The just-released fall issue of Santa Monica College’s Santa Monica Review, its national literary arts journal, will be celebrated through readings in Venice, West Los Angeles and Orange County.

The readings feature some of the writers who appear in the semi-annual journal.

– The reading in Venice will feature Colin Dickey, George Ducker and Vicki Forman at 8 p.m. Friday, November 3rd, at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice. Information, (310) 822-3006 or www.beyondba roque.org

– Michelle Latiolais, Jonathan Cohen and Vicki Forman will read at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 18th, in the University of California, Irvine Bookstore, located in the UCI Student Center at the corner of W. Peltason Drive and Pereira Drive. Information, (949) 824-2665.

– Dickey, Ducker and Forman will again be featured at 7 p.m. Friday, November 17th, at Dutton’s Brentwood Bookstore, 11975 San Vicente Blvd., West Los Angeles. Information, (310) 476-6263 or www.duttonsbrent wood.com

The fall issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, presents a mix of short stories and essays.

The journal includes a personal essay by Forman from her memoir-in-progress, The Preemie Cantos, on the births of her severely disabled children.

The journal also features a “long short story” by novelist Chris Mazza about a life measured by the wins and losses of the San Diego Padres.

Additional work comes from Gregory Spatz, Peter La Salle and Leslie Daniels, editor of the Green Mountain Review.

Short stories were sent by frequent contributors Kenneth Calhoun, winner of the 2005 Italo Calvino Prize, and Orange County writer and editor Jonathan Cohen.

The issue begins with a noir-style story by first-time-in-print L.A. writer George Ducker.

Short fiction by Kenneth Siewert also marks his first publication in a national literary magazine. He is a Master of Fine Arts student at California State University at Northridge.

“The Santa Monica Review receives thousands of submissions, and we set the bar high,” Tonkovich says. “I’m pretty picky, so featuring work by beginning writers makes me feel lucky. I am happy to show it off, and readers should expect more good things from first-timers.”

Novelist Stephanie Dickinson speaks in the voice of a street-smart teenage girl in her “Port Authority Orchids.”

Jenn Scott’s short story “Care” is about a road-trip journey by two mildly desperate friends, both teachers, looking for love and family.

Los Angeles area writer Dickey presents the story of a deeply wounded Iraq war vet and the woman who tries to care for him. The story starts with the crash of a military transport helicopter right across the street from their home.

“I am especially pleased to present work that comments on the world around us just now,” says Tonkovich. “The war, of course, but also fiction and essays which seem to speak about and update universal themes in language that is immediate and urgent and startling.”

The issue’s cover features an illustration by Deborah Davidson, who chairs the Art Department at Fullerton College.

Santa Monica Review is available for sale online and at the SMC Bookstore, Dutton’s Brentwood, Beyond Baroque in Venice, and other area booksellers. Copies are also available by mail and by subscription through Santa Monica Review, Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90405.

The publication is available for $7 per issue or $12 for the two issues each year.

Information, including reading events, past issues, links, and recommended reading, www.smc.edu /sm_review or (310) 434-3597.

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