If you are planning to submit to Albert Whitman, get a move on it or you will have to wait. Manuscripts post-marked before 10/31/2013 will be read. All others will be recycled.
The good news is that they plan to reopen to submissions in January and will post an e-mail address for submissions at that time. You can read the details about this policy shift here on the Albert Whitman site. Albert Whitman is one of my dream publishers (they do the Boxcar Children, my first book love) so I’m glad they aren’t closing altogether.
I submitted a manuscript to Albert Whitman about six weeks ago. Haven’t heard anything but they only respond if interested. At the time I submitted my work, it was snail mail only for submissions and an e-mail submission would have been a bit easier.
I’m not suggesting above that you rush a submission that isn’t ready. But if you’ve been putting off prepping this snail mail submission, you might want to move it to the top of your list.
If the manuscript isn’t quite ready, take the next two months and make it ready. A polished manuscript has a much better chance to sell than a rushed manuscript!