Thank you for your interest in submitting your manuscript to Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books*.

At Tu 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.

See below for what we're currently looking for right now.

*If you want to submit a picture book to Lee & Low Books, please see the Lee & Low Books submission guidelines. We do not take picture book submissions on this site.

This link is for agented submissions only. If you do not have an agent, please submit your submission in our general submissions sections for novels and graphic novels.

Agents, thanks so much for using the Submittable system for sending full manuscripts. I hope this will increase our efficiency in getting back to you in a timely manner. Feel free to nudge me at swhitman AT after a month if I haven't gotten back to you.

Stacy Whitman
Tu Books

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books.

At Tu Books, our focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous novels and graphic novels for young readers starring people of color. We look for fantasy set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture; contemporary realism, mysteries, and fantasy set all over the world; and science fiction that centers the possibilities for people of color in the future. We look for historical fiction that sheds light on little-known time periods, settings, and historical events, and we welcome intersectional narratives that feature LGBT and disabled POC as heroes in their own stories. In everything we publish, we seek a strong literary quality.

We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories at this time.)

We appreciate submissions as Word files (PDFs are sometimes harder to resize on e-readers), but if your submission is a graphic novel proposal, PDFs are best for sample art.

Ends on October 31, 2016
About the Award

TU BOOKS, the middle grade and young adult imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the fourth NEW VISIONS AWARD. The award will be given for a middle grade or young adult novel by a writer of color. Established in 2012, the NEW VISIONS AWARD encourages writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Winning submissions that have been published include Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, recipient of an honor citation from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Literature, and The Amaterasu Project by Axie Oh, due for publication in 2017.

Lee & Low Books is pleased to announce an exciting new initiative with First Book and the NEA Foundation aimed at helping educators feel more confident broaching subjects related to race, ethnic and cultural diversity in the classroom.  Together, Lee & Low, First Book, and the NEA Foundation will:

  • publish more first-time authors of color;
  • bring more affordable multicultural paperbacks into the hands of low-income children; and
  • provide best-in-class educator resources to lift up authentic voices, expand horizons and validate each child's unique perspective and experience through literature.
Through the generosity of the NEA Foundation, Lee & Low Books will award a second NEW VISIONS AWARD winner for the 2017 contest. The NEA Foundation will sponsor the cost of publication of this winning title. Lee & Low Books will publish a special paperback edition of the book that will be exclusively available educators and program leaders serving children in need through the First Book Marketplace.


  1. The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry, and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published.
  2. Writers who have published work in other venues such as children’s magazines or picture books, or adult fiction or nonfiction, are eligible. Only unagented manuscripts will be accepted.
  3. Work that has been published in its entirety in any format (including online and self publishing as well as other countries) is not eligible.
  4. Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to TU BOOKS will not be considered.


  1. Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included.
  2. Submissions may be any fictional genre novels for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. We are particularly interested in literary fantasy and science fiction, but also welcome contemporary, historical, mystery, suspense, and genre fusions. Graphic novel scripts for these categories are also welcome. Nonfiction will not be considered.
  3. Submissions should include a synopsis of the story plus the first three to five (3–5) chapters, not to exceed 10,000 words in length. For graphic novels, include the equivalent of 24-30 scripted pages. Include 6-10 pages of final art samples and optional character sketches in PDF format only if you are an author/illustrator.
  4. Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes the author’s name, address, phone number, email address, brief biographical note, relevant cultural and ethnic information, how the author heard about the award, and publication history, if any. Do not send the entire manuscript.
  5. Manuscripts should be composed in a clear 12-point font, double-spaced, saved as a Word document. Submissions will not be returned.
  6. Up to two submissions per entrant. Each submission should be submitted separately.
  7. Submissions should be submitted online at in the New Visions Award category. You will receive a confirmation email stating your submission was received.
  8. Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to TU BOOKS general submissions while under consideration for this award.
  9. TU BOOKS is not responsible for late, lost, or incorrectly delivered submissions. Be sure you leave enough time to resubmit if technical difficulties occur.

Dates for Submission: Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2016, through October 31, 2016, and must be submitted within that period. The submissions site will be only open from midnight, June 1, to midnight, Oct. 31. Please make sure to give yourself plenty of time to allow uploading.

Prize: The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

Announcement of the Award:

PLEASE NOTE UPDATED NOTIFICATION DATES (due to NEA Foundation sponsorship changes):
  1. Finalists will be notified and full manuscripts requested no later than November 30, 2016. If your full manuscript is requested, it must be received by TU BOOKS by December 15, 2016.
  2. Submissions will not be returned. Be sure to retain a copy of your submission.
  3. Judges are the editors of TU BOOKS and LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final.
  4. The Award and Honor winners will be selected from among the full manuscripts requested and will be announced on Friday, February 10, 2017.
  5. For FAQ and previous winners, visit