Volume 14 of ICON – WITNESS – is now accepting submissions!

Submissions open until Sunday, February 25th at 11:59pm

 Scroll for full theme statement & FAQ.

Theme Statement:

There are moments that see us as we see them; they stare back at us with inquisitive eyes. Your line of sight is one of many. Your gaze exists as an extension of yourself, shaped by what your vision consumes.

It would be idealistic to believe that all we see is all there is. How is your point of view refracted? How is your vision distorted? Have you grown complacent, settling with an unmoving perspective? These questions are too often dismissed and diluted by the pace of life. We are all guilty of this selective seeing.

We must begin to recognize the power our sight holds. When we look away — out of fear or disinterest — we neglect the external to comfort the internal. But the external persists, whether we see it or not. We have a choice between blocking the world out and taking it in. When confronted with this, what do we do?

We like to think the choice is made for us. We turn away; we close our eyes and hope that the events around us — near and distant — will resolve themselves. But this passivity will circle back to us. It shapes the landscapes of our futures. It unfolds silently, other times violently (usually a combination of both) and endures beyond our perceptions.

WITNESS asks you to consider where you set your gaze. Do you choose to look away? How is social blindness encouraged in our world? We urge you to examine the privilege of not seeing. Reflect on the ways you can activate your line of vision, and ask yourself: “What am I afraid of recognizing?”

This publication is a witness to consciousness, a testament to seeing the truth. It is a commitment to acknowledging and opposing manipulation, distortion, and erasure. Most of all, WITNESS is a dialogue between the overlooked and what desperately needs to be seen.


What kind of work do you accept?

We accept visual art, photography, musical critiques and reflections, poetry, fiction, think pieces, personal essays, fashion writing, and more. We do not accept academic essays.

Photographers will be provided with consent forms to be signed by all models before images can be considered for publication.

What if I want to submit something I don’t feel fits into any of the categories?

Don’t be discouraged, submit anyway! Our categories are there as guidelines more than hard and fast rules. We are open to other forms of experimentation. 

Do I have to work with the theme?

Our themes are suggested to give our issues continuity, but they are always meant to be taken loosely and subjectively. Don’t feel too restricted by them; we don’t want them to limit your creativity, so we’re flexible when considering submissions.

How can I submit my visual work if I only have a hard copy and no access to a good camera?

Getting a scan of your work is the best way to ensure quality. Feel free to submit a photo of your artwork for your initial submission, and we can work to get it scanned prior to assembling the final zine!

How long do I have to submit my work?

Our deadlines can be found on each issue’s Facebook event page and our Instagram account (@iconoclastuwo). Any deadline extensions will be posted on our social media. We work on new issues every term.

How many pieces can I submit per issue?

We don’t have a hard and fast limit, but we won’t have the time or page count to go through a novel’s worth of writing. Feel free to submit up to five (5) pieces of each medium per issue.

How long can my submissions be?

For submissions to the print issues in fiction, politics, fashion, music, and creative non-fiction, please limit your writing to a maximum of 1500 words with a minimum of 500.

For print issue poetry submissions, please limit your piece to roughly 20 lines or around 500 words.

Music, film and visual art/photo submissions do not have a length limit.

When will I know if my work will be published?

We aim to have our selections made around October 10th – we will keep you posted via email within a couple weeks of submissions closing at the least, but please be patient with us!

My friend heard back from you, but I haven’t. I’m freaking out!

Don’t. We sometimes contact certain contributors before others for editing purposes. Due to the logistics of planning page layouts, we can’t confirm most pieces until the publication is almost done.  We will get back to you.

Who will my editor be?

Our directors Sophia Heppenstall, Jules Lee, Zoe Port, and Paniz Vedavarz will be your editors, with additional visual/artistic direction from our graphics team.

Does ICON accept submissions from graduate students? Affiliated colleges? Alumni? Local artists?


What happens if I don’t submit my edited work by the deadline?

Late submissions will only be accepted if you have spoken to one of our directors and made an arrangement. You can best reach us through Instagram DM (@iconoclastuwo), or via email ( If you need more time, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we don’t bite!

Can I join the ICON staff?

Not right now, but keep an eye on our Instagram and our hiring page for updates about any open positions! Hiring usually happens annually in September.