The Modern Writer as Witness

fiction • nonfiction • poetry • art • photography

Publishing Remarkable Literature Since 1987

Witness aims to amplify extraordinary voices from every part of the globe. Since its founding in the late 1980s, the magazine publishes writing that speaks to the present moment in an enduring and distinctive way. Past issues have included themes of incarceration, nature, civil rights, love and exile among others. Witness showcases work that captures the current historical moment while opening up conversations surrounding oppression and transcendence, prejudice and compassion, fear and raw honesty. Our editorial team is proud to feature the work of emerging voices alongside that of established writers.

Submit to Witness

Witness seeks original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that is innovative in its approach, broad-ranging in its concerns, and unapologetic in its perspective. The magazine is issue-oriented and aims to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to their times. We publish issues both in print and online, and we pay our writers. Witness also seeks cover artwork, occasional interior artwork, and has historically been lauded for the photo essays featured in our print issues.


Want everything we make? Want it for two years? Become a member and we’ll throw in the works! Included are two themed print issues (one per year), as well as any special capsule issues, zines, and SWAG. We’ll also send you a special badge to wear for fancy occasions, proclaiming your commitment to supporting the litmag community.

In Solidarity

Witness stands in solidarity with historically marginalized communities. Being an issue-oriented magazine, we platform authors from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds in the hopes that this will bolster their voices in their fight for justice and equity. To learn more, click on the tabs below. 

Witness Tip Jar

Thank you for your interest in our magazine. We publish writers who engage with the complexity of our times — and we pay them, too. We believe that literary communities should put artists first, and your support helps us keep paying them year after year. So if you have some dollars to spare, please drop them in our tip jar. We promise to pay it forward.

Trans Visibility

We support, uplift and publish Trans voices. In today’s U.S. climate of anti-trans rhetoric and policy, and the killing of trans bodies and minds, it is imperative that as a literary magazine, we commit to publishing a global range of trans writers, with no attempt at policing what trans looks and sounds like. We respect people on the trans spectrum and seek to be a safe place for trans thinkers and trans stories.

Consider donating to the following causes:

Transgender Law Center
The Okra Project
Emergency Release

Black Lives Matter

We stand together with the Black community and commit to double down on anti-racist efforts. We continue our mission to amplify extraordinary voices, feature writers from every part of the globe and add to the conversations surrounding oppression, prejudice, fear, and raw honesty. 

As ever, as always, and forever, Black lives matter.  

We remember: Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor  

We remember the victims in Las Vegas: Tashii Brown, Keith Childress, Trevon Cole, Sharmel Edwards, Stanley Gibson, Junior Lopez, Roy Anthony Scott, Bryon Lee Williams, Rex Wilson 

We hold space for the numerous other Black people whose names did not enter the public record, or whose lives have been lost to the archive.  

Stop Asian Hate

We denounce the increasing instances of bias, harassment, and violence against Asian and Asian American individuals in our community and elsewhere. We recognize and grieve the devastating effects of anti-Asian rhetoric, and we stand with all of those who are experiencing this and other forms of racism and xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subscribe to Witness

Already a subscriber? Like what we do and want to send a little love? We accept bribes tips!
Thank you for your continued support of our little magazine.

Can you get a Witness?
Why, yes. Yes you can. 

Become one of our members to subscribe to two years of everything we make. You’ll receive our themed, print issues as well as our capsule/zine issues!

Visit our online shop to get started with a membership, or to order individual issues.

Looking for a specific issue or back issues from the vault? Contact us via email and we will make sure to oblige!

Winter 2020

Editor-in-chief Jarret Keene & Emily Setina

Managing & Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Wendy Wimmer

Assistant Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Lindsay Olson

Readers Anthony Farris, Dylan Fisher, Ruth Larmore, Kathryn McKenzie, Chantelle Mitchell, Flavia Stefani, Jordan Sutlive, Ariana Turiansky, Alexandra Murphy, Bronwyn Scott-McCharen, Carrieann Cahall, Ilanit Moskul, Jo Hahn, Marycourtney Ning, Sanjana Gothi, Sarah Spaulding

Spring 2021

Editor-in-Chief Emily Setina

Managing & Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Assistant Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Heather Lang-Cassera

Readers Alexis Noel Brooks, Alycia Calvert, Benjamin Stallings, Chelsi Sayti, Claire Mullen, Dylan Cloud, Erin Turner, Flavia Stefani Resende, Jennifer Quintanilla, Jeremy Freeman, Jesse Motte, John Oldenborg, Jonquil Harris, Jordan Sutlive, Justine Baker, Kelly Lindell, Lynda Montgomery, Mir Arif, Percy Kerry, Sara Guiang, Sara Tausendfreund, Sarah Spaulding, Stephanie O’Brien, Stephen Ira, Steven Aiken, Talia Aharoni, Tonya Todd, Vandana Sehrawat, Veronica Klash, Win Frederick

Winter 2021

Editor-in-Chief Emily Setina

Managing Editor Christina Berke

Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Assistant Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Andrew Collard

Readers Erika Abad, Steven Aiken, Mir Arif, Justine Baker, Alexis Noel Brooks, Soni Brown, Alycia Calvert, Cristina Cisneros, Dylan Cloud, Emily Daniel, Win Frederick, Sara Guiang, Stephen Ira, Eli Jacobs, Veronica Klash, Kelly Lindell, Lynda Montgomery, Jesse Motte, Stephanie O’Brien, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Mark Ranchez, Flavia Stefani Resende, Chelsi Sayti, Vandana Sehrawat, Sarah Spaulding, Benjamin Stallings, Jordan Sutlive, Sara Tausendfreund, Tonya Todd, Erin Turner

Spring 2022

Editor Robert Ren

Managing Editor Christina Berke

Engagement & Design Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Mir Arif

Poetry Editor Jo O’Lone-Hahn

Editorial Assistant Oona Robertson

Contributing Editors Alycia Calvert, Emma Hardy, Henry Gunderson, Eli Jacobs, Nicole Minton, Ezra Noel, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Amanda Santana, Marlan Smith, Ben Socolofsky, Sarah Spaulding, Sara Tausendfreund, Olivia Williams, Sara Guiang

Readers Erika Abad, Justine Baker, Charlie Bartlett, Alexis Noel Brooks, Veronica Klash, Alice Letowt, Laurel Miram, Jesse Motte, Mark Ranchez, Benjamin Stallings, Vandana Sehrawat, Tonya Todd

Faculty Advisor Maile Chapman

Fall/Winter 2022

Editor Robert Ren
Managing Editor Christina Berke
Assistant Managing Editor Benjamin Stallings
Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson
Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi
Assistant Fiction Editor Xueyi Zhou
Poetry Editor Jo O’Lone-Hahn
Nonfiction Editor Mir Arif
Editorial Assistant Oona Robertson
Faculty Advisor Maile Chapman
Readers Erika Abad, Helen Armstrong, Justine Baker, Charlie Bartlett, Audrey Bauman, Sara Brown, Alycia Calvert, Cristina Cisneros, Post Earth, Jordan Forest, Sara Guiang, Henry Gunderson, Stephen Ira, Eli Jacobs, Veronica Klash, Alice Letowt, Nicole Minton, Lynda Montgomery, Jesse Motte, Ezra Noel, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Amanda Santana, Vandana Sehrawat, Marlan Smith, Sarah Spaulding, Kelly Stith, Sara Tausendfreund, Tonya Todd, Olivia Williams