Submissions

We are currently closed to submissions for all our imprints (except through special select opportunities, such as conferences, courses, pitch events, etc). Illustration portfolios are always welcome. Thank you for stopping by!

Thank you for your interest in Gnome Road!

Please note that we have restructured our imprints. Gnome Road Publishing will now house all picture book titles and works for older audiences. Little Gnome is now reserved for materials that would be most appropriate for ages 0-3. Please only submit work to Gnome Road that is intended for children over the age of 3.

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

Gnome Road books are for readers age 3 and older.

Presently, we will only be looking at picture books and chapter books with series potential (middle-grade and young adult works are not being considered at this time). 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.

We aim to make contact with authors or illustrators whose work we are interested in within sixty (60) days. In the past, we have 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.

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), or the first three chapters of a chapter book, 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. Do not send more than one manuscript within a single submissions window. 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. However, for the March 2022 window (NOW CLOSED - the information below left here for curious readers), we are primarily interested in reviewing manuscripts that fit the following topics and themes:

  • Informational fiction, narrative nonfiction, and unique concept books with a narrative component and/or kid-friendly wordplay - that include STEAM connections (particularly stories about geology, weather, seasons, and other foundational science or arts/crafting skills);
  • 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! Bonus: A funny sibling or best friend story about the process of lending/borrowing things and what can go wrong (not simply sharing them);
  • 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.

We will not be looking for "life-on-the-farm" stories or with a barnyard/farm/ranch setting, rhyming texts, poetry collections, picture book biographies, sibling stories that feature bringing home baby, first day of school, fear of the dark or monsters, fable/folk/fairy tale retellings, or STEAM-themed stories that have to do with insects, marine life, or transportation.

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

Illustrators may submit representative work at any time.

We are not open to rhyming texts for this submissions window. HOWEVER, in the future, 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 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.