Follow Your Path
Submitting to Little Gnome Books
Little Gnome Books are for young and developing readers. This includes picture books through chapter books/early middle-grade. Our audience attention levels and reading interests are particularly important factors in what we choose to publish under the Little Gnome imprint. 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.
To keep response times manageable, we only accept submissions during the months of March and September of each calendar year. Note that these timeframes may change, so please reference the guidelines prior to sending your query. Submission opportunities may also be provided through conferences, Twitter events, critique opportunities, or otherwise upon request.
We aim to make contact with authors or illustrators whose work we are interested in within sixty (60) days, and if you do not hear from us within that time, you may assume we have passed on the project.
Please send a query and your full picture book manuscript under 1000 words, not including sidebars or back matter, (up to 1500 for nonfiction), OR your query and the first ten pages of a chapter book with accompanying plot summary, pasted into the body of your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the words "Little Gnome", a dash (-), and the title of your manuscript in the subject line.
Here is an example: Little Gnome - 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 window 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.
For September 2021, we are interested in the following:
* Informational fiction, narrative nonfiction, and unique concept books with a narrative component and/or kid-friendly wordplay - all with STEAM connections (particularly interested this time in stories about birds, geology, weather, seasons, how bodies work, and other foundational math, science or art/music skills);
* HUMOR with purpose (make our kids laugh without making us groan) (darker themes are okay, too!);
* Sibling relationships and holiday themes;
* Unique story-telling formats/narrative techniques that inspire us to think outside-the-box;
* Stories of customs, cultures, 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); and
* Character-driven chapter books with humor.
We will not be looking for life-on-the-farm stories, poetry collections, picture book biographies, sibling stories that feature bringing home baby, first day of school, fear of the dark or monsters, or fable/folk/fairy tale retellings. Also, we are not focused on board books or early readers at this time. If your story is written for children ages 0-2, we are likely not a good fit.
Author-illustrators are encouraged to submit artwork with text in PDF format.
Illustrators may submit representative work in PDF format at any time.
We are open to rhyming texts; HOWEVER, the query must include a description of the intended rhyme scheme and meter. 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.
Submitting to Gnome Road
All submissions for Gnome Road should be geared toward upper middle-grade and young adult audiences. We are not looking for adult books at this time.
We anticipate publishing only a select few titles under the Gnome Road imprint each year or two. We suggest submitting polished work that specifically fits our wish list so that you do not waste time preparing a submission package that will likely be rejected.
Additionally, unsolicited submissions for Gnome Road will only be accepted twice each year in July and December in order to keep review times reasonable and fair to all involved.
We aim to make requests for a full read within sixty (60) days, and if you do not hear from us within that time, you may assume we have passed on the project.
Please send a query letter, the first ten pages of your manuscript, and a plot summary pasted in the body of your email to: email@example.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 attachments unless we specifically request or approve them. We only accept electronic submissions. Comp titles are desired, but not required. We also appreciate a short bio in order to learn more about you.
* Our wish list includes: historical fiction (particularly WWII era, settings in the American West, or those stemming from #ownvoices narratives), dystopian/disaster settings that challenge worldviews, time-travel (soft on Sci-fi elements), and fantasy-adventure with strong female characters.
Submitting to Gnome Wild!
The Gnome Wild! imprint is currently in development but is intended for novelty books/items, calendars, journals, and photography for the children's market. We are not planning to accept new work at this time; however, you are welcome to send a pitch and short description of your project by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the words "Gnome Wild!", a dash (-), and your project title.
Here is an example: Gnome Wild! - PROJECT TITLE.
We will respond within 60 (sixty) days if we are interested in learning more about your project.
Are authors and illustrators paid for their work?
Yes! Our publishing contracts incorporate both advance and royalty payments.
May my agent submit work for me?
Yes! If you would like your agent to send us work, please have them contact us through the submissions email. Agents are welcome to submit material at any time.
Why are you only open to unagented submissions for such a short timeframe?
We want to keep Gnome Road Publishing open to unagented authors and illustrators while also having enough time to review manuscripts and respond to queries AND keep our lives manageable. Having a submissions window helps make this possible.
Are comp titles required in the query?
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.
Why do you insist on only one query and manuscript during each submissions window?
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 carefuly 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.