• We are looking for quality, completed, unpublished in any format (self- or otherwise) chapter books/children’s novels manuscripts, for children ages 8 & up, tweens, teens and young adults, in these genres:  Mystery, Suspense, Horror/Scary Stories, Fantasy, and Science Fiction.

• Specific age groups: 8-12, 10 & up, and young adult (YA.)

See links below for specifics on each age group and genre.

NOTE: Ages 8-12 includes children in second grade, so fear & any romance factors (if you choose to include romance) in all genres need to be age appropriate to age 8/second grade as well. Maturity & emotional levels range across the board in this age group, so don’t worry, there is audience that runs the gamut in the 8–12 category, even if you tone down the fear factor for the eight year olds. 

For specific 8-12, 10 & Up and YA guidelines, use links below.

• Word length:

30, 000 – 60,000 words for 8-12 and 10 & Up. (60k+ if story is very engaging.)

Up to 100,000 words for YA.

• Quality grammar, punctuation and spelling are key, inc. proper conventions for paragraphs and punctuation in relation to dialogue.

• Chapters:  concise chapter endings that lead the young reader into wanting more, i.e. the ‘page turner’ effect. Avoid lengthy chapters with the 8-12 age group in particular.

• We are a paying entity, though we do not offer advances.

• We reserve the right to categorize your book in the age group we think best.

• Note to authors of adult novels/articles/content:


Are you a published author of adult content who’s trying to break into the children’s market?


If so, be open to a pen name for your published works for young readers, and also possibly creating an Official Website for Young Readers when marketing your work.


Should LDB accept your manuscript for publication, we are happy to mention in author bios, at our discretion, that you have other published works, but unless it’s material that is appropriate for the age groups associated with LDB and your book, it won’t be advertised beyond that through LDB or its published works.


In other words, think about your Children’s and/or Teen’s Author image, and help yourself create a suitable, contained “world” for young readers to enjoy and explore your books written just for them.




• E-mail queries to:

(Amy Alspach, Editor-in-Chief of Little Devil Books)

• E-mail subject line: LDB Query – Book’s Title – Author

• Body of e-mail: Query Letter

• Attachments: 1) Brief synopsis of whole story, and 2) A sample, incl. first chapter,

of your completed manuscript.

*Do NOT send completed manuscript with your query – send sample, incl. first chapter. If we want to see the completed work, we will request it.




• Manuscripts MUST have your name, address, e-mail and phone number at top.

• Response time of 1-2 months.

• Simultaneous submissions accepted.                                                                

• Times New Roman, 12 pt. regular

• Check here for additional proper manuscript formatting:

• Your manuscript should be in standard manuscript format and attached as either an MS word document or an RTF file.



Ages 8-12:


MYSTERY – Ages 8–12:


1) All GENERAL guidelines as stated above.

2) This is a fun age group for whom to write MYSTERIES – think secret tree house clubs; following clues to find mysterious or lost objects; mysterious homes with odd owners on the creepy street in their neighborhood; the new kid with a secret. All that and more, we know a good children’s mystery can get your creative juices flowing. Just remember your age group here.


SUSPENSE – Ages 8–12:

1) All GENERAL guidelines as stated above.

2)  The SUSPENSE genre includes wilderness style adventure, like peril in wild places, e.g. the ocean, an island, a forest, an abandoned cool-creepy house, perilous travel. Again, we know you’ve got the creativity, just age group-appropriate fear & any romance factors (if you choose to include romance)

3) MYSTERY guidelines can also be incorporated in SUSPENSE.



1) All GENERAL guidelines, as stated above.

2) The HORROR genre is great for mooonnnnstttteerrrs. Ahem. Monsters. Ghosts. Unnerving phenomena that have a magical, supernatural or paranormal explanation. Go *light* on gore, like a tell-tale blood droplet, or almost-gore, like a vampire ABOUT to bite you. Remember your 8-12 age group here, be fear-factor conscious, and give ‘em something good for a scary-fun evening, even a great read-aloud at a sleepover.  Be different and unique when writing children’s horror – we’ve seen a lot of it – it’s popular, so stand out.

3) MYSTERY & SUSPENSE guidelines can also be incorporated into HORROR.


FANTASY – Ages 8–12:

1) All GENERAL guidelines, as stated above.

2) The FANTASY genre embodies all those wonderful fantastical elements – dragons, faraway magical lands, knights, royalty, heavenly creatures, fantasy machines, wizardry, underground or secret cities, miniature worlds, ocean worlds, you name it, you think it up. Excellent fantastical villains a plus. Remember to keep your plot flowing and characters strong – easy to get caught up in the setting and magical tools of your world, and forget your rules of good plot and characterization. Enjoy, it’s a super-fun genre to write. Amaze us!

3) MYSTERY, SUSPENSE & HORROR guidelines can also be incorporated into FANTASY.



1) All GENERAL guidelines, as stated above.

2) The SCIENCE FICTION genre often crosses over with FANTASY. However, if sci-fi elements are what you are after in your writing, think:  time travel (past or future); outer space; inner space, journeys to center of a planet; moon adventures. Excellent spacecraft and alien creatures welcome.


Ages 10 & Up:

1) All GENERAL guidelines, as stated above.

2) For 10 & up, use the descriptions of MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION genres in the ages 8-12 category, but think intermediate/older elementary and sixth-grade middle schoolers.

Fear factor can be ‘upped’ for them–but, still, they are children.

Maybe they have to help a hurt friend or sibling, or get caught overnight somewhere, a frantic search by the authorities/parents. Fight scene with monster can be suitable, just give your characters moral depth, wisdom, and good decisions. And still watch the level of the gore here. The protagonists can be pre-teens or young teenagers. Gentle romance, ‘boy likes girl’ and vice-versa style of voice.  Remember, readers of other ages will like novels/chapter books aimed at the 10 & up crowd, too, if you prefer writing in ‘10 & up’ style.


Young Adult (YA):

1) All GENERAL guidelines, as stated above.

2) For YA, use the descriptions of MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION genres in the ages 8-12 category, but think *YA*.

YA is an amorphous, crossover genre, meaning you should take care in judging teen-appropriate and adult elements in your writing. Often adult readers, and younger readers with parental permission, hop on a YA series, but keep your true YA audience in mind.

If other age groups take up your book, all the better, but the YA crowd is your guiding light.

Teenage and adult characters both suitable for YA; teens dealing with adult situations.

Be ‘YA’-savvy with your fight, gore and romance elements. 

FANTASY can have larger, sweeping themes, e.g. post-apocalyptic universes & worlds, journey-style epic fantasies and epic monster rivalries & battles.

When exploring this age group in your writing, be familiar with YA writers, their series and stand-alone books.