue your manuscript for our lists. No further correspondence will be entered into and we will not provide you with reasons for our decision.