Edited by James Phelan, The Ohio State University

Associate Editors: Barbara Perkins, University of Toledo, and George Perkins, Eastern Michigan Univeristy

Frequency: Triannually (January, May, October)
Print ISSN: 1063-3685
Electronic ISSN: 1538-974X

Narrative is the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Narrative, the association for scholars interested in narrative. Narrative’s broad range of scholarship includes the English, American, and European novel, nonfiction narrative, film, and narrative as used in performance art. Individual subscriptions to Narrative include membership in The International Society for the Study of Narrative. Johns Hopkins University Press handles all Ohio State University Press subscriptions and customer services. Clicking the order button below will take you directly to their ordering page.

Instructions to Contributors

Narrative publishes essays on narrative theory, essays on narrative and its relations to other modes of discourse, and essays of practical criticism based in diverse theoretical modes. The editors especially welcome submissions combining theoretical investigation and practical criticism. “Narrative” for us is a category that includes the novel, narrative poetry, history, biography, autobiography, film, and performance art. Because of our diverse audience, we are not interested in essays whose main contribution is to offer a new reading of a narrative by Author X. However, we do welcome new readings that are linked with some theoretical exploration or that are of interest in some other way to those who are not specialists in Author X.

Examples that indicate—but do not exhaust—the range of the journal:

  • explorations of theoretical issues, e.g., a consideration of the powers and limits of the story-discourse distinction
  • essays on narrative as a kind of discourse, e.g., narrative vs. lyric; film narrative in relation to verbal narrative
  • combinations of theoretical inquiry and practical application, e.g., a reexamination of the relationship between homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narration in connection with an analysis of the narration of Vanity Fair
  • readings of individual narratives that are part of some larger theoretical project or that point to implications beyond the particular text under discussion, e.g., Middlemarch’s relation to Victorian conceptions of ideal femininity or Lord Jim’s place in a Marxist history of the novel
  • readings of individual narratives that significantly revise received opinions about them or that are especially compelling performances in themselves
  • essays of institutional criticism or cultural commentary that focus on narrative or issues in narrative studies, e.g., an analysis of the implied narratives of different kinds of pedagogy; a study of the culture war as a struggle over narrative authority

Manuscript Requirements

Format. Narrative follows a house style based on The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.). Authors should submit an electronic version (.doc) to Manuscripts should be in English and double-spaced with one-inch margins and with left-margin justification only. After papers have been accepted for publication, revisions should be submitted once again to

Word Limits. Length is less important than substance, but in practice most essays that we publish fall within the range between 6500 and 9000 words.

Quotations. Quotations of fewer than eight lines are run into the text; quotations of eight lines or more are indented ten spaces from the left margin and double-spaced.

Because all sources will have full bibliographic information on the Works Cited page, parenthetical information will be minimal (usually including the cited author’s name, the page from which the quotation is taken, and, if the essay refers to more than one work by the same author, additional clarifying information, such as dates or abbreviated titles; if the cited author’s name appears in the text, it is not given parenthetically). If parenthetical information is needed to augment textual information, please choose from the following formats, depending upon what information is included in the text: (Genette 74), (Genette, Narrative Discourse 74), (Genette, Narrative Discourse), or (Narrative Discourse, 74). Use commas only to separate author and abbreviated title or to separate numbers; a comma is not needed between author and page number or title and page number. Parenthetical bibliographic information identifying sources should omit “p.,” “pp.” or “page” unless confusion will result.

Endnotes. Narrative uses endnotes, not footnotes, for commentary; include limited bibliographic information as necessary in endnotes, but provide full bibliographic information for all references on the double-spaced Works Cited page (see below). Authors should submit separate endnote sheets at the end of their manuscripts, following The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.).

Works Cited page. All submissions should include a double-spaced Works Cited page following the style formats in chapters 15 and 16 ofThe Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.). “University” may be abbreviated “Univ.” and should be consistent; “Press” should be spelled out.

Images. Images should be sent individually, in TIFF, JPG, or PNG format, at least 300 dpi at page display size. The files should be numbered consecutively, and captions should be provided, including a permission line where appropriate.

Abstract / Keywords. Submitted manuscripts should contain an abstract and 4-6 keywords relevant to the article.

Guidelines for the abstract:

  • Length: 250 words or less
  • Content:
    • A synopsis of the essay's central problem or question in no more than two sentences
    • An overview of the essay's proposed solution/answer to that problem/question
    • A brief indication of the essay's methodology
    • A brief explanation of the essay's significance for the critical conversations it seeks to influence. In other words, an indication of the essay's answer to the "so what?" question

For a more detailed (though still short) discussion of how to write an effective abstract, see this piece by Faye Halpern and James Phelan:

Keywords. These should cover the most important concepts or ideas in an article, targeting words or phrases to direct scholars who are searching for papers on this specific topic. 4-6 keywords is a common amount. For more information, please see

Author biographical information. An author(s) bio of no more than 60 words per author should be included with each submission.

Copyrighted Material. Permission to reprint any previously published material (e.g., poetry and illustrations) must be obtained by the author from the copyright holder.

Please Submit Manuscripts to: 
   James Phelan, Editor

Advisory Board

Frederick Luis Aldama, The Ohio State University
Michael Awkward, University of Pennsylvania
Janice Carlisle, Yale University
Robert Caserio, Pennsylvania State University
Ross Chambers, University of Michigan
Jay Clayton, Vanderbilt University
Mark Conroy, The Ohio State University
Susan Stanford Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jared Gardner, The Ohio State University
Dorothy J. Hale, University of California, Berkeley
David Herman, The Ohio State University
Margaret Homans, Yale University
Audrey Jaffe, University of Toronto
Elizabeth Langland, Arizona State University
Brian McHale, The Ohio State University
Alan Nadel, University of Kentucky
Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania
Peter J. Rabinowitz, Hamilton College
John Richetti, University of Pennsylvania
David G. Riede, The Ohio State University
Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Hebrew University
Daniel Schwarz, Cornell University
Dan Shen, Peking University
Robyn Warhol, The Ohio State University


October 2017


Guest Editors’ Column
Transmedial Narratology: Current Approaches
Markus Kuhn and Jan-Noël Thon

Transmedial Narratology: Theoretical Foundations and Some Applications (Fiction, Single Pictures, Instrumental Music)
Werner Wolf

Transmedial Narratology Revisited: On the Intersubjective Construction of Storyworlds and the Problem of Representational Correspondence in Films, Comics, and Video Games
Jan-Noël Thon

Reading S. across Media: Transmedia Storyworlds, Multimodal Fiction, and Real Readers
Alison Gibbons

Adventures in Duck-Rabbitry: Multistable Elements of Graphic Narrative
Karin Kukkonen

Narratology and Performativity: On Processes of Narrativization in Live Performances
Jan Alber

Think Thrice, It’s Alright: Mad Men’s “The Wheel” and the Future Study of Television Narratives
Michael Butter


Frequency—3 issues per year

Ad closing dates

Issue     Reservations & copy to be sent by     PDF file due by
January   August 10   September 1
May   December 10   January 1
October   May 10   June 1


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Mailing List

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Indexing and Abstracts

American Humanities Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Current Contents, International Repertory of the Literature of Art, Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts, MLA International Bibliography, and Research Alert.

Hear James Phelan, of the Ohio State University and Editor of Narrative, interview Gerald Prince, Professor of Romance Languages at Penn, and the elder statesman of the Society, and Susan Lanser, recently retired from Comparative Literature at Brandeis, and the person who initiated the branch of the field called feminist narratology. Both Gerry and Sue are past presidents of the Society. Also joing them is Per Krogh Hansen, from the University of Southern Denmark. He's a former director of their Center for Narratological Studies. And Sue J.Kim, Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Sue works on race and narrative and was the coordinator of the Boston Conference in 2014.

Click for an mp3 of the first Narrative podcast.

Transcript for the podcast available here.

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