The Spring 2018 edition of the Santa Monica Review is now available.

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 Michelle Latiolais, Diane Lefer, Gary Soto, and Ron Carlson—in nearly 30 years of publication, and is a celebrated national magazine. Recent work appears in the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and PEN/O. Henry anthologies.

The spring 2018 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, features new original fiction from celebrated Southern California authors Victoria Patterson (This Vacant Paradise), Charles Hood (Partially Excited States), and Halina Duraj (The Family Cannon). Return contributors include J.M. Hollwig, Andrew Nicholls, Ben Jahn, J.P. Vallieres, and Michael Mattes, with memoir from 
award-winning poet Paul J. Willis and surreal fiction from collage artist Garrett Saleen. There’s satire from film director David Preizler, wild revisionist history from 
Clancy McGilligan, and giddily self-aware humor from 
T.S. McAdams, all first-time contributors. The issue concludes with a startling eco-meditation by Alisa Slaughter (Bad Habitats).

This volume features especially vivid and imaginative work, often experimental, with many pieces considering history and storytelling perspective in wildly original ways.

Spring 2018 cover art by Orange County artist 
Gabriel Zacuto.

Santa Monica Review is sold at the SMR website, SMC’s Campus Store, 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 
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Complete contents of the Spring 2018 issue:

Victoria Patterson – DC
J.M. Hollwig – Six Days at Calypso House
Halina Duraj – from Tragedy at Sunrise
Andrew Nicholls – Close to Zero
Paul J. Willis – Piano Lessons
David Preizler – Walking the Diamond
Ben Jahn – Zenith
JP Vallières – Jesus on Jupiter
Garrett Saleen – Yuppie Nightmare Cycle
Clancy McGilligan – A History of John Gwynne and Certain Descendants of His in America, From Colonial Times to the Present
Charles Hood – Ghost Ship
T.S. McAdams – See How He Cowers and Sneaks
Michael Mattes – Field Notes from the Spring Bird Census
Alisa Slaughter – Where All the Perfections Have Met


Halina Duraj’s stories have appeared in The Harvard Review, The Sun, Fiction, and the 2014 O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut story collection, The Family Cannon, was published by Augury Books in 2014. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Diego.

J.M. Hollwig lives in a small town in the San Bernardino mountains. He holds a B.A. in History from UC Riverside. He has studied creative writing at The Iowa Summer Writing Festival and at UCLA Extension. He has been published in The Beverly Hills Outlook, the Santa Monica Review, and Timber Creek Review. He is currently working on a short story collection as well as a memoir of his misbegotten college years.

Charles Hood is the author of Mouth, a Kenneth Patchen winner for experimental fiction, and Partially Excited States, a poetry collection that includes a complete history of hell. He is working on a book about urban nature in Los Angeles, a book about California mammals, three technical papers on bats, and a found-text poem based on John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice.

Ben Jahn split his childhood between Humboldt and Sonoma Counties. His fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Fence, PANK, and McSweeney’s. He received a 2010 NEA grant for fiction, and his story “Reborn” won NPR’s Three Minute Fiction contest and appeared in The Paris Review. He lives in Richmond with his partner and her daughter. This is his second publication in Santa Monica Review.

Michael Mattes’s fiction has appeared in West Branch, Northwest Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Southwestern American Literature, The Portland Review, and elsewhere. This is his second contribution to Santa Monica Review. In late 2018, World Literature Today will publish his story “Closer to Where You Will Find Him.” He lives in Sammamish, Washington, with his wife, Katherine, and teenage children, Simon and Kira. Read more at

T.S. Mcadams dropped out of an MFA program late in the twentieth century and spent much of the twenty-first teaching high school. His short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Madcap Review.

Clancy Mcgilligan’s fiction has appeared in Slice Magazine, Wigleaf, and Sleepingfish, and he has received a scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, he worked as a journalist in Cambodia and Wyoming. He holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently he is a Ph.D. in Fiction candidate at Florida State University.

Andrew Nicholls has written comedy for performers and for television since 1976, including four years as Johnny Carson’s head writer on NBC’s Tonight Show.  With longtime writing partner Darrell Vickers he has sold over seventy pilot scripts, with twenty made into series, and since 2013 has had short fiction in a dozen literary sites and magazines.

Victoria Patterson is a novelist and short story writer, author of the collection Drift and the novels The Little Brother, The Peerless Four, and This Vacant Paradise. Her story collection The Secret Habit of Sorrow is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in July 2018. She is a frequent contributor to Santa Monica Review.

David Preizler’s short fiction has been a semi-finalist in the 2017 American Short Fiction contest, judged by Lauren Groff, and his story, “Walking the Diamond” is his first in print. Admitted to the Undergraduate Writers’ Workshop for Fiction, he earned a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, and studied filmmaking at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. An award-winning director, he spent several years working internationally, including in the U.S., India, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Brazil, and Argentina, and his work is part of the permanent collection of MOMA in New York. Now, based in Santa Monica, purely focused on writing, he is at work on a short story collection.

Garrett Saleen is a writer and artist from Southern California. He graduated from New York University. His fiction has appeared previously in The Collagist and is forthcoming in Cavity. His visual art can be found @jan_homm on Instagram. He lives in Seattle.

Alisa Slaughter’s essays, short fiction, and translations have appeared most recently in Santa Monica Review, Poetry International, and Kettering Review. Her collection of short fiction, Bad Habitats, was published in 2013 by Gold Line Press. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MA in comparative literature from the University of Arizona, and teaches at the University of Redlands.

Andrew Tonkovich has edited Santa Monica Review since 1999. He hosts Bibliocracy Radio, a weekly books show and podcast on the Pacifica network. Recent fiction and nonfiction appears in ZYZZYVA and Juked.

JP Vallières is from the Village of Adams. His most recent work can be found at Tin House, decomP, and Juked. He lives with Kimmy and their four sons in northern Idaho.

Paul J. Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. His most recent collection of poetry is Getting to Gardisky Lake (Stephen F. Austin State University Press), and his latest collection of essays is Bright Shoots of Everlastingness (WordFarm). You may sample more of his work at

Gabriel Zacuto (cover artist) is a Southern California artist living in and against the shadow of The Magic Kingdom. His work has been featured in INK BRICK and shown at LA Zine Fest and OC Zine Fest.

For information on how to submit, see our guidelines page. No email submissions accepted.

For information, including reading events, past issues, links, and recommended reading, please visit our website or call (310) 434-3597.

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