SMC’s national literary arts journal, published twice yearly, showcases the work of established authors alongside emerging writers, with a focus on West Coast fiction and nonfiction. Founded by novelist and SMC English instructor Jim Krusoe (The Sleep Garden), the Review has presented readers experimental, thoughtful, and funny original writing — including essays and short stories by Gary Amdahl, Michelle Latiolais, Janice Shapiro, and Diane Lefer — in more than 30 years of publication, and is a celebrated national magazine. Recent stand-out work appears in the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and PEN/O. Henry anthologies.

The fall 2019 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, features 14 original pieces, with work from first-time and returning contributors, most writing in Southern California and the West.

Political irony and humor, meditations on art and family, and a surprising, though a welcome number of love stories inform the contents of what longtime editor Tonkovich calls an especially rich, powerful edition of the magazine.

Orange County writer Jaime Campbell, the recent winner of the JuxtaProse Fiction Prize, conflates natural and human crises in a story of perverse redemption. Also from OC, Denise Heyt McEvoy sends up YouTube culture by way of marital devotion. UC Irvine MFA Ross Green examines modern romance in public, with unflinching self-consciousness and wit. Ph.D. candidate Daniel Uncapher cleverly deconstructs time, place, language, and politics in a hilarious critique of genre fiction. A longtime friend of the journal Michael Cadnum (Earthquake Murder) delivers more absurdist literary violence, and SMR stalwart Andrew Nicholls — veteran TV writer and playwright — blends humor and obsession.

Mona Rose Leigh, flash-fiction award-winner, offers self-reflective feminist cultural satire. Yxta Maya Murray (Locas) constructs an algorithm of action and responsibility to address the problem of art and the Self. Greg Spatz (Half as Happy) confronts mortality, momentum, and memory. Novelist (Inland Empire) and short story writer (Salton Sea) George McCormick dramatizes slowly, elegantly, and authentically lives of skateboarding, filmmaking, and youthful ideals. Laura Glen Louis (Talking in the Dark) considers the resonance in a singular family meditation practice with roots.

Poet, naturalist and fiction innovator Charles Hood (Partially Excited States) reports from Morocco on animal-watching, autism, and anti-social wildlife adventurers. Catherine Sustana writes a dog story in Country-Western socio-political vernacular. And Abby Walthausen does class privilege, childcare, and motherhood in Los Angeles.

Editor Tonkovich calls the writing in this issue solid and mature. “It’s genre-boundless, always smart, and gorgeous writing,” he says, “whether in long, poetic lines or economical and vividly urgent plot-smart and purposefully contrived shorter stories. After two decades of considering manuscripts for publication, I’m especially impressed with how easy it is to identify the obvious standouts and must-read and must-publish work.”

Cover art for the fall 2019 issue is by celebrated Puerto Rican graphic artist and filmmaker Poli Marichal.

Santa Monica Review is sold at the SMR website, SMC Bookstore, Beyond Baroque and Small World Books in Venice, and other local booksellers. Copies may also be ordered by mail and subscription. For more information, visit our website at and “Like” us on Facebook.

Santa Monica Review | $7/issue | $12/year subscription

Issue Launch Party: SMR Presents...

Santa Monica Review Fall 2019Join us at an intimate Santa Monica performance space to enjoy literary readings by four Santa Monica Review contributors — Abby Walthauser, Jaime Campbell, Catherine Sustana, and Yxta Maya Murray — with book signing and refreshments. Welcome by editor and anthologist Susan LaTempa (Paperback LA). Free parking on premises. Please visit for ticket details.

Sunday, October 27 | 5 p.m. | $10
The Edye at SMC Performing Arts Center