Written by Emily Harstone September 20th, 2017

Dawn Publications: Now Accepting Book Manuscripts

UPDATED January 18th 2022: They seem to be completely absorbed by Source Books and do not seem to have their own identity outside of being part of Source Books larger children’s book catalog. 

Dawn Publications is a boutique print press focused on publishing books connecting children and nature. They usually just publish six books a year. Their niche focus really seems to pay off; their books have gone on to win a wide variety of awards. Dawn was founded in 1979. The Our Mission Page, although a little tricky to find without a direct link, is well worth the read.

Their books have a clear goal, which is explained below.

Dawn’s “nature awareness” titles—almost always picture books—are intended to encourage an appreciation for nature and a respectful participation in it. We want to inspire children as well as educate them. An inspired child is a motivated child.

They accept submissions from authors and illustrators and have separate guidelines for both.

They describe most of what they publish as creative non-fiction, and go into details about the kind they are seeking, below.

Dawn specializes in “creative non-fiction.” We suggest you read a short article on the subject, How to Use Creative Nonfiction Picture Books in Support of Common Core and Science. Dawn generally does not publish “straight” non-fiction without some other feature that will capture a child’s attention. There may be a story such as Eliza and the Dragonfly or Molly’s Organic Farm that presents the opportunity to talk about nature. There may be a song as in Over in the Ocean. Or there may be cumulative verse as in Under One Rock. Or there may be an adventure such as may be found in nature every day, as in The Mouse and the Meadow.

For writers submitting stories, it is important to remember that the work be suitable to supplement a school curriculum in some way. Most of what they publish are illustrated children’s books, but they do publish the occasional non-illustrated book aimed at middle grade readers.

They accept submissions by email and mail. To read their full guidelines, go here. Make sure to review them thoroughly and examine their past publication catalogue before submitting work to them for consideration.


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