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Writing Guidelines - Tu Books

At TU BOOKS, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, our focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels starring people of color. We also selectively publish realism that explores the contemporary and historical experiences of people of color. We look for fantasy set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture, contemporary mysteries and fantasy set all over the world starring POC, and science fiction that centers the possibilities for people of color in the future. We welcome intersectional narratives that feature LGBTQIA and disabled POC as heroes in their own stories.

We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. Occasionally a manuscript might fall between those two categories; if your manuscript does, let us know. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories at this time. Please do not send submissions in these categories.)

Manuscript Submissions:

  • Please include a synopsis and first three chapters of the novel. Do not send the complete manuscript.
  • Manuscripts should be typed doubled-spaced.
  • Manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a brief biography of the author, including publishing history. The letter should also state if the manuscript is a simultaneous or an exclusive submission.
  • We're looking for middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12 and up) books. We are not looking for chapter books (ages 6 to 9) at this time.
  • Be sure to include full contact information on the cover letter and first page of the manuscript. Page numbers and your last name/title of the book should appear on subsequent pages.

We are now taking submissions electronically. Please go to our Submittable page to submit your manuscript electronically.

If you would rather send your submission via snail mail, you may send it to: 

Submissions Editor, Tu Books
LEE & LOW BOOKS
95 Madison Avenue 
New York, NY 10016

Only submissions sent through Submittable regular post will be considered. We cannot accept submissions through email or fax.

We will respond to a submission only if we are interested in the manuscript. We are not able to return manuscripts or give a personal response to each submission, so please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope or a delivery confirmation postcard, or call or email about the status of your submission. If you do not hear from us within six months, you may assume that your work does not fit our needs.

Resources for Writers:

For examples of the kinds of novels we're looking for, check out this list of multicultural science fiction and fantasy  novels. Note that there is a gamut of historical, contemporary, futuristic, alternate-world, and other kinds of speculative fiction.

For writers who are writing from a perspective not their own, see Nisi Shawl's excellent article on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America site about Transracial Writing for the Sincere.

For guidance on word counts and other requirements for middle grade and young adult novels, check out Harold Underdown's The Purple Crayon and SCBWI.org, which should lead you to more information. Also keep an eye on the LEE & LOW blog and Tu Editorial Director Stacy Whitman's blog, and the Web sites and blogs we link to, because these experts have great advice for writers.

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