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Edited by James Phelan, The Ohio State University

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

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

Narrative is the official journal of International Society for the Study of Narrative. Its mission is to publish essays that contribute to both narrative theory and the interpretation of individual narratives. Within those parameters, the journal is open to work on the elements, techniques, structures, and forms of narrative as well as on its relations to other modes of discourse, its history, and its powers (and limits) in cultures past and present. The journal is interested in narrative across disciplines and across media, and, thus, it welcomes submissions on the theory and interpretation of the novel, the short story, narrative poetry, history, biography, autobiography, memoir, film, television, journalism, comics and other graphic arts, music, performance, legal writing, medical case histories, and more.

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, University of Texas at Austin, US
Michael Awkward, University of Pennsylvania, US
Janice Carlisle, Yale University, US
Robert Caserio, Pennsylvania State University, US
Ross Chambers, University of Michigan, US
Jay Clayton, Vanderbilt University, US
Susan Stanford Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
Jared Gardner, The Ohio State University, US
Dorothy J. Hale, University of California, Berkeley, US
David Herman, Unaffiliated, US
Margaret Homans, Yale University, US
Audrey Jaffe, University of Toronto, Canada
Sue J. Kim, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Elizabeth Langland, Arizona State University, US
Susan S. Lanser, Brandeis University, US
Brian McHale, The Ohio State University, US
Alan Nadel, University of Kentucky, US
Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania, US
Peter J. Rabinowitz, Hamilton College, US
John Richetti, University of Pennsylvania, US
David G. Riede, The Ohio State University, US
Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Hebrew University, Israel
Daniel Schwarz, Cornell University, US
Dan Shen, Peking University, China
Robyn Warhol, The Ohio State University, US

To see the table of contents for the current issue, visit the Narrative page on ProjectMUSE.


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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Full page: 4-5/8 inches by 7-1/2 inches (28 picas by 45 picas) 
Half page: 4-5/8 inches by 3-5/8 inches (28 picas by 22 picas), horizontal only 
Trim size: 7 inches by 10 inches. Bleeds not accepted. Black and white only. 120 line screen. Printed offset on natural-shade, 50 pound stock. Perfect bound. 
Electronic Submission: PDF with downloadable fonts included

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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.

Code of Ethics

 All OSUPress journals follow the Code of Ethics detailed here.   

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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.