Submission Guidelines – Cardinal Rule Press
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Submission Guidelines

Submission window for unsolicited manuscripts ended on January 31st, 12:00 AM EST 2024. Subscribe to our newsletter for more updates.

    We will not read submissions outside of this time period.

    Please become familiar with our titles and follow the list of guidelines below before submitting your work.

    Our focus is on children’s picture books that empower children through meaningful stories for readers, age 4-11.

    Submission must include the cover letter with the manuscript as one PDF document AND we now will only accept PDFs (the form will not allow any other document type).

    Cardinal Rule Press accepts agented manuscripts all year long. Please submit using our form.

    Cardinal Rule Press considers unsolicited manuscripts during open submission window. We do not require exclusive submissions.

    Unagented authors: Please review the Guidelines below and use the link at the bottom of this page.


    Please note: Only submissions sent through the method listed in these guidelines will be considered. We do not accept illustrator submissions at this time.

    Children’s realistic fiction picture books (word count up to 1,000).

    Realistic Fiction is a genre made up of stories that could happen in our world and society. A quick way to determine whether or not your story is realistic fiction:

    • Characters live in places that could be or are real
    • Characters are human beings
    • Characters are not animals
    • There is no magic in realistic fiction

    Online submissions only. Link will be provided during open submission windows.

    Authors submit cover letters in the same document as the manuscript. This must be a single PDF.

    Please attach the complete manuscript saved as TITLE_COVER_LAST NAME.

    You will see a confirmation page from Google Forms when you submit. Please note that you will not receive an email confirmation for your submission.

    Due to the volume of submissions, we will only be responding to manuscripts we are interested in pursuing.

    Online Submission Instructions

    Cover Letter (Query)

    The cover letter must be attached to the manuscript as ONE PDF. It should include:

    • A brief description of the story.
    • Short bio of the author, mentioning publishing history or relevant background information.
    • Two to three sentences telling us the inspiration for your story.
    • A listing of three comparative picture books published in the last five years and a few sentences describing how your book is different.
    • Contact information

    The Manuscript

    • Should be attached to the cover letter and saved as ONE PDF (containing both the cover letter and manuscript)
    • Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced.

    Save both cover letter and manuscript as a single PDF with this format: TITLE_COVER_LASTNAME

    Please Do Not

    • Call or email about the status of your submission.
    • Include artwork or photographs along with your manuscript.

    For Unsolicited/Unagented submissions, please submit using our form (Until January 31st, 2024 @ 11:59PM EST only)


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