Santa Ana River Review

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The Santa Ana River Review is the literary journal run by the MFA in Creative Writing & Writing in the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside. 

SPRING 2023 Volume 9, Issue I: Seeking original fiction, non-fiction, poetry, dramatic works, and visual art.

Our spring issue calls for pieces that speak with their audience face to face. Whether that’s narration with direct address, stories about encounters or conversations, or a work that preserves the urgency of looking someone, or something, in their eyes–this issue’s theme asks you to create art that looks back. These need not be human-to-human exchanges. Get experimental. Have fun. Position us face-to what we might not usually recognize as a face. 

face (n) - c. 1300, from the Old French face: "face, countenance, look, appearance" (12c.); from Vulgar Latin facia (source also of Italian faccia); from Latin facies: "appearance, form, figure," and secondarily "visage, countenance," which probably is literally "form imposed on something" and related to facere: "to make."

From late 14c. as "outward appearance (as contrasted to some other reality);" also from late 14c. as "forward part or front of anything."

face (v) - "confront with assurance; show a bold face," mid-15c. From c. 1400 as "deface, disfigure." Meaning "to cover with something in front" is from 1560s; that of "turn the face toward" is from 1630s; meaning "be on the opposite page to" is from 1766.

Related words: facet (n.) - 1620s, "one side of a multi-sided body," from French facette (12c., Old French facete), diminutive of face "face, appearance”; facade (n.) - 1650s, "front of a building," from French façade (16c.)


  • Maximum 5,000 words
  • Submit double-spaced .doc or .docx attachment. Times New Roman, 12 pt font is preferred. Please include page numbers.
  • Novel excerpts must be self-contained.
  • Send us the story only you can tell. The story with the characters you love, where the writing pops off the page. It can be speculative, realist, surrealist, slipstream– whatever you wish! Just keep us reading.


  • 1,500 - 3,000 words
  • Submit double-spaced .doc or .docx attachment. Please include page numbers.
  • We seek literary nonfiction of all types, though we do not publish academic articles or traditional literary criticism. 
  • We're looking for past events that bump us up against future events, and reveal the dimensions of human experience. Like how a cube has faces on all sides, we are similarly interested in all the dimensions of humanity. We're open to any subject as long as there is a clear narrative arc.


  • Up to 3 poems, 7 pages maximum.
  • Submit .doc or .docx attachment.
  • If these poems are part of a greater project, please include a line about that in your cover letter.  We look forward to reading your poetry.


  • Ten-minute play maximum (12 pages or fewer)
  • Submit .doc or .docx attachment.
  • Since this is print and not production, writers are encouraged to be as creative as they wish—with setting, characters, world, etc. Of course, plays are meant to be seen, but these will be read, so writers should not feel constricted by the small-cast, single-location-set hell of “producible work.”
  • Previously produced plays are welcome; we do not accept previously published plays.


  • Up to 3 pieces of photography, prints, or comics.
  • Media must not exceed 2MB.
Santa Ana River Review