15 New(ish) Diversity-Focused Publishers and Imprints  

As multicultural children’s book publisher Lee and Low’s Diversity Baseline Survey revealed—and as many publishing insiders already knew—the book publishing industry sorely lacks diversity, both here in the U.S. and worldwide. Theories abound as to why, as The Guardian put it, publishing is intransigently white, middle-class (and further up the ladder, male), and how this issue should be addressed. After all, if there is little diversity among publishing staff, then it’s no wonder that so few books published today reflect the world around us.


Some publishers, however, are and have always been on a mission to give marginalized voices a platform. Founded in 1967, HarperCollins’s Amistad Press prides itself on being the “oldest publisher devoted to multicultural voices” and has both adult and children’s book divisions. Arte Público Press focuses on contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors and is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. And Aunt Lute has been “bringing revolutionary queer women, women of color, and underrepresented voices to the forefront of literature since 1982.”


Reassuringly, the last few years—the last six months in particular—has witnessed a flurry of announcements from publishers or imprints that were established with the aim of amplifying marginalized voices. Here is a list of those formed in the U.S. during or after 2016, the year the results of Lee and Low’s first Diversity Baseline Survey were announced (a new iteration of this survey is currently in progress). This list features book publishers—rather than media companies that sometimes publish books—and is by no means comprehensive. If you know of a diversity-focused publisher or imprint that should be included, please make a note of it in the comments section!



Publisher or imprint: Agora Books, a division of independent publishing company Polis Books

Description: “a diversity-focused imprint devoted to crime and noir fiction”

Date announced or launched: December 2018

Submissions guidelines: “Please keep in mind that while Polis Books does accept unsolicited submissions, due to the incredibly high volume of unsolicited material we receive, we will only respond to queries if we have interest in the submission.”



Publisher or imprint: Carina Adores/Carina Press, a division of Harlequin at HarperCollins

Description: a “trope-based LGBTQ+ contemporary romance line”

Date announced or launched: November 2018

Submissions guidelines: “We invite everyone to head over to our submissions guidelines page here for all the details, about what the line is, what we’re looking for, and how to submit.” 



Publisher or imprint: Denene Miller Books, a division of Simon & Schuster

Description: “will publish titles by African-American authors and illustrators, for readers of all ages”

Date announced or launched: February 2019

Submissions guidelines: None stated, but likely accepts agented submissions only



Publisher or imprint: Kokila, a division of Penguin Random House

Description: “brings together an inclusive community of authors and illustrators, publishing professionals, and readers to examine and celebrate stories that reflect the richness of our world…will publish work for children and young adults across all formats and genres”

Date founded or announced: February 2018

Submissions guidelines: “We’re excited to hear from new voices and accept unagented submissions that fit our mission from September 1st to December 1st. Email us with query letter in the body of the message and work as an attachment no larger than 20 MB at kokila@penguinrandomhouse.com.”



Publisher or imprint: Levine Querido, an independent publishing company

Description:  has a “distinct focus on building a platform for underrepresented voices – People of Color, LGBTQ creators, Indigenous Creators, writers and artists with disabilities, those from minority religious backgrounds, and others”

Date announced or launched: April 2019

Submissions guidelines: “Levine Querido is currently closed to unsolicited submissions, but we plan to open our doors at the beginning of summer 2019! Look for more information soon.”



Publisher or imprint: Lil’ Libros, an independent publishing company

Description: celebrates Latin American culture with the goal of making “the world a better place by providing authentic stories that promote inclusivity and love”

Date or announced or launched: July 2016

Submissions guidelines: “Do you have a children's book you think the world needs to read? Or beautiful illustrations you want to share with everyone? Send it our way!

Before you send us anything, please read the following guidelines carefully.”



Publisher or imprint: Make Me a World, a division of Penguin Random House

Description: “an imprint dedicated to exploring the vast possibilities of contemporary childhood”

Date announced or launched: July 2016

Submissions guidelines: None indicated, but likely accepts agented submissions only



Publisher or imprint: Megascope, a division of Abrams ComicArts at independent publishing company Abrams

Description: “will publish a variety of graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color”

Date announced or launched: September 2018

Submissions guidelines: None indicated, but likely accepts agented submissions only



Publisher or imprint: Oleb Books, an independent publishing company

Description: “seeks to expand representation of disability in literature, or D Lit, by publishing disability stories by writers with disabilities”

Date announced or launched: October 2018

Submissions guidelines: “Please include a quick synopsis about your book, word count, and an author bio. We will only consider writers who disclose their disability in their bio or through their work. If we are interested, we will request the full manuscript.”



Publisher or imprint: Rick Riordan Presents, a division of Disney-Hyperion

Description: “Our goal is to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage.”

Date announced or launched: September 2016

Submissions guidelines: None indicated, but likely accepts agented submissions only



Publisher or imprint: Salaam Reads, a division of Simon & Schuster

Description: “aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works”

Date announced or launched: February 2016

Submissions guidelines: “In addition to publishing works acquired through literary agents, Salaam Reads will also consider for publication unagented and/or unsolicited manuscripts. Submissions can be sent to SalaamReads@SimonandSchuster.com.”



Publisher or imprint: Street Noise Books, an independent publishing company

Description: “Nonfiction for young adults… Our books have a radical, intersectional feminist, queer and inclusive vision, and seek to provide a platform for the voices of marginalized people.”

Date announced or launched: May 2019

Submissions guidelines:We are currently happy to consider unagented submissions from people with a fresh voice or perspective…before you consider submitting a proposal, please familiarize yourself with our overall mission to make sure we would be a good fit for your project.”



Publisher or imprint: Topple Books, a division of Amazon Publishing

Description: “will spotlight the voices of woman of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer writers”

Date announced or launched: February 2018

Submissions guidelines: Amazon Publishing does not accept unsolicited original manuscripts



Publisher or imprint: Versify, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description: “publishes books…that will engage, entertain, and empower young people to imagine and create a better world.”

Date announced or launched: January 2018

Submissions guidelines: “Part of our mission is to publish writers whose voices haven’t been heard before. That’s why we’re accepting unsolicited and un-agented submissions. Thing is, we have a very, very small staff and can’t respond to everyone….”



Publisher or imprint: West 44 Books, a division of independent publishing company Enslow Publishing

Description: “a hi-lo fiction imprint for middle grade and young adult readers… features what its editors are calling ‘authentic new and diverse voices’ and ‘gripping narratives for struggling readers’”

Date announced or launched: July 2018

Submissions guidelines:Please send a query e-mail to CustomerService@enslow.com.”