28 Publishers Seeking Young Adult Novel Manuscripts

Written by Emily Harstone

Young adult is one of my favorite genres to read, even though when I was a young adult I struggled to find good YA books. These days the young adult genre is profitable, diverse, and covers a wide variety of genres, from science fiction to romance and everything in between.

A lot of young adult publishers are open to submissions without an agent. Not as many as in the romance genre, but a great deal more than literary fiction (for example). Below is a list of all the publishers we have previously reviewed that are open to young adult manuscripts.

Some of these publishers exclusively publish young adult novels, others publish children’s books as well, while others are open to a wider variety of genres and age groups. Not all of the publishers are currently open to submissions, but the majority of them are. If you click on the name of the publisher it will link to our full review of them or to their website. All our full reviews contain links to the various publishers’ submission pages.

The list is in no particular order.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is a large independent Australian Press that is open to submissions on a wide range of topics. They have won a number of Australian publisher awards. They accept based on pitches, and have a system known as the “Friday Pitch” which insures that at least one editor reviews each unsolicited pitch.

Page Street Publishing

Page Street Publishing is a publisher of YA and Children’s publisher. They have excellent distribution.

Shadow Mountain

Shadow Mountain is an imprint of Deseret Book. Both publishers are Mormon, but  Deseret Book focuses more on producing faith-based content. Shadow Mountain publishes primarily fiction and they have published a number of New York Times bestselling books. Because the company is Mormon run, books have to be approved by in-house censors in order to be published. They are very firm about publishing “clean books only”. However the authors need not be Mormon.

Charlesbridge Publishing

Charlesbridge publishes high quality books for children and young adults with the goal of creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. They have good distribution.

Quirk Books

This Philadelphia-based press publishes just 25 books a year in a whole range of genres, from children’s books to nonfiction to science fiction. Unlike most publishers that tackle a large range of topics, Quirk Books has a clear marketing plan and to a certain degree their books have a cohesive feel, because they all are quirky. They have published a wide variety of bestsellers and they have excellent distribution. Some of their bestsellers include The Last Policeman, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 

Holiday House

The books they publish tend to be on the younger end of the young adult genre (think thirteen-year-old readers primarily). They are an established and respected publisher.

Source Books

A large independent publisher based out of Illinois, they also have offices in Connecticut and New York. Source Books was started in 1987 by Dominique Raccah. They also have several imprints, all founded within the last decade. They started out publishing business books but then expanded to gift books.

They now publish fiction and nonfiction in a large variety of genres, with a particular focus on young adult books. They only open to submissions occasionally. Sometimes they have limited submission guidelines and allow only #own voices work (own voices being work by people with marginalized identities including BIPOC, Disabled individuals, and LGBTQ+ about experiences that line up with their identities).

Arsenal Pulp Press

Arsenal Pulp Press is a Canadian small press based out of Vancouver. They have won the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award (from the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia), and they have been a finalist for Small Press Publisher of the Year (awarded by the Canadian Booksellers Association) five times. They have good distribution in Canada and on the West Coast. I’ve seen a number of their books in stores in the Pacific Northwest. They also regularly host and promote events for their authors, and that is a good sign as well.

Red Deer Press

Red Deer Press is a small press based out of Canada. They focus on publishing children’s books. They publish books for a whole range of ages starting with picture books and culminating with young adult books. Their books have good covers, are generally well reviewed, and have good distribution.

Tradewind Books

Tradewind Books is a small publisher of  books for children and young adults located in British Columbia, Canada. They publish beautifully illustrated books, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and for young adults. They publish primarily fiction but also some poetry. They are not interested in nonfiction. It is important to note that they cannot accept novels by non-Canadian authors unless they are chapter books that require illustrations. They can accept submissions for picture books. If you are not Canadian, only submit books that require illustrations. Any other books will not be considered.

Tell-Tale Publishing

Tell-Tale Publishing is a small press founded in 2009. They seem to focus primarily on eBooks but also they have print options (largely print on demand). They publish six imprints which include Dahlia (romance, and various romance subgenres), Stargazer (fantasy, steampunk), Nightshade (horror), Casablanca (mystery), Thistle (middle school, YA, new adult), and Déjà Vu (reprints for all genres).

The Parliament House

The Parliament House is a small eBook and print press started in 2016.  They specialize in fantasy, including paranormal, contemporary, and urban. Their website is well-designed, and the covers too are well-designed and market-appropriate. They seem active on social media and more focused on recruiting readers than writers. The fantasy novels they tend to list as favorites are aimed at young adults, although they themselves do not say that they are a young adult publisher.

CamCat Books

CamCat Books is a small independent publisher that was founded in 2019. Since that time they have published 32 titles, and they have a number of titles already scheduled as coming soon for 2021. This is a lot of titles for such a new company. 

Black & White

They have good distributors, and they are starting to break into the eBook publishing world. They publish general nonfiction, biography, sports, and humor, as well as selected fiction, crime novels, young adult, and children’s books. They only open to YA submissions from non Scottish authors occasionally.

Brother Mockingbird Publishing

Brother Mockingbird Publishing is a small independent press committed to discovering writers from the American South, but they are also open to good fiction, regardless of where the author is based. They recently celebrated their two year anniversary, so they are a new press. 

Ashland Creek Press

They publish a wide variety of genres including young adult fiction but they are only interested in publishing work with an environmental or ecological focus.

GemmaMedia ent publisher that has managed to get a fair amount of distribution. GemmaMedia focuses largely on literacy, and improving reading, which includes publishing work for Hi-Lo readers.

Uproar Books

Uproar Books was founded in 2018 by Rick Lewis, who has a background in marketing, not publishing. Uproar books published its first book in early 2019. They only publish epic fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, and they are only interested in publishing series of books (although only the first one needs to be completed when you initially submit).

Persea Books

Persea Books is an independent book publisher based out of New York that was established in the 1970s. Since then they have gained a reputation for publishing thoughtful books in a variety of literary genres.

At this time they are particularly encouraging submissions to their growing young adult list in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These books are aimed at the educational market as well as literary readers.

Albert Whitman & Company

Albert Whitman & Company has been around since 1919. I grew up reading a series the best-known series that they have published The Boxcar Children. Over the past few years they have started to focus on publishing a larger number of books each year.

Entangled Teen

Entangled Teen is the YA imprint of the romance publisher Entangled Publishing. Entangled Publishing is a newer company but they have had a lot of success in the genre of romance and they have sold a lot of books. They primarily operate on a digital first model, which usually means print runs only happen if/when the digital book has been successful. Also look at their Teen Crave (paranormal/scifi/fantasy YA category romance) and Teen Crush (contemporary YA category romance) imprints. Make sure to read our full review as we do have concerns about this publisher.

Bancroft Press

Bancroft Press is a small press that publishes a wide variety of work, both nonfiction and fiction. They publish memoirs and legal dramas and everything in between. They usually publish between 3-5 books a year, so while they are open to a wide range of work they actually publish very little.

Polis Books

Polis Books is an independent publisher of fiction and nonfiction, founded in 2013. Their focus is on publishing new voices. They are a technologically driven company. They publish print and digital books. Polis Books was founded by Jason Pinter. Mr. Pinter had over a decade of experience in editorial, marketing and publicity for a variety of publishers including Random House, St. Martin’s Press, and The Mysterious Press.

Versify

Versify, a new imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, is accepting submissions via email. Versify was started by the Newberry Award winning author Kwame Alexander, who you can learn more about here. The goal of Versify is to publish risky, unconventional books for children. They are looking for novels, nonfiction, picture books, and graphic novels. They also are probably the only imprint of Houghton Mifflin that has a Tumblr.

Owl Canyon Press

Owl Canyon Press is an independent publisher based out of Boulder, Colorado. They were founded in 2011. They publish fiction, nonfiction, young adult fiction, and works in translation. It’s easy to get a feel for what sort of work they publish by browsing their catalog.

Flux

Flux is an imprint of North Star Editions that publishes exclusively young adult fiction. Their motto is “Where Young Adult is a Point of View, not a Reading Level”. Most of the books they publish focus on the older end of the young adult market. They publish edgier, darker stuff, than other young adult publishers.  They publish all sub genres of young adult, from realistic life stories to sci fi. They are established, have good distribution, and have published many books that have sold well.

Deep Hearts YA

Deep Hearts YA is a new publisher of fiction for young adults. They focus on publishing LBGTQ+ stories, in all genres and sub-genres, including aro and ace lead characters. They are primary a romance publisher, but romance does not have to be the main focus of the manuscript if self-empowerment or self-realization plays a central role.

Tiny Fox Press
They publish primarily science fiction, fantasy books, as well as YA. They offer an advance and they say they offer competitive royalties, but the details are sparse and mentioned here. They don’t mention a distributor, so I assume if they have one it is Ingram.

Young Dragons
Young Dragons is a division of Oghma Creative Media. It is a traditional independent publisher with three imprints. Little Dragons (Lee Press) focuses on publishing picture books and middle grade readers. Fledgling Dragons (Fife Press) focuses on young adult fiction. Inquisitive Dragons (Arbroath Abbey) focuses on publishing non-fiction resources for parents and educators.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2020 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


 

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