How to Submit a Manuscript to Dryad Press

Dryad Press publishes poetry by poets at every stage of their career. We publish approximately 3 collections per annum. Regretfully, we do not at this time publish fiction, non-fiction, short stories, memoirs or drama. We are particularly interested in publishing authors from South Africa or the African continent. We recommend that you browse, purchase and read our titles to become familiar with the type of work that we like to publish. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but we do have an open submission period once a year during which time any author is welcome to submit their work. Due to the large number of submissions that we receive, we  do not have capacity to follow up on incomplete manuscripts or to discuss or provide advice on book concepts or ideas for your collections.

In order to ensure that your manuscript is properly considered, you should always include:

  • a covering letter/email that includes your complete contact information and links to your social media platforms or other marketing connections you may have (if relevant);
  • a biography that includes information relating to your educational background, your previous publications (if relevant), any awards that you may have received and confirmation as to whether any of the poems that you have included in your manuscript have been published, and if so, details thereof;
  • your proof of payment (if required); and
  • your complete manuscript in one document sent to subs@dryadpress.co.za, typed in a standard sized font together with your biography as detailed below and your payment of the Submission Fee.

If we select your manuscript for further study, it will be sent by Dryad Press for further review and consideration to an independent expert skilled in the field of poetry. This process can take several months, and we ask for your patience as we strive to give every manuscript detailed consideration. We know how difficult it is to wait to hear from publishers and will strive to get back to you within 3 months. If you have not heard from us by then, you are welcome to send us a query email.



Dryad Press has made its selections for publication in 2021. Click here for the announcement relating to these publications:

2021 Publication Announcement



Our 2021 Open Submission Period will open 1 March 2021 and close 31 March 2021. Please only submit your work during this time in accordance with the following submission guidelines:


  • Manuscripts must be predominantly written in English or Afrikaans, or a combination of those languages. Every manuscript will be read, and all will be considered for publication.
  • We ask for shorter collections of poetry of between-60-70 pages. Most books published by Dryad Press contain approximately 40 poems and we recommend that you submit manuscripts that do not substantially exceed this in length.
  • We recommend that you obtain and familiarise yourself with the poetry collections  previously published by Dryad Press. Our collections are available online HERE, at most Exclusive Books stores and at better bookstores nationwide. This will assist you in gaining an understanding of the type of poetry that we publish.
  • Successful manuscripts will be published in the manner and format that Dryad Press deems appropriate.
  • 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-published works – will not be accepted.
  • While we do accept manuscripts from writers of any experience, whether they have published a collection of poetry before or not, it is to your advantage if you are able to evidence previous publications in literary journals such as New Contrast, Stanzas, New Coin, Poetry Potion or any other journals either locally or internationally.
  • We strongly recommend that you obtain the advice and assistance of a trusted colleague or friend (preferably experienced in the collation of literary collections) prior to submitting your work. Manuscripts that have been carefully compiled and thought out tend to stand out and have a better chance of success. It is also advantageous if some of your work has been previously published.
  • This year, in addition to traditional manuscripts, we are interested to see manuscripts that might expand creativity through adopting a multimedia approach to poetry: work that incorporates not only poetry but other media formats such as drawings, illustrations, music, video, audio, photography and sculpture. You can use the communication techniques that you feel most aptly capture your vision for your poetry. In this way, we are hoping to experience manuscripts not only in the traditional form of black text on a blank page but in new and stirring ways. If a manuscript in this genre makes it to selection, we will work with you to turn these projects, which are often difficult to bring to fruition, to reality.



  • Writers must be either a citizen, national, or permanent resident of South Africa.
  • Only submit during the open submission period dates or your manuscript will not be read.
  • A Submission Fee of R250 per submission will be charged, which will assist us in ensuring that manuscripts are read by experts in the field.
  • Submissions will only be accepted via our email address – subs@dryadpress.co.za – as either .doc or .pdf attachments. Include the cover letter and biography and remember to purchase your Submission Fee online.
  • As a guide, we recommend you use 12pt Times New Roman or Ariel in 12 point. Do not use gimmicky fonts.
  • Dryad Press reserves the right to publish none of the manuscripts received during this submissions period.
  • In the context of any multimedia submissions, collaborations are welcome. Permission of all relevant parties must be obtained in order to include their work. Keep any video recordings under 8 minutes.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions provided that you notify us immediately and withdraw your submission should your manuscript be accepted elsewhere for publication.
  • You may submit as many collections as you like provided each submission is made separately and a separate Submission Fee is paid for each submission.
  • Postal entries will not be accepted.


We wish you luck with your submission!


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