What is ITCH?

ITCH is an online periodical for experimental creative work by emerging and established writers and artists working in a wide variety of media.

ITCH provides an independent, virtual space in which critical, creative, thoughtful and provocative expression and debate can take place, free from the limitations of the commercial media economy and the pressures of political influence.

ITCH is committed to the freedoms of expression, opinion, association and information. ITCH believes that artistic and creative works are powerful forms of political action that can draw attention to the importance of social and economic rights. By investing in a space that generates debate, exchange and intellectual growth, ITCH contributes to an independent, creative media landscape.

ITCH is committed to engaging with work that pushes, challenges, reshapes and redefines the boundaries of genre in writing, art and media. ITCH welcomes experimental work that cannot be easily categorised – either by our sections in the journal or by established notions of genre.

ITCH seeks to give local and international exposure to the work of emerging writers and artists.

ITCH is open to all: anyone can submit work, and all work is considered with equal attention and weight by the editorial board. You do not need to have any special status or qualifications to submit to ITCH. We welcome submissions from anywhere in the world: from students or established scholars, young or old, experienced or inexperienced, never-before-published or much-published. Each submission is assessed on its merits. We welcome submissions in languages other than English, but review and publication will depend on the language capacities of our editorial board.

History of ITCH

Originally established by Mehita Iqani and Brendon Bell-Roberts in 2003, ITCH was adopted in 2012 by the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Literature, Language and Media in the Faculty of Humanities.

ITCH has had a long association with the University of the Witwatersrand. Its founding editor, Mehita Iqani, completed a BA Hons at Wits in 2001. ITCH was one of the media projects she initiated after graduating.

Prof Tawana Kupe, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, was a member of the original editorial board of ITCH in 2003–4, and many Witsies have had work published in ITCH, both in its previous offline (paper and ink) manifestation as well as its ten online issues.

After completing a PhD in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Mehita returned to Wits as a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in 2011, bringing ITCH with her. It soon became apparent that the publication would benefit from the institutional backing of the University, as well as the input of its teaching and research community. It also became clear that ITCH could serve the Wits community as its journal for original and experimental creative expression.

In June 2014, after a process of rotating editorship from members of the Itch Editorial Board, the decision was made to appoint a full-time editor. Elan Gamaker (Johannesburg, 1974) was appointed in the role. Elan is a writer, researcher and filmmaker based in London and Cape Town. 

What's in ITCH

You'll find descriptions of each of the sections in ITCH under the 'Submission Guidelines' tab. In addition to MetaText, SubText, PreText, NonText described in the guidelines, ITCH includes three other sections:

Editorial Board

Bhekizizwe Peterson
Bronwyn Law-Viljoen
Christopher Thurman
Diane Coetzer
Gerrit Olivier
Hanli Geyser
Karina Szczurek
Kgafela Magogodi
Zen Marie
Mehita Iqani
Michelle Adler
Pamela Nichols
Véronique Tadjo


Elan Gamaker

Founding Publisher
Brendon Bell-Roberts

Founding Editor
Mehita Iqani