Lightspeed Guidelines

Guidelines for Original Fiction
Lightspeed is open for submissions beginning January 1, 2010. A link to the online submission system will be added to the site at that time.

Lightspeed is seeking original science fiction stories of 1000-7500 words. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred. We pay 5¢/word for original fiction, on acceptance. To see which rights we're seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

All types of science fiction are welcome, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.

We believe that the science fiction genre's diversity is its greatest strength, and we wish that viewpoint to be reflected in our story content and our submission queues; we welcome submissions from writers of every race, religion, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation.

Guidelines for Reprints
Lightspeed will be publishing two reprints each month, but it is primarily a market for original fiction; a majority of our reprints will be directly solicited, but you may submit a reprint for consideration if you wish. For reprints, we are offering 1¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we're seeking, please view our contract template for reprinted fiction.

Rejections
Be aware that every month we expect to receive several hundred submissions. As such, we cannot offer personalized feedback on each story. If we say, "Send more," it does mean that we hope to see something else from you. Most rejections will be sent out in 48 hours or less, while stories being seriously considered may be held for up to two weeks.

Summary
Stories should be science fiction between 1000 and 7500 words long. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred.

Payment for original fiction is 5¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we're seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

Payment for reprinted fiction is 1¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we're seeking, please view our
contract template for reprinted fiction.

Response time: Most rejections will be sent out in 48 hours or less, while stories being seriously considered may be held for up to two weeks.

Submission Procedures
All fiction submissions must be submitted through our online submission system. A link to the online submission system will be added to the site by January 1, 2010.

Our submissions form asks for your name, email address, cover letter, story title, and story. Your cover letter should contain the length of your story, your publishing history, and any other relevant information (e.g, if you send us a hard sf story about black hole clusters and your doctoral dissertation was on black hole clusters, mention that). All stories should be in standard manuscript format and can be submitted in either .RTF or .DOC format. If you are unable to use our online submission system, please e-mail your story as an attachment to john@lightspeedmagazine.com. All questions about fiction and fiction related e-mails should go to john@lightspeedmagazine.com.

After you have submitted your story, a tracking number will be displayed and an automated email confirmation containing this information will be sent to you. If you have not received this email us. Your tracking number will allow you to monitor the status of your submission through our website, so please make note of it.

NOTE: Be sure to add john@lightspeedmagazine.com to your address book (or your email client's spam white list), and check your spam folder before querying if we have received your story.

Additional Notes
Lightspeed is not a market for fantasy fiction. Please submit fantasy stories to our sister publication, Fantasy Magazine.

Sexual themes and stories with strong sexual content are acceptable, but Lightspeed is not a market for erotica.

Lightspeed is not a market for media-based fiction (i.e., stories set in the Star Wars or Star Trek universes, etc.), or any kind of fan fiction.

Lightspeed is not a market for poetry.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions.

Do not query for fiction. If you're not sure if your story is suitable, please simply submit it and let our editors decide.

If editor John Joseph Adams has previously rejected your story, please do not submit it to Lightspeed, unless it was rejected as being unsuitable for the market (due to theme, etc.) or unless it has been significantly revised to the extent that it is no longer the same story.

Please do not respond to rejection letters, even just to say "Thanks for the quick turnaround" etc. We appreciate the thought, but it is unnecessary and will just clutter up our editorial inbox.