uHlanga does not accept unsolicited poems or manuscripts for publication outside of our announced reading periods.
Our first open submissions period for original chapbooks and collections of poetry from South African poets, or poets living in South Africa, will take place from 1 February to 28 February 2017. 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 – e.g. full collection, chapbook – that uHlanga deems most appropriate for the content.
Please note that anthologies or retrospective collections 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, and as long as the writer has the rights to reprint such poems. Manuscripts that have already been published previously as a whole will not be accepted.
We accept manuscripts from writers of any experience, whether they have published a collection of poetry before or not. The only criterium for eligibility is that writers either be South African, or a permanent resident of South Africa.
Only writers of successful submissions will be replied to, and 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.
Submissions will only be accepted through our email address, email@example.com, 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. 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 2017 or after 28 February 2017 – it will be discarded without being read. Good luck!
Where can I publish poetry outside of reading periods?
Your best way to get noticed by us is to be an active poet, publishing as many poems in as many places as you can. There are a number of excellent periodicals and websites in South(ern) Africa that accept unsolicited poems for publication. Here are the periodicals that uHlanga reads most often:
You likely won't publish any poems, however, if you don't read poems! Support local literary magazines.