How to submit

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Please note that Polly is closed to submissions from 2 July until 1 August, incl. It’s to give her time to judge the huge number of entries to this year’s Greenhouse Funny Prize. She is sorry, but any submissions sent during this period will be deleted unread. She’d love to hear from you next month though. Thank you.

We are delighted that you are interested in submitting your work to Greenhouse!

The publishing industry is tough and competition is fierce, so we look for outstanding voices – for writing that’s fresh, original and effective. Most of all, we seek potential.

We specialize in writing for children: picturebook texts of less than 1000 words; high-concept/character-led young series; middle grade novels; young-adult novels. Very occasionally, a non-fiction proposal will be considered.

Please note: We are NOT looking for short stories, educational or religious/inspirational work, poetry, pre-school/novelty material, screenplays or writing aimed at adults.

Here is the procedure to follow if you want to submit your work to Greenhouse:

1) Make sure your work is absolutely as good as you can make it. Revise, critique (repeat, repeat) before sending. Don’t waste your opportunity!

2) Decide which agent is right for you - you can only submit to one. If you live in the US/Canada, please submit to Sarah. If you live in the UK/Commonwealth (or anywhere outside the US/ Canada), please query Polly. You can click on Sarah Davies or Polly Nolan to read about them and their interests.

4) Prepare a query email WITH THE AGENT’S NAME IN THE SUBJECT LINE. The opening letter should be no longer than one page in length (if it were on paper) and should contain: word count of the manuscript; age group, brief synopsis of story (no more than 3 paragraphs); brief bio with details of any writing background you have. Please also tell us what country you live in. This is very helpful!

5) If you’re writing a novel: Paste the first 5 pages of your story into the body of the email. If you’re writing a picturebook (no more than 1000 words): paste in the whole text. No illustrations are required at this stage, unless you are an author/illustrator.

6) Send your complete query email to submissions[at]greenhouseliterary[dot]com.

7) Wait patiently. We love to find new talent so all queries are read and carefully considered. We can often get back to you very quickly - within a few days. However, we receive a very high volume of submissions and sometimes other work/travel delay us. Please therefore allow up to 6 weeks for a response. If we haven’t got back to you by then, email the agent again on submissions[at]greenhouseliterary[dot]com - it’s possible your message got lost in cyberspace. You can of course also add a delivery/read receipt to your query email to be sure it has arrived.

8) If we are interested in your work we will reply asking to read either a partial or full manuscript as an e-document. In this case, please allow 6-8 weeks for us to read and respond to the manuscript.

Finally: Sarah and Polly work very closely together, so if you’re not sure whether you’re American or European/Australian/Indian etc (it happens. Life can be complicated these days!) we will discuss it and make a decision on who reads.

Sorry, but we can’t give editorial feedback or advice about other agents or agencies. PLEASE NOTE: We will delete unread any submissions with unsolicited attachments. We also recycle unread any paper submissions. 

Thanks for thinking of Greenhouse for your work - and good luck!