LEE & LOW BOOKS is an independent children’s and young adult book publisher that focuses on multicultural themes. Our goal is to meet the need for books that address children and teens of color by providing culturally authentic titles that all readers can enjoy. Picture books, early readers, and chapter books are published under our Lee & Low Books, Shen’s Books, and Children’s Book Press imprints. Middle-grade and young adult novels are published under our Tu Books imprint. To see the kind of books we publish, please explore our website, check out the Open Book Blog, or request or download a catalog here.

Because we are a small publisher working through an extensive manuscript backlog, Lee & Low Books and Tu Books are both currently closed to unsolicited manuscript submissions until further notice. We still accept agented submissions and projects from writers’ conferences that Lee & Low editors have attended. In addition, if you have never been published before, we encourage you to enter your work in our annual New Voices and New Visions award contests, which open every summer. For more details, click here


We are happy to consider art samples for possible future picture books and covers. You may send the samples through the mail to either the Lee & Low or Tu Books imprints at 95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016. If you will be in the New York City area and would like to meet with one of our editors for a portfolio review, please send a letter with an art sample to the address above, including the dates of your visit, your email address, and the address of your website, and an editor will be in touch to arrange a meeting, if possible.

Thank you for considering Lee & Low Books and Tu Books as artistic homes for your work.

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. Please note that we are closed to general submissions as of Nov. 12, 2018, and will re-open after the new year.

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 leeandlow.com 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.

Our focus is on fiction and narrative nonfiction novels and graphic novels centering people of color or Native people. We are interested in both middle grade stories for ages 8 to 12 and young adult stories for ages 12 to 18. Occasionally a manuscript might fall between these two categories; if your manuscript does, let us know.

We look for fantasy set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture, contemporary mystery and fantasy set all over the world, and science fiction that centers the possibilities for people of color or Native people in the future.

We also selectively publish realism and narrative nonfiction that explores the contemporary and historical experiences of people of color or Native people. We welcome intersectional narratives that feature LGBTQIA and disabled people as heroes in their own stories.

Stacy Whitman and Cheryl Klein both acquire titles for Tu Books, and we ask that you identify which of  them you wish to consider your submission. As loose rules of thumb, Cheryl has a more literary bent and does not acquire graphic novels, while Stacy has a more commercial focus and does not acquire narrative nonfiction. You can learn more about each of them through their websites, linked above.

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.

New Visions Award for Unpublished Authors of Color and Native Nations

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 its fifth New Visions Award. The award will be  given for a middle grade or young adult novel or graphic novel by a writer of color or Native nations. Established in 2012, the New Visions Award encourages writers of color and Native nations to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new  talent. Winning submissions include Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, the recipient of an honor award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association; Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh, which received three starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection; and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, which received two starred reviews and was listed as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. 


The contest is open to writers of color and Native nations 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. 

  1. 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.
  2. Work that has been published in its entirety in any format (including online and self publishing as well as other countries) is not eligible.
  3. 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 and Native nations 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 or graphic novels for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 13 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 be of full, unagented manuscript or graphic novel script PLUS synopsis. Manuscripts/scripts should be composed in a clear 12-point font, double-spaced, saved as a Word document, 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.

  • Middle grade novels are not to exceed 75,000 words in length; young adult novels are not to exceed 95,000 words in length.
  • Graphic novels should not exceed 150 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 will not be returned.

5.  Up to two submissions per entrant. Each submission should be submitted separately.

6.  Submissions should be submitted online at Submittable in the New Visions Award category. You will receive a confirmation email stating your submission was received.

7.  Manuscripts may NOT be submitted to other publishers, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to TU BOOKS general submissions while under consideration for this award.

8.  TU BOOKS is not responsible for late, lost, or incorrectly delivered submissions. Be sure you leave enough time to resubmit if technical difficulties occur.

Date for Submissions

Submissions will be accepted from April 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019, and must be submitted within that period. The submissions site will be only open from midnight (morning) on April 1, to midnight (night), August 31. Please make sure to give yourself plenty of time to allow uploading. 


The Award winner receives a cash prize of $2,000 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 $1,000.

Announcement of the Award 

Submissions will not be returned. Be sure to retain a copy of your submission.

  1. Judges are the editors of TU BOOKS and LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final.
  2. Winners will be notified no later than March 1, 2020.
  3. The Award and Honor winners will be announced no later than April 1, 2020. 


Visit https://blog.leeandlow.com/2017/08/24/new-visions-award-frequently-asked-questions/.


Help us spread the word! Download a printable PDF of the submissions guidelines to share with writers who may be interested.

Tu Books