PICTURE BOOKS AND CHAPTER BOOKS
[We're currently not accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Check back in 2021].
Carrot Top Press is an independent children's book publisher that's reviewing picture book and chapter book manuscripts as well as author/illustrators' portfolios. We'll be sponsoring ad-click campaigns across social media and we seek stories that'll instantly grab the attention of librarians, educators, and families. We're receptive to fiction, non-fiction, human characters (and anthropomorphized ones), and we love that oh-so-sweet ending. Bonus points are awarded to stories that incorporate educational concepts (i.e., STEM, grammar, etc) without being preachy. Original ideas with contemporary themes are relevant to learning and emotional growth. Authors are passionate about children's literature, SCBWI members who're willing to revise, and creators of breathtaking images with thoughtfully researched word combinations. Whether you’re a writer from Oregon, a wordsmith in Santa Fe, or simply an experienced author seeking a different marketing platform, Carrot Top Press may be right for you.
We seek manuscripts that follow traditional writing recipes while transcending formula in the final product. Stories are bold, bodacious, and risk-taking. We love humor that leaps out on every page, narrative arcs, and surprising page turns. We've got a penchant for the outrageous as well as the poignant, and a combination of both are sublime. We hunger for a savvy opening hook, lovable protagonists, intriguing plot lines with unexpected twists, and satisfying endings. The author is an expert of cadence and lyricism who weaves together a domino chain of vividly exciting events. Voice hearkens characters, causing the author's voice to fade.
As we're a new and family-based independent children's publishing house, we're publishing only a few titles annually. Please review our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES below for more information before deciding to submit.
OUR DO'S AND DON'TS
Word count is approximately 500. We're picky with other elements, but we understand that some stories require a few more words.
LEAST FAVORITE WORDS
We prefer avoidance of some words that are overused in picture books and, to us, sound trite or old-fashioned. With word count paramount, each choice should contribute to imagery, pacing, sound, and plot. Please review these words before submitting your manuscript.
overused adjectives: little, nice, glad, sad, happy, pretty, special
other adjectives: adorable, beautiful, blissful, cheerful, dear, delightful, dreamy, radiant, heavenly, jolly, joyful, sunny, wonderful
nouns: angel, bubbles, rainbow, sunshine
adverbs: gaily, quite, so, suddenly, very
verbs: giggle, gleam, hug, laugh, love, shimmer, skip, smile
TO RHYME OR NOT TO RHYME
Rhyming picture books translate poorly to international sales. However, incredible stories with inventive cadence and rhyme deliver a melodiousness that helps readers learn to read. How could we not be interested in a thoughtfully developed rhyming story with musical meter? If submitting a rhyming story, remember that the story itself must be stellar; otherwise, substandard rhyming may distract and detract from pacing and development.
REQUIREMENTS FOR RHYMING MANUSCRIPTS
A fantastic story is the star with great characters, a unique plot line, and surprise ending ---
the rhyme is NOT the story's star.
The manuscript has been repeatedly scanned to assure PERFECT RHYME AND METER.
PAGE COUNT: 32
PAGINATED MANUSCRIPT: Yes
ILLO NOTES: Limited
We're not acquiring stories with the following themes or elements. A resource for locating well-matched publishers is the CHILDREN'S WRITER & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET, updated annually.
personal pets, family members, adult problem solvers
manuscripts with language similar to Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, or Shel Silverstein's books
pedantic, overt "message in a bottle" tales
themes not age-appropriate for children
hateful messages, racism, xenophobia, prejudice
alphabet books, coloring books (other activity books)
market trends, market trends, market trends