We read you!
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 (including those historically marginalized), 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. We strive to not publish work that promotes racism, misogyny, fatphobia, homophobia, transphobia, or any form of prejudice against any group of people. The editorial team is also proud to feature the work of emerging voices alongside that of established writers.
- August 20th-December 1st: Spring issue (print.) We also open our call for the Witness Literary Awards during this reading period.
- January 31st-March 5th: Fall/Winter issue (online.)
- March 23rd-March 31st: Asian Voices, Special Capsule Issue
- TBA: Special capsule issues (Summer or Winter Issues.)
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.
Witness publishes a Spring print issue in March, a Fall/Winter online issue, and occasional special capsule issues in the Summer or Winter.
- 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 (1) submission per genre, though you may submit up to five (5) poems as a single submission, or up to three (3) flash fiction pieces of 1,500 total words or less. Prose submissions should be 7,000 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 email@example.com, Fiction at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nonfiction at email@example.com.
- Graduates and current UNLV MFA/PhD students, faculty, staff, employees, or other affiliations with the university, or Black Mountain Institute (BMI), including past and current Witness readers, are asked to wait two (2) years post-graduation or employment before submitting work for consideration at Witness.
Please note that we strive to respond to poetry submissions within four (4) months; response times for fiction and nonfiction may be six (6) months or longer, depending on the volume of submissions. If it’s been over ten (10) months, you may contact us to inquire on the status. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
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 are from a marginalized community, or have difficulty paying this fee.
We pay our contributors $50 per published piece, whether in the print or online issue. Witness Literary Award Winners receive $500, and runners-up receive $250. Contest entry is $10. All entries are considered for publication. All contributors also receive one (1) copy of the issue.
We look forward to reading your work!