simultaneous submission

Guest Editor Sara Sciuto re: Should I Submit My Picture Book Dummy to Agents & Editors Simultaneously?


Dear Editor…

If I submit a picture book dummy to a publisher, may I also query an agent about the same pb, as long as I state it is a “simultaneous” submission? I am thinking of finding an agent. Is this a turn-off to the agent if the ms is out there?

Thanks for the advice!


Sara SciutoSara Sciuto, today’s Guest Editor, is an agent with Full Circle Literary, representing children’s fiction (picture books, middle grade, and YA) and select adult nonfiction. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Sara also completed literature coursework at NYU. Before joining Full Circle, she gained valuable experience working on film and foreign rights with the Taryn Fagerness Agency. Her great passions in life are travel and good food – and good books, of course! (Website:, Twitter: @sarasciuto, Blog:

Dear Lisa…

Great question! It does happen sometimes that an author will let me know that their material is currently under review at a publishing house (usually because they had an open invitation from attending a conference), and that’s fine as long as they let us know. However, I wouldn’t suggest planning on submitting to agencies and publishing houses simultaneously while you’re trying to find an agent. Here’re a few reasons why: (1) It could be a deterrent to an interested agent if we learn it’s already been submitted to multiple houses (that’s fewer chances we have to get it sold). (2) Most agents are fairly hands-on editorially (I know I am!) and will work with you to make your project stronger before ever submitting to publishers. You only have one shot with a particular publishing house/imprint so you want your project in its best possible shape before submitting. Having an agent on your side BEFORE you submit will help you make it all the more strong and appealing to publishers. (3) When an author/illustrator (which I assume you are if you’re submitting a dummy rather than just a manuscript) meets an editor at a conference and submits a dummy, that author is typically only sending one project to one publishing house. An agent is able to send the project to several editors at one time in order to find the best match for your project. There you have it—three reasons why I suggest securing an agent before submitting your work to publishers.

Best wishes,
Sara Sciuto