THE LUCKY 7 - SEVEN CANADIAN PUBLISHERS WHO ARE NOT ONLY ACCEPT UNSOLICITED MG/YA MANUSCRIPTS, BUT ARE LOOKING FOR THEM.
Are you looking to get your book into the world?
Are you unagented but still want to publish traditionally?
Are you Canadian ?
If you answered yes to all three of those questions, boy do I some great news for you! Canadian publishers are looking to bring your blood, sweat and tears to life. Currently, the Canadian government contributes 39.1 million to support Canadian publishing, which many small-to-midsize publishers depend on. The Catch? They have to publish books written by Canadian Authors to qualify for their share.
Kate Edwards, the executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), says the government is planning a sweeping review of the budget used to support publishing. “The overall budget dedicated to books is C$39.1 million per year—of which C$30 million goes directly to support publishers, says Edwards, whose organization provides support for 115 small and midsize publishers. “That may sound good until you realize that it has been C$39.1 million for 15 years.” Edwards says the ACP has actively lobbied to see that number raised and is currently asking for an increase to C$54 million.
What this means is that Canadian Publishers are looking for their next great book.
Could it be yours?
Here are seven (though there are more to come - subscribe to our mail list to get more) Canadian Publishers who are accepting unagented, unsolicited manuscripts. Be sure to follow each publishers submission guidelines exactly and make sure your project fits their lists to save both you, and them, a lot of heartache. (The guidelines below are accurate as of October 14th, 2017).
Dundurn is currently accepting submissions for fiction books matching one of the following descriptions:
Middle Grade & YA
Dundurn is currently accepting submissions for adult non-fiction books in the following areas of interest:
Canadian History, Politics, Current Affairs
Arts & Culture
Business & Economics
Transportation & Travel
Health & Well Being
Canadiana & Local Interest
Please include in your submission:
Thank you for thinking of ECW Press! We proudly publish an eclectic list of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction — but we don’t publish in every category under the sun. Before sending in your proposal, please familiarize yourself with our recent titles to see if your book fits with our publishing program. We are committed to publishing diverse voices and experiences.
Note: ECW accepts fiction and poetry submissions by Canadians only; there are no citizenship restrictions on writers submitting non-fiction.
Please send your proposal to email@example.com with your manuscript’s title in the subject line and include:
A cover letter explaining what your book is about and why you think it’s a good fit with ECW. https://ecwpress.com/collections/young-adult
Guidelines for submitting manuscripts to Red Deer Press for consideration.
If you would like to submit a manuscript for consideration, please review the following guidelines as applicable for content that is suitable for children or adults.
Red Deer Press is looking for quality writing for children across the ages, from picture books to young adult fiction and non-fiction.
Submissions may be made by email or through regular mail. Please send only one manuscript at a time.
Manuscripts should be legibly typed, double-spaced, with the author’s name and contact information clearly indicated on the cover page. Submissions should always include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient Canadian postage to return the manuscript or a reply.
For picture books submit entire text, no query letter. No original art will be accepted.
For fiction, submit query letter - or three sample chapters.
For non-fiction, submit query letter, or sample chapter with outline.
Multiple submissions are acceptable but will not receive priority.
Please allow four to six months for a response.
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
YELLOW DOG - GREAT PLAINS BOOKS
YOUNG ADULT FICTION
Yellow Dog (formerly Great Plains Teen Fiction) primarily publishes contemporary and historical fiction from Canadian authors for middle grade and teen readers. Humour is appreciated, as is romance. Stories can be set anywhere, though we prefer them to be set on this world, present or past. In the spring of 2017 we will publish our first Yellow Dog list. Submissions should follow our general guidelines below.
Address your submission as applicable to:
Editor, Great Plains Teen Fiction
233 Garfield Street, Winnipeg, MB R3G 2M1
Due to the volume of submissions, we do not provide editorial comments on manuscripts. Response times vary and are sometimes lengthy.
Thank you for your interest in Great Plains Teen Fiction.
Guidelines for Authors & Illustrators
Orca Book Publishers receives many submissions over the course of the year and aims to consider each one carefully so we appreciate your patience with this process.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with our publishing program before you send us a submission. Please browse our website, download a copy of our current catalogue and review the guidelines below.
If you decide to submit a book proposal, please note:
Middle Reader fiction
ENGAGE BOOKS™ is currently accepting submissions of childrens books, science fiction novels, humour (non-fiction), and popular science (non-fiction).
Do you have the next breakout childrens book. We want to hear from you. We are looking for children's books (fiction or non-fiction) from baby to age 6.
SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS
We are currently accepting science fiction novels. While we will consider all submissions of a speculative nature, preference will be given to stories with compelling characters, ideas and events that keep our staff turning pages. We are building Engage SF to become a leader in space adventures. Space opera may be the best term to describe the type of science fiction we wish to publish, with stories that take place in an outer space environment, or a society where space travel is possible. Brian Aldiss' definition of space opera in 1974 as "the good old stuff" fits nicely into our theme, yet we are looking for fresh ideas that match Hartwell and Cramer definition of space opera as a "colourful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes." Keep in mind that not everything needs to be large-scale, and the plot doesn't need to be focused on war (usually a struggle or obstacle of some kind needs to be overcome). Submit your full length novel using our online submissions section.
When submitting a manuscript, please keep in mind that we are only accepting children's books, science fiction novels, and popular science (non-fiction) at this time.
At Kids Can Press, we are interested in reading quality picture books and nonfiction manuscripts for children, as well as chapter books for ages 7–10. We do not accept young adult fiction or fantasy novels for any age. To ensure that your manuscript is appropriate for our publishing list, please familiarize yourself with the books that we publish.
When submitting your manuscript, please follow the guidelines listed below.
The manuscript must be typewritten and double-spaced, with your name and address on both the manuscript and cover letter. For picture book submissions, please send a copy of the entire manuscript. For chapter book submissions, we require a synopsis and approximately three sample chapters. Please do not send the entire manuscript unless requested to do so.
We do not consider manuscripts submitted by fax or by e-mail.
Please do not send us the only copy of the work.
Due to the high volume of submissions that we receive, we will only respond to those that are of interest for possible publication. Therefore, a self-addressed, stamped envelope is unnecessary — all materials will simply be recycled. If you have not heard from us within six months of submitting your manuscript, you can assume that it is not right for Kids Can Press.
Please do not send original artwork with your manuscript. It is not necessary for art to be created in advance of a manuscript being accepted for publication. Should a manuscript require illustrations, Kids Can Press will make arrangements for the artist. However, if you are a professional artist, please include photocopied samples of your work along with a brief résumé outlining your experience.
You are welcome to send your proposal simultaneously to other publishers rather than submitting it exclusively to Kids Can Press.
WE REGRET THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE STATUS OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT BY PHONE, MAIL OR E-MAIL.
Address the envelope to:
Kids Can Press
25 Dockside Drive
So there you have it. The lucky Seven Canadian Publishers LOOKING for Canadian Authors. But this is just a few. There are many more. I am currently compiling the list and will send it out to my mailing list. If you haven't join yet, get on it! The link is below:)
Until next time,
By: Chris Billingsley
It might seem obvious, but in the world of storytelling, elementary teachers make great middle grade authors. We have a front row seat to the comings and goings of a wide range of characters from the age of four to thirteen.
So keeping that in mind, here are my top three reasons why teachers should write more middle grade stories.
All great authors do research, whether it be for factual information or to ensure a character’s dialogue and actions are authentic to their real life counterpart.
We research clothing and costuming, and fact check historical dates and events to make sure that whatever we’ve included in the story is realistic for the period and/or person we are writing about. For example, while writing, The Raven’s Watch, I researched the legend of the Ravens that inhabit the Tower of London. I had to find out who the King was at the time and exactly how that legend came to fruition. (By the way, there are still six ravens in the Tower of London today).
Teachers who write for the kids they teach have the ‘golden research ticket’. We are constantly surrounded by our target audience. Everyday is a new day to learn about our character's personality quirks, the language they use when speaking to authority figures, and more importantly, to their peers.
Through reading conferences, book reports and independent reading selections, teachers learn what books their target audience is reading. They learn how the kids comprehend the texts they read, and what plot lines, character traits and vocabulary the students engage most with.
And here’s a nifty little caveat. If your story takes place in a school, you are an expert in how things work. For example, how do the students move in the halls? What do morning announcements sound like? How does a teacher get her classes attention? What does her teacher voice sound like? What is the routine of a fire drill?
If you are not a teacher, or haven't had the pleasure of standing in front of thirty noisy eight-year-olds, you may politely ask your class to pay attention. As a teacher, you know that never works - in fact, that approach will most certainly get you eaten alive. You may count down from 5. Maybe do a rhythmic clapping pattern, or even come up with a catchy game in which you shout something and the class responds back to you.
Point is, think about how much more authentic your story will be when you have the voice and mannerisms of the teacher at the front of the room down pat. And further, you’ll know exactly how your characters will respond to situations because you see them do it everyday.
Snedly Higgins, the main character in my new story tentatively entitled, Snedly Higgins: Sixth Grade Ninja is a story loosely based on a student in my class who was so quirky and unique, I just had to write a story centered around him.
BUILT IN CRITQUE GROUPS
The Raven’s Watch was actually born from of a class project I did with my seventh grade class. We were reading Moira Young’s, Blood Red Road as a class read aloud and the kids were eating it up. I decided to do a narrative writing unit, where we would create a plot line for a book and sum it up into a single sentence. With all due credit to the Snowflake Method, we began by looking at this example;
“An eleven-year-old wizard tries to stop an evil sorcerer from coming back to life.”
Do you recognize it?
Of course you do. And so did they.
So off we went, trying to come up with a hook for our stories. I came up with mine;
“A seventeen-year-old boy and his sister must reignite an ancient order of freedom fighters to prevent an evil emperor from taking over the world.”
A little over dramatic, I know, but you get the gist. It summed up my story. And the kids loved it. If it were not for their encouragement and excitement, The Raven’s Watch might never have been written. Not only did they encourage me, they read along with me, offered suggestions and were candid about what they liked and didn’t like.
Though they may not have had the knowledge of a professional writer’s group, they knew what they liked and what they didn’t.
You might think teachers make great authors because they teach the mechanics of writing, parts of speech and sentence fluency everyday.
And while this is somewhat true, an already overcrowded curriculum as well as the demands for higher achievement in standardized tests make focusing on the “little things” difficult. Spelling dictation and grammar workbooks have gone the way of the dodo.
Often, this is left to the end, when ideas are down, plot and structure have been finessed and the student finally has something that logically makes sense. Only then, if there is time, can we go back and edit for syntax, grammar and spelling (It’s amazing how with all the spell checkers out there, kids still hand in typed up, finished work with spelling mistakes.)
It is worth noting though, that much of what we teach our students gets tossed out the window when you work at becoming a professional author. In some cases, you get told that what you’ve been instructed to teach students about writing is not the way to do it in a novel. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn, and one I still struggle with today.
One example that comes to mind is the overuse of adverbs. We teach students to use adverbs to make the action more descriptive.
Student: “Taylor ran to the store.”
Teacher: “How did he run to the store?
Student: “Taylor quickly ran to the store.”
And we praise Johnny for using an adverb correctly. (I know it’s a bad example, but I'm just trying to make a point.)
But now If I teach more like a writer and less like a teacher, I may instead say:
Teacher: “Okay, Johnny, that’s better, but now I’d like you to not use an adverb, but still tell me he ran quickly.”
Teacher: “How else could I know he ran quickly without using the word, quickly.”
Student:(in a perfect world) “The wind whistled through Taylor’s hair as he sprinted for the store.”
I’ve learned a lot about writing that I didn’t know before. I learned about overusing adverbs, and avoiding filter phrases like “feel” , “realize” “watch”, and “see” among others.
I understand, “show versus tell” and though I taught it all the time, only now as a writer do I truly get it.
And sometimes, you just need to tell.
Teachers make great middle grade authors because they are experts in the behaviours, learning styles, and language of their target audience. We are doing research everyday, just by doing our jobs.
I’d love to see more teachers write for middle graders. So what are you waiting for?