Cardinal Rule Press submissions will open September 1st, 2021 and close November 1st, 2021.

The second submissions window will be from January 1st, 2022 and close March 1st, 2022

We will not read submissions outside 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

Cardinal Rule Press considers unsolicited manuscripts. We accept agented submissions. We do not require exclusive submissions.


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

  • Children’s realistic fiction picture books (word count up to 1,000)
  • Non-fiction books for parents (word count up to 70k)
  • 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

Email submissions only.


  • Send directly to:
  • Please send the complete manuscript (picture books) and a summary with first three chapters (non-fiction parenting books).
  • You will get a confirmation email when we receive your manuscript.
  • We will respond to all submissions within four weeks after the submission period closes.

Email Instructions

The subject line should read:

  • “SUBMISSION (story title) by (author name)”

Cover letter (query):

The cover letter should not be an attachment, but rather included in the body of the email. 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 along with social media links.

The manuscript:

  • Should be attached as a WORD document, Google Doc or PDF file.
  • Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced.

Please do not:

  • Call or email about the status of your submission. We will respond to all submissions within 4-6 weeks after the submission period closes. We will not respond if directions are not followed.
  • Include artwork or photographs along with your manuscript.

Cardinal Rule Press

P.O. Box 930237 • Wixom, MI 48393