An open call for submissions from picture book creators of colour - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Alice, October 14, 2022

An open call for submissions from picture book creators of colour

*Please note that submissions are now closed*

If you’re an author or author-illustrator of colour, we want your picture book stories!

Last year’s call for submissions resulted in the signing of two new picture books. Publishing first in July 2023 will be Nabil Steals a Penguin, written by Nishani Reed and illustrated by Junissa Bianda, a hilarious story about friendship and family, welcoming newcomers, and a boisterous penguin who loves curry. This will be followed by Daddy is Cleaning, written by Angel Dike, a witty and warm celebration of the relationship between a father and baby, and the everyday tasks that descend into complete chaos when the baby ‘helps out’.

We were bowled over by the variety of submissions we received and will be running the picture book open submissions window again this year, from the 17th to 31st October 2022. We hope that this project will help us increase the diversity of our picture book creators, and publish stories with characters and themes that better reflect the multicultural society in which we live.

There are no restrictions in terms of theme, plot or characters, but texts must be suitable for children aged around 3–5 and can be in prose or rhyme (though prose is slightly preferred from the perspective of selling stories internationally).

Before submitting your stories to us, we would like to ask that you familiarise yourself with current fiction picture books for children aged around 3–5, especially if you’re new to writing for this age group.

Please send no more than three picture book texts to [email protected], along with a short biography in the body of the email. I’m afraid any submissions received after the 31st of October will not be considered. If you miss the deadline, please do submit the next time we run the open submissions window.

With the help of my colleagues in the picture book team, I will review all submissions, and we will respond to you by the 16th of January 2023 to let you know whether or not you have been shortlisted.

It’s free to submit stories, and we welcome submissions from around the world, but they must be in the English language and unpublished anywhere in any country. Authors and author-illustrators must be aged 18 or older.

Texts should be no more than 1,000 words each and submitted as a Microsoft Word document (or similar document that can be opened in Microsoft Word) or Adobe PDF file. They should be sent as an email attachment. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept paper submissions.

If you are an author-illustrator, texts can be accompanied by your artwork. PDFs should be no more than 5MB in total. If you’re an author-illustrator, please also include a link to your website and/or social media pages, where we can view more of your artwork.

If you’re not an author-illustrator, you don’t need to include any illustrations. Feel free to include illustration notes if needed but keep these to a minimum.

Don’t worry if you forget to attach something to your email. Please resend the entire submission with an alert at the top to let us know to delete your earlier submission.

If you have any questions, email [email protected]. I’m looking forward to hearing from you, either via your agent, or directly from you if you don’t have one.

Good luck!

Alice Bartosinski