American Children’s Book Publishers

The U.S. children’s (and teens) book market is incredibly vibrant and robust, with players at all levels of scope and scale.

Scholastic is America’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, but all the major conglomerates have their own distinct children’s divisions, with about a dozen imprints each, including:

Random House Children’s Books (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, Disney Books for Young Readers, Dragonfly, Golden Books, Random House Books for Young Readers, Robin Corey Books, Schwartz & Wade Books, Wendy Lamb Books, Yearling Books) plus Tricycle Press (Ten Speed/Crown); 

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (Aladdin Paperbacks, Simon Pulse, Little Simon/Little Simon Inspirations, Simon Scribbles, Simon Spotlight, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Richard Jackson Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers);

Hachette (Center Street, Faith Words, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, LB Kids, Poppy);

Macmillan Children’s Book Publishing Group (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers, Feiwel & Friends, First Second, Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers, Priddy Books, Roaring Brook Press, Square Fish, Starscape, Tor Teen) plus Griffin; 

Penguin Putnam Young Readers Division (Dial Books for Young Readers, Dutton Children’s Books, Firebird, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel Books, Price Stern Sloan, Puffin Books, G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, Razorbill, Viking Children’s Books, Frederick Warne);

HarperCollins Children’s Books Group (Amistad Kids, Balzer & Bray, Eos, Greenwillow Books, Harper Children’s, HarperFestival, HarperTeen, HarperTrophy, Joanna Cotler Books, Katherine Tegen Books, Laura Geringer Books, Rayo) plus Avon, Zondervan, Inspirio, Zonderkidz;

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has 3 children’s imprints: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Harcourt Children’s Books, and Clarion Books, as well as 2 paperback lines, Sandpiper and Graphia.

Eerdmans, Harvest House, Moody, Bethany House, Thomas Nelson, St. Anthony Messenger, Tyndale, and Paulist Press are established Christian houses, while Feldheim, Hebrew Publishing Company, Jewish Lights Publishing, The Jewish Publication Society, Kar-Ben, Mesorah, URJ Press are focused on Jewish interest titles. Sierra Club focuses on nature and the environment. Mid-sized and small presses with a specific mandate for children’s books, or substantial offerings in the genre, include the following:

  • Abbeville Kids
  • Abingdon Press
  • Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)
  • Magination Press (APA)
  • Accord (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
  • Augsburg Fortress Books
  • B & H Publishing Group
  • Bethany House (Baker Publishing Group)
  • Barron’s
  • Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA, Walker Books for Young Readers 
  • Calkins Creek Books, Front Street, Leminscaat, Wordsong (Boyds Mills Press)
  • George Braziller, Inc.
  • Crossway Books
  • Smooch (Dorchester Publishing Company)
  • Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) 
  • Feldheim Publishers
  • Free Spirit Publishing
  • Fulcrum Publishing
  • Harvest House Publishers
  • HCI Teens (Health Communications, Inc.)
  • Hebrew Publishing Company
  • Broad Street Books, Graphedia Books (Hill Street Press)
  • Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s) 
  • Hyperion Books for Children
  • Candycane Press, Smart Kids Publishing, Williamson Books (Ideals Books)
  • Bear Cub Books, Bindu Books (Inner Traditions/Bear & Company)
  • Jewish Lights Publishing
  • The Jewish Publication Society 
  • Dafina (Kensington Publishing)
  • Lark Books
  • Carolrhoda Books, Graphic Universe, Kar-Ben Publishing, Lerner Classroom, Lerner Publications, Twenty-First Century Books (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • Flux (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • McSweeney’s 
  • Meadowbrook Press
  • Mesorah Publications
  • Milkweed Editions
  • Moody Publishers
  • Thomas Nelson Publishers
  • Small Horizons (New Horizon Press)
  • H. J. Kramer, Starseed Press (New World Library)
  • Paulist Press
  • Pelican Publishing Company
  • Running Press (Perseus Books Group) 
  • Taylor Trade (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Sasquatch Books
  • Arthur A. Levine Books, The Blue Sky Press, Cartwheel Books, Klutz, Chicken Socks (Scholastic, Inc.)
  • Sierra Club Books
  • Gibbs Smith, Publisher
  • Jabberwocky (Sourcebooks, Inc.)
  • St. Anthony Messenger Press 
  • Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Thames & Hudson, Inc.
  • Tyndale Children’s (Tyndale House Publishers)
  • URJ Press

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Top Specialty Guidebooks

The top line series of writing guidebooks is published and annually updated by Writer’s Digest, owned by F+W Media.

They provide writers with essential information, as well as community, through books, magazines, workshops, conferences, and digital products all designed to equip and motivate writers. 

Writer’s Market is the standard, general guidebook useful for authors in any genre, while several other specialty volumes are geared towards screenwriters, playwrights, poets, novelists, children’s book authors, etc. For everything from invigorating creativity to getting published, you’ll find what you need concerning the craft and profession of writing in their thorough series. The books are available at chain stores (Chapters-Indigo, Barnes & Noble, etc.) or online here:

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Canadian Children’s Book Publishers

Once lacking in children’s publishers (prior to the 1970s), the Canadian children’s book market is now substantial and thriving, thanks in no small part to the Canadian Children Book Centre and the following houses that specialize in books for kids of various ages:

  • Tundra Books 
  • Orca Book Publishers
  • Kids Can Press
  • Scholastic Canada
  • Owlkids Books
  • Puffin Canada
  • Groundwood Books
  • Annick Press
  • Second Story Press 
  • Thistledown Press
  • Tradewind Books
  • Nimbus Publishing
  • Napoleon Publishing
  • Red Deer Press
  • Maple Tree Press
  • Simply Read Books 
  • Lobster Press
  • Pottersfield Press
  • Formac Publishers
  • Tuckamore Books (Creative Book Publishing)
  • Dancing Cat Books

Owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company, Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher, with an award-winning list of over 500 picture books and non-fiction and fiction titles for toddlers to young adults. Its list includes beloved characters such as Franklin the Turtle, the single most successful publishing franchise in the history of Canadian publishing, which has sold over 60 million books in over 30 languages worldwide.

Napoleon Publishing was originally an independent and is now an imprint under Dundurn Press. Nimbus Publishing is the largest English-language publisher east of Toronto, producing over 30 new titles a year on a range of subjects relevant to the Maritimes for more than 20 years. 

Second Story Press has been dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers, with a multicultural inclination. A new imprint of Cormorant Books, Dancing Cat Books publishes author-driven literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for the young adult and middle-grades, plus picture books. 

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Primary Publications

A number of highly useful publications are available on the market for screenwriters, novelists, poets, playwrights, and short story writers. The mainstays of these are: 

  • Script Magazine
  • Creative Screenwriting
  • The Writer
  • Writer’s Digest
  • Writers’ Journal
  • Writers’ Forum
  • Poets & Writers
  • Quill & Quire
  • Daily Variety
  • The Hollywood Reporter
  • Bookmarks
  • Canadian Children’s Book News
  • Broken Pencil

Most publications offer professional advice and tips, including notices for active contests and opportunities, and profile new services, resources and reference books, while Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are the established trade papers for the American film industry and carry all the latest news and deals. Broken Pencil focuses on the active underground zine culture. Published by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and released quarterly, Canadian Children’s Book News keeps readers abreast of the latest in Canadian children’s books, and is available through membership or by subscription.

Additionally, Writer’s Digest compiles a fine list of websites for writers, sourced from open nominations, and whose sections include: creativity, writing advice (a new category), general resources, jobs and markets, online writing communities, everything agents, publishing/marketing resources, genres/niches and just for fun. Easy-reference symbols with each listing allow for quick scanning to see if the site offers what you’re looking for: tips, classes/workshops/conferences, contests, critique sections, forums, material specifically for young writers, jobs, markets, newsletters, a Twitter account and podcasts. Find it here:

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Jewish Publishers

There are many high quality publishers of Jewish subject matter, including venerated houses than have endured for generations (in the case of Soncino, centuries). Major publishers like Schocken and Jason Aronson were absorbed by the larger conglomerates and preserved as imprints specializing in Judaica.

  • Soncino
  • Schocken Books
  • Feldheim Publishers
  • Jason Aronson (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications
  • The Jewish Publication Society 
  • Urim Publications/Ktav Publishing
  • Behrman House
  • Judaica Press
  • Targum Press/Menucha Publishers 
  • Koren Publishers Jerusalem/Maggid/ The Toby Press
  • Carta Jerusalem
  • Palphot
  • Gefen Publishing
  • Jewish Lights Publishing 
  • Devora Publishing
  • Pitspopany Press
  • Hachai Publishing
  • Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Hamodia Publishing
  • Yaldah Publishing
  • Kehot Publication Society (Chabad Lubavitch)
  • Jonathan David Publishers
  • EKS Publishing
  • Vallentine Mitchell Publishers
  • The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization 

While the Littman Library and Vallentine Mitchell are geared toward scholarly works, Carta Jerusalem and Palphot are well-known for their top quality maps, atlases, field guides and study aids. Pitspopany, Hachai, EKS, and Kar-Ben cater to the children’s market.

Recently, well-respected publishing house The Toby Press was acquired as an imprint by Koren Publishers Jerusalem.

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Top Pitch Festivals

PITCHMART (May/November 2011)

This semi-annual one day event for students of Ken Rotcop’s screenwriting workshops costs:  See website


GAP is a two-day event (pitching on Day 2 only, Day 1 consists of seminars) that costs: $250 to $650, depending on selected package.


The two-day event costs: $445

INKTIP PITCH SUMMIT (September 2011)

This two-day event (pitching on Day 2 only, Day 1 is also seminars) costs: From $300 to $625, depending on selected package.


The three-day event costs: $89 Expo sign-up fee plus $25 per meeting or $100 for 5.

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Notable Screenwriters

According to conventional wisdom, movie-making has always been a director’s medium. Consequently, screenwriters are rarely accorded the same credit in the film industry as actors or directors are, although a small number have penned enough high-profile movies to garner well-deserved name recognition. Here are some of the more prominent scriptwriters and their major works, must-see movies for film lovers:

  • Robert Riskin (It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost HorizonYou Can’t Take It With YouMeet John Doe
  • Ben Hecht (His Girl Friday, The Front Page, ScarfaceWuthering Heights)
  • Julius & Philip Epstein (Casablanca)
  • Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett (It’s A Wonderful Life, Easter ParadeThe Diary of Anne Frank
  • William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
  • William Monahan (Kingdom of Heaven, The Departed)
  • William Nicholson (First Knight, Grey Owl, Gladiator, Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
  • Mike Werb (The Mask)
  • Jeffrey Boam (Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, The Phantom)
  • Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie & Julia)
  • Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight’s Tale, Mystic River, Green Zone, Robin Hood
  • Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon)
  • David Koepp (Jurassic Park, The Paper, The Shadow, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man)
  • David Franzoni (AmistadGladiator, King Arthur
  • John Logan (Gladiator, The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, The Last Samurai, The Aviator)
  • David Benioff (Troy, The Kite Runner
  • John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride)
  • Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia)
  • Andrew W. Marlowe (Air Force One)
  • Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network)
  • Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby)
  • Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

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Featured Finds

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Highlighted here are certain high quality fiction, nonfiction and poetry releases, some recent and others less so, all worthy of a look for discerning readers.

Publishers/imprints range from those of the major multinational conglomerates to small independents. Most if not all should be available from and/or the major chain bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million (USA); and Chapters-Indigo, BMV, Book City, Nicholas Hoare (Canada).

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Christian Publishers

The sizeable Christian book market in North America and beyond includes a number of long-established publishing houses producing fiction, nonfiction, and scriptural publication. Some companies also delve into software, video, audio books and e-books. The most prominent of these include but are not limited to:

Howard Books (Simon & Schuster)Candy Paull’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009)

Thomas Nelson PublishersAndy Stanley’s The Grace of God (2010) 

B & H Fiction/B & H Publishing GroupTosca Lee’s Demon: A Memoir (2010), Havah: The Story of Eve (2010), Iscariot (2011); T. L. Higley’s Shadow of Colossus (2008), Guardian of the Flame (2009), City of the Dead (2009), Petra: City in Stone (2010), Pompeii: City of Fire (2011)

Bethany House/Baker Publishing GroupDavis Bunn’s and Janette Oke’s The Centurion’s Wife (2009), The Hidden Flame (2010), The Damascus Way (2011)

Revell/Baker Publishing GroupJill Eileen Smith’s Michal (2009), Abigail (2010), Bathsheba (2011); Diana Wallis Taylor’s Journey to the Well (2009), Martha (2011)

Moody PublishersMelvin J. Cobb’s Vessel of Honor (2004); Tessa Afshar’s Pearl in the Sand (2010); Kacy Barnett-Gramckow’s The Heavens Before (2008), He Who Lifts the Skies (2008), A Crown in the Stars (2008)

David C. Cook Publishing (USA)Ginger Garrett’s In the Shadow of Lions (2008), In the Arms of Immortals (2009), Chosen (2010), Wolves Among Us (2011), Desired (2011)

NavPressGinger Garrett’s Dark Hour (2006)

Realms/StrangT. L. Higley’s Fallen from Babel (2005)

New Leaf Publishing GroupClarence Wagner’s 365 Fascinating Facts about Israel (2006)

Cambridge University PressDaniel Patte’s The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity (2010)

Pilgrim PressBarbara J. Essex’s Bold and Brazen (2010) 

Signature BooksDan Vogel’s Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet (2004)

Harvest HouseDarrell Bush’s Beside Still Waters (2010)

AMG PublishingJudy Gann’s God of All Comfort (2005)

Liguori PublicationsMary Katharine Deeley’s Mothers, Lovers, Priests, Prophets, and Kings (2010)

Upper Room PublishersRay Waddle’s Against the Grain (2005)

Moody and Revell were born out of arrangements between brothers-in-law to create independent Christian publishing companies in the 1870s. Zondervan has a respected imprint for children, Zonderkidz. Additionally, Thorndike Press is a large-print publisher of Christian content.

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Masters of Mythology

Studies in world mythology have contributed seminal knowledge to the understanding of the phenomenon of Story, and the vital nature of storytelling. Comparative mythologists, anthropologists and psychiatrists have pointed out patterns and similarities between the narratives, legends, dreams, symbols, and folklore of numerous cultures as well as across different eras. These patterns or algorithms are key to unlocking the mystery of human creativity, offering insights into how the brain works to make sense of  our world and of existence itself. Leading thinkers from the last century include the following authors and educators:
  • Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941)
  • Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)
  • Carl Jung (1875-1961)
  • Lord Raglan (1885-1964)
  • Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)
  • Mircea Eliade (1907-1986)
  • Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009)
  • Northrop Frye (1912-1991)
  • David Leeming (1937-)
  • Christopher Vogler (1949-)
  • J.F. Bierlien (19?-)

Major works include:

  • Frazer: The Golden Bough (1890)
  • Hamilton: The Greek Way (1930); The Roman Way (1932); The Prophets of Israel (1936); Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes (1942)
  • Jung: Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933); Psychology and Religion (1938); Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1962); Man and His Symbols (1964); Dreams (1974)
  • Raglan: The Hero (1936)
  • Campbell: The Hero With A Thousand Faces (1949), Primitive Mythology (1959), Oriental Mythology (1962), Occidental Mythology (1964), Creative Mythology (1968), The Mythic Image (1974), The Power of Myth (1988)
  • Eliade: The Myth of the Eternal Return (1949); Patterns in Comparative Religion (1949); Shamanism (1951); Images and Symbols (1952); Myths, Dreams and Mysteries (1957); The Sacred and the Profane (1959); Myth and Reality (1963)
  • Levi-Strauss: The Savage Mind (1962); Myth and Meaning: Cracking the Code of Culture (1978)
  • Frye: Anatomy of Criticism (1957); The Great Code (1982); Biblical and Classical Myths (2004)
  • Leeming: Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero (1973); The World of Myth: An Anthology (1990); Goddess: Myths of the Female Divine (1994); God: Myths of the Male Divine (1996); Storytelling Encyclopedia (1997); Myth: A Biography of Belief (2002); Jealous Gods and Chosen People (2004)
  • Vogler: The Writer’s Journey (1998)
  • Bierlein: Parallel Myths (1994); Living Myths (1999)

For further resources consult Encyclopedia Mythica:

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