About the Magazine 

Witness seeks original fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography 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.

Reading Periods 

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. In 2019, we will be reading for the Witness Literary Awards as well as a general open call for submissions for our print theme issue "MAGIC" during this reading period. 

January 15-March 1: 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.)

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 multiple submissions for any single genre, though you may submit up to five poems as a single submission. 
  • Please wait for a response regarding a submission before sending more work. One active submission in each genre is allowed. 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.
  • We allow simultaneous submissions provided you promptly withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere. In the case of poetry, if part of your submission has been accepted by another publication, please notify us at witness@unlv.edu. 

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.

Ends on October 1, 2019$3.00 - 36.00
$3.00 - 36.00

Witness is currently reading fiction for its Spring 2020 print issue. The Spring 2020 issue is a themed issue around the concept of "Magic". 

Submissions will be open until October 1 or until we reach a maximum number of submissions for the issue, whichever comes first.

Please limit your submission to one essay per issue. All forms of literary or creative fiction are welcome.

 

  • Please include a title in the Title Box on the submission page and include your contact information including word count within the header of the document. Include page numbers on every page.
  • Stories must be under 8,000 words. Stories that are longer than 8000 words will not be accepted.
  • All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
  • Work should be double-spaced and set in a standard (Times, Helvetica, Arial) 12-point typeface.
  • If this submission would be your first publication, we are eager to learn this, so please do feel open to share that in the cover letter.
  • While Witness Magazine's mission is to look at the American experience and the writer as witness, authors from all over the world are encouraged to submit.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome -- we are committed to reducing editorial queue times but understand that sometimes we miss out on some great work because of them. Please do withdraw and let us know if you've placed this piece elsewhere.
  • Witness is committed to paying its authors and artists for all work submitted in its pages.
  • If you have any questions, please direct them to Witness.Fiction@unlv.edu

 

Ends on October 1, 2019$3.00 - 36.00
$3.00 - 36.00

Witness is currently reading nonfiction for its Spring 2020 print issue. Submissions will be open until October 1 or until we reach a maximum number of submissions for the issue, whichever comes first.


Please limit your submission to one essay per issue. All forms of literary or creative nonfiction are welcome.
 

  • Please include a title in the Title Box on the submission page and include your contact information including word count within the header of the document. Include page numbers on every page.
  • All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
  • Work should be double-spaced and set in a standard (Times, Helvetica, Arial) 12-point typeface.
  • If this submission would be your first publication, we are eager to learn this, so please do feel open to share that in the cover letter.
  • While Witness Magazine's mission is to look at the American experience and the writer as witness, authors from all over the world are encouraged to submit.


Ends on October 1, 2019$3.00 - 36.00
$3.00 - 36.00

Witness is currently reading nonfiction for its Spring 2020 print issue. The Spring 2020 issue is a themed issue around the concept of "Magic".
Submissions will be open until October 1 or until we reach a maximum number of submissions for the issue, whichever comes first.

 Please limit your submission to one essay per issue. All forms of literary or creative fiction are welcome.


Please limit your submission to five poems, and wait to hear back from us before submitting again. Poems should be sent in a single document file, with the individual poems separated by page breaks.

  • Please include a title or titles in the Title Box on the submission page and include your contact information including word count within the header of the document. Include page numbers on every page.
  • All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
  • Work should be double-spaced and set in a standard (Times, Helvetica, Arial) 12-point typeface.
  • If this submission would be your first publication, we are eager to learn this, so please do feel open to share that in the cover letter.
  • While Witness Magazine's mission is to look at the American experience and the writer as witness, authors from all over the world are encouraged to submit.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome -- we are committed to reducing editorial queue times but understand that sometimes we miss out on some great work because of them. Please do withdraw and let us know if you've placed this piece elsewhere.
  • Witness is committed to paying its authors and artists for all work submitted in its pages.
  • If you have any questions, please direct them to Witness.Fiction@unlv.edu

  
 

Ends on October 1, 2019$10.00 - 22.00
$10.00 - 22.00

WItness Magazine is currently reading for our inaugural Witness Literary Awards in Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. Witness seeks to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to their time.  We welcome work that declares and/or demands a new perspective to the everyday condition, and stories that contextualize American experience, highlight issues of global concern, grapple with the relationship between the personal and the political (however defined), and/or keenly observe interior/exterior landscapes. 

In order to maximize your submission's chances of winning, please familiarize yourself with Witness--past issues are online.

One winner in each genre will receive $500 and publication in the 2020 Spring print issue of Witness. One runner up will receive $250 and publication in a future issue of Witness. All contest entries will be considered for publication in our Spring 2020 print issue.

The fiction judge is Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things.


Guidelines:
* Please submit one unpublished self-contained story (8,000 words maximum).
* All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
* Work should be double-spaced, include word count on the top/first page and set in a standard 12-point typeface.
* As the judging for the contest is done blind, we ask that you leave all identifying information off the manuscript itself. Please include all identifying information, word count and contact information in your cover letter. The file should be titled with the name of the short story alone and without your name or any identifying info.
* Please also include a title in the Title Box on the submission page.
* Entry fee is $10
* Simultaneous submissions are fine if withdrawn immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.
* Writers associated with the judge, Black Mountain Institute, or UNLV are not eligible.


We look forward to reading your work!

Ends on October 1, 2019$10.00 - 22.00
$10.00 - 22.00

WItness Magazine is currently reading for our inaugural Witness Literary Awards in Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. Witness seeks to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to their time.  We welcome work that declares and/or demands a new perspective to the everyday condition, and stories that contextualize American experience, highlight issues of global concern, grapple with the relationship between the personal and the political (however defined), and/or keenly observe interior/exterior landscapes. 


In order to maximize your submission's chances of winning, please familiarize yourself with Witness--past issues are online.

One winner in each genre will receive $500 and publication in the 2020 Spring print issue of Witness. One runner up will receive $250 and publication in a future issue of Witness. All contest entries will be considered for publication in our Spring 2020 print issue.
The non-fiction judge is José Orduña, author of The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration & Displacement.

 Guidelines:
 * Please submit one unpublished self-contained story (8,000 words maximum).
 * All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
 * Work should be double-spaced, include word count on the top/first page and set in a standard 12-point typeface.
 * As the judging for the contest is done blind, we ask that you leave all identifying information off the manuscript itself. Please include all identifying information, word count and contact information in your cover letter. The file should be titled with the name of the short story alone and without your name or any identifying info.
 * Please also include a title in the Title Box on the submission page.
 * Entry fee is $10
 * Simultaneous submissions are fine if withdrawn immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.
 * Writers associated with the judge, Black Mountain Institute, or UNLV are not eligible.

 We look forward to reading your work!

Ends on October 1, 2019$10.00 - 22.00
$10.00 - 22.00

WItness Magazine is currently reading for our inaugural Witness Literary Awards in Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. Witness seeks to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to their time.  We welcome work that declares and/or demands a new perspective to the everyday condition, and stories that contextualize American experience, highlight issues of global concern, grapple with the relationship between the personal and the political (however defined), and/or keenly observe interior/exterior landscapes.

 In order to maximize your submission's chances of winning, please familiarize yourself with Witness--past issues are online.

 One winner in each genre will receive $500 and publication in the 2020 Spring print issue of Witness. One runner up will receive $250 and publication in a future issue of Witness. All contest entries will be considered for publication in our Spring 2020 print issue.

For poetry, the judge is Heather Lang.


Guidelines:

* Please submit 1-3 poems (Word doc preferred).

* As the judging for the contest is done blind, we ask that you leave all identifying information off the manuscript itself. Please include all identifying information and contact information in your cover letter.

* Please include a title of titles in the Title Box on the submission page.

* Entry fee is $10

* Simultaneous submissions are fine if withdrawn immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

* Writers associated with the judge, Black Mountain Institute, or UNLV are not eligible to submit.

We look forward to reading your work!

Witness is currently seeking cover art for our Spring 2020 issue. The theme for this issue is MAGIC, so send us your images of the extraordinary, the otherworldly, the illusive, the empowered, the enchanted, the sublime. You are welcome to look to our past themed cover art for inspiration, or engage us with something new and evocative; we are most interested in how your work interprets and communicates the theme. 

The selected cover artist will be awarded $250 for their artwork, which will be featured on the cover of our magazine and across our website and social media platforms.*

Artists! You are welcome to submit up to 5 original images (high-resolution) for our editors to consider for publication. Submissions should also include the title(s) of your work, a short bio, a link to your portfolio or website, and any social media handles you use for showcasing your work.

Witness is an issue-oriented, literary magazine designed to highlight the role of the modern writer--and artist!--as witness to our times. We can't wait to see what you can do.

*Please note: While we request non-exclusive rights to the winning selection, we do ask that any work submitted from your back catalog or current body of work not appear on a similar publication (such as another magazine cover) prior to or following our 2020 publication date.

Witness Magazine