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. 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.)

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 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 witness@unlv.edu. 

The fee for a general submission (non-contest entry) is $3 and the fee for a contest entry is $10.

 All contributors to Witness will receive payment, for both print and online work.

As Seen on TV 

I used to think that I should watch TV
I used to think that it was good for me
Wanted to know what folks were thinking
To understand the land I live in
And I would lose myself
And it would set me free       -St. Vincent & David Byrne, "I Should Watch TV" 

Witness is currently seeking cover art for our Spring 2021 print issue: As Seen On TV.  The theme is open to each artist's interpretation, and we encourage creative approaches; work can focus on television as a medium, as entertainment, as sales pitch... Consider us your captive audience. We are especially interested in how you will use this opportunity to channel the zeitgeist and interrogate our times. 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 $150 for their artwork, which will be featured on the cover of our magazine and across our website and social media platforms.*

Artists are encouraged to send up to five original images (high-resolution) for our editors to consider for publication. We accept all mediums: photography, painting, drawing/illustration, sculpture, graphic design, etc. Please 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. Submissions will be open until November 1st!

*Please note: While we request non-exclusive rights to the winning selections, we do ask that any of the work you submit 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 2021 publication date.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Please limit your submissions to 1-5 high-resolution images in a single upload.
  • Make sure to fill out the forms carefully and include the title(s) in the Title Box on the submission page.
  • Include your contact information.

Thank you for your interest! We look forward to seeing your work.

Questions? Comments? Find us at witness.community@unlv.edu.

Witness Magazine