Submissions

We are currently CLOSED to submissions for all imprints (except through special select opportunities, such as conferences, courses, pitch events, etc). Future submissions windows will be announced on this page, through our newsletter or on social media. Illustration portfolios are always welcome. Thank you for stopping by!

Thank you for your interest in Gnome Road!

We are currently CLOSED to submissions. To keep response times manageable, we will only accept submissions during announced timeframes. We cannot guarantee a submissions window will be available on a routine basis or at all in any given year. You may check back here, follow our Twitter or Instagram feed, or sign up for our newsletter to keep informed of future opportunities.

Presently our list is full through 2025 and we anticipate filling our 2026 list with work submitted from current Gnome Road authors, agent submissions, and through specific outside opportunities or upon request. It is highly unlikely that a submissions window will open prior to the fall of 2024. We will update this page if circumstances change. 

Gnome Road books are for readers age 3 and older.

Presently, we are only publishing picture books. Our Little Gnome imprint has been reserved for materials that would be appropriate for ages 0-3; however, there are no plans to publish under that imprint at this time. Therefore, when submissions are open, please only submit work to Gnome Road that is intended for children over the age of 3 and in picture book format. Our audience attention levels and reading interests are particularly important factors in what we choose to publish. We want stories that are engaging, fresh, and fun, that enrich readers' narratives about self and others, and that beg to be read time and time again (without causing an eye roll from caregivers). We focus heavily on RE-READABILITY.

When we are open to submissions, we aim to make contact with authors or illustrators whose work we are interested in within sixty (60) days. In the past, we tried to send a personalized response to each submission. However, this takes an incredible amount of time and we have found that we can longer do this going forward. We are sorry we cannot reach out to each of you in this way, but we will make every effort to send some form of definitive response within the above time period. Please keep in mind that a general (non-personalized) decline letter is not a reflection of writing quality or a story's potential.

When a submissions window is open or materials have been requested, please send a query and your full picture book manuscript under 750 words, not including sidebars or back matter, (up to 1250 words for nonfiction) pasted into the body of your email to: submissions@gnomeroadpublishing.com.

Include the words "Gnome Road", a dash (-), and the title of your manuscript in the subject line.

Here is an example: Gnome Road - MANUSCRIPT TITLE.

We do not open manuscript attachments unless we have specifically requested or approved them. We only accept electronic submissions. When the submissions window is open, please do not send more than one manuscript. Comp titles are desired, but not required. We also appreciate a short bio in order to learn more about you.

Our wish list changes for each submission opportunity depending on current projects and future needs. Although not an exhaustive list, it reflects the topics, themes and formats that will most likely catch our attention. The following is an example from our last submissions window, but this will change when we open to new work again: 

  • Informational fiction, narrative nonfiction, and unique concept books with a narrative component and/or kid-friendly wordplay that include STEAM connections to geology, weather, seasons, chemistry, or human biology;
  • STEAM-themed poetry collections;
  • HUMOR with purpose (make our kids laugh without making us groan). We look for stories that have layers - something for readers to take away in addition to the laughs. Darker themes are okay, too;
  • A story organically using/highlighting/focusing on sign language;
  • Stories of customs, events, and places throughout the world and within distinct settings (*own voices where appropriate, please) (Authors/illustrators from marginalized or under-represented cultures and backgrounds who can broaden and expand readers' narratives and world views are particularly encouraged to submit);
  • Author-Illustrator works that encompass any of these topics.

If you do not have a manuscript that fits clearly within one of these topics or themes, please wait for the next submission opportunity. We will not be looking for "life-on-the-farm" stories or with a barnyard/farm/ranch setting, rhyming texts, picture book biographies, sibling stories that feature bringing home baby, first day of school, fear of the dark or monsters, or stories that have to do with insects or transportation.

Author-illustrators are encouraged to submit artwork with text in PDF format.

Illustrators may submit representative work at any time.

Please note, if you submit a manuscript using rhyme, please include a description of the intended rhyme scheme and meter in your query. If you do not know what is meant by this, or feel your rhyming text is "loosely based" on a particular meter, please submit something else.

FAQs

Yes! Our publishing contracts incorporate both advance and royalty payments.

Yes! If you would like your agent to send work to GRP, please have them contact us through the submissions email. We will happy to provide information about our current wishlist upon hearing from them.

We want to keep Gnome Road Publishing open to both unagented and agented authors and illustrators. We also need time to review manuscripts and respond to queries AND keep our lives manageable.

We have found that the best way for us to do this is to announce submissions opportunities when we are ready to look at new material. Going forward, these opportunities will be handled by announcement on the GRP website, Twitter feed, and/or newsletter.

We will also continue to look at manuscripts by invitation (for example, in courses and Twitter pitch parties). Illustrators may submit portfolios at any time.

No, but we greatly appreciate them. Please consider adding two to three titles published within the last five years that compare in some way to your manuscript within your query.

We understand that there are many prolific writers out there and you might have multiple manuscripts that match our wish list. However, flooding the submissions inbox with multiple submissions takes away from our ability to carefully read and respond to each submission for you and all authors/illustrators.

We appreciate help in making the process as efficient as possible by following these instructions. You may mention other works in your query and we will ask for those if interested.