KNOWHOW Educational publishing (Part 4)


In the fourth part of this KnowHow series, Lynn Huggins-Cooper shares her expertise on educational publishing and shows how you can open up a new world of possibilities.

In last month’s article about writing Home Learning titles, I suggested thinking about answers to the following questions. These will help you to write a covering letter to send to publishers as you seek work. Many educational publishers keep a list of potential authors ready for their projects, and this is a great ‘way in’ to the industry.


What are my areas of strength in the curriculum?

  • Which age range could I write for?
  • What are my passions?
  • What would I love to write about?
  • Why am I the person to write these books? 
  • What are my qualifications and what experience do I have in teaching?
  • Why should an educational publisher commission me?


The important thing to do here is to convey your expertise, combined with your passion for teaching your subject at an age-appropriate level. You need to ‘sell’ yourself here, in a similar way as you would if applying for a teaching position. 

Justify everything you say – for example ‘I am the subject lead for [insert subject]’ or ‘I have taught across the whole of KS2 during my career’ etc. Think about your tone – make sure you sound professional, yet excited by the prospect of creating materials and books to enable children to learn about your subject.

When you write your letter, refer to series already being produced by the publisher. This is not to be sycophantic; it’s to show that you understand the types of books they publish. It also demonstrates that you have an awareness of the ‘shape’ of their approach to Home Learning, and this makes you a better prospect for fitting into their team. 

Talk about the things you value in their approach – is it particularly visual or interactive, for example? You could include a sentence or two about how your teaching style, and the materials you provide for your pupils, echoes their approach. Make publishers see how easy it would be for them to bring you on board!


It goes without saying that you must proofread your letter carefully. This seems obvious, but it’s too easy to send an email having missed mistakes – but we’ve all done it - and it’s an especially bad look in this context!


Be prepared to send your approach to many publishers, large and small – but tailor your applications to their approach, and do not cut and paste the same email to everyone. I was talking to a publisher at a conference this week who told me horror stories of people pitching them without even changing the name of the publishing company in their letter – don’t be that potential author!  

Search the internet and you will find many educational publishers and educational divisions. Don’t worry if you can’t find a ‘named person’ to email but do think about the best email address to query. A little detective work will pay dividends. 

Some may never get back to you; others may give you the response that everything is done in house, but others may thank you and let you know that they are keeping your details for future potential allocation of work. You may even hit a particular publisher at just the right moment as they are looking for teachers to work on a new series. Good luck!

*Header image: In-house collaboration between Ell Rose and Tita Berredo

* Other images courtesy of Lynn Huggins-Cooper


Lynn Huggins-Cooper has written everything from picture books and MG series to YA novels. She has also written for children’s TV series, comics, websites, and as a features writer for the Times Educational Supplement.

Lynn lectures on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing at Falmouth University

She co-organises SCBWI North-East with Lucy Farfort and lives with her husband in a tiny house next to 900 acres of forest in the far north of England.

Find Lynn on: BlueskyX (Twitter)Facebook or her Website.


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Follow them on Instagram and X (Twitter) and find their work at

Contact them at

Tita Berredo is the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and the Art Director of Words & Pictures. Follow her on Instagram and X (Twitter) or
Contact her

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