A message from editor Glenn:
Dear writers (illustrators please see below),
Thank you for your interest in Dawn. These guidelines are meant to assist you in submitting manuscripts which are likely to be of interest to us. Please be aware that Dawn is a publishing “boutique.” We have deliberately limited the number of titles we publish so that we can give our best attention to each one. Our goal is to provide quality books for children, not to create a publishing empire. Consequently we have very few openings for manuscripts. Even though we receive many fine submissions, Dawn can accept only a handful. Every day I receive more submissions than we publish in a year. It’s challenging for both you, the author, and for me as editor.
We rely on submissions to provide us with future projects, so I pay close attention to every submission. Most of our titles come from unsolicited submissions and many are from first-time authors. However, inappropriate submissions makes my work harder and guarantees a rejection for you. So please, the best way to get a sense of what is appropriate for Dawn is to read this carefully and also to examine some of our books. With our enhanced web site you can do this fairly well online, although there is no substitute for looking at an entire book.
Dawn publishes “nature awareness” titles for adults and children. Our picture books are intended to encourage an appreciation for nature and a respectful participation in it. We are seeking to inspire children as well as educate them. An inspired child is a motivated child. In addition:
- It is extremely helpful when titles are well suited for classroom use and fit into the standards that teachers have to follow these days.
- We generally do not publish “straight” non-fiction without some other feature that will capture a child’s attention.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 Amy’s Light. There may be a song as in Over in the Ocean or River Song. There may be cumulative verse as in Under One Rock or The Tree in the Ancient Forest.
- 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 when there is a strong environmental and inspirational element.
- We like to be on the cutting edge of ideas so we are willing, for example, to publish the Great Story for children as the “Universe” series.
- Your ability, interest, and willingness to promote through school visits, conference presentations, etc. is very helpful and important.
Dawn does not publish material which:
- contains animal dialogue which presents animals in a highly anthropomorphic light;
- merely explains nature;
- is a fantasy;
- is a retelling of a legend (as most legends have a strong element of the supernatural);
- is centered primarily on human situations or foibles;
- is a story about animal rescue;
- is a story about pets.
I now accept submissions either by mail or by email. Reviewing manuscript submissions is a small part of my job. Please be patient. Sometimes I respond promptly, but allow two months for a response.
To submit by email:
1. Important! 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). One manuscript only, please!
2. The email should consist of cover letter about yourself, your intent and vision for this submission, and your other publications, if any.
3. The manuscript may be either included in the body of the email or attached as a Word or PDF document only.
4. If you have previously submitted other manuscripts, please include your biographical information again.
5. Email to: submission[at]dawnpub.com. Please do not send submissions or queries to any other email address at Dawn Publications — especially not mine!
To submit by mail:
1. Always enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). If an SASE is not enclosed, I 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:
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:
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.