Dawn Publications
Submission Guidelines


A message from editors Glenn and Carol:

Dear writers (illustrators please see below),

Thank you for your interest in Dawn. Please read these guidelines before sending us your submission. They are meant to assist both you and us!

Please be aware that Dawn is a publishing “boutique” with a unique and limited niche. Our goal is to provide quality books for children by giving full attention to each publication. We usually publish only about six new titles a year, and some days we receive more submissions than we publish in a year. It’s a challenging situation for everyone. So please help us by refraining from submitting works that are beyond the scope of what we publish. We strongly recommend that you not only read these guidelines in their entirety, but also look through our web site to get a feel for what Dawn publishes.

We rely on submissions to provide us with future projects, so we pay close attention to every submission.

Let’s save time by first explaining some things we don’t want, including material that:

  • merely explains nature
  • is a fantasy
  • is a retelling of a legend (most legends have a strong element of the supernatural)
  • is centered primarily on human foibles or classroom situations
  • is a story about animal rescue
  • is a story about pets
  • presents animals in an anthropomorphic light (but if something successfully enough promotes nature awareness we might bend the rule, as in The Mouse and the Meadow).

Dawn’s “nature awareness” titles—almost always picture books—are intended to encourage an appreciation for nature and a respectful participation in it. We want to inspire children as well as educate them. An inspired child is a motivated child. In addition:

  • It is increasingly important—almost mandatory—that the material be suited to supplement a school curriculum in some way.
  • It is increasingly important, although not quite mandatory, that you be an active participant in promoting titles once they are published, especially through school visits (whether in person or via the internet).
  • Dawn specializes in “creative non-fiction.” We suggest you read a short article on the subject, “The ‘Creative Non-Fiction’ Conundrum (and Opportunity)”—just click on the Fiction or Non-Fiction tab to the left. Dawn generally does not publish “straight” non-fiction without some other feature that will capture a child’s attention. There may be a story such as Eliza and the Dragonfly or Molly’s Organic Farm that presents the opportunity to talk about nature. There may be a song as in Over in the Ocean. Or there may be cumulative verse as in Under One Rock. Or there may be an adventure such as may be found in nature every day, as in The Mouse and the Meadow.
  • Most of our publications are picture books, but occasionally we publish b&w chapter books for middle school readers such as the Earth Heroes biography series of great naturalists.
  • We are not fearful to be on the cutting edge of ideas or go where some fear to tread, such as the Great Story of evolution, as in Born with a Bang and the other titles in the Universe trilogy.

Dawn accept submissions by mail or email. Please be patient. Sometimes we respond promptly, but allow two months for a response.

To submit by email:
1. Submit one manuscript only, please. Use the following format in the subject line of your email: “Manuscript submission:” followed by the title of your work, followed by “by ________(your name).” (For example, Manuscript submission: “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter).
2. The email should consist of cover letter about yourself, your vision for this submission, and other publications you have, if any.
3. Attach documents in Word or PDF format only, or simply paste into the body of the email.
4. Even if you have previously submitted other manuscripts, please include your biographical information again.
5. Email to: submission[at]dawnpub.com. Please do not email other addresses at Dawn with submission requests.

To submit by mail:
1. Always enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). If an SASE is not enclosed we will read the submission but will not respond.
2. Please enclose a cover letter about yourself, your intent and vision for this submission, and your other books, if any, along with the manuscript.
3. Please send submissions to:

Dawn Publications – Manuscript Submission
12402 Bitney Springs Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Attn: Glenn Hovemann


A Message from Art Director Muffy:

Please look at our web site before sending anything to make sure it is in line with our illustrations. We do not do cartoons or highly anthropomorphic art. I maintain a file of illustrators for potential future projects. I prefer submissions by mail and if you include an SASE, I will respond. To submit by mail please send to:
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Attn: Muffy Weaver

But if you do submit by email please:
1. In the subject line put “Illustrations by ___” with your name, and send to muffy (at) dawnpub.com.
2. If you have a web site, please just send the URL. If you do not have a web site, please enclose not more than two digital illustration samples.
3. A cover letter about yourself, your style, and other books you have illustrated.
4. I get lots of submissions and we publish only a handful of new books, often with repeat illustrators. So I will only respond to your email if I think your illustrations could be suitable for a future book.