Witness seeks original fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography that is innovative in its approach, broad-ranging in its concerns, and that dazzles us with its unique perspective. We often enjoy material that ventures into international terrain.

Witness has published work by Lee K. Abbott, Paul Auster, Rick Bass, Madison Smartt Bell, Charles Bernstein, Robert Bly, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Maxine Chernoff, Clark Coolidge, John D’Agata, Stephen Dixon, Mark Doty, Stephen Dunn, Stuart Dybek, Russell Edson, Pete Fromm, Albert Goldbarth, Donald Hall, Ha Jin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Gordon Lish, Joe Meno, Josip Novakovich, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Peter Orner, Carl Phillips, George Saunders, Charles Simic, David Shields, Gary Snyder, Terese Svoboda, and Terry Tempest Williams.

Witness is published three times a year: one themed print issue in the Spring, and two non-themed online issues in Summer and Winter. Unsolicited work is welcome for all issues.


Reading periods

January 15–March 31: Themed print issue. The theme for Spring 2019 is “Disarm”.

September 1–November 15: Non-themed Summer and Winter online issues. All submissions will be considered for both issues. Please do not submit thematic work during the general reading period and vice versa. Visit our Submittable page for details.


Submit Online



  • We do not accept previously published work. This requirement applies to material that has appeared online in any form or format, including personal blogs.
  • We accept all submissions electronically via Submittable. We do not accept any submissions via email or post. A submittable.com account is free, but there is a $2.00 fee per submission to help defray administrative expenses.
  • One active submission in each genre is allowed. We do not accept multiple submissions for any single genre, though you may submit up to five poems or three pieces of flash fiction (under 1,000) as a single submission. Limit prose submissions to 8,000 words maximum. Please wait for a response regarding a submission before sending more work.
  • We allow simultaneous submissions, provided you promptly withdraw your work via Submittable if it has been accepted elsewhere. In the case of poetry, if part of your submission has been accepted by another publication, please notify us by adding a note to your submission in Submittable.
  • We attempt 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.


Witness accepts submissions of original, unpublished photo essays of at least eight images for the print and online issues. The series need not tell an explicit narrative, but should have some unity of subject, style, or theme.

The photography submission period for the themed print issue is January 1—September 1. We accept submissions of photography for our non-themed online issues year-round.

The theme for XXX.1 (Spring 2017) is “Chaos.”

Please visit our Submittable page for details, including information on fees and payments.