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Author Guidelines

 James Lorimer & Company is currently seeking manuscripts for the following series:

Sports Stories series – Hi-lo, sports-themed fiction for ages 10 to 13

SideStreets series – Edgy, issues-based novels for ages 13 and up

Recordbooks series – Non-fiction sports bios/issues for reluctant readers ages 12 and up

Our first priority is good writing, with believable characters, situations, and dialogue. All settings must be Canadian, with storylines that take place in the child or teen world with minimal adult involvement.

As publishers of novels and short stories based on the original Degrassi TV series, we share the commitment evident in that pioneering series to serious engagement with themes and issues in a way that reaches a contemporary youth audience.

At this time we do not publish picture books, seasonal stories, cookbooks, board books, activity books, historical fiction, or fantasy. We are not interested in stories written to convey a lesson or moral.

 

Sports Stories series

  • Interest level: ages 10-13 (middle school/grades 7-8)
  • Reading level: grades 3-4 (hi-lo)
  • Length: 23,000 words
  • Genre: realistic, contemporary sports fiction

Sports Stories are exciting, plot-driven novels with lots of fast-paced sports action geared toward kids who would rather spend their time playing sports than reading. Settings must be Canadian, contemporary, and realistic. Main characters should be between the ages of 12 to 14 (grades 7 to 9). Popular themes to explore include bullying, rivalry, racial/ethnic conflict, competition, gender discrimination, and sportsmanship. The themes are captured within the sports setting and action, not elsewhere. Hockey, soccer, and basketball stories are in highest demand. We are looking to expand this series to include cricket. Story and characters should have content appropriate for kids reading at level (grades 5 and up). We are particularly interested in manuscripts that reflect the diversity of backgrounds evident in contemporary Canadian schools.

Before you submit, please read the following Sports Stories books to get a sense of what we’re looking for:
Hustle by Johnny Boateng
Bench Brawl by Trevor Kew
Red Zone Rivals by Eric Howling
Pick and Roll by Kelsey Blair
Spiked by Steven Barwin   

 

SideStreets

  • Interest level: ages 13 and up (high school/YA)
  • Reading level: grades 3-5 (hi-lo)
  • Length: 25,000 words
  • Genre: realistic, contemporary, issues-based fiction

SideStreets novels are fast-paced, high-interest stories with the ability to pull in even the most reluctant teen readers. They feature realistic characters, situations, and dialogue, and explore the often difficult feelings and situations faced by contemporary Canadian teens. We’re not interested in overdone story lines drawn from the world of movies and television rather than from real life. Past topics include: addiction, sexuality, bullying, gangs, mental disorders, and gambling. Characters must be aged 15 and up. Stories that feature male main characters are especially welcome. Settings must be Canadian and contemporary, and diversity of background in terms of race, class, and ethnicity is particularly welcome.

Before you submit, please read the following SideStreets books to get a sense of what we’re looking for:
Beyond Crazy by Deb Loughead
Out of It by Michelle Kadarusman
Studid by Kim Firmston
Blow by Jodi Lundgren

 

Recordbooks

  • Interest Level: ages 12 and up
  • Reading level: grades 3-4 (hi-lo)
  • Length: 15,000 words
  • Genre: Non-fiction

Recordbooks are non-fiction biographies that explain how one athlete or group of athletes overcame issues to succeed at sport. These issues can include, gender, race, or political or economic barriers. Profiled athletes/teams are to be Canadian or Canadian-born, or have had a significant influence on Canadian sports history. We are emphasizing sports figures who are meaningful and appealing to contemporary readers rather than historical figures who have no immediate appeal for our audience.

Before you submit, please read the following books to get a sense of what we’re looking for:
Annaleise Carr by Annaleise Carr, as told to Deborah Ellis
Willie O'Ree by Nicole Mortillaro
Big League Dreams by Richard Brignall
Crazy Canucks by Eric Zweig
Jordin Tootoo by Melanie Florence 

 

Submission Guidelines

Due to the number of manuscripts received, if a manuscript does not meet our editorial guidelines exactly we cannot guarantee a response. For eligible submissions, please allow 12-16 weeks for a response.

  • We are only considering manuscripts from Canadian writers.
  • Manuscripts should be typed and double-spaced on one side only of 8.5 x 11" white paper.
  • All manuscripts should be accompanied by a typed cover letter of no more than one page. Also include a short (1-2 page) synopsis that outlines both plot and sub-plot(s), setting, and characters. Include word count and the name of the series the manuscript is intended for. Also include a brief bio of yourself and a list of previously published works.
  • Query letters, cover letters, and the first page of manuscripts should include the author's name, address, and phone number.
  • Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of your material.
  • Manuscripts should be mailed to the attention of Children's Book Editor at the address below.


James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
317 Adelaide Street West
Suite 1002
Toronto, ON M5V 1P9

 

We strongly recommend that you review the relevant sections on our website, www.lorimer.ca, to familiarize yourself with the types of books we publish before sending in your submission. Lorimer welcomes submissions by first-time and emerging authors. 

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