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 Spring print issue, and a Fall/Winter online issue. Beginning in 2021, stories, essays and poems from the upcoming issue will appear monthly, online.

Reading periods:

  • August 25th-December 1st: Spring Print Issue & Witness Literary Awards
  • January 31st-March 5th: Fall/Winter Online Issue
  • Summer/Winter TBD: Special capsule issues
  • March 23-31st: Special Capsule Issue--Asian Voices

Please note: submission windows are subject to change based on submission capacity. Additionally, your submission may be considered for future issues--regardless of the submission window--depending on the volume and quality of work submitted in a single reading period.


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 submission per genre, though you may submit up to five poems as a single submission. 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.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please withdraw your work promptly 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.poetry@unlv.edu.
  • Graduates and current UNLV MFA/PhD students or other affiliations with the university are asked to wait two years post-graduation before submitting work for consideration at Witness. 

We pay our contributors $50 per published piece, whether in the print or online issue. 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 have difficulty paying this fee. 

Witness Literary Award Winners receive $500, and runners-up receive $250. Contest entry is $10. All entries are considered for publication.

We look forward to reading your work! 




Witness, covered 

Witness is currently seeking cover art for our Fall/Winter Issue. 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.* All submitted artwork may be considered for content and future issues.

Artists are encouraged to send up to five original images (high-resolution) for our editors to consider for publication. 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 an experience. 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 September 1st, or until we reach capacity!  

*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 2022 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.


Call for Art 

Calling all Asian Artists! This one is for you!

We are so excited to announce our Witness Asian Voices Issue: Saṃsāra, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! This month, as we release stories celebrating the voices of writers with Asian identities, we are also hosting an art contest for our capsule issue, and entry is entirely free. If you are of Asian heritage, we want to see your art!

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.

You are welcome to read and respond to the online edition of Saṃsāra for inspiration, or engage us with something evocative and entirely your own.

One grand prize winner will be awarded $150 for their artwork, which will be featured on the cover of the print issue and across our website and social media platforms, with additional possible selected winners receiving $25, or a donation in their name to their favorite nonprofit. All winning selections will feature in our updated online edition of Saṃsāra.

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 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 2022 publication date.

If you’d like to familiarize yourself with Witness, our past issues are readily available online.

Submissions will be open until July 1st, with the current publication date for the issue set for October of 2022.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Artists must be of Asian heritage
  • 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
  • Please do not submit work that has previously been used as a magazine or book cover

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

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

Witness Magazine