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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 blends the features of a literary and an issue-oriented magazine to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to their times.
Our mission is to amplify extraordinary voices, feature writers from every part of the globe, and highlight pieces that speak to the present moment in an enduring and distinctive way. The magazine seeks to open up conversations surrounding oppression and transcendence, prejudice and compassion, fear and raw honesty. The editorial team is also proud to feature the work of emerging voices alongside that of established writers.
Witness is published twice a year: a Spring print issue, and a Fall/Winter online issue. Beginning in 2021, stories, essays and poems from the upcoming issue will appear monthly, online.
- August 20th-December 1st: Spring issue (print.) We also open our call for the Witness Literary Awards during this reading period.
- January 20th-May 1st: Fall/Winter issue (online.)
Submission windows are subject to early closure if submissions exceed the maximum number we can consider per issue. Also, editors may consider submissions for either issue, depending on the volume and quality of work submitted in a single reading period.
- We do not accept previously published work. This includes material that has appeared online in any form or format, including personal blogs.
- We do not accept more than one submission per genre, though you may submit up to five poems as a single submission, or up to three flash fiction pieces of 1500 words or less. Prose submissions should be 7000 words or less.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please withdraw your work promptly if it is accepted elsewhere. In the case of poetry or flash, if one of the poems or stories from your submission has been accepted by another publication, please notify the genre editor directly. Poetry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Fiction at email@example.com.
Please note that we work to respond to all poetry submissions within four months; response times for fiction and nonfiction may be six months or longer, depending on the volume of submissions.
We pay our contributors $50 per published piece, whether in the print or online issue. We suggest a reading fee of $3 for a general submission, but keep an eye out for our free reading periods, or contact us directly if you have difficulty paying this fee.
Witness Literary Award Winners receive $500, and runners-up receive $250. Contest entry is $10. All entries are considered for publication.
We look forward to reading your work!