Picture Book Basics: How to Set Up a Manuscript

Submissions for our twenty-third annual New Voices Award are now open! Do you or someone you know write for young readers? Are you a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer hoping to break into the publishing industry for the first time? Then this picture book manuscript template is for you. Read on to learn more!

Most people know what a finished picture book looks like, but very few know what the foundation of a picture book looks like—when it’s just the text for the story, without the illustrations. So, we’ve put together a Word Doc to give you an idea of how editors organize the text, which mimics the structure of a finished book. While authors aren’t required to organize submissions in this format at all, it can be helpful to format your text this way so that both you and whoever reads your manuscript can get a clear idea of how your story would flow as a book.


You can find out more about both contests here. The deadline for both awards is August 1, 2022!

Further Reading:
Five Great Writing Resources for New Voices Contestants
Building a Biography: An Interview with New Voices Award Winner Andrea Loney and Senior Editor Jessica Echeverria
How to Make Your New Voices Submission Stand Out
Submitting to our New Voices Award: Tips from an Editor
Interview: 2013 New Voices Award Winner Sylvia Liu