California Literary Journals

This is a list of literary journals based in California. It’s long but not comprehensive, so if you know of any others, please feel free to message me or leave a comment below. Happy reading!

Last Updated: April 23, 2020


  • 580 Split: Affiliated with Mills College in Oakland. Published in print once per year.
  • Altadena Poetry Review: Open to anyone in the Altadena/ Pasadena/Greater Los Angeles area, The Altadena Poetry Journal is published yearly and accepts poetry of all content and form.
  • Angel City Review: “Committed to bringing the cutting edge in fiction and poetry to a modern audience. We aim to present a diverse range of both writers and genres that run the gamut from experimental narratives to grittier fiction with a literary air.” Published in Ebook twice per year.
  • Angels Flight*Literary West: “Angels Flight • literary west is a new vehicle to explore uncharted stories of Los Angeles and beyond.”
  • Arroyo Literary Review: Affiliated with California State University, East Bay. Published in print once per year.
  • The Bare Life Review: Founded in 2017 as the only literary journal whose sole mission is to publish immigrant and refugee writers.
  • Berkeley Fiction Review: Affiliated with University of California, Berkeley. Published in print once per year.


  • California Quarterly:  a quarterly journal devoted to poetry, is sponsored by the California State Poetry Society. Published in print four times per year.
  • Chaparral: an online journal featuring poetry from Southern California.
  • The Citadel: Los Angeles City College’s annually published literary journal.
  • Dash: “dash publishes content that pushes the boundaries of short, emphatic expression.  We communicate more with less.” Affiliated with California State University, Fullerton.
  • Dryland: Los Angeles underground art and writing. “Based in South Central Los Angeles. Los Angeles, the land of all skin colors and all classes. We’re looking for Los Angeles. Waste…decay…rebirth and all.” Published once every three months, in print and online.
  • Dum Dum Zine: Dum Dum is an extraordinarily crafted experimental art-lit zine. Published in print once per year. Online content added regularly.


  • Eleven Eleven: Affiliated with California College of the Arts. Published in print and online twice per year.
  • Entropy: “ENTROPY is a website featuring literary and related non-literary content. We like to think of ourselves as more than just a magazine or a website, but as also a community space. We seek to create a space where writers can engage with other writers, can participate in a literary community, and where thinkers can collaborate and share both literary and non-literary ideas. This means that we seek to cover topics such as video games, graphic novels, interactive literature, science fiction, fantasy, music, film, art, and other topics in addition to literary reviews, interviews, conversations, and articles on experimental literature, translation, small press practices, and performance.”
  • Exposition Review: “Exposition Review is an independent, multi-genre literary journal that publishes narratives by new, emerging, and established writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, stage & screen, experimental, art & photography, and comics.” Published online oncer per year.
  • Faultline: Affiliated with University of California, Irvine. Published in print once per year.
  • Forth Magazine: FORTH was founded in 2009 in Los Angeles. Published online.


  • Fourteen Hills: Affiliated with San Francisco State University. Published in print twice per year.
  • Ghost Town: Affiliated with California State University, San Bernardino. Published once or twice a year online.
  • Haight Ashbury Literary Journal: “HALJ’s voices are often of people who have been marginalized, oppressed, or abused. HALJ strives to bring literary arts to the general public, to the San Francisco community of writers, to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, and to people of varying ages, genders, ethnicities, and sexual preferences. The Journal is produced as a tabloid to maintain an accessible price for low-income people.”
  • INSCAPE: The literary journal of the Pasadena City College (PCC) creative writing department. PCC Students edit the literary magazine, market the magazine, design the magazine, and put it into print. Submissions are currently open to PCC Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Community members.
  • Joyland Magazine, Los Angeles: “Based on the idea that fiction is an international movement supported by local communities Joyland is a literary magazine that selects stories regionally. Our editors work with authors connected to locales across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto as well as places underrepresented in cultural media.” Published online weekly and in print twice per year.
  • The Los Angeles Press: Publishes art and literature from Los Angeles and the West.
  • The Los Angeles Review: “The Los Angeles Review, a semi-annual literary journal established in 2003, is the voice of Los Angeles, and the voice of the nation. With its multitude of cultures, Los Angeles roils at the center of the cauldron of divergent literature emerging from the West Coast.” Published in print once per year, and online 52 times per year.


  • Lunch Ticket: Affiliated with Antioch University. Published online twice per year.
  • Memoir Mixtapes: “Memoir Mixtapes is a mashup of the two things we all love to talk about: ourselves and music.” Memoir Mixtapes accepts submissions of creative non-fiction and poetry. No fiction. It is Memoir Mixtapes after all.
  • The Nervous Breakdown: “The Nervous Breakdown features the work of published and emerging authors and poets from around the world. The Nervous Breakdown celebrates vibrant and provocative voices in contemporary fiction.” Online content published on a rolling basis.
  • The Normal School: Affiliated with California State University, Fresno. Published in print twice per year.
  • Northridge Review: Affiliated with the creative writing program at California State University, Northridge.
  • Out Of Anonymity: Literary journal of the UCLA Writing Project. Showcases essays, poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, and excerpts from active and retired teachers of any subject.
  • Pacific Review: Affiliated with San Diego State University.
  • Penumbra: Affiliated with California State University, Stanislaus. Published in print once per yer.
  • Poets Reading the News: An innovative literary journal publishing original, extraordinary poetry about current events.
  • The Rattling WallThe Rattling Wall is funded by PEN Center USA and published by Narrow Books. Their most recent issue is titled Only Light Can Do That: 100 Post-Election Poems, Stories, and Essays. 


  • Reed Magazine: “A West Coast journal with worldwide reach, Reed, like California, is an ongoing, expanding, and wondrous mosaic of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. We are proud to be the literary heart of Silicon Valley.” Affiliated with San Jose State University. Published in print once per year.
  • RipRap: Affiliated with California State University, Long Beach. Published in print once per year.
  • The Rumpus: “At The Rumpus, we’ve got essays, reviews, interviews, music, film, short fiction, and poetry—along with some kick-ass comics. We know how easy it is to find pop culture on the Internet, so we’re here to give you something more challenging, to show you how beautiful things are when you step off the beaten path.”
  • SAGA Literary Journal: Published by the Creative Writing Department of Long Beach City College.
  • San Pedro River Review: Published by Blue Horse Press and located in San Pedro. Published in print twice a year.
  • Santa Ana River Review: Affiliated with University California, Riverside.


  • Santa Monica Review: “In nearly thirty years of production, the Review has featured both first-time writers and established literary authors, with a focus on showcasing the work of Southern California and Pacific Rim writers.” Affiliated with Santa Monica College. Published in print twice per year.
  • Sensitive Skin: “Sensitive Skin features art, writing and music without rules or boundaries by both famous and emerging artists, writers, and musicians from around the globe.” Published in print
  • So Say We All: So Say We All Press has been publishing anthologies and collaborative novels since 2010. Their aim is to support the San Diego literary community by providing opportunities for publication alongside notable national and international authors.
  • Spectrum Literary Journal: Affiliated with University of California, Santa Barbara. Published in print once per year.
  • Statement Magazine: Affiliated with California State University, Los Angeles. Published in print once per year.
  • Tayo Literary Magazine: “Tayo cultivated emerging poetry and prose, publishing writing that knifes, lifts, and strikes at the emotive truth of all things lost and adrift.” Published in print once per year and online Quarterly.


  • The Threepenny Review: The Threepenny Review is a well-regarded quarterly of the arts and society which has been published since 1980. Every issue contains excellent essays, stories, poems, and memoirs, plus beautiful black-and-white photographs. The Threepenny Review Reading Room features several incredible pieces, including work by Roberto Bolano, Victoria Chang, Henri Cole, Mary Gaitskill, Yiyun Li, David Mamet, Cynthia Ozick, and Gary Shteyngart. Published in print four times per year.
  • Westwind: “Los Angeles is a crazy collision of intersections, and Westwind, UCLA’s student-run journal of the arts, strives to capture this spirit. We seek to provide a platform for the weird and wonderful voices found all over the greater Los Angeles area in whatever form they arise.” Affiliated with UCLA. Published in print once per year, and online twice.
  • Zoetrope All-Story: “Zoetrope: All-Story is a quarterly literary publication founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997 to explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film.” Published in print four times per year.
  • ZYZZYVA: “A San Francisco journal of arts and letters.” Famously introduced American readers to Murakami. Published in print four times per year.

By Pete Hsu

Author of THERE IS A MAN (Tolsun Books) and IF I WERE THE OCEAN, I'D CARRY YOU HOME (Red Hen Press, 2022)


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