The Friday Pitch: Books for children & young adults

Children's & young adult submissions

Allen & Unwin publishes over 80 new books for children and young adults each year, many of these from established authors and illustrators. However, we know how difficult it can be for new writers to get their work in front of publishers so we extended our Friday Pitch program to specifically service emerging writers for children and young adults.

Now in its ninth year, The Friday Pitch: Books for children and young adults has led to the publication of such popular A&U titles as Renée Treml's Sherlock Bones, Huda Hayek's Huda and Me and Gary Lonesborough's much-lauded The Boy from the Mish. Award winners How to Bee by Bren McDibble (Winner CBCA, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, NZ Book Awards), In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker (Aurelias Award) and Run, Pip, Run! by J. C. Jones (Readings Prize) also originated from the Friday Pitch pile and other recent titles include Kathleen Loughnan’s Shauna’s Great Expectations, Adam France's Paddy T and the Time-travelling Trampoline and Alison Hart's School Rules are Optional. More to come!


Please take note:

* We do not accept submissions of picture books, poetry or short stories.

* Stories from authors who identify as diverse (eg. First Nations, people of colour, LGBTQIA+, living with disability) are especially welcome.

* Although we accept submissions from around the world, we must emphasise that A&U has a local focus and it's unlikely that we'd take on a project or author who did not have some sort of connection to Australia or New Zealand.

Below are some general guidelines regarding age groups and word counts.

Children's fiction
  • For beginner readers, aged 5-7, word length 5,000-10,000
  • For confident readers, aged 7-9, word length 10,000-25,000
  • For middle-grade readers, aged 10-13, word length 25,000-50,000

We are looking for fresh, original storylines, strong engaging characters, a flair for language and an authentic voice that will appeal to children.

Novels for young adults
  • For young adult readers, aged 14+, word length 50,000-100,000

Novels for young adults need to be extremely well-written and engrossing. We are looking for fresh, original voices and powerful storytelling. ‘Own voice’ stories are particularly welcome.

Non-fiction books for children and young adults

We publish very few non-fiction books, but are looking for those powerful true stories that resonate with children, especially those in primary school. We will only consider non-fiction submissions that are narratives, and are imaginative, timely and authoritative in areas that, traditionally, educational publishers don't cover.


So what should you send? It's simple: copy and paste the title information sheet (see below) into the body of your email, and fill in the gaps. Then attach the FIRST chapter of your manuscript and a short synopsis (of no more than 300 words) as separate Word documents (please, no PDF documents). NO PICTURE BOOK TEXTS, PLEASE.


  1. In your email subject line, specify whether your submission is for Children or Young Adults, and add a couple of words about the subject area.
  2. Copy and paste the relevant Title Information Sheet below into the email body, and fill in the requested information.
  3. Attach a double-spaced FIRST CHAPTER and a 300 word SYNOPSIS as a word document.
  4. Send your email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Age group for your project:

List any previous publishing history and/or any awards or residencies (eg at Varuna) you've received:

Please provide a brief bio eg. just a couple of lines about where you live and what you do:

What genre would you categorise it as (eg, fantasy, mystery, romance, family drama, social issue, thriller, literary, memoir etc)?

Please summarise the story in one sentence (eg: An unrequited love story between a vampire and a teenage girl/A boarding school story set in a school of magic/A child's eye view of an escape from war-torn Vietnam)

What book would you see as a comparison title to yours?

What recent children's or YA book have you read and liked?



When you send us your submission, you’ll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt. No other acknowledgement will be sent to you.

Should Allen & Unwin wish to pursue your project, we will be in contact with you via email within the fortnight. Please note that we do not send individual acceptance or rejection letters. If you do not hear from us, please assume that we do not wish to pursue your manuscript for our lists. No further correspondence will be entered into and we will not provide you with reasons for our decision.