Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 6, 2015

Islandport Press

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Islandport Press was founded in 1999 and published its first book in 2000. The Maine-based company celebrated its 15th Anniversary in 2014 and passed the 100 books published mark in the process.

From the beginning the company has been dedicated to this mission:

Islandport is a dynamic, award-winning publisher dedicated to stories rooted in the essence and sensibilities of New England. We strive to capture and explore the grit, heart, beauty, and infectious spirit of the region by telling tales, real and imagined, that can be appreciated in many forms by readers, dreamers, and adventurers everywhere.

I have included the guidelines. Please read them if you want to submit. Here is what one of their editors had to say, “Sometimes I think editors get a bad rap. We’re accused of being thoughtless, cruel, and insensitive people who enjoy making up ways to toy with the hearts and souls of aspiring writers. Not so! All of us (really!) at Islandport are or have been aspiring writers, who have anxiously sent out query letters and proposals. So I want to take a moment to share our Top Ten Tips to writers who send queries and proposals our way, to make the process clear.”

I can sympathize with her because every month I am so amazed at how many people do not follow the guidelines for a simple first page and wonder if they are following the manuscript guidelines when they submit to a publisher.

Here is the first and most important tip from their Top Ten List: 

#1: This seems so obvious to us, so I’m not sure why people overlook, ignore, or avoid this, but this is the first step: Read our submission guidelines! If it says no poetry, then why do we keep getting poetry? If it says to send submissions for children’s books by post, and not by email, why do I keep getting them by email? If it says we are focused on New England, why do we get Hungarian self-help books?

Submission Guidelines

We accept and review unsolicited completed manuscripts as well as agented submissions. We will not accept or review a project based on a query only.

Please read our catalog closely when considering whether to submit a book. We are a regional publisher. We publish books about the Northeast. Submissions should reflect a New England sensibility and primarily be set in and tell stories about this region, as well as characterize their culture and people.


We will consider picture books, story books, middle grade chapter books, and young adult titles. For middle grade and YA titles, you must submit a completed manuscript as well as a one-page synopsis of the book. We are not currently publishing poetry or early readers. As with our adult titles, all our children’s books have New England sensibilities, and we do prefer to work with authors and illustrators who are connected to New England or the Northeast United States.

We prefer paper copies of manuscripts and written submissions (please do not submit children’s books by e-mail). If you are submitting a children’s book that you have illustrated, please include copies of your illustrations, but keep in mind that if we accept your manuscript, we still may decide to choose our own illustrator.

When sending us a manuscript, please include the following with your proposal:
> Cover letter with the date and contact information
> Author bio
> A copy of your manuscript
> Relevant marketing information, including competitive title research
> Publicity and social media contacts

If you want your manuscript returned, you MUST include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage. Remember to include your contact information including e-mail address (we will acknowledge receipt of your query by e-mail). If you are making simultaneous submissions to other publishers, please note this in your query letter. Again, we can not guarantee the return of your manuscript. Please do not submit your only copy!

Send material to:
Acquisitions Editor, Children’s / YA 
Islandport Press
P.O. Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

We receive a large number of manuscripts, so once you have submitted yours, we ask that you please be patient. We do our best to reply within three to six months.

We are committed to supporting artists who live and/or work in New England. We are always interested in seeing work from new illustrators. If you would like to send us samples of your portfolio, please send us copies (never send originals) to:
Melissa Kim, Senior Editor, Children’s Books
Islandport Press
P.O. Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

Please include a cover letter, artist bio, and full contact information including your e-mail address. You are also welcome to send a CD or send a link to an online portfolio.

We specialize in non-fiction, but also consider fiction, gift, and other trade titles, including food, art, humor, and novelty.

The adult genres we do not publish include poetry, fantasy, thriller, self-help, erotica, and science fiction. If you are unsure whether or not your manuscript is a good fit for us, please send a query first. We prefer to work directly with authors, but we do accept manuscripts from agents.

Please do not phone the office!
Send e-query/electronic manuscript to:
Send written queries and submissions to:
Acquisitions Editor, Adult Trade
Islandport Press
P.O. Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

When sending us a manuscript, please include the following with your proposal:
> Cover letter with synopsis and contact information
> Author bio
> Relevant marketing information, including competitive title research
> Publicity and social media contacts

Talk tomorrow,


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