Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint which agents are open to submissions at any given time. So with that in mind, I'm creating some new vertical lists of agents seeking queries right now, as of summer 2016.
This list is for children's picture books.
All the agents listed below personally confirmed to me as of August 2016 that they are actively seeking children's picture book submissions NOW. Some gave personal notes about their tastes while some did not. Good luck querying!
Note from Chuck: Some of these agents are open to text-only submissions. Some agents want subs from author-illustrators only. Make sure you read on to know which are which. If you wish to submit illustrations and the agent says "no attachments," make sure you do not attach sample images. Instead put them online somewhere, and then simply send the agent an email with a link that leads to your website where they can see your work. Lastly, because picture books are so short, even if an agent's guidelines simply say "Query me," typical protocol is to paste your entire picture book text in the e-mail after the query letter.
1. Jennifer Flannery (Flannery Literary)
How to submit: flanneryliterary [at] icloud.com. “I request e-mail queries only with the entire picture book embedded in an e-mail."
"No attachments please.”
2. John Rudolph (Dystel & Goderich)
How to submit: E-query jrudolph [at] dystel.com.
Will not open attachments if they come with a blank e-mail.
3. Emily Van Beek (Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management)
Notes: Author-illustrator submissions only please. No submissions that are text-only.
How to submit: emily [at] foliolitmanagement.com. "To submit a picture book, please attach a PDF of your dummy. Links to online portfolios are always welcome. I would very much like to be able to respond to every query, but unfortunately time doesn’t allow for it. Please be sure to write 'QUERY' in the subject line as this will ensure I do not miss your letter. If you haven’t heard back from me within six weeks, I'm sorry to say I've decided I'm not the ideal match for your project. Thanks again for your submission."
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- Feb. 11, 2017: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
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- Feb. 24, 2017: The Alabama Writers Conference (Birmingham, AL)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 25, 2017: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- March 25, 2017: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, MO)
- April 8, 2017: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- April 22, 2017: Get Published in Kentucky Conference (Louisville, KY)
- April 22, 2017: New Orleans Writers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
- May 6, 2017: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- May 19-21, 2017: PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
- June 24, 2017: The Writing Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- July 22, 2017: Tennessee Writers Workshop (Nashville, TN)
- Aug. 18–20, 2017: Writer's Digest Conference (New York, NY)
4. Victoria Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
Notes: Seeks lyrical picture books.
How to submit: Please email a query to vselvaggio [at] windstream.net and put "Query" in the subject line of your email. Include the entire picture book text in your email after the query letter.
5. Mary Cummings (Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises)
Notes: “I'm drawn to adorable, cute, sweet as well as contemporary, quirky. Strong central character(s) preferred.”
How to submit: Queries for children’s and YA titles should be addressed to b.amster.kidsbooks [at] gmail.com. For picture books, please embed the entire text in the body of your e-mail. “We do not open attachments unless we have requested them. Nor do we respond to phone queries. Please understand that owing to the number of queries we receive, we are able to respond only to those that interest us.”
6. Wendi Gu (Greenburger Associates)
Notes: “I seek author-illustrators only.”
How to submit: “E-mail me dummies as PDFs or through FTP sites at wgu [at] sjga.com.
7. Laura Biagi (Jean V. Naggar Literary)
Notes: "I'm open to both author-illustrators and text only."
How to submit: There is a submission guideline form on the Jean V. Naggar Literary website.
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8. Natalie Lakosil (Bradford Literary)
Notes: Natalie is drawn to talented, hard-working new authors with a fresh, unique voice and hook.
How to submit: E-mail your query to queries [at] bradfordlit.com. To avoid falling into spam, the subject line must begin as follows: "Query for Natalie: (The title of the manuscript and any SHORT message you would like her to see should follow). "We do not open email attachments, unless specifically requested by an agent. Picture book submissions should be a short query along with entire manuscript in body of email."
9. Jill Corcoran (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency)
Notes: Seeks submissions from author-illustrators only.
How to submit: query [at] jillcorcoranliteraryagency.com. Illustrators should query with a link to your portfolio and the entire PB manuscript in the e-mail body.
10. Christa Heschke (McIntosh & Otis)
Notes: "I am open to both text only and author/illustrators, though I am very selective. I am more drawn towards character driven stories that are cute and/or funny, not overly sweet. I love twists on familiar characters or storylines and unlikely friendship stories. I also enjoy nonfiction bios on strong women and people of color throughout history, especially. For all categories [of kidlit], I’d love to see more diverse books!”
How to submit: Query CHquery [at] mcintoshandotis.com.
Bonus 11: Erica Rand Silverman (Stimola Literary Studio)
Notes: Seeks submissions from author-illustrators only. Interested in "great read-aloud texts and ones that put a new spin on evergreen topics."
How to submit: Do not e-query Erica. Instead go online and submit through her agency's online form.
Bonus 12: Adriana Dominguez (Full Circle Literary)
Notes: Invites submissions from both writers and writer-illustrators.
Her wish list concerning illustrators: "I’m interested in artists with distinctive styles, and on bringing more diverse illustrators into the market."
Her wish list concerning text: She seeks "picture books that are funny or endearing, with an element of the unexpected. I love twists, strong concepts, and diverse points of view. Picture books that make you wonder, 'How didn’t anyone ever think of this before?!'"
How to submit: Online submission form: http://www.fullcircleliterary.com/submissions/.
13. Ripple Grove Press (bonus publisher)
Notes: Ripple Grove Press is looking for something unique, beautiful and timeless. "We are looking for picture-driven stories for children ages 2-6. No religious or holiday themed stories. Please do not submit your story with page breaks or illustration notes. Do not submit a story with doodles or personal photographs. Do not send your 'idea' for a story, send your story in manuscript form. We are not looking for: lullaby stories or stories about how much I love you, or my younger brother annoys me, or there’s a new baby in the house, or there’s a monster under my bed, or I want to turn my sister into a monster, or you’re the star in my heaven. We want something fresh and original."
How to submit: Prefers submissions as a PDF attachment to submit [at] ripplegrovepress.com. Please include in the subject line “Submissions” and the title of your story. Submit your story with a cover letter including a summary of your story, a brief biography of yourself, and contact information. Authors do not need to submit illustrations.
Illustrators: When submitting artwork, do not send original art. Send samples with a brief biography and contact information. Illustrators with a story, please submit your story with a PDF of your illustrations.
"Given the volume of submissions we receive, we are no longer able to individually respond to each. Please allow 5 months for us to review your submission. If we are interested in your story, you can expect to hear from us within that time."
Agent Donald Maass, who is also an author
himself, is one of the top instructors nationwide
on crafting quality fiction. His recent guide,
The Fire in Fiction, shows how to compose
a novel that will get agents/editors to keep reading.