Editorial guidelines

Due to the large number of submissions we receive, Groundwood regrets that we cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts for picture books.

We are always looking for new authors of novel-length fiction for children of all ages. Our mandate is to publish high-quality, character-driven literary fiction. We do not generally publish stories with an obvious moral or message, or genre fiction such as thrillers or fantasy.

Prospective authors are encouraged to first visit a library or bookstore to familiarize themselves with the kinds of books we publish in order to judge their work’s compatibility.

Submissions should be legibly typed and double-spaced, and sent electronically to submissions@groundwoodbooks.com.

It is preferable to submit a cover letter, several sample chapters and a brief synopsis rather than the entire manuscript.

Please submit no more than one manuscript at a time.

We accept simultaneous submissions as long as this is indicated on the manuscript.

Mailed manuscripts will not be returned.

Reporting time is four to six months. Questions regarding status of a submission after six months should be made via email; please do not call. We regret that we cannot offer any editorial comment unless we feel the work has publishing potential.


Groundwood Books is looking for Canadian illustrators to interpret the words of some of Canada’s finest children’s writers. Our emphasis is on stories of real children in convincing situations and milieus, both contemporary and historical, for all ages from infants to teens. Art may be realistic or abstracted and stylized to any degree, but conventional cartoon and animation styles are not needed. Pure genre art (as seen in mass-market romance, horror, or science fiction) is of little interest, but technically accomplished art in these areas may be of interest for some literature that crosses over into genre themes. Accomplished drawing and execution in the final chosen medium are important, as is accurate and thorough subject and period research. In many cases the creation of real, individual characters is essential.

Nonfiction illustrators are also needed: scientific drawing in natural history and other fields, and historical reconstruction are among the areas we are interested in.

As well, we need cover artists for a wide range of fiction from early readers to young adult.


Send a link to your portfolio site or blog to Michael Solomon at msolomon@groundwoodbooks.com. You may also send digital samples (PDFs, JPEGs, TIFFs) as e-mail attachments.

We also accept physical samples by mail as specified below:

  • 4 to 10 black-and-white or color copies or digital color proofs
  • 4 to 10 tear sheets, press sheets, postcards
  • 1 to 2 published, bound books or sets of folded and gathered sheets

Do not send:

  • Original art
  • Hand-bound books or other bulky submissions
  • Any material that you need returned.

Mail to:

Groundwood Books

Attention: Submissions

128 Sterling Road, Lower Level

Toronto, Ontario M6R 2B7