The Fall 2021 edition of the Santa Monica Review.

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Complete contents of the Spring 2021 issue

Michelle Latiolais – Scat
Michael Mattes – An Instinct for Movement
Andrew Duncan Waddell – Troopy
T.S. McAdams – Scenes of Winter in the Desert
Lyndsey Ellis – Jazz & Other Words for Love
Elison Alcovendaz – Mom, After
Laura Glen Louis – Two Men, Lion, Baby
Yxta Maya Murray – Item #4
Maya Jewell Zeller – Office Woman Revises the Outcomes; Office Woman & Galroggia, Destroyer of Planets; “Snippets in Which We Witness Expressions of their Unusual Connection” (an Office Man & Office Woman Post-Op) 
Leland Cheuk – SitterSource
Tiffany Isaacs – That Other Place
Jenny Shank – The Sit-In
Rhoda Huffey – Shalom


Elison Alcovendaz has had work in The Rumpus, Psychology Today online, The Portland Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Lost Balloon, and other publications. He received an MA in Creative Writing from Sacramento State and was recently selected for inclusion in the Best Small Fictions 2020 anthology. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter. To find out more, please visit

Leland Cheuk is a MacDowell and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, an award-winning author of three books of fiction including, most recently, No Good Very Bad Asian (2019). Cheuk’s work has been covered in Buzzfeed, The Paris Review, VICE, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as the NPR website, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @lcheuk and at

Lindsey Ellis is a fiction writer and essayist who’s passionate about intergenerational resilience in the Midwest. She was a recipient of the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award in 2016 and the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund in 2018 for her fiction. Ellis is a 2017 alumna of the Community of Writers, a VONA/Voices alumna and Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Her writing appears in The Offing, Joyland, Entropy, Shondaland, and elsewhere. She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Her debut novel, Bone Broth, will be published by Hidden Timber Books in spring 2021.

Rhoda Huffey is the author of a novel, The Hallellujah Side. Her work has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Tin House, Rattling Wall, Ploughshares, and Green Mountains Review. Her novel 31 Paradiso will be published by Delphinium in 2022.

Tiffany Isaacs holds an MFA from Florida State University and is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of North Texas. She serves as an assistant fiction editor at Narrative Magazine and is a scholarship recipient at the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. This is her first publication.

Michelle Latiolais is the author of the novel Even Now, which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. A Proper Knowledge was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women on the Edge: Writing from Los Angeles, and Woof! Writers on Dogs. Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review, Santa Monica Review, The Iowa Review, and Northwest Review. Widow, a collection of stories, involutions and essays, was published by Bellevue Literary Press in 2011, and She was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 2017.

Laura Glen Louis’s fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. Her recent prose appears in The Hudson Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Santa Monica Review.

Michael Mattes’s fiction can be found in Cirque, World Literature Today, West Branch, and Carolina Quarterly, as well as prior issues of Santa Monica Review. He resides in Sammamish, Washington, and online at

T.S. McAdams did not attend the School of Hard Knocks, but the School of Regular Knocks gave him enough to work with. His fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pembroke, Exposition Review, Faultline, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Pacifica Literary Review, MonkeyBicycle, and other fine periodicals near you, including one previous story in Santa Monica Review.

Yxta Maya Murray is a novelist, art critic, playwright, and law professor. The author of nine books, her most recent are the forthcoming story collection The World Doesn’t Work That Way, but It Could (University of Nevada Press, 2020) and the novel Art Is Everything (TriQuarterly Press, 2021). She has won a Whiting Award and an Art Writer’s Grant, and has been named a fellow at the Huntington Library for her work on radionuclide contamination in Simi Valley, California.

Jenny Shank’s stories, essays, and satire have appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals. Her novel, The Ringer, won the High Plains Book Award and was a finalist for the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association’s Reading the West Award. She teaches in the Mile High MFA Program at Regis University in Denver. She dedicates this story to Kalyn Heffernan, MC of Wheelchair Sportscamp and 2019 Denver mayoral candidate, to the memory of Carrie Ann Lucas, and to their fellow ADAPT activists who conducted a fifty-eight-hour sit-in at Senator Cory Gardner’s (Denver) office in 2017 and were arrested.

Andrew Tonkovich has edited the Santa Monica Review since 1998. He co-edited, with Lisa Alvarez, the first-ever literary anthology of his adopted county, Orange County: A Literary Field Guide. He is the author of a novella collection, The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fullfillment in the Noughties and a short story collection, Keeping Tahoe Blue and Other Provocations, from What Books Press.

Mark Vallen is a professional artist who was born and raised in the megalopolis of Los Angeles, California, where he continues to swim upstream against the sophisticated illusion of postmodernism. A proponent of figurative realism in art, he creates paintings, drawings, and prints that convey humanist and spiritual concerns. His cover illustration for this volume of the Santa Monica Review is a pencil drawing titled “Free.”

Andrew Duncan Waddell is a writer and educator living in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Allegheny Review.

Maya Jewell Zeller is the author of the interdisciplinary collaboration (with visual artist Carrie DeBacker) Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts (Entre Rios Books, 2017), the chapbook Yesterday, the Bees (Floating Bridge Press, 2015), and the poetry collection Rust Fish (Lost Horse Press, 2011). Her fiction manuscript, A Few Nondescript Adventures of Some Consequence: A Novella in Vignettes, has been a finalist with Versal Editions (Amsterdam); she is also working on a memoir, Raised By Ferns. Maya is Associate Professor at Central Washington University and Poetry Editor for Scablands Books. Find her on Twitter @MayaJZeller. Editor’s note: The author reports, dryly, that “the outcomes and assessments crossed out in the story where our heroine rearranges the table are actually those of my own department.”

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