Woodbine House Special Needs Books

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Topics in Autism
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Tourette Syndrome
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 Submissions Guidelines  

General Book Guidelines Children's Book Guidelines

General Book Guidelines

Woodbine House specializes in books about developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses. We are especially receptive to books that are written expressly for parents of children or adults with disabilities, but will also consider books written for individuals with disabilities, professionals, or a general audience. (See separate writer’s guidelines for children’s books below.) 

You need not be previously published or have an agent to submit a book proposal. However, it is essential that you have hands-on experience with one or more children with disabilities and that your book reflect that experience.


Our current needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Parents’ guides to raising children with specific disabilities
  • Guides to specific issues related to a given disability (e.g., communication skills)
  • Practical guides on topics that concern parents or teachers of children with disabilities in general (e.g., special education, sibling issues)
  • Books for children and adults with disabilities, written at an appropriate reading level
  • Reference books on disability-related topics
  • Memoirs written in a literary vein about living with a disability or about parenting or teaching a child with a disability.


To submit a proposal, please send as many of these elements as possible:

  • The table of contents;
  • 2-3 sample chapters;
  • An annotated list of books in print on the subject, explaining how your book differs from the competition;
  • A list of potential markets, including specific organizations and groups of individuals that would buy your book;
  • A vita or biographical note describing your qualifications to write this book;
  • Samples of previously published or unpublished work, if desired;
  • Estimated length and completion date.

Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced. No email submissions. Please let us know if you are making a simultaneous submission.


Address submissions to:
Acquisitions Editor

Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817


If you wish to have your proposal returned, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope large enough to accommodate the manuscript. If you do not wish to have your manuscript returned, enclose a stamped #10 envelope or email address for a reply. Allow 12 weeks for a response. Please note that calling to check on the progress of your manuscript will not speed up the response time.


General Book Guidelines Children's Book Guidelines

Children's Book Guidelines

The only children's books we publish are books for or about children and teens with disabilities.


Our current needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Fiction and nonfiction for children and teens with developmental or intellectual disabilities (Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, etc.)
  • Books about developmental or intellectual disabilities for siblings or peers of children with developmental or intellectual disabilities
  • Hi-Lo (high interest, low reading level) books on topics that interest older children, teens, and young adults with disabilities


Some Woodbine House Preferences:

  • We are unlikely to accept books in which talking animals or inanimate objects play the roles of children with disabilities.

  • We do not publish books that are written solely to impart a message about people with disabilities to people without disabilities. Examples of these messages include: “People with disabilities have feelings too”; “Everybody is different, and that's OK!”; “People with disabilities make good friends."

  • We prefer stories with narrative drive or plot (conflict/resolution) rather than “what it's like to have” or “a day in the life” type stories.

  • We frequently see books that were originally written to help siblings or classmates understand the differences or experiences of a particular child with disabilities. We are unlikely to publish a book of this nature unless it addresses universal concerns in a way that will be useful or informative for many children and their families.

  • We do not publish books expressing a religious viewpoint.

  • Given the cost of illustrations, we are less likely to accept books that require elaborate, full-color illustrations and more likely to accept submissions that need only simple line drawings or photographs (or no art at all).


We publish very few children's books. A book has to really captivate everyone on our staff for us to publish it. Do not take it personally if we reject your manuscript. Perhaps it will appeal to another publishing company with different needs and preferences.


To submit a children's book, please send the entire text. If your manuscript includes illustrations, please send a few representative originals or color photocopies. No submissions will be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage for the return of materials.

Address submissions to:
Acquisitions Editor

Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817

General Book Guidelines Children's Book Guidelines


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