Introducing Monarch Publishing

I’m so excited to share this new publisher of “Clean Reads that You Can Trust” that I was actually glad for a hole in our blog schedule (it usually throws me into a panic) to tell you about Monarch. I think many of you will be interested to learn about Jen Lowry and her (relatively) new publishing venture, Monarch Educational Services. Jen is a Christian and although her books are not Biblical stories, she is publishing clean books for kids for the general market. So, grab your favorite beverage and read on.


CAROL: Why did you decide to start your own publishing house?

JEN: I do believe the transition from author to publisher was a natural one for me. I’ve always loved supporting other authors and championing their stories. As soon as I was traditionally published, I dove into learning all I could about the industry, aligned myself with publisher friends who helped me behind-the-scenes, and with that leap of faith – jumped. I’ve loved every minute of it. It brings me great joy to work with authors and watch their work come to life. 

CAROL : Which came first, Monarch Academy or the publishing part of the business?

JEN: I’ve always loved creating curriculum with text sets, units, and lesson plans. When I opened Monarch, I knew I wanted to provide families and educators access to free educational resources to support students. I have a foundation created but have plans to continue to develop Monarch Academy resources.

We published our 2022 collection and moved straight into creating Monarch Academy to provide free educational resources to support learning. I’ve always loved creating curriculum with text sets, units, and lesson plans. It is a natural fit for us. 

CAROL: How did the Caterpillar imprint get started? (I love the name, BTW!)

JEN: United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources supported our first book and with their grant, we could hire our first illustrator for BEST BUDDIES BOOK CLUB. 

CAROL: What sets Monarch apart from other publishing houses? 

JEN: I’m sure there are other clean reads companies out there that specialize in the children’s market. Let me research that! We do feel as if we have a special mission at Monarch, to publish clean reads that matter. Monarch began as an MG and YA boutique press then grew to add our Caterpillar imprint for picture books, easy readers, and chapter books. Now, we serve our K12 readers and are excited to offer books that readers can trust.

We provide content ratings for each of our books to ensure that buyers know the topics, themes, and subject matter addressed in each book, along with a recommended reader age. We also will continue to grow our educational resources. Providing that service to the community is rewarding because we understand the need to promote literacy and engage readers with great books. At Monarch, we have the books that matter and the resources to support learning. 

CAROL: I love the concept of content ratings! I wonder why you decided to include them and how readers reacted to them.

JEN: We love checking out IMDb for parental ratings on movies and Common Sense Media for books. It’s part of our mission at Monarch to provide clean reads that can be trusted. So, in order to be transparent about what is in our material, we thought a content rating for each book could help a reader make informed choices about their purchase prior to investing their money and time. If the rating indicates a topic that might not be of interest to the reader, they have an understanding of what the book will be about. For example, our first book, A STUDY IN TERMINAL by Kara Linaburg, addresses suicide, alcoholism, gang violence, etc. (The Outsiders, comp title) We want our readers to be aware of the content so that they walk into the book prepared to read difficult topics, but always with the understanding that hope and light will prevail. 

CAROL: Is there a type of picture book you are looking for? Chapter book preferences?

JEN: We have two freelance illustrators who’ve joined Team Monarch, Alyssa, and her sister, Emily Grizenko, but we are also looking for authors who illustrate their own work. If you are not an illustrator you can still submit your picture book for feedback, but indicate what type of illustration style you prefer.

I don’t want to say I’m only looking for spooky (my favorite genre) books because you never know what magic will flutter into our inbox. Surprise us with a book that matters.
CAROL: Where do you find your authors?

JEN: We started checking out Twitter events like #pitmad and #pitdark, but soon, authors found us. It’s been a blessing to connect with authors from all over the world at Monarch. From New Zealand to Scotland and Canada, to our US authors, we are covering the map. Our website has our submission guidelines and what we’re currently looking for.

CAROL: Tell us a little bit about the webinars you host and other ways that authors can connect to you.

JEN: This summer we kicked off our Monarch events and are excited to offer those free. Each month we will create a new event, but with always one goal in mind – connecting with our readers and other authors! We love connecting with others and are looking forward to our upcoming events. We will always share out our events on socials and create Eventbrite tickets for private events (100 seats). Authors can find us out and about on social media and YouTube. Our website will list our upcoming events too.

CAROL: What is your connection with the WWJ Author conferences?

JEN: I’m the author coach of the Writing Warriors for Jesus on Patreon. Each week, I host a boot camp for Christian authors from 8 – 10 am EST. This is our fourth year putting on a free author conference, livestream event. We absolutely love our time of fellowship with other authors. You can join by clicking through our conference playlist.

CAROL: What is your vision for Monarch? Specifically, how many MG, YA, and picture books are you hoping to publish each year?

JEN: We would love to publish one book a month in the upcoming year, including Caterpillar projects from author/illustrators and continue to work with our in-house freelance illustrators too. 

CAROL: What is your editorial process?

JEN: All of our authors receive a four-round editorial cycle. They all work with me first to pass that first clean reads standard. Next, they move to development, line, and ARC editing from three different freelance editors. 

CAROL: How do you market your books?

JEN: We look to trade reviews such as Kirkus Reviews and others to provide honest reviews of our books when we are in our ARC stage. We open our books to readers to be on our team to help us spread the word about our collection. 

CAROL: Is there anything else that you want to tell a group of Christian writers who are anxious to find a home for their work?

JEN: Even though we don’t necessarily publish Christian fiction, we are looking for clean reads that are for the secular market that spread hope and light. 


Monarch is currently in the market for middle grades and young adult work.   

  • Contemporary 
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Horror Comedy
  • Sweet Romance
  • Coming-of-Age
  • Novels in Verse
  • Historical Fiction
  • Children’s Early Readers 
  • Children’s Chapter Books
  • *Picture Book Submissions – Only submit to Caterpillar Books for picture books if you are also an illustrator and will illustrate your work.

Make sure you follow Monarch Publishing on social media. Jen sponsors a number of free events you can sign up for. On July 25 there is a Meet and Mingle. and on August 19 is the Writing Warriors for Jesus conference.

Jen Lowry is from Maxton, North Carolina. She’s the president of Monarch Educational Services, LLC, a traditional clean reads publishing company for K12 audiences. Jen has been in public education for twenty-four years, currently serving at the district level. If she’s not publishing books that matter or spreading the love of literacy, she’s homeschooling her son and spending time with family.

7 thoughts on “Introducing Monarch Publishing

  1. Carol, thank you for interviewing Jen Lowry. This has so much wonderful information for authors. Ideas are already churning in my mind.

  2. Carol, thanks so much for interviewing Jen and giving us an overview of Monarch Publishing. I’m excited to hear of a publisher specializing in clean reads that matter for the secular market. I look forward to learning more as it’s a perfect category for a picture book biography I’ve been writing.

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