You can submit your poetry and prose to New Contrast magazine here. Submissions need to be made through the submissions manager – Submittable. We prefer not to receive material via email – there are too many occasions for material to be lost.


  • Submit no more than 3 poems per submission or one short story or prose extract
  • Poems: maximum of 65 lines for each poem
  • Prose pieces: maximum of 5000 words
  • Only online submissions will be considered.
  • If you are submitting the same material to another publication at the same time, please say so in your covering email or letter. Inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere before you hear from us.
  • Please note it can take up to three months to receive a reply.
  • If your work is accepted for publication, you will receive a complimentary digital copy with an offer of a 25% discount on a year’s print subscription.

Also remember that if you would like to submit material, it would be to your advantage to read a couple of issues of New Contrast to get some idea of what we have published in terms of length, style and quality. In particular, we refer you to the following extracts from the Notes of New Contrast № 157 (March 2012).

“The introduction of a new Editor will necessarily see a shift in some of the editorial policies or approaches, and a shift in direction can sometimes be a good thing. It would be appropriate for me to indicate some of the ideas I have about selection of material which will shape the four issues of this year. In terms of poetry, I like to see some conscious indication of the craft of poetry, the use of poetics to give a particular quality to the material presented. I like to experience more than just stream of consciousness writing, and I like to see strong lines being used to drive home the ideas or insights which the work presents. Above all, the poems must say something which applies to more than just the writer, something which speaks to the wider band of readers who will read the work. As far as the short story, or short fiction goes, the writing must be clear and vigorous; it must engage the reader and through the building of tension create a satisfying or challenging resolution of tension by the end of the piece. At present, I will concentrate on publishing primary material and not secondary criticism or theoretical or philosophical arguments. I would also favour slightly material which addresses our South African context, or our Africanness, but ‘quality’ remains the first tickbox I check for whatever the context or location of the narrative or reflection might be.”

Frequency of inclusion, and response times

Our policy is to spread submissions across time, so we would aim not to publish material by the same writer in two successive issues. As we only come out quarterly, understand that anything from three to six months might elapse before a decision is made on the work you have submitted.

Our readership is primarily English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa speaking, so we accept submissions in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. We will consider submissions in other languages if they are accompanied by a translation.


As New Contrast is a small magazine, we urge you to keep your submissions short rather than long. We suggest that short stories should contain fewer than 5000 words and individual poems shorter than 65 lines. This will allow us to include a wider variety of material (but this is a guide rather than an absolute policy – we would still publish longer pieces if they merited publication).

Book reviews

Our current policy is that we publish primary material as our main priority, and so we do not publish reviews as a regular feature. However, should work be published which we think merits a review, we will follow through and publish a review, or group together a selection of reviews in a specific issue of the magazine. If there are any queries about this, please contact the Editor.