How the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme works

Lesson Progress:

The WPR Assisted Self-publishing programme is not for everyone. It is reserved for authors who have not published fiction before and who are writing in previously under-published languages. If you do not qualify, you can proceed to the next lesson, About Smashwords.

A limited number of authors will be assisted annually through the WritePublishRead programme. These authors will work with Via Afrika, the NRF Chair in African Languages and ALASA. They will receive help through the process of getting their manuscripts finalised and self-published and promoted as eBooks on the Smashwords online platform.

To participate in the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme, you must

  1. register on the WritePublishRead website here:
  2. work through the free course WritePublishRead’s How to Self-publish for Everyone either by completing the course online or by downloading the handbook.
  3. write the work of fiction according to the rules and requirements below.
  4. submit your final manuscript digitally on the WritePublishRead website between 1–7 March each year.
  5. agree to the rules of the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme.

The WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme will accept the following (not illustrated) fiction.

Classification Word count
Novel 40 000 words or more
Novella 17 500 to 39 999 words
Novelette 7 500 to 17 499 words
Short story 1000 to 7 500 words (one story)
Short story collection of own work 1 000 to 3 500 words per short story (10 to 15 stories)
Short reads/Flash fiction collection of own work 100 to 1 000 words per short read (5 to 10 short reads)
Drama (stage play) 5 000 to 10 000 words
Collection of poetry 20 to 50 poems
Table 1: WritePublishRead accepted genres for the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme

Based solely on the order of genre-acceptable (see Table 1) submissions received, 12 manuscripts will be selected. The number of annually assisted manuscripts accepted will be determined by the number of speakers of that language as a Home Language.

Number of assisted manuscripts accepted annually per language
IsiZulu: 2 Xitsonga 1
IsiXhosa: 2 SiSwati: 1
Sepedi: 1 Tshivenḓa: 1
Setswana: 1 IsiNdebele: 1
Sesotho: 1 South African First Nations Languages: 1

Should WritePublishRead not receive the number of manuscripts stated above for any particular language, the available slots may be reallocated to the other languages. This will be done by allocating that slot to the next acceptable submission in the order of the number of speakers as a Home Language.

The 12 Successful Authors will be announced on World Book Day, 23 April, of each year.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between WritePublishRead and each of the 12 Successful Authors.

The 12 Successful Authors will work with Via Afrika, the NRF Chair in African Languages and ALASA through the process of preparing their manuscripts for digital publication – from self-publishing the manuscript as an eBook to its promotion. All reasonable efforts will be made to digitally publish the 12 manuscripts as eBooks by 31 October annually on the Smashwords platform.

Assisting the 12 authors from previously under-published languages will be an annual WritePublishRead undertaking.

WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing programme: rules and requirements

  1. You may not submit your writing to this initiative if you are a previously published author.
  2. All material must be written in the Fiction genre (with no illustrations) and must be your own, original work.
  3. Your submission must be complete. You may not submit a partial work, draft or a work-in-progress.
  4. You must be 18 years old or over. If you are under 18 years of age, you need to have your parent or legal guardian sign the terms and conditions on your behalf.
  5. You are not permitted to submit any material in the category of illustrated children’s books.
  6. If you write erotica (literature that is intended to arouse sexual desire), all your characters must be adults – 18 years of age or older.
  7. Your manuscript may not contain any hate speech (as defined by the South African Constitution) or libellous content (that is false and that can damage another person’s reputation).
  8. You may not submit any photographs or illustrations as part of your manuscript.
  9. You must submit your manuscript electronically as a Microsoft Word file.
  10. You may submit your manuscript electronically only through the WritePublishRead portal: (NO printed manuscripts will be accepted.)
  11. You may submit only in the following languages:
    1. IsiZulu
    2. IsiXhosa
    3. Sepedi
    4. Setswana
    5. Sesotho
    6. Xitsonga
    7. SiSwati
    8. Tshivenḓa
    9. IsiNdebele
    10. a South African First Nations Language
  12. You may submit only the following types of writing:
    1. Novel: 40 000 words or more
    2. Novella: 17 500 to 39 999 words
    3. Novelette: 7 500 to 17 499 words
    4. Short story: 1000 to 7 500 words (one story)
    5. Short story collection of your own work: 1 000 to 3 500 words per short story (10 to 15 stories)
    6. Short reads/Flash fiction collection of your own work: 100 to 1 000 words per short read (5 to 10 short reads)
    7. Drama (stage play): 5 000 to 10 000 words
    8. Collection of poetry: 20 to 50 poems
  13. If your manuscript is selected you must agree to the memorandum of understanding between and among all parties.