Due to a high volume of submissions, we are not accepting new unsolicited manuscript queries until February 2020. Illustrators may continue to submit portfolios at the Submittable link below.
NEW in April 2019: Pajama Press accepts unsolicited queries and illustrator portfolios only through the following Submittable link:
Pajama Press considers digital queries accompanied by picture books texts or the first three chapters of novel length projects. Your query should include an overview of your submission and some information about your writing background. Pajama Press prefers not to look at simultaneous submissions. Please notify us if you are submitting your project to another publisher.
In the interest of saving trees, Pajama Press does not accept physical manuscripts. Any manuscripts mailed to our office will be recycled unopened.
What kind of books does Pajama Press publish?
We publish picture books both for the very young and for school-aged readers, as well as early chapter books, novels for middle-grade readers, and contemporary or historical fiction for pre-high school aged YA readers aged 12–14. Our nonfiction titles typically contain a strong narrative element. Pajama Press is also looking for manuscripts from authors of diverse backgrounds. Stories about immigrants are of special interest. Due to a high volume of queries, Pajama Press no longer considers submissions from authors outside of Canada.
What should my query look like?
A query does not need to be complicated. Please write us an email that gives the following information:
- A brief summary of your book. Remember that this is a summary, not marketing material—please don’t leave us in suspense about how the story’s conflict is resolved. For a picture book, a few sentences are probably enough. A novel might take a paragraph or two.
- An excerpt. A good rule of thumb is to send the first three chapters of your novel-length projects. Picture book projects do not need to be excerpted.
- Information about your writing background. If samples of your published writing are available online, you may include a link.
Your query is like a resumé—it gives us our first impression of your professionalism and your writing ability. Do take care to represent yourself well.
I see that you don’t accept simultaneous submissions of manuscripts. Can I submit my query to more than one publisher at the same time?
Yes. If we do decide to request your manuscript, we will ask you whether another publisher is considering it. If, at that time, you can offer us the exclusive privilege of looking at your manuscript, we will gladly read it.
My self-published eBook is doing great on Amazon! Will you publish a print version?
Unfortunately, we are unable to consider books that have already been published digitally.
What is the difference between juvenile and middle grade literature?
There is no difference. Both are names for literature written for kids aged 9 to 12. These books can have fairly advanced vocabulary, and their themes are often very challenging, but lots of dialogue and straightforward development keeps them accessible to this age group.
What is the difference between YA novels for ages 12–14 and novels for high-school aged readers?
YA books for ages 12–14 often have themes that are just as complex as those in books for older readers, but they are not graphic, especially in terms of violence, language, or sexual content. Their protagonists are often between 13 and 16 years of age.
I am also an illustrator. Can I send you my illustrated manuscript?
When we produce a picture book, the illustrations are not begun until the edits to the text are complete. That way, illustrations will not need to be redone if something in the text is changed. At that time, our experienced art director will work with the illustrator to design the page layouts.
If you would like to illustrate your own book, you can submit some concept art with your manuscript. If you would like to be considered for future Pajama Press picture books, please describe your experience and training and send us some sample art and/or a link to your website or online portfolio. We also welcome portfolios from Indigenous illustrators.
Click here to download an outline of What We Are Looking For