Writing Submission Guidelines

If you want to submit work for inclusion in Lighthouse (and we’d very much like you to), we ask that you submit your work to us by email and familiarise yourself with our submission guidelines. These are intended to make it possible for us, as editors, to read through as many pieces of work as carefully and as thoroughly as we can in the time we have available to us.

We are all very passionate about writing here at Lighthouse and we’d like the work of everyone who sends us submissions to have the same basic chance to show its interest and quality to us. Given that we, as editors, work on a voluntary basis, the electronic submission form and the guidelines below are an important part of our efforts to ensure that this happens.

What kind of work is Lighthouse looking for?

The editorial team consider all work received and accept that which seems best. Our journal is aimed at a UK readership who enjoy the best and most innovative contemporary fiction and poetry, and this is reflected in the work we take forward to publication. If you’re uncertain about what our readers enjoy, we encourage you to read some of the work we’ve already published; in particular, if you plan to submit a piece of genre fiction (including historical fiction) please think carefully about whether it would interest our readers before you submit. We regret that the volume of submissions received and the small size of our staff do not permit us to give individual criticism.

Who are Lighthouse hoping to get submissions from?

We are a journal devoted to promoting and showcasing new writing. Although we expect that many of our contributors will not have many previous publications, in order to retain our focus on writers at an earlier stage of their careers we should note that we will not normally print unsolicited submissions from writers with more developed literary careers:

Note that these are not absolutes, and that we make editorial judgements on a case-by case basis. If you have already published work with a mainstream press, it might be worth contacting us in advance of your submission so that we can give proper consideration to how your work would fit with our journal.

Word Length and Formatting

Does Lighthouse accept previously published material?

No. We cannot consider anything that has been previously published or accepted for publication, anywhere, in any form. Work that has appeared online is considered to have been previously published and should not be submitted. We do not consider simultaneous submissions.

Does Lighthouse pay for contributions?

No. We would love to pay contributors for work, but both we (Lighthouse) and Gatehouse Press run on a voluntary basis. All profits are ploughed back into publishing new work. We do offer a free copy, on request, of the journal in which you appear.

When should I submit my work to Lighthouse?

We have regular deadlines for submitting work for each issue of Lighthouse; these are advertised on our website, our Facebook page, and our Twitter. Nonetheless, our submission form remains open all year round (with some downtime for website maintenance) and work that arrives too late for one issue will automatically be rolled over to the next.

We do ask, however, that you refrain from multiple submissions, and that you limit your submissions to our journal to once per issue. We encourage quality in submissions over quantity, and we appreciate the time you take to ensure that your work is at its best before you submit it.

When will hear back?

We try to contact people to accept or reject their work within a three month cycle.

When will my work appear?

Accepted work may be held for later issues.

We try to fit submissions to the issue closest to their submission date/window, however, we may hold submissions to later issues for reasons of space or ‘fit’ with each issue’s theme. 

What file types can I submit?

Please submit files in one of the following formats only:

Please note that submissions are limited to six poems or one piece of fiction and cannot exceed a total of 5MB. Poems should be submitted in a single file, with poems separated by titles or page breaks. Prose should be titled and with page numbers. Please include all writer contact info on the first page of the submitted file.

How do I submit my work to Lighthouse?

Please email submissions@lighthouse.gatehousepress.com with your work attached with either “Poetry Submission” or “Prose Submission” as the email subject as appropriate. By submitting to Lighthouse you are confirming that you have read and understood the guidelines on this page.