Become a Kelpies author or illustrator

Thank you for considering Floris Books for your manuscript. The Kelpies imprint includes books for variety of different age ranges, all with specific criteria. Please take a look at our submission guidelines below. You can also find out Why you should publish with Floris below.

General Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions to the Kelpies imprint must be, in some way, Scottish — Scottish themes, Scottish setting, Scottish characters, or a Scottish author/illustrator. We do not accept general children’s book submissions.
  • We do not accept submissions by email. Submissions must be sent by post to Kelpies c/o Floris Books (visit our Contact Us page for details).
  • Please include a brief author biography with your submission.
  • If you would like your work returned, please include a stamped-addressed envelope of the appropriate value. If no return postage is enclosed, we cannot return the manuscript.
  • Please do not send more than one book at a time.
  • Please study our existing books first, to see whether your manuscript would be suitable for us. You may find our What we don’t publish section helpful.
  • Please allow at least three months for a response. If you have not heard from us after this time please email floris@florisbooks.co.uk in the first instance with your name and the title of your manuscript.
  • Unfortunately we are unable to accept manuscripts handed in to our office; please send all submissions by post. If you are unsure whether your submission is suitable for us (after researching our existing books and reading our What we don’t publish section) please phone or email with your query.
  • We hope that our Kelpies range will continue to reflect a modern Scotland. We specifically welcome authors from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and stories that deal with children’s experiences including differing abilities and family structures.

Picture Kelpies – Scottish children’s picture books

  • Picture Kelpies are suitable for children aged roughly 3 to 6 years old and should be a maximum of 1000 words. You can view sample pages from many of our Picture Kelpies using the See Inside feature as an indication of how many words are acceptable per page.
  • We can accept text-only submissions (no illustrations) or combined text and illustration submissions. If you are an illustrator and would like to submit a sample please see our Illustrator information.
  • Please browse our Picture Kelpies category to see whether your story and/or illustrations are suitable for our style.
  • Please note that we are unlikely to publish books which compete with our existing list — for example a Scottish alphabet book.

Young Kelpies – Scottish children’s novels for younger readers

  • Manuscripts should be up to 5,000 words for early readers (5-6 year olds) or up to 10,000 words for developing readers (7-8 years old).
  • Only text is required as we will match illustrators with successful authors. If you would like to become a Floris illustrator please see our Illustrators section below.
  • We’re looking for ideas with series potential — not stand-alone books.
  • Please browse our Young Kelpies category to see whether your story is suitable for the KelpiesTeen range.

Kelpies – Scottish children’s novels

  • Manuscripts should be 30,000-60,000 words, and should be suitable for the 8-12 age group.
  • Manuscripts can be in any genre as long as they have a Scottish connection.
  • Please browse our Kelpies category to see whether your story is suitable for the Kelpies range.
  • We also accept Kelpies submissions in our annual Kelpies Prize

KelpiesEdge – Scottish books with attitude

  • Manuscripts should be 40,000-70,000 words, and be suitable for readers aged 12+.
  • Manuscripts can be in any genre as long as they have a Scottish connection.
  • Please browse our KelpiesEdge category to see whether your story is suitable for the KelpiesEdge range.
  • We also accept KelpiesEdge submissions in our annual Kelpies Prize
  • Books featuring characters of 16+ or with themes of a violent or sexual nature are not suitable for the KelpiesEdge list

Kelpies Prize

The Kelpies Prize is an annual competition run by Floris Books to discover new Scottish children’s fiction. We accept submissions in three categories: Young Kelpies, Kelpies and KelpiesEdge. The winner receives a £2000 prize and a publication deal. For further information about the prize and how to enter, please visit the Kelpies Prize section of the website.

Illustrators

Very occasionally, we commission freelance illustrators to produce illustrations for book covers and/or picture book illustrations for Picture Kelpies. We also from time to time commission line drawings for our Young Kelpies early readers. If you are a freelance illustrator and you think your style might fit our list, please email a link to your blog or online portfolio to floris@florisbooks.co.uk, for the attention of our Design Manager. Please do not send illustrations by mail, or as attachments to emails. Please do not call to follow up on your email as we will be in touch if we think your work is suitable for our books. Please browse our existing books to see whether your style is similar to our existing illustrators.

If you’re an illustrator based in Scotland, why not enter the Kelpies Illustration Prize? Entries for the 2018 competition are open now, and you can find out more here.

Submissions from Agents

We welcome submissions from literary agents which fit within our publishing programme. If you are an agent and have a question about the suitablity of the manuscript you would like to submit, please email floris@florisbooks.co.uk. Please note that we do not require authors to have an agent before submitting their manuscript to us.

What we don’t publish

  • Poetry or verse, for children or adults
  • Fiction for adults or young people over the age of 14 years

Please take time to look through our list and ensure that the subject of your book fits with what we currently publish.

Why work with Floris Books?

Why publish your manuscript as part of the Kelpies imprint?

  • As a small dedicated team, we can give lots of time and personal attention to authors and their books
  • You’ll get to know us — and we’re pretty nice! Many of our authors work with the same editor, designer and marketeer for several books. We’re always at the end of the phone for a chat and love when our authors come to visit our office
  • We talk to each other — we have a weekly team meeting and regular chats over a cuppa about our books so all our departments know what is happening with your book
  • Floris has been going a long time (40 years) and is growing all the time. We started with two men at a kitchen table and now we’ve got a bustling office
  • We have wonderful partnerships with distributors all over the world, from the US, to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, so that your book will go further
  • We don’t stand still — we love new challenges and work really hard to make sure we are up-to-date on new techniques, technologies, trends and book ranges
  • Floris takes pride in producing quality books because we know that the quality of your writing should be matched by high-quality production and design
  • But most of all, we know our stuff — we’ve been publishing Scottish children’s books for over a decade, and we know how to edit, design, market and sell them. We’d love to read yours