Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia


Thank you for your interest in the guidelines for submission to Arthur A. Levine Books. Because of the overwhelming number of manuscripts we receive each week, we do not accept unsolicited novel-length manuscripts outright. However, we do look at the following materials:

Picture Books: Query letter + the full text
Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsis
Other: Query letter + 10-page sample + synopsis/proposal
Illustration: Three sample illustrations and/or links to online portfolios

Before you write a query letter to us, we encourage you to look at a few of our books and determine whether we are indeed the right kind of publisher for your book. Arthur A. Levine Books publishes hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children and teenagers (and discerning adults). We look for strong writing, beautiful artwork, authentic emotion, and ideas or perspectives we haven't seen before, and we greatly enjoy working with debut authors and illustrators.

If you've examined our list and believe your work and our publishing style are a match, then we hope you'll write us a query letter. If you have never written a query letter before, you might wonder just what one is. A query letter is a one-page description of your manuscript that illuminates its strengths and captures our interest. What is your manuscript about? Why would a reader turn to your book? What makes it original or memorable? Try to answer these questions in a way that reveals the character of your writing and gives us the overall feel of the manuscript. (Often good queries sound like jacket copy, the text on the inside front flap or back cover of a book, or the descriptions found in publishers' catalogs.) Don't think of a query as a form to fill out-your letter should be as individual as the book it describes and the author it introduces. Consider it an opportunity to make an impression, to introduce your work to readers who might enjoy it. And don't forget to proofread your letter thoroughly before sending it! 

With the exception of picture book dummies (see below), we now review all submissions online through Submittable. To submit your query to Arthur A. Levine Books, please follow the instructions here:

Please note: If you are met with the message "There are presently no open calls for submissions," we have reached our monthly limit on queries. Please wait until the first day of the next month to submit your query. 

We aim to respond to all queries within six months; we appreciate your patience!

Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

A few more guidelines:

We ask that each author send only one query at a time. Once you have received a response from us, you may send another query if you wish. We ask this only so that we may give as many authors as possible the chance to have their work reviewed. If one person sends in five queries at once, it delays the process for others. Choose the one you feel is your best work, and most likely to fit our list.

All manuscripts should be double-spaced with standard formatting. (i.e. no wacky fonts, or giant margins, etc.) Please limit your synopsis to one page.

At this time, we are only able to evaluate manuscripts written in English. If your book has been published in a foreign language and you would like it to be considered at Arthur A. Levine Books, please speak with your foreign publisher; they will know how to reach us.

While we wish we could respond personally to all queries, time constraints necessitate a standard response letter if we choose not to pursue your manuscript. However, please be assured that we do read and carefully consider all queries we receive. We will send you a response unless you've indicated in your query letter that a response is only necessary if we're interested.

If you are submitting a picture book dummy (full text and illustrations), it may be sent to us through the mail. (This is the only kind of query that will be accepted through the mail.) Please send your dummy and query letter to Arthur A. Levine Books, 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012. If you would like to receive a response, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you would like your dummy to be returned to you, be sure to include enough postage to cover its return.

Thank you again for your interest in our imprint. We look forward to reading your work!

Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Lantern art by Bethanie Deeney Murguia