Guest post by Chuck Sambuchino
UPDATED March 16, 2017: please note that the info in this 2015 post is now outdated. Do your research online for updated info. Thanks - Debbie
I once joked that debut picture books are the one of the most difficult things to get published—perhaps second only to gay Amish novellas. While that was an exaggeration for humor’s sake, the truth remains that compiling a large list of literary agents who actively seek picture books has never been an easy task.
As the editor of the 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, it’s my job to compile oodles of markets for kidlit writers and illustrators. But the truth is that not every market listed everywhere is 100% open—it’s not that simple. Sometimes a few agents at any agency are open to signing new writers, whereas others are not. Sometimes a publisher or agent closes themselves down to submissions for a while. With all these ins and outs, what’s a writer to do?
It’s with all this in mind that I wanted to spotlight 5 literary agents who are actively seeking picture book submissions now. Their e-mails are below. Query away. All of these agents listed below personally confirmed to me that they are seeking clients and open to submissions as of October 2015. Their e-mails are below. Query away.
Feel free to do research to get to know a little bit more about each one, if you like. But the important thing is you can query these agents now. And if an agent is not clear on what to send or how to send it, e-query them with your query letter first, and then the picture book text pasted below the query letter. Some agents welcome art attachments whereas others do not, so if you have illustrations, upload them online and then send the agent a URL/website so they can click through.
Notes: It’s wise to only query one project at a time; do not send 19 picture books to an agent. Also, with this list below, I tried (though I may not be perfect on this) to only include agents who are open to both writers and writer-illustrators.
Good luck querying! If you want to see many, many more markets for writers of all children’s books, seek out the new & updated 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.
1. Michelle Witte
2. Jessica Sinsheimer
3. Julie Stevenson
4. Eve Porinchak
5. Jodell Sadler
Chuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) of Writer's Digest Books edits the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog is one of the largest blogs in publishing. His 2010 humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, was optioned by Sony Pictures. His latest humor book, WHEN CLOWNS ATTACK: A SURVIVAL GUIDE (Sept. 29 2015), will protect people everywhere from malicious bozos and jokers who haunt our lives. His books have been mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Variety, New York Magazine, and more.