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Submit Your Work

Send us your Words & Art. We Pay.

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. The editorial team is also proud to feature the work of emerging voices alongside that of established writers.

Reading Periods

    • September: Submissions open for our Spring themed issue (print.) We also open our call for the Witness Literary Awards during this reading period.
    • January: General submissions open for our Fall/Winter issue (online.) Unthemed.
    • TBA: Special capsule issues (Summer or Winter Issues). 
    • We are open in September and January but dates may vary. Check our website and Submittable for details. For 2024 Spring, we are open from Jan 22, 2024 to Feb 22, 2024.
    • Submission windows are subject to early closure if submissions exceed the maximum number we can consider per issue. Editors may also consider submissions for either issue, depending on the volume and quality of work submitted in a single reading period.

Publishing Schedule

Witness publishes a themed Spring print issue, an unthemed Fall/Winter online issue, and occasional special capsule issues in the Summer or Winter.

General Guidelines

  • 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 1,200 words or less each. 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, Fiction at, Nonfiction at
  • Previously published authors are asked to wait two years following your publication date before submitting to us again. We love our contributors, but seek to platform as many authors as we can.
  • 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.

Reading Fees

We suggest a reading fee of $3 for general submission.


We pay our contributors $50 per published piece, whether in a print or online issue. All contributors also receive one (1) copy of the issue in which their work appears.

We look forward to reading your work!

Spring 2023

Editor-in-Chief Areej Quraishi

Managing Editor Benjamin Stallings

Engagement & Design Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editors Tanya Shirazi & Xueyi Zhou

Nonfiction Editor Dominque Conway

Poetry Editor John B. Oldenborg

Editorial Assistant Charlie Bartlett

Contributing Editors Henry Gunderson, Anne Livingston, Cecil Lycoris, Leah Mell, Marlan Smith, Kelly Stith, Carlos Tkacz, Jo Wallace

Readers Justine Baker, Carrie Bindschadler, Nicholas Bon, Sara Brown, Alycia Calvert, Delight Ejiaka, Benjamin Favero, Jordan Foster, Eli Jacobs, Arel Wiederholt Kassar, Veronica Klash, Clarissa Leon, Alice Letowt, Aeriel Marillat, Nicole Minton, Destiny Pinder-Buckley, Avery Portis, Sara Tausendfreund, Layhannara Tep, Tonya Todd, Rachel Walker, Kailee Wingo

Trans Visibility

We support, uplift and publish Trans voices. In today’s U.S. climate of anti-trans rhetoric and policy, and the killing of trans bodies and minds, it is imperative that as a literary magazine, we commit to publishing a global range of trans writers, with no attempt at policing what trans looks and sounds like. We respect people on the trans spectrum and seek to be a safe place for trans thinkers and trans stories.

Consider donating to the following causes:

Transgender Law Center
The Okra Project
Emergency Release

Black Lives Matter

We stand together with the Black community and commit to double down on anti-racist efforts. We continue our mission to amplify extraordinary voices, feature writers from every part of the globe and add to the conversations surrounding oppression, prejudice, fear, and raw honesty. 

As ever, as always, and forever, Black lives matter.  

We remember: Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor  

We remember the victims in Las Vegas: Tashii Brown, Keith Childress, Trevon Cole, Sharmel Edwards, Stanley Gibson, Junior Lopez, Roy Anthony Scott, Bryon Lee Williams, Rex Wilson 

We hold space for the numerous other Black people whose names did not enter the public record, or whose lives have been lost to the archive.  

Stop Asian Hate

We denounce the increasing instances of bias, harassment, and violence against Asian and Asian American individuals in our community and elsewhere. We recognize and grieve the devastating effects of anti-Asian rhetoric, and we stand with all of those who are experiencing this and other forms of racism and xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subscribe to Witness

Already a subscriber? Like what we do and want to send a little love? We accept bribes tips!
Thank you for your continued support of our little magazine.

Can you get a Witness?
Why, yes. Yes you can. 

Become one of our members to subscribe to two years of everything we make. You’ll receive our themed, print issues as well as our capsule/zine issues!

Visit our online shop to get started with a membership, or to order individual issues.

Looking for a specific issue or back issues from the vault? Contact us via email and we will make sure to oblige!

Winter 2020

Editor-in-chief Jarret Keene & Emily Setina

Managing & Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Wendy Wimmer

Assistant Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Lindsay Olson

Readers Anthony Farris, Dylan Fisher, Ruth Larmore, Kathryn McKenzie, Chantelle Mitchell, Flavia Stefani, Jordan Sutlive, Ariana Turiansky, Alexandra Murphy, Bronwyn Scott-McCharen, Carrieann Cahall, Ilanit Moskul, Jo Hahn, Marycourtney Ning, Sanjana Gothi, Sarah Spaulding

Spring 2021

Editor-in-Chief Emily Setina

Managing & Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Assistant Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Heather Lang-Cassera

Readers Alexis Noel Brooks, Alycia Calvert, Benjamin Stallings, Chelsi Sayti, Claire Mullen, Dylan Cloud, Erin Turner, Flavia Stefani Resende, Jennifer Quintanilla, Jeremy Freeman, Jesse Motte, John Oldenborg, Jonquil Harris, Jordan Sutlive, Justine Baker, Kelly Lindell, Lynda Montgomery, Mir Arif, Percy Kerry, Sara Guiang, Sara Tausendfreund, Sarah Spaulding, Stephanie O’Brien, Stephen Ira, Steven Aiken, Talia Aharoni, Tonya Todd, Vandana Sehrawat, Veronica Klash, Win Frederick

Winter 2021

Editor-in-Chief Emily Setina

Managing Editor Christina Berke

Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Robert Ren

Assistant Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Cody Gambino

Poetry Editor Andrew Collard

Readers Erika Abad, Steven Aiken, Mir Arif, Justine Baker, Alexis Noel Brooks, Soni Brown, Alycia Calvert, Cristina Cisneros, Dylan Cloud, Emily Daniel, Win Frederick, Sara Guiang, Stephen Ira, Eli Jacobs, Veronica Klash, Kelly Lindell, Lynda Montgomery, Jesse Motte, Stephanie O’Brien, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Mark Ranchez, Flavia Stefani Resende, Chelsi Sayti, Vandana Sehrawat, Sarah Spaulding, Benjamin Stallings, Jordan Sutlive, Sara Tausendfreund, Tonya Todd, Erin Turner

Spring 2022

Editor Robert Ren

Managing Editor Christina Berke

Engagement & Design Editor Lindsay Olson

Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi

Nonfiction Editor Mir Arif

Poetry Editor Jo O’Lone-Hahn

Editorial Assistant Oona Robertson

Contributing Editors Alycia Calvert, Emma Hardy, Henry Gunderson, Eli Jacobs, Nicole Minton, Ezra Noel, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Amanda Santana, Marlan Smith, Ben Socolofsky, Sarah Spaulding, Sara Tausendfreund, Olivia Williams, Sara Guiang

Readers Erika Abad, Justine Baker, Charlie Bartlett, Alexis Noel Brooks, Veronica Klash, Alice Letowt, Laurel Miram, Jesse Motte, Mark Ranchez, Benjamin Stallings, Vandana Sehrawat, Tonya Todd

Faculty Advisor Maile Chapman

Fall/Winter 2022

Editor Robert Ren
Managing Editor Christina Berke
Assistant Managing Editor Benjamin Stallings
Engagement Editor Lindsay Olson
Fiction Editor Areej Quraishi
Assistant Fiction Editor Xueyi Zhou
Poetry Editor Jo O’Lone-Hahn
Nonfiction Editor Mir Arif
Editorial Assistant Oona Robertson
Faculty Advisor Maile Chapman
Readers Erika Abad, Helen Armstrong, Justine Baker, Charlie Bartlett, Audrey Bauman, Sara Brown, Alycia Calvert, Cristina Cisneros, Post Earth, Jordan Forest, Sara Guiang, Henry Gunderson, Stephen Ira, Eli Jacobs, Veronica Klash, Alice Letowt, Nicole Minton, Lynda Montgomery, Jesse Motte, Ezra Noel, John Oldenborg, Jennifer Quintanilla, Amanda Santana, Vandana Sehrawat, Marlan Smith, Sarah Spaulding, Kelly Stith, Sara Tausendfreund, Tonya Todd, Olivia Williams