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 themed Spring print issue, and non-themed Fall/Winter online issue.
August 15-October 1: Themed print issue. We also open our call for the Witness Literary Awards during this reading period.
January 15-February 29: Fall/Winter online issue.
Please do not submit thematic work during the general reading period and vice versa.
(Submission windows are subject to early closure if submissions exceed the maximum number we can consider per issue.)
- 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 multiple submissions for a single genre, though you may submit up to five poems as a single submission.
- One active submission in each genre is permitted, but please wait for a response to your submission before sending more to that genre. 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 allow simultaneous submissions provided you promptly withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere. In the case of poetry, if one of your five poems per submission has been accepted by another publication, please notify us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fee for a general submission (non-contest entry) is $3 and the fee for a contest entry is $10.
Witness pays $25 for every 1,500 words of prose and $25 per poem, ($50 for long poems, 3+ pages) for both print and online work.