Getting published: children's and young adult fiction

Writing for younger readers takes a whole lot of skill and perseverance. If you’re hoping to be published, check out a few essential questions to get you started.

Illustration of a pen, pencil and ruler in a mug

Do you know your age range?

One of the most important things about writing for children and young people is working out where your work fits in. There are four main age groups in this category and each has different guidelines and requirements.

Are you ready to submit?

If you’re writing a novel or prose book for younger readers, you really need to have the manuscript finished, edited and proofread before you start approaching agents or publishers.

If you’re writing a picture book, your situation will be different depending on whether you are a writer, a writer/illustrator (find more on our illustrator page), or a writer who is already working with an illustrator. Generally, publishers prefer to match up authors and illustrators themselves as part of the publishing process (although there are always exceptions!).

You will be expected to provide the finished text of your book when approaching agents or publisher's, only include images if their guidelines say that you should.

Do I need an agent?

Most (but not all) publishers will only accept submissions from agents. You can normally find out whether publishers accept unsolicited submissions via their websites or their listings on sites like Writers & Artists(this will open in a new window).

How do I get an agent?

There’s no magic answer here, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances. Check out our tips for submitting to an agent.

How can I improve my chances of getting published?

Who else can help?

Here are a few organisations that may be useful: