Illustration copyright Priscilla Garcia Burris, from the book Aloha for Carol Ann by Margo Sorenson
Just Us Books is the nation's leading independent publisher of children's books that celebrate the diversity of Black culture, history and experiences. Our titles include board books, picture books, chapter books, middle reader titles, poetry, biographies and young adult fiction. Our imprint, Marimba Books, focuses on multicultural children's books.
Just Us Books is currently accepting queries for picture books, chapter books (target ages 7-9) and middle reader titles (target ages 9-12).
What we are looking for:
- Excellent writing
- Unique story ideas
- Cultural authenticity
- Interesting characters
- Compelling, high-interest plot lines
- Fiction and nonfiction
We welcome queries from both agented and unagented authors.
To submit a manuscript for consideration, please send only the following:
- A query letter pitching us your manuscript (please include your email address and list any previously published books)
- A synopsis of your manuscript
- 3-5 samples pages of your manuscript
Submissions may be sent via mail or email:
Just Us Books
P.O. Box 5306,
East Orange, NJ 07019
For e-mail submissions, please include pitch, synopsis and sample pages in the body of the e-mail. Do not include attachments. All emails containing attachments will be deleted without being read.
If we are interested in reading your full manuscript, you can expect to receive a written response from us within 6-8 weeks. If you do not hear from us within three months, you may assume that your work does not fit our immediate needs. We are not able to return samples or provide a personal response to each submission. All submissions are considered non-returnable.
Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts. We do not accept nor will we be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, our editorial department is unable to verify receipt of a query, or status of a submission. Receipt verification must be done via certified mail, Federal Express, UPS or other similar services.
Please send tear sheets via MAIL only to us at the address listed above.
We encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to research publishing and how to get started in the industry. A wealth of information is available through trade journals such as Publishers Weekly, SCBWI and the Authors Guild. Please also take advantage of continuing education courses, writing workshops, and publishing seminars offered by organizations such as Kweli Journal. You may also find helpful information through the Children's Book Council, www.cbcbooks.org.
illustration copyright Laura Freeman from the book Feelings I Love to Share by Wade Hudson