The editors of Witness are pleased to announce that we are open for submissions to the first annual Witness Literary Awards in Fiction and Poetry.

Submissions to our 2019 contest will be open from August 15 through October 1.
*Note: Contest deadline has been extended to October 7*
One winner in each genre receives $500 and publication in Witness. Runners-up receive $250 and publication in Witness. All contest entries will be considered for publication.

The judges for our inaugural contest are 2018-2019 Black Mountain Institute Shearing Fellows Hanif Abdurraqib (poetry) and Lesley Nneka Arimah (fiction).

About the judges:

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first collection of poems The Crown Ain’t Worth Much was released by Button Poetry in 2016, and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released to critical acclaim in November 2017 by Two Dollar Radio. His next projects are Go Ahead In The Rain, a book on A Tribe Called Quest due out in 2019 by University of Texas Press, and They Don’t Dance No Mo’, due out from Random House in 2020.

Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. She has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and the Caine Prize, and a winner of the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award, and other honors. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and MacDowell, among others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection What It Means When a Man Falls From The Sky won the 2017 Kirkus Prize. She lives in Minneapolis and is working on a novel about you.

For contest guidelines, and to submit your work, please click here:


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