Edited by James Phelan, The Ohio State University

Narrative Main Page

Table of Contents

Advisory Board

Advertising and List Rental Information

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 or .pdf) 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

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 of The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.). “University” may be abbreviated “Univ.” and should be consistent; “Press” should be spelled out.

Illustrations. Illustrations submitted with the final draft must be of professional quality, and executed on white paper or vellum, in black ink, with clear, medium-weight, black lines and figures. Typewritten lettering should not appear in illustrations. Figures must be provided at size—no larger than 4-5/8 × 7-1/2 inches (full page) and preferably no larger than 4-5/8 × 3-5/8 inches (half page) and printed camera-ready at a minimum of 600 dpi. They should be numbered consecutively, and the number and author's name should be penciled lightly on the back of each. All illustrations must have captions, which should not appear on the artwork but should be typed, double-spaced, on a sheet at the end of the manuscript. If there is any potential for doubt, the word top should be written on the back of the illustration.

Photos. Photos must be provided at size—no larger than 4-5/8 × 7-1/2 inches (full page) and preferably no larger than 4-5/8 × 3-5/8 inches (half page) in black/white, good quality, well-lit, in focus, with medium contrast to show adequate detail. No half-tones. Glossy finish.

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

  • Abstract length: 250 words or less
  • A synopsis of the article’s central topic, problem, or question in no more than two sentences
  • A brief explanation of the research’s significance to the author’s discipline
  • An overview of the author’s argument, findings, and conclusions
  • A short discussion of the implications of this work for the author’s field of study
  • All of the keywords identified in the keywords list Language should be clear, precise, and consistent with the article

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