Orange Coast Review is an eclectic convergence of literary fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews and art. Think of it as a portable salon, a place where boundaries are broken and styles morph, a celebration of creative diversity. We encourage emerging and established writers and artists to submit work for the next issue.


We want to publish poems, short stories, creative non-fiction and art that cause a thunk in the pulse and a spark in the brain, works that combine intellect and emotion without pandering to either. In short, we’re looking for something memorable.

We accept work in the fall via Submittable. Click here anytime from September 15th – January 15th to submit your work.

The current issue and back issues are available for $7 each. Contact us via email with any questions or requests

Featured Works

The 2015 issue includes a wide array of work from established and emerging writers based in Southern California, Canada, and the U.K., including a compelling interview of Raymond Obstfeld, author of over 50 books and a dozen screenplays. Andrew Tonkovich, editor of the Santa Monica Review, contributes a scathing satire of Twitter-driven values, and Kathleen MacKay entertains readers with a tall tale about an eccentric child. Michael Bourne’s engrossing exploration of racial isolation and fear will undoubtedly provoke discussion. We are particularly pleased to be the first to publish a story by Julian Guise, a remarkable new talent.

Here is a sampling of prose from the 2015 issue. (Scroll down for the Poets’ section.)


THE RIVER OTTER by Erik Rangno

LOVE HURTS by Jenna Allie

RETRIEVAL by Julian Guise

2015 Contributors

Poetry: Virginia Shank, Erik Rangno, Jill Sharp, Susan Cameron, Loretta Obstfeld, Lisa Dowling, Nick Soderberg, Carrie Etter, Wendy Klein, Nicholas Reiner, Marc Malanddra, Morgan K, Matt Bryden, Patty Seyburn, and featured poet J.G. McClure.

Fiction/Nonfiction: Erik Rangno, Kathleen MacKay, Jenna Allie, Lisa Richter, Norm Johnson, Andrew Tonkovich, Michael Bourne, and Julian Guise.

INTERVIEW: Raymond Obstfeld


Bradford J. Salamon, Michael Harnish, Tom Dowling, Peter Gelker, Julia Klemek, A.M. Rousseau, James F. Lorigan, Sheryl Seltzer, Suzanne Walsh, Lisa Bloomfield, Becca Shewmake, Claudia Morales McCain, Suzanne Petry, Hsin-Han Hsu, Carleen Carrasco, Carl R. Zaptiff, Hannah Melde, and Kitty Nguyen.

COVER ART: Pamela Diaz Martinez

cover, illustration, or photo

cover, illustration, or photo

cover, illustration, or photo

Featured Poem: "Chaos is Seattle in a Spaniel"

by J.G. McClure

is what my phone thinks
I’m saying when I say

¿que haces si hablo
en español? It doesn’t

understand Spanish—
or anything, really: only

knows to chart and check
my voice against a constellation

of blinking algorithms and
preprogrammed phrases that,

thirty years ago, would’ve
been science fiction,

and still are, to me—
even though I know

the phone doesn’t know it,
it’s not exactly wrong

about chaos, about the whirling
incomprehensible city

of veins and thought and cells
that makes a spaniel,

that make me,
that make the people

who made the phone able
to stitch my scattered

sounds together and
give me an answer

to a question I didn’t
know I asked

and if I asked
no doubt it would find
a picture of a spaniel
in Seattle for me,

though I’m not sure why
I’d want one, or what

I’d do after that, other
than say gracias.

More Featured Poems, 2015

After Moving

by Virginia Shank

After the boxes are all unpacked
hangers untangled and clothes shoulder
to shoulder in the closet, nothing remains
to unfold or to set up but the realization
that you live now among strangers. Until
you meet people, no one will touch you.
All greetings in the cellophane of service
sound false, but still you linger in the line
hoping to find some crumb of conversation.
Years later you’re blind to the smells
that unseated you, the way trees stood
apart, trimmed so no limbs ever touch.
You cannot see, thank God,
your own loneliness stamped on the world.

On Writing

by Susan Cameron

Inside my head I know what I must say
But language trips and falls and stumbles blind.
My words emerge and blink and lose their way.

To take this pen and slash the fog away.
To put on paper what is in my mind —
Inside my head I know what I must say.

A phrase can dance and spin, a child at play,
Or crash about, malformed and misaligned.
My words emerge and blink and lose their way.

My thoughts can soar like hawks at dawn’s first ray,
They seek the sun and leave dull earth behind.
Inside my head I know what I must say.

I want to write these thoughts without delay,
But, God! The perfect words are hard to find.
My words emerge and blink and lose their way.

Some words can shine and shimmer bright as day,
Illuminate the dark for humankind.
Inside my head I know what I must say;
My words emerge and blink and lose their way.