Floris Books x SBWN – Children’s Book Submissions

SBWN are thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Floris Books: open submissions from SBWN members!

Open to Black writers and writers of colour in Scotland and the UK.

Floris Books is an award-winning, independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Normally writers need agents to submit to editors at publishing companies, so we are delighted to offer this opportunity to our members! Full details below…

Meet Sally Polson

A black and white photo of a white woman with short hair (Sally Polson). She is directly facing the camera.

Sally Polson is the Editorial Director at Floris Books, an indie publisher based in Edinburgh and the largest children’s publisher in Scotland. Before moving to Scotland thirteen years ago, she worked in the children’s fiction team at HarperCollins in London, and has been editing children’s books for nearly twenty years. During that time, she has worked across many genres and age groups, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, teen and YA novels, as well as children’s non-fiction.

Submit to Sally Polson at Floris Books

Who can submit?

Floris Books are actively looking for underrepresented voices and they are open for submissions from Black writers and writers of colour who are members of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN).

The term ‘member’ above includes event attendees, and/or members of our Facebook group, email subscribers, social media followers who are BPOC* writers.

What are Sally and Floris Books looking for?

In Sally’s words:

We are particularly looking for books that feature characters of colour, written by people of colour, across all the genres and age groups we publish for, outlined below. We also welcome books that include characters from a range of economic and family backgrounds and across the broad spectrums of ability, gender and sexuality.

We would love to read submissions that offer something special to readers: that will grab the interest of children in a particular age group and involve them.

Download these submission guidelines as a PDF

Children’s novels and chapter books (Kelpies imprint)

Novels for 8-12 year olds – We’re looking for voices and characters that stand out from the crowd in any popular children’s genre, including fantasy, adventure, humour, real-life issues and historical fiction. These can be standalone or have series potential.

Novels for 10-14 year olds – As above, but they can be a little more challenging in both interest level and complexity, while still suitable for upper primary readers.

Chapter books for 6-9 year olds with black-and-white illustrations – Humour, adventure, strong lead characters, crystal-clear concepts and simple plots work well, often with series potential. We usually pair authors with a suitable illustrator, although anyone who does both is welcome to get in touch!

Please note:

  • Traditionally, we’ve requested books set in Scotland in these three categories, but this is no longer essential.
  • We are not currently looking for older teen or YA books.

Picture books

Picture book texts for 3-7 year olds (with colour illustrations, Picture Kelpies imprint) – We sell these Scottish-focused stories in bookshops and tourist shops all around Scotland. We’re looking for books that will appeal to tourists and/or people living in Scotland, and themes, characters and settings that look and feel ‘Scottish’ – but of course that’s open to interpretation!

Picture book texts for 3-7 year olds (with colour illustrations, Floris imprint) – These mainly sell in bookshops and online throughout the US and the UK. We’re looking for impactful stories with emotional-learning messages or with natural-world themes, often lyrically written and intended to accompany beautiful illustrations.

Please note:

  • We pair authors with a suitable illustrator – no need to illustrate your own work!

Folk and fairy-tale collections

We publish hardback story anthologies for 7-12 year olds, both for Scottish bookshops and our international US/UK list. We are always open to fresh perspectives on traditional tales.

Scottish non-fiction

We publish colour-illustrated non-fiction, from board books to upper primary. These need strong, clear concepts and Scottish themes, for Scottish bookshops and tourist shops.

How to submit

Please include:

  • A brief synopsis or outline describing your work e.g. up to one A4 page, in paragraphs or bullet points
  • The first three chapters of longer texts; or a complete picture book story
  • One or two paragraphs or bullet points of biography, telling us briefly who you are and what you do
  • We prefer to read documents in either Word, Google Docs or PDF.

Please note:

  • Simultaneous submissions (to other publishers &/or agents) are fine, but please let Floris know as soon as you are accepted elsewhere.
  • Participation in this programme does not guarantee your work will be published, however you may receive feedback.
  • This programme is currently open.

Please send via:

  • Email to editor@florisbooks.co.uk
  • Flag clearly that you are a member of SBWN, with ‘SBWN member submission: [your book title, your name]’ in the subject line.

Floris Books will acknowledge your email as soon as possible, but we may take up to two months to assess your work and respond fully. If you do not receive an acknowledgement or a full response after this time, it’s fine to send a nudging email.

* BPOC stands for ‘Black people, People of Colour’ and is a self-identifying term inclusive of many communities. Please refer to our terminology on SBWN’s Mission and Values webpage.

Scottish BPOC writer’ includes BPOC writers based in Scotland, Scottish BPOC writers living within or outwith Scotland, and BPOC writers with strong links to Scotland, for example, if they lived in Scotland for a number of years and still maintain regular contact with people in Scotland.

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