Submission Guidelines

VUP publishes literary fiction and nonfiction, poetry, and scholarly nonfiction. We welcome inquiries from prospective authors, and we are always happy to receive manuscripts or proposals that fall within our areas of interest.

Before you submit a manuscript or proposal to us, please read some of our books and take a look at our online catalogue.

Most of our authors live in Aotearoa New Zealand and/or their work is suitable primarily for a local audience. Please note that we are not able to consider submissions from overseas writers whose work does not have a connection with Aotearoa New Zealand.

Scholarly non-fiction in particular should be suitable primarily for a New Zealand audience. A connection with Victoria University of Wellington is an advantage but not a necessity.

For submission of scholarly nonfiction, we require a proposal and some sample text (ideally the first 10,000 to 20,000 words of your manuscript).

For submissions of fiction, poetry, memoir and personal essay collections, we require a finished manuscript.

We do not publish young adult or children’s fiction. We rarely take on straight genre fiction such as fantasy, crime and romance. We also do not publish short works of nonfiction or fiction (usually, anything shorter than approximately 30,000 words).

How to submit your work

All submissions must include:

—a brief cover letter or email that tells us a little about you and your book, and any relevant publishing history;

—a synopsis of your book, if relevant.

We prefer to receive submissions by email, but will also accept submissions by post.

If emailing your submission, please attach the manuscript as a Word document or a PDF. Please title the file with your name and the name of the work. Make sure your manuscript is in A4 format, with the pages numbered. Please send your manuscript as a single file; do not separate chapters or sections into different files.

If sending a hard copy in the post, make sure your manuscript is typed and printed single-sided on A4 paper, with pages numbered. We can return your manuscript if you include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please make sure you have an electronic file of your manuscript; don’t send us your only copy.

Victoria University of Wellington 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


How long will it take before I hear back from VUP about my submission?

We receive many submissions, so it usually takes us up to three months to respond.

Is VUP able to provide editorial feedback?

We’re sorry to say that we are not able to provide editorial feedback.

I have previously had a book published by a different publisher. Are you able to consider my current project?

We will judge your work on its merit; however, as we have a full list of authors and forthcoming books, we are not often able to take on mid-career authors who have parted ways with a previous publisher.

I have self-published a book. Will VUP consider it for wider publication?

Unfortunately, we can’t consider full-length works that have already been published, even if they have been self-published. We can consider submissions of original work only.


What level of success should a writer have before submitting a manuscript?

We assess each manuscript on its quality, independent of any recognition the writer has received. However, most poets and writers of short fiction and nonfiction who publish a first book with VUP have been publishing their work in print and online for several years. This is especially the case for poets. The same does not necessarily apply to novelists and writers of long-form nonfiction, although they may have published excerpts of their work.

What do most unsuccessful submissions get wrong?

Many authors submit manuscripts to us without finding out what kinds of books we publish and that we only consider submissions from writers whose work has a connection with Aotearoa New Zealand. Please make sure you read some of our books before sending your work.

Some manuscripts come to us that have already been self-published previously, and we can't consider these for publication with VUP.

Some writers re-submit a manuscript very quickly after we have opted not to take it on. If you would like to resubmit work to us, please wait at least one year before you do so. Seek feedback from others if possible, try some different things out with your writing, and have fun with your work. Write to please yourself first.

Some writers send their manuscript to multiple publishers in the same email, with a cover letter meant for all. Best not to do this! We want to know that you've thought carefully about where your work would fit best.

I want to write my life story. Where can I get advice about writing it?

Just as with fiction and poetry, it takes time and practice to write strong non-fiction. Look for courses in memoir and life writing. Some continuing education programmes offer these courses, as do polytechnics and universities. For nonfiction submissions, just as in fiction, we look for strong, compelling voices, novel perspectives, insight, craft and story.

I’m a young writer and I want to write a book one day. Where do I start?

It’s important that all writers read widely, so read as much as you can. Look for writers’ events in your community – readings, talks, festival events – and go to hear writers speak about their work. (This also helps other writers and keeps our literary community thriving.) You might find it helpful to join a writing group, where you give and receive feedback on works in progress. A creative writing workshop can also energise your writing.

Carry a notebook with you and jot things down. Become a keen observer of your world.

Don’t be afraid of receiving criticism. Learn to take on criticism that is helpful and to discard what is unhelpful.

The Exercise Book (VUP, 2011) contains a wealth of writing ideas and exercises for poetry, fiction and script-writing. The Fuse Box (VUP, 2017) collects essays from the New Zealand writing community about the creative process.

Many online resources offer advice to writers. The New Zealand Society of Authors offers good, wide-ranging advice and information about writing and publishing your work in New Zealand.