Editorial Guidelines

Tilbury House has an open submissions policy, and we read all manuscripts and proposals. Tilbury House narrowed its editorial focus several years ago, and we would appreciate receiving only queries and manuscripts that fit within our current areas of interest. Please familiarize yourself with the kinds of books we publish by spending time on our site or visiting your local library or bookstore. We look forward to seeing your manuscript and appreciate your interest in Tilbury House. Due to the great number of submissions we receive, we cannot respond to individual submissions unless we have further interest. You may assume that after 6 months we are not interested in publishing your work.

Children’s Books

Our primary emphasis is on nonfiction picture books that appeal to children (ages 2 – 12) and their parents. We want these books to offer solid learning content for the education market and strong popular appeal for the national and international bookstore trade. We are always interested in picture books that explore cultural diversity and nature and the environment, and we are also looking for history, biography, and science and engineering picture books. Good picture books enrich children’s education and cultivate their imaginations, creativity, and critical thinking. Good back matter and accompanying teacher’s guides/classroom connections are useful adjuncts to nonfiction picture books.

We rarely publish fables, fantasies, picture books with talking animals, or other fictions.

We will also consider nonfiction chapter books and graphic nonfiction for early readers (ages 8 – 13), and nonfiction for young adult readers (YA, age 12+).

Other tips/suggestions:

  • Primary picture book text (approx. 500 to 800 words) for children ages 3 to 5

  • Non-fiction texts for juvenile picture books 5 and up – school curriculum related,

  • Non-fiction texts for older readers 8 and up – school curriculum related, and

  • Non-Fiction manuscripts for Young Adult Readers 12 and up.

  • Important note regarding illustrations: It is NOT necessary to provide illustrations with the story text. If the story is illustrated, we will review the text and art separately. (Note that we may be interested in the story but not the artwork, or vice versa.)

Adult Books

Tilbury House is actively looking for submissions for reference/how-to (i.e., gardening, home improvement, etc.) and nautical titles (reference/how-to) that have national appeal.

While much of our effort goes into our children’s books, we do publish non-fiction books about Maine or the Northeast, particularly books that are documentary or about Maine’s history. Because the market for these books is small, we often seek out co-publishing arrangements with museums, historical societies, or other organizations; this helps us produce high-quality books that might not otherwise be published, and benefits both parties.

Please do not send us fiction, short stories, memoirs, or poetry. Browse our book pages on this website to get a good idea of the kinds of books that interest us. If your manuscript doesn’t seem like a good fit for Tilbury, you’ll find guidance in books like Writer’s Market or Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market to help you locate a more likely publisher.


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Submit Manuscript BY MAIL

What to send

  • A query letter (a short, concise letter about your project) is a good start, or send a partial manuscript and outline, unless you feel we must see the entire manuscript to adequately assess it. For children’s books, we prefer to see a complete manuscript. If you query us by email, please put “Book Query” in the subject line, and do not send an attachment. We will not open attachments.

  • Work not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope [SASE] will not be answered. If you want your materials returned, please be sure to enclose adequate postage, otherwise they will be recycled.

  • If you are making simultaneous submissions to other publishers, please note this in your query letter.

  • Please be patient. If we are interested in your project, you will hear from us.


Where to send

You can always find our most current mailing address on our contact page.

We appreciate the opportunity to read your work. Thank you for your interest in Tilbury House, and for considering us as a possible publisher.


Submit Manuscript ONLINE


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