Kathy Dawson Books

Kathy Dawson Books


Kathy Dawson Books is a boutique hardcover imprint publishing middle-grade and YA fiction that launched its first list in early 2014. In her more than twenty years at Penguin, Kathy Dawson has edited many award winners and her imprint will continue in that tradition, publishing remarkable literary  books with strong hooks across a variety of genres with universal themes and irresistible voices — books that break the mold, and the heart.


Publish stellar novels

with unforgettable characters

for children and teens

that expand their vision of the world,

sneakily explore the meaning of life,

celebrate the written word,

and last for generations.

Submission Guidelines

Kathy Dawson Books will not respond to your unsolicited submission unless interested in it. Submissions will be recycled.

Kathy Dawson Books accepts fiction queries VIA SNAIL MAIL ONLY for middle grade and young adult fiction, consisting of:

  • Cover sheet including: (1) a one-sentence elevator pitch; (2) your main themes; (3) your version of catalog copy for your book (or Advance Reading Copy cover copy)
  • The first 10 pages of your manuscript, double-spaced, Times Roman, 12 point type.
  • Your publishing history (if relevant)

Please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your submission. We will only respond if interested.

Please be sure to retain a copy of your submission.

You will not hear from Kathy Dawson Books regarding the status of your submission unless we are interested in it, in which case you can expect a reply from us within approximately four months. We regret that we cannot respond personally to each submission, but rest assured that we do make every effort to consider each and every one we receive.

Please keep in mind the following when submitting your work to Kathy Dawson Books:

  • Never send submissions by e-mail or fax.
  • Never send cassettes, CDs, marketing plans, or original artwork.
  • Please mail only one manuscript at a time and never send your original or only copy.
  • Because confirmation postcards are easily separated from or hidden within the manuscript, please do not include them with your submission.
  • Please refrain from calling, faxing, or e-mailing to inquire after the status of an unsolicited submission, as we will be unable to assist you. If you have not received a reply from us after four months, you can safely assume that we are not interested in publishing your work.

In receiving a submission, we do not assume any duty not to publish a book based on a similar idea, concept, or story.

Meet Kathy Dawson Books

Kathy Dawson

Kathy Dawson

Vice-President, Publisher

Kathy Dawson began her publishing career at G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers where she edited Newbery Honor books Getting Near to Baby by Audrey Couloumbis and Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. She also edited Printz Honor winner Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going, now a feature film directed by Matthew Lillard. After a brief time at Harcourt Children’s Books as Associate Editorial Director where she published New York Times bestsellers Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, she returned to Penguin as Associate Publisher at Dial where she edited another Newbery Honor winner Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage and another Printz Honor winner The Returning by Christine Hinwood, as well as a National Book Award finalist, Chime by Franny Billingsley (also a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction), and an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner Fire by Kristin Cashore. She has launched the careers of 19 debut fiction authors in children’s books, and worked with such prominent figures as Janet Lee Carey, Suzanne Collins, Kimberly Willis Holt, Catherine Jinks, Caroline Stevermer, Carol Lynch Williams, Patricia Wrede, and Jane Yolen. She graduated from Hamilton College, and lives in Woodside, NY with her husband, children’s book illustrator Ian Schoenherr, and two cats—Pistachio and Buzz.

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