Writing for Sky & Telescope
Sky & Telescope is the premier showcase for lively, authoritative, and well-illustrated information about the science and hobby of astronomy. The magazine also serves as a major avenue of communication between amateur and professional astronomers worldwide. We encourage you to consider Sky & Telescope when you want your ideas to reach the widest possible audience of interested readers.
When you write for Sky & Telescope, you're writing for a global readership of more than 100,000 subscribers, newsstand buyers, and others who peruse the magazine in libraries, schools, or their friends' homes. These enthusiasts run the gamut from armchair astronomers to professional astrophysicists. Most, however, are amateur astronomers people from all walks of life who love the night sky and want to learn everything they can about it.
The majority of readers are intermediate or advanced amateurs. These are active hobbyists who are knowledgeable, own one or more telescopes, and observe the heavens frequently. About 75% of our readers live in North America; the other 25% are scattered among more than 100 countries around the globe. Thus, when writing for Sky & Telescope, it is important to keep in mind that a significant fraction of readers may speak and read English as a second language.
About half the material in each monthly issue of Sky & Telescope is written by our editors and regular contributors. The rest is authored by science journalists, research astronomers, historians, and accomplished amateur astronomers from all nations and diverse cultures. Many authors write for us again and again, but we're always looking for new writers eager to share their enthusiasm, talent, and expertise with our readers.
What to Write About
Feature articles in Sky & Telescope generally run from about 1,000 to 2,400 words and cover a wide array of topics, including:
- Important new advances or current problems in astronomy and related fields of research
- Observing projects
- How to maximize the performance of telescopes and other equipment
- How to take and process great astrophotos
- Relate the stories of key figures and events in astronomical history
- Explore the capabilities of new ground- and space-based observatories.
Sky & Telescope occasionally accepts outside-written articles for our Explore the Solar System and Going Deep departments. Sky & Telescope runs one Focal Point essay per issue, which features articles on contemporary issues in astronomy. These articles do not exceed 550 words.
Our monthly Gallery is a showcase for amateurs' finest astrophotos and digital images; see our separate guidelines for Gallery contributors. We also welcome letters to the editor, news releases from individual researchers and their institutions, and announcements of new products or services for astronomers; see our separate instructions for these contributions.
What Not to Write About
Sky & Telescope publishes comprehensive reviews of telescopes and other astronomical equipment in S&T Test Report. Such articles are usually commissioned by the editors; we do not solicit, and only rarely accept, proposals from authors seeking to write reviews. We do, however, actively encourage suggestions from readers as to which products they'd like to see reviewed in our pages.
You'll hardly ever see a poem in Sky & Telescope, unless one happens to be included in an article to which it's relevant; we just don't have enough room. Also, while we do publish articles about space astronomy and planetary exploration, we don't cover other types of space missions or the aerospace industry more generally. We also do not publish articles involving claims of great new discoveries that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.