Free Spirit Publishing 1.800.735.7323

Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines for Children’s and Teen’s Books

About Free Spirit Publishing

Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools for youth and educators that support young people’s social, emotional, and educational needs. We help children and teens think for themselves, overcome challenges, and make a difference in the world. We care about young people and the issues and challenges they face every day. Our line of materials includes early childhood board books and picture books on social skills and positive behavior; Self-Help for Kids®; Self-Help for Teens®; and teaching resources for educators. Our titles inform, engage, and inspire children, teens, and the adults who live and work with them. 

The Benefits of Working with Free Spirit 

  • You can expect a high level of personal attention from our editors and our promotions and sales departments. 
  • Our strong backlist ensures that your book will have a long life in print. 
  • You will join a prestigious community of authors, including many award-winners. 
  • Our books have been translated into more than 20 languages. 

Determining Whether Your Work Is a Fit for Our List 

If you are interested in working with Free Spirit, it is best to start by familiarizing yourself with our books. You may request a copy of our catalog or review our titles online at freespirit.com. We also recommend that you check out our books at your local library or bookstore to get a feel for our tone and style.

When Will You Hear from Us? 

While we do our best to offer timely feedback on your project, the high volume of proposals we receive dictates a reply time of two to six months. 

We Are Looking for Strong Proposals to Support Teaching Strategies and Professional Development

Practical, jargon-free materials for educators, administrators, counselors, and youth workers that focus on positive youth development, creative teaching strategies, leadership, and a wide range of social and emotional needs. 

GIFTED & SPECIAL EDUCATION
Resources for educators, counselors, parents, and other adults that support children’s diverse learning and social and emotional needs. 

BULLYING PREVENTION & CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Books for teachers, counselors, and other educators to help young people understand, prevent, and respond to bullying incidents. 

CHARACTER EDUCATION, LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Resources for teachers, counselors, and other educators to help young people build character, discover their leadership potential, and engage in their communities. 

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Guides for early childhood teachers, program directors, and other educators working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary children (birth to age 8). We look for hands-on, teacher-friendly guidance that is research-based, classroom tested, and focused on best practices to support the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children. Topics include social skills, behavior challenges, healthy emotional development, diversity and equity, family engagement, emergent learning, and teaching strategies. 

COUNSELING & SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Educator resources to help children and teens deal with grief and loss, health and wellness, depression and other mental illnesses, stress, social skills and friendship, anger management, LGBTQ issues, manners, family, self-confidence, and more. 

We Do Not Accept the Following Types of Submissions 

  • Material with religious or New Age content 
  • Biographies, autobiographies, or memoirs 
  • General self-help for adults 
If your proposal is in any of the above formats, it is not right for us—even if content themes overlap with those we publish. 

Submitting a Proposal 

Free Spirit uses Submittable.com. Proposals may also be sent by mail. Only proposals with the following elements will be considered for publication: 
  • A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience, and your relevant expertise 
  • A current résumé 
  • A market analysis with a comprehensive list of similar titles and a detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products 
  • A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline 
  • At least two sample chapters (if a full manuscript is available, you may send it) 
  • A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach) 
DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. Free Spirit is not liable for work lost in the mail. For return of your materials, include a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

Send proposals to:

Free Spirit Publishing
Attn: Acquisitions
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674

Or upload your submission on Submittable:

submit

We Are Looking for Strong Proposals for Ages Birth through Eighteen in the Following Categories

GIFTED & SPECIAL EDUCATION
Books on academic, social, and emotional development for young people of all ages with diverse learning needs, including gifted students and students with learning differences, ADHD, behavioral difficulties, or autism spectrum disorders.

BULLYING PREVENTION & CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Picture books and books for kids and teens, and resources for teachers, counselors, and other educators to help young people understand, prevent, and respond to bullying incidents. We will also consider fiction for kids and teens that relates to these topics.

CHARACTER EDUCATION, LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Picture books and books for kids and teens to help young people build character, discover their leadership potential, and engage in their communities. We will also consider fiction for kids and teens that relates to these topics.

BOOKS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Board books for infants to age 4 and picture books for ages 3 to 8 that focus on social skills and getting along, early learning, character education, self-esteem, and other topics related to positive early childhood development. We will also consider fiction that relates directly to these areas of focus.

EDUCATIONAL GAMES, POSTERS & JARS
Games and In a Jar® products for kids and teens that promote character development, bullying prevention, positive behavior, social and emotional learning, and other related topics. We are not currently accepting proposals for posters.

COUNSELING & SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Picture books, and books for kids and teens to help children and teens deal with grief and loss, health and wellness, depression and other mental illnesses, stress, social skills and friendship, anger management, LGBTQ issues, manners, family, self-confidence, and more. We will also consider fiction for kids and teens that relates to these topics.

Note: Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond personally to each query. Please review our publishing categories carefully. If you think your work may be a fit for Free Spirit, you may submit a proposal according to our guidelines.

WE DO NOT ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
  • Books with animals or mythical creatures as the primary characters
  • Poetry
  • Material with religious or New Age content
  • Single biographies, autobiographies, or memoirs
  • General self-help for adults
If your proposal is in any of the above formats, it is not right for us—even if content themes overlap with those we publish.

Submitting a Proposal

Free Spirit uses Submittable.com. Proposals may also sent by mail. Only proposals with the following elements will be considered for publication:
  • A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise
  • A current résumé
  • A market analysis with a comprehensive list of similar titles and a detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products
  • A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline
  • At least two sample chapters (if a full manuscript is available, you may send it) Note: For early childhood board book and picture book submissions, the entire text is required for evaluation. Bracketed art suggestions are appreciated, though illustration samples should not be sent unless professionally competent.
  • A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach).
DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. Free Spirit is not liable for work lost in the mail. For return of your materials, include a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

Send proposals to:

Free Spirit Publishing
Attn: Acquisitions
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674

Or upload your submission on Submittable:

submit
Close

Free Spirit’s monthly e-newsletter, Upbeat News, is full of practical tips, free downloads, and special offers. Sign up today!