Information for Authors and Submission Guidelines
VUP welcomes inquiries from prospective authors and we are always keen to receive proposals for publication which fall within our areas of interest. You should take a thorough look at our website to get a sense of the range of books we publish. Non-fiction proposals in particular should be suitable for a primarily New Zealand audience. A connection with Victoria University of Wellington is an advantage but not a necessity. All authors considering submissions should read the FAQs below.
A letter of inquiry, with synopsis, CV and sample text, is the best first approach. The following presentation criteria apply: Hard copy manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, on one side of A4 paper, with all pages numbered; and should include a CV and synopsis. Manuscripts will be returned if a stamped, self-addressed envelope is supplied. Please send an email enquiry before sending attachments, and ensure all attachments are in a Word or PDF format.
Victoria University Press
Postal address: PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand
Street address: 49 Rawhiti Tce, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 4 463 6580
Fax: +64 4 463 6581
Are you currently open to manuscript submissions from new authors?
Yes, we have an open submissions policy.
What is the minimum level of ‘success’ a writer should have before sending you their work? (Winner of competition X, publication in magazines Y & Z, Masters degree from University Q, devoted Twitter following of at least W many people …)
Our submissions are completely open, so we're happy to assess a manuscript on its quality, independent of awards. Publishing history depends on the form you're writing in. For poetry and short fiction, it is usually a good sign if a writer has had their work previously published in journals – this shows they're an active writer engaged in the local scene, and that they may have gathered a small following (which factors in to how well a collection would sell). Most first-time poets we publish have been publishing their work in journals for several years. Obviously the same doesn't necessarily apply for novels, although non-fiction may have had excerpts published elsewhere.
What do most unsuccessful submissions get wrong?
Perhaps the biggest thing is forgetting that the outcome depends solely on the writing itself, not on your powers of persuasion. So don’t spend a lot of time going into great detail in your cover letter, or gather a lot of supporting material and references. In fact, sometimes this can even be a little off-putting to publishers. The work is what’s most important to us. Keep your cover letters simple and to the point.
We also see quite a few first-time writers submitting a full collection of poetry before having published their work elsewhere. We need you to have connected with some readers before we can commit to a whole book.
Finally, another problem can be re-submitting your work too quickly after we’ve turned it down once. There is no rush. Take your time to work on your writing, try different things out, and have fun with it. Write to please yourself first.
Anything else you’d like potential authors to know?
It’s best to not send us bribes. As much as we love chocolates, they don’t change the outcome.