DISCLAIMER: These definitions are only a quick guide to help get you started. Like a career in children’s publishing, some of these terms are complex, ever-changing, and/or subject to personal opinion.

Art Director:

Board Books: books made of thick cardboard or other sturdy material, created for infants and toddlers

Chapter Books: Stories usually divided into short chapters, generally intended for intermediate readers, generally age 7–10 (source: Wikipedia)

Closed: a literary agent or editor is not accepting unsolicited queries or submissions at this time


Critique Group:

Early Readers:


Genre: category or style of a book – for example, romance, crime or horror. (source: CA Department of Education)

GN (Graphic Novels): a type of text combining words and images—essentially a comic, although the term most commonly refers to a complete story presented as a book rather than a periodical. (source: Brittanica)

Hybrid Publishing: Traditional publishing in which authors share some of the production costs of their own book projects, in exchange for higher royalties (source: Wikipedia).

Literary Agent:

MG (Middle Grade): books created for readers aged 8 to 12

Manuscript (MS):

NF (Nonfiction): 

PAL (Published and Listed): Members that are traditionally published by publishers identified by the SCBWI as PAL publishers

PB (Picture Book): illustrated books, usually created for readers aged 4 to 9


Query: submission for representation to a literary agent

Submission: submission for publication to an acquiring editor

Traditional Publishing: publisher agrees to print and distribute your book in exchange for a percentage of the sales

Unsolicited: cold submission or query without a referral

YA (Young Adult): novels for readers aged 12 to 18