How PJ Our Way Chooses Books
The PJ Our Way Book Selection Committee is responsible for developing a great lineup of Jewish books that are appropriate for readers ages 8.5-12. PJ Our Way is kid-driven: each month child subscribers choose one book from four options, so whether the books are set in Israel or America, are historical fiction or take place in 2017, our books need to be stories that readers can relate to.
Like PJ Library, PJ Our Way subscriber families come from a wide variety of observance levels and backgrounds, and our readers have a wide range of reading abilities and interests. We try to reflect our diverse readership across our books.
We work with authors, agents, publishers, and editors to find the best books for our readers. Many have won prestigious awards, including the Sydney Taylor Book Award. We are always on the lookout for new books for our lineup.
New! Author Incentive!
Great news, PJ Our Way is now offering a $2,000 author incentive for new Jewish middle grade book manuscripts!
For each new story submitted to PJ Our Way from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018 that is accepted by the Book Selection Committee for use in our program we will present the author with $2,000. This award is truly an award – it is separate from and in addition to any monies received by the author from a publisher.
Stories may be submitted by anyone, including authors, agents, and publishers. Multiple stories by one author are eligible. The only disqualifying factor is if the story is already available in the trade market or has previously been considered by PJ Our Way’s Book Selection Committee – that is to say, it must be new.
Book Submission Guidelines
If you are interested in submitting a manuscript to the PJ Our Way Book Selection Committee for consideration, check out our website
to get an idea of the type of books we offer.
Here are submission guidelines:
- The content needs to be age-appropriate. We avoid content that might make tweens or their parents uncomfortable, which means no alcohol or drugs, no bad language, and any romance needs to be very innocent.
- We prefer to avoid books about the Holocaust. We do occasionally include a book that touches on aspects of the subject, like Now and Black Radishes. Please do not submit a book with any graphic material or one that is set in the camps or ghettos. We are more likely to consider second generation or refugee stories with a hopeful message.
- The book should reflect historical Jewish life, contemporary Jewish life, or some valuable aspect of Jewish experience.
- We look for strong Jewish characters and content, where Jewish identity plays a positive role, but we want the Jewish content to be natural – we don’t want to be all message and no story!
Due to the high volume of submissions received, we are only able to contact authors whose book or manuscript is one that we would like to discuss further. Expected responses could take 3-6 months. We respectfully request that authors and agents do not contact PJ Our Way to check the status of a submission. Submissions can be made as a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org
We prefer PDFs but (3) hard copy submissions can be made to:
Harold Grinspoon Foundation
67 Hunt Street, Suite 100
Agawam, MA 01001
Attn. PJ Our Way