Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 15, 2010

Publishing Industry Changes

I am sorry to report that as of January 1, the children’s companies that are part of the Macmillan Kids’ group are no longer accepting unsolicited submissions. Materials will not be read or returned. 

The companies that will no longer be accepting unsolicited submissions

Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers

Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

Roaring Brook Press

First Second

Feiwel and Friends


Simon & Schuster’s Pulse imprint, Annette Pollert was promoted to
Associate Editor from Assistant Editor.

Former publisher of Harcourt Children’s Lori Benton has joined educational children’s publisher Capstone as general manager/publisher of their fiction imprints, which include Stone Arch Books and Picture Window Books.

Longtime Farrar, Straus Children’s editorial director Margaret Ferguson will launch a Margaret Ferguson Books imprint at the company in 2011, PW reports, aiming to publishing about 15 titles a year.

Former publishing executive Rubin Pfeffer, who was most recently senior v-p and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, has gone to the agenting side and is opening an East Coast office for the Los Angeles outfit, East/West Literary. Pfeffer has been brought on as an agent and partner, and will be based in Boston, handling digital initiatives, among other things, for the agency, which specializes in representing children’s authors and illustrators. 

Pfeffer says, “The value that I hope to offer East/West and the clients that I represent is being nimble and opportunistic about how their intellectual property can be leveraged effectively in this dawn of electronic publishing. There are many more options for writers and illustrators, many more ways to be published. The book is not necessarily the goal; reaching readers is the goal.”  …  “developing and creating content for the 21st-century incarnations of publishing, both electronic and traditional print.”

He will continue to maintain his affiliation with and serve as a business development consultant for FableVision.

So todays news is a mixed bag.  We’re happy about the promotions, but it is never easy to hear about publishers closing their doors to unsolicited manuscripts.  But take heart fellow writers, they will still consider submissions if you meet an editor at a conference or a workshop.  Hint:  Last years New Jersey SCBWI Conference had 25 editors and agents – a large amount from closed houses.  I’m not ready to announce who is attending this year, but I expect it to wow everyone again.

Keep tuned,



  1. Just to flash my inexperience, I’d like to ask if you would explain what SCBWI is and how to become a part of it?


    • Yousie,

      I think someone explained it to you, but just in case, here is my explaination. The SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. If you right for children you really should join. It is the top organization and is noted Internationally. They are dedicated to advancing the writing and illustrating skills of their member and helping them on their road to publication. I am the Regional Advisor in New Jersey. If you want to join you can do it right online at



  2. Yousei – SCBWI is both a national and local organization – the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – that serves to promote literature for children and teens by helping and networking aspiring and established authors and illustrators and those in the publishing/literary market. Best way to learn more – got to the SCBWI link at right and read the About Us section. If in NJ or nearby, also check the NJSCBWI link – a great group!

    Kathy – I find it interesting that so many in publishing are going out on their own to agent, and I suspect this may be in response to it becoming more difficult to get straight through to publishers themselves. What do you think?



    • Jeanne,

      With more and more house closing their doors, there definitely is a need for an agent. Unfortunately, what happens when we all get agents? How will the editors keep up then? I guess if could cut down on some submissions from newbies. That would be a good question for the editors. Are you planning on coming to the June conference?



  3. Hi Kathy,

    Regarding your post today

    . . . but it is never easy to hear about publishers closing their doors to unsolicited manuscripts . . .

    I’d like to say, welcome all of you writers to the MUSIC BUSINESS! Yes that’s right, this is exactly how the music industry works, it’s full of closed doors. Part of my fascination with and appreciation for the “Publishing World” is that I found it to be very friendly and accessible compared to the music industry. Not that I have taken advantage of many of the open doors, I am still procrastinating writing query letters, though I really intend to get on it. I never tried once in 20 years to find a manager when it came to my musical career, (I worked in the music biz so, I had no desire to get involved with the Big Bad Wolf personally) but I would love to find a literary agent to represent my writing.

    I can imagine the job market for agents will grow by leaps and bounds in the next decade, and I think that’s a great thing. With the increase, there will be one out there for me!



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