Open submissions in February 2019

uHlanga are excited to announce our second open submissions period for original collections of poetry from South African poets, or poets living in South Africa. Our last open submissions period resulted in the publication of three books, and we look forward to reading new work!

Please take note the following important information.

Submissions will be open from 1 February to 28 February 2019. Manuscripts must be predominantly written in English, Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, or a combination of those languages. Every manuscript will be read, and all will be considered for publication.

There is no indicated length for manuscripts, although most books published by uHlanga contain 20-40 poems. (Manuscripts envisioned as chapbooks, for example, may be shorter, while epic poetry may contain very few poems.) The more coherent, structured and economical your manuscript is, the higher the chance of it being published – so do not simply include every poem you have ever written. Successful manuscripts will be published in the manner and format that uHlanga deems most appropriate for the content.

Please note that anthologies or retrospective collections – i.e. collected or selected poems – will not be accepted. Manuscripts containing poems previously published in magazines, anthologies, journals, or online will be accepted, as long as each previously-published poem is acknowledged in the manuscript. Manuscripts that have already been published previously – including self-publishing – will not be accepted.

We accept manuscripts from writers of any experience, whether they have published a collection of poetry before or not. It is, however, highly recommended that you read our director’s open letter, penned after the last open submissions period in 2017. It contains insights that will be helpful for your submission.


  1. Writers must be either a citizen, national, or permanent resident of South Africa.

  2. Submissions will only be accepted through our email address – – as either .doc or .pdf attachments, with all text in Times New Roman. Include your name and contact information on a cover letter attached alongside the manuscript.

  3. You must prove ownership of at least one uHlanga book (either by photo/screenshot of a receipt, or a selfie with the book, or by other means) to submit your manuscript. This proof must be attached in your email submission. (Note: This condition will be waived if you cannot afford to – or otherwise cannot – buy one of our books. Please be in touch if this is the case.)

Successful writers will be offered our standard contract. Please note that this is not a competition: we reserve the right to publish none of the manuscripts received during this submissions period.

As noted above, being familiar with our books is essential: feel free to mention to us why you think your manuscript will be a good fit for uHlanga.

There is no reading fee. Agented submissions are discouraged, but not strictly disallowed.

Do not submit your manuscript before 1 February 2019 or after 28 February 2019 – it will be discarded without being read. Good luck!