Submission Instructions and

For the Busy Business-Parent
Whimsical Bedtime Stories
for Children Of All Ages

Yahoo proclaimed Bedtime-Story the Number One Children's Story Site
on the Web.



Since Its Debut in 1996 -
Bedtime-Story has functioned as a cooperative effort, giving talented authors and illustrators, both published and unpublished, the opportunity to familiarize traditional publishers, as well as the parents of young readers, with the quality of their creative work.

Bedtime-Story is designed to encourage literary and artistic creativity. We mentor, and provide editing as well as encouragement, to talented authors and artists whose works will undoubtedly influence young minds. We support and encourage a strong parent-child relationship. We select works for publication that are judged to be as entertaining for the adult as they are for the child, with the intent of fostering a positive shared experience that will remain in the child's memory for years to come.

Besides, we like to read the stories ourselves...

Stories Accepted For Inclusion Receive prominant exposure along with a short bio of the author/illustrator, live contact e-mail link, (and, if the book is in print, a hyperlink to the book's purchasing location*).

A Word About Qualifications for Submission Acceptance. Anyone can write, and many sites will accept and publish literally anything that's offered to them.

Bedtime-Story chooses to accept works by those who write well.

Bedtime-Story requires its authors to think their stories through. Plots must make sense. Rules of basic grammar must be applied. Writing is expected to be cohesive, with the train of thought flowing smoothly from one paragraph to the next.

And because many of the tales are read as Bedtime-Stories, we request satisfying endings, which encourage pleasant dreams.

Lastly, the tale must be as pleasant for the adult to read as it is for the child to hear.

Before submitting, please read the Editing page.


Illustrators requesting inclusion of their works will encounter similarly high expectations. At Bedtime-Story, illustrations are expected to not only compliment, but to concur with the story line. Characters and scenes should be portrayed as originally envisioned and intended by each Author. The world's best illustrators take the time to not only read a story, but to make themselves aware of subtle details and portray them accurately. We consider this the mark of a professional.

Bedtime-Story is unable to accept tales which appear in other online story collections. Illustrated tales featured on Bedtime-Story appear exclusively on this story site.

All of which helps explains why Bedtime-Story is considered the web's premiere children's story site.

When a representative work is accepted for online publication by Bedtime-Story, the qualifications of the submitting author or illustrator have been taken very seriously. If your work is as yet unpublished, our editors will work with you to make sure your work represents some of the best you are capable of producing. After all, your work is going to be seen by a lot of people, and the calibre of stories we publish reflects not only the quality of your workmanship, but ours as well.  


Providing a no cost means for talented Illustrators to showcase samples of their work, Bedtime-Story can accept illustrations transmitted electronically in .gif or .jpg format, or if you already have a web site, we can capture images you've uploaded there. (Isn't this a better idea than limited scope, expensive portfolio sites!)

We've got a steady stream of new stories----so please tell us what type of tales your talents lend themselves to---realistic adults or children, (such as work by Jonda Eicher, Gilbert Young, or Pamela Benjamin) , comic or storybook figures, such as those by the multi-talented Jeff Meyers, who illustrated stories about Goggle and Gilbert Henry, Dennis Cox of Dad Didn't Get It and The Inventor, Stephen Sheen of Perhaps, or illustrations such as those by the imaginative Cindy Remmers who illustrated the tale The King and The Cricket along with the "No Monsters!" image seen above.

See a tale which says "Illustrations Courtesy of Bedtime-Story"? This simply means there are interim illustrations in place and the tale is available if you wish to use it as an illustrator portfolio page. Tales such as Tommy and The Emperor have been illustrated by a Bedtime-Story staff illustrator whose work has in some cases, been augmented by clip art and animations. An Adventure For Tom and John, on the other hand, did not use the staff illustrator, but employs a creatively effective collection of animations and clip art. Either way, our intent is to get the author's tale online as quickly as possible.

A tale will normally have gone through the editing process before being released to an illustrator, but since we had one which was requested even before even the editing process was begun, we preserved the unedited submission along with the interim illustrations, to give you an opportunity to look behind the scenes.

The Pig Who Wanted To Fly

PigFly BEFORE Editing but with Interim Illustrations in place.

PigFly AFTER Editing, and now part of Illustrator Dennis Cox's portfolio

Got something special in mind for a story? By all means, show us!
But please do pay attention to interim illustrations, because that's likely to be the general style we're looking for on that particular tale.

New opportunities for unused illustrations: Have you ever prepared illustrations for a children's book project which never got off the ground? Are the illustrations gathering dust? Was the story a good one? If so, refer the author here. If the illustrations were top notch but there's no longer a connection with the author, let us take a look. There's an excellent possibility a tale can be created to showcase your existing illustrations.

Here's what to do. First, drop us a line and tell us a bit about yourself . If you have a web page, give us the URL so that we can take a look at some of your work. If you're without a page and would like to send us a sample instead, terrific! But FIRST please request permission to submit it, telling us the file size, and then do make sure your graphics file is in either .gif or .jpg format.



Stories submitted to Bedtime-Story may be any topic, but should generally adhere to the following Bedtime-Story guidelines;

LENGTH: Keep story length to a reasonable reading time, so a traveling parent won't go broke if the story has to be read over the phone. If the story is broken down into chapters, or you have an interconnected collection of short stories, that's fine too. With longer tales, what we look for is logical places for the reader to pause without losing the thread of the story.

AGE GROUP: The parent should enjoy the story as much as the child. We think this guideline may be of particular importance. Grown-ups have short attention spans, you know. Gear towards a mixed age audience if you will please, say.... around age 6 on upwards to oh, maybe...Chairman of the Board or thereabouts.

CONTENT: Whimsical, Magical, Adventurous, Humorous or Imaginative, it's your choice. Just as long as the story leaves the child with pleasant dreams.


How are your writing skills? A little rusty? Well, an awful lot of people are going to be reading your work. Here's an incredibly handy page that you'll definitely want to bookmark. Let it act as a quick reference sheet. Quick and Simple English Resources- Spelling, Grammar, Conjunctions, it even has handy tips on often mispronounced words. WRITERS BLOCK.


(1) FORM: Please simply cut and paste ASCII* text of your story to an e-mail and send it to;
*WHAT's ASCII? That' simply the term for the plain text used on basic e-mail communication. It's also the plain text you find in your notepad and wordpad section. It has no special fonts, no italics, no bold letters. It's just plain old vanilla text. For example; If you were to type a story in Word, highlight it, hit "copy", then open an e-mail page and hit "paste", any special characters would disappear in the transition, and it would appear as plain ASCII text.


"I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the requirements for inclusion as specified on the Bedtime-Story.com SUBMISSION INSTRUCTION page. If my submission should be selected, I grant permission for its inclusion.

(2) DON'T FORGET: Provide Bedtime-Story with your complete contact information for our offline files--(i.e.-phone,fax,address). If your story is selected for inclusion, prior to publication we strongly recommend that you obtain and begin to use a contact e-mail address which is not going to be subject to change!

(3) Authors/Illustrators BIO: Using the "About The Author" information which appears after The Ragdoll as a rough guide as to format, please provide Bedtime-Story with background information about yourself.

*UNLIKELY OCCURRANCES WHICH COULD AFFECT A COMPLIMENTARY PURCHASE LINK: IF an author requests, accepts, and approves a complete set of illustrations prepared by the Illustrator whose bio is featured adjacent to the Author on the story page --(A "complete set" is not to be confused with two to three "representative" illustrations, or with "Interim" Illustrations), and the Author subsequently wishes to publish the book without incorporating the illustrations which contributed to the popularity of the tale, Bedtime-Story is unlikely to offer a Complimentary Author/Purchase link.



Well, you already know you've got a lot of competition. There are thousands of aspiring writers and illustrators, just like you. The level of talent among your competitors can range from extremely to not very. The thing is, authors and illustrators are all competing for the attention of the very same reviewers.

Piles and piles of manuscripts arrive at the offices of traditional publishers every day. Manuscripts good and bad alike, are tossed into big wheeled bins of incoming mail as they are readied for random distribution to the already overflowing inboxes of professional reviewers.

The goal for the reviewer of course, is to quickly skim through the daily pile, a keen eye often according no more than a cursory glance at a manuscript, as the reviewer diligently pans for that one gleam of pure gold which flashes Marketable!

There's more than the publishers bottom line at stake in this search. The reviewers professional career and continued employment depends on consistently making the right choice for the company. Oh occasionally, as with anything, the game of who you know comes into play. Manuscripts do bypass the pile. And occasionally, fair or not, a recognizable "name", may hold greater influence than talent when it comes to the final decision-making process. Would "Budgie the Helicopter" have made it to print if the author had been you instead of the Duchess of York? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not..

Traditional publishers don't have time to do extensive editing and hand-holding. What you send is what you're judged on. If your tale is not ready for prime time, in most cases you'll have blown your chance for fame.

Authors/Illustrators demonstrating exceptional talent may be offered additional hard copy publishing opportunities, either singly, or in conjunction with one or more Bedtime Story Authors and Illustrators.

For example: Billy's New Home, for Foster Children Everywhere, Author:Valerie Busic, Illustrator: Jeff Meyers, has been published by Bedtime-Story Books and is available directly from the talented Author.


Have You SELF-PUBLISHED? When you couldn't catch the attention of a traditional publisher, perhaps you went ahead and published your tale yourself. There are boxes of books in the spare bedroom, and you're left wondering "Now What?". Not to worry. Stories selected for featuring on Bedtime-Story are provided with a Courtesy Purchase Link* which may be pointed towards Amazon, or similar, OR, if preferred, to your (safe-surf) personal or business web site(s) from which your featured book may be purchased. Want an example? Click on The Boy Under The Bed )

Are You THINKING ABOUT Self-Publishing? Some self-published authors were so anxious to get their work in print that they didn't pause to look before they leaped. Consequently, a lot of authors have gotten hurt by using Vanity and Subsidy type publishers. If you want to self-publish, you may wish to contact Bedtime-Story first. We'll steer you away from the minefields, give you a few pointers, and show you some practical options that could work to your advantage.


Authors With A Book No Longer On The Shelf: Children's books published by traditional publishing houses, stories still desirable, but books destined for remaindering, possibly because of the publishers accounting requirements, may also be submitted for review. If you are still under contract, Author/Illustrator must provide written permission for inclusion from the publisher. Permission letter should state that if the tale is selected for inclusion, Bedtime-Story is authorized to publish online full text and representative illustrations of your tale, the page for which will contain appropriate Publisher identification and copyright information, Author and Illustrator bios, and a link to the online ordering site specified by your Publisher. Permission letter should contain Publisher contact name and telephone number for verification purposes, and should be faxed by Publisher to The Summerland Group - Bedtime-Story Division - FAX: 800-282-4805. These stand-alone submissions are not eligible for inclusion on Best-of Bedtime-Story except by special request and permission from Publisher.

Bedtime-Story offers talented Authors and Illustrators the means to get representative samples of their work in front of the decision-making public, and to independently publicize and market their published books online, at no cost.


While there's no such animal as a "sure thing", an advance submission to Bedtime-Story gives an author significantly better odds towards book publication.

Like the traditional publishing houses, Bedtime-Story reviews submissions with an eye towards marketability. But unlike traditional publishing houses, if a submitted tale or an illustration has potential, yet still needs work, instead of simply rejecting it without comment, our reviewers will take the time to mentor the Author and Illustrator, explaining exactly what modifications could be used to earn the submission a second look for inclusion on Bedtime-Story..

Tales which are accepted for publication at Bedtime-Story are submitted to an author and illustrator's toughest critics, the reading public.

As a result, an Author, and the traditional publisher to whom the work may yet be submitted, are both better able to make an informed decision as to whether or not the tale should (or would) be considered for publication in book form, based on the contents and quantity of the Author's fan mail. If your story IS chosen for traditional publication, (or if you decide to publish it yourself) Bedtime-Story, will, at no charge to you, add a link, directing potential purchasers to either your own website, or to your hard-copy publishers website, or to Amazon (or similar), whichever of the three options you specify so that your fans may purchase the hard-copy version of your tale. We offer the same courtesy to Illustrators who may want to offer their fans framed prints of their Bedtime-Story illustrations.

Bedtime-Story provides Authors with the ideal venue from which to assess true marketing potential of a tale. Every story is displayed with either interim or professional illustrations. This offers a reviewer the best possible vantage point from which to assess the strength of an authors impact on readers.
There is no charge to the author.

Bedtime-Story gives Illustrators the means to brochure their talent in the best possible environment, that of well-written, Best of the Web calibre tales which both showcase and compliment their artwork. There is no charge to the illustrator.

Bedtime-Story offers Art Directors, Art Buyers and other decison-makers the means to properly assess an illustrator's full range of artistic expertise. It invites them to view sample images in the context of entertaining short stories. The viewer-friendly format conserves the valuable time of the Art Buyer. It also permits an immediate determination as to whether the work of the illustrator might be best suited for single images (book covers, posters, etc.) or if the artist possesses that unique ability to maintain the same character appearance throughout a series of images, thus becoming an ideal candidate for a book illustration contract. Since stories are grouped both by category; (pets, bears, friendly monsters, dragons, etc.) and alphabetically, listed by Author and Illustrator last names, the viewer can quickly locate all samples of the illustrators work, or quickly find a selection of "like-kind" images to consider. There is no charge to the art buyer.

Periodically, Bedtime-Story will produce Best of Bedtime- Story collections. Each story selected for inclusion in the Best of Bedtime-Story editions will contain both the Author/Illustrator's contact information and links to Author/Illustrator bios.

EDITING - Professional editing will be performed at no charge to Author.


COPYRIGHTS - Copyrights will remain the property of each Author/Illustrator.

PERMISSIONS - Permissions for exclusive Bedtime-Story website publishing, (with or without future audio links to assist the visually impaired), and reprints of submitted works in Best of Bedtime-Story Collections or in conjunction with Educational Publications are automatically granted by each Author/Illustrator. Permissions are granted in exchange for FREE professional mentoring and editing, and NO CHARGE showcasing of each of the samples of the Author or Illustrator's, work which have been submitted and subsequently accepted for inclusion.

Please note that Bedtime-Story will not accept tales which have been submitted to other sites.

Inclusion on the Award-Winning Bedtime-Story.com website is a distinction granted only to authors who write WELL.

Your talent will have been judged exceptional, and it deserves to be showcased in the company of similarly well qualified Artists and Illustrators.

If desired, Authors/Illustrators whose representative works are selected for inclusion in the annual Best of Bedtime-Story publication, or in Best of Bedtime-Story Recordings, may choose (but are not required) to participate in publishing profits by electing to assume a representative share of publishing costs.


CONTACT DIFFICULTIES?: If you have sent an e-mail to Bedtime-Story and have not heard back from us, there may be a problem with the e-mail return address shown on your message and we have no other way to contact you. We do our best to reply to messages within 48 hours of the day they are received, but sometimes we're simply swamped with requests. Please verify that you have typed your own e-mail address correctly, give additional contact info in the body of the message (just to be on the safe side), and re-send your inquiry. Thanks!

Bedtime-Story™ - Copyright Info
The Summerland Group, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Stories and Illustrations found on this site are exclusive to Bedtime-Story
Reproduction of any content without the express
written permission of Bedtime-Story is prohibited.