Groundwood Submissions


Groundwood Books opens to direct submissions from authors twice a year, for a three-month period each, from February 1–April 30 and from August 1–October 31. The portal is currently closed to submissions.



Groundwood Books publishes award-winning books for children and young adults — literary picture books, fiction, poetry, nonfiction and graphic novels from Canada and around the world. Before submitting, prospective authors are encouraged to visit a library or bookstore to familiarize themselves with our books in order to judge their work’s compatibility with our publishing program. 

For adult literature, please refer to House of Anansi Press.



Groundwood Books is open to submissions from February 1–April 30 and from August 1–October 31. During these periods, you will be able to submit your work through our online portal. We use submission periods to ensure that we can respond to all submissions in a timely manner. 

Our editorial team recognizes and is grateful for the time and effort involved in formatting your submission to our specifications. Please follow the format/genre guidelines provided below.

Please submit no more than one manuscript at a time. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as this is indicated on the manuscript, but please inform us right away if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Mailed manuscripts will not be accepted.


Picture Books

We enjoy beautifully written manuscripts, featuring distinctive stories and children in real-life situations.

Please submit a pitch letter and the full manuscript.


Novel-length Fiction

We are always looking for new authors of novel-length middle-grade and/or YA fiction. Our mandate is to publish high-quality, character-driven literary fiction with a strong narrative voice. We do not generally publish stories with an obvious moral or message, or genre fiction such as thrillers or fantasy.

Please submit a pitch letter, several sample chapters and a brief synopsis rather than the entire manuscript.



Groundwood publishes nonfiction for all ages, from informational picture books to issues- driven works for middle-grade and young-adult readers. 

For middle-grade and YA nonfiction, we do not require a completed manuscript. Please submit a proposal that includes a compelling introduction to and argument for the book, followed by a chapter outline that conveys the proposed content of the work, plus one or two sample chapters that convey the proposed tone and approach. 

Please also include a bio and/or previous publishing credits that demonstrate credentials relevant to your book or give you authority on the proposed subject.


Submission checklist

  • A brief pitch letter telling us about your book; this should include your reasons for writing it, why you are the person to have done so, who your ideal reader is and how you see your book relating to the other books we publish.
  • A brief synopsis (250 words max) of your project to be pasted into a text box within the submission portal.
  • Your full manuscript (picture book) or sample chapters and synopsis (fiction) or proposal, chapter outline and sample chapters (nonfiction).

Title your documents in the following format:

  • [Last Name]_[First Name]_Pitch
  • [Last Name]_[First Name]_[Title of Work]


Please use a legible, 12-point font, insert page numbers and double space prose.

Please note that Groundwood prefers submissions in PDF format and only accepts .docx, .doc and .pdf file formats. 

If you select “send me a copy of my responses,” you will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission. We do not charge a fee to submit.




If you need to withdraw your submission, please send an email to submissions [AT] groundwoodbooks [DOT] com, subject line: SUBMISSION WITHDRAWAL. Unsolicited manuscripts sent to this email address will not be reviewed.



We greatly appreciate the work that prospective authors put into each submission, and we read each one carefully. We aim to review and respond to submissions within four to six months of receipt. We regret that we cannot reply to phone queries or follow-up emails.

Thank you for considering Groundwood Books as a home for your manuscript!



  1. How can I update my contact information after submitting?


Please email updates about your contact information to submissions [AT] groundwoodbooks [DOT] com.


  1. Can I send a submission via email outside of the open submissions periods?


Please submit your work via our portal during our open submission periods. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to review unsolicited manuscripts that come to us outside of our open submission periods.


  1. Can I submit multiple manuscripts at the same time?


We regret that we cannot accept multiple submissions.


  1. Can I request a faster timeline than 4–6 months?


Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests to rush submission reviews. We give careful attention to each manuscript that comes to us; due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to guarantee a faster timeline. Thank you for your patience!


  1. Can I submit a short story collection if individual stories in the collection have been published in magazines?


Yes! As long as the manuscript itself is unpublished in book form, it is eligible for consideration. Please include all information about your publication history in your pitch letter.


  1. Can I send a hard copy of my submission through the mail?


Groundwood does not accept physical submissions. Hard-copy submissions will be marked return to sender.




Groundwood Books is looking for Canadian illustrators to interpret the words of some of Canada’s finest children’s writers. Art may be realistic or abstracted and stylized to any degree, but conventional cartoon and animation styles are not needed. Accomplished drawing and execution in the final chosen medium and a skill for storytelling are important, as is accurate and thorough subject and period research. 

Illustration portfolios do not need to be submitted through our portal and are accepted at any time. Send a link to your online portfolio, blog or Instagram account to submissions [AT] groundwoodbooks [DOT] com. You may also send digital samples (PDFs, JPEGs, TIFFs) as email attachments. 

Mailed illustration samples (e.g. postcards, self-promos or tear sheets) can be sent to:

Groundwood Books Art Department

128 Sterling Road, Lower Level
Toronto ON

M6R 2B7


Please do not send original art, hand-bound books or any materials that you need returned.