iOS App Support

The Narrative App brings Narrative to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch and places the magazine’s entire library at your fingertips, for free.

Important Note: If you encounter any bugs or have any suggestions for improvement, please email us HERE.

Narrative Magazine is the leading online publisher of first-rank fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. A nonprofit organization, Narrative is dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership around the world. Our online library of new literature by celebrated authors and by the best new and emerging writers is available for free.
  • The Narrative App provides an easy-to-read, easy-to-use, book-like “eReader” for reading all of Narrative’s contents.

  • Browse and read stories, poems, and articles from the current issue of Narrative.

  • Browse and read all the contents of Narrative’s extensive archive.

  • View Cartoons, Graphic Stories, and other Image Galleries.

  • Enjoy the audio/video presentations of Narrative Outloud.

  • Read downloaded stories when disconnected from the network.

  • Save or delete stories on your device as you see fit.

  • Change the text size, text color, background color, and font to customize the eReader to your liking.

  • Read in whatever mode you feel most comfortable: flipping pages, manual scroll, or automatic scrolling.

  • Turn on and off whatever Sections you desire (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, etc.) so that you see only those Sections you are interested in.

    Narrative App Documentation
    for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

    The Homepage

    The App starts on the Homepage. The Homepage displays a list of the stories that are in the current issue of Narrative Magazine. By default, the stories are organized by Section (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and so on). To browse through the stories, brush your finger up and down. To read a story, simply touch it. The story will automatically download to your mobile device and display in the Reader. Please note that you need to be connected to the cellular or wireless network to download a story. However, once a story is downloaded, you can disconnect from the network and read it at your leisure. Four buttons are displayed at the bottom of the Homepage:

    Sort.png Sort: Use this button to sort the stories by Section-Author, Author, or Title.

    DownloadStories.png Downloaded Stories: This button displays a list of all the stories that you have downloaded to your device so far. This is useful for re-reading older stories, or for those cases where a new issue is published to the Homepage before you’ve had a chance to finish reading a particular story. This page is also useful for deleting stories off your device: Press the Trash Can Button, then touch the red circle next to the story, then touch the Delete button. Touch the Delete All button in the upper right corner to delete all the stories from your device.

    Archives.png Archive: This button retrieves the full list of stories in the Narrative Archive. Because the list contains many hundreds of stories, you should only do this when you have a strong network connection. The first time you press this button, it will take a minute or more to retrieve the list. From that point forward, it will be much quicker.

    Settings.png Settings: Use the Settings button to customize the appearance and functionality of the App’s Reader screen, including the Text Color, Background Color, Font Typeface, and Text Size. The Settings page is also where you set the Reader Mode, to either Turn Pages (the default), Scroll, or Auto-Scroll (See below for details). There is also a setting for turning on/off the various magazine sections (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, etc.) that appear on the Homepage and in the Archive.

    Reading a Story

    To read a story, simply touch it. The story text will be displayed in the Reader, which supports the following gestures:

    Tapping the right third of the screen: Turns to the next page.
    Tapping the left third of the screen: Turns to the previous page.
    Tapping the middle third of the screen: Brings up the button bar, which displays the story title and author, and provides a Back button for exiting the story. The bottom button bar provides a Settings button and a slider for moving quickly back and forth through pages, as well as an Image Gallery button and Audio/Video button, which are displayed in bright blue if images or audio/video content are available on that story. Re-tapping the center third of the screen makes the button bar disappear.

    Swipe right-to-left: Turns to the next page.
    Swipe left-to-Right: Turns to the previous page.

    Pinch: Makes the text size smaller or larger by moving your thumb and finger closer together and farther apart.

    An Important Note About Text Formatting

    The Narrative iPhone App retrieves the text of the story straight from the Narrative website. In most cases, stories will be very readable on your mobile device. However, in some cases, because of the variation between web browsers, your settings, and various physical devices, there may be various formatting differences. Poetry, which often has very complex and unusual formatting, is particularly difficult to display consistently on a mobile device. We appreciate your patience and flexibility with this brave new world. :)

    Three Reader Modes

    Using the Settings page, you can change the Reader Mode, which are as follows:

    Turn Pages: This is the default mode and the one we expect most people will use. In this mode, one page is displayed at a time. You move forward through the pages by tapping the right third of the screen or by swiping.

    Scroll: In this mode, the entire story is displayed as one very long page. You scroll the text by dragging your finger up or down the screen. A formatting note: In this mode you will see blank lines where the page breaks would normally be.

    Auto-Scroll: In this mode, the story text scrolls by automatically at a steady reading speed, similar to a teleprompter. You don’t have to touch the screen at all. This mode takes the most getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it can be quite convenient. Touching the screen will bring up a small menu with which you can speed up, slow down, start/pause, or exit automatic scrolling. Once you exit automatic scrolling, the reader reverts back to Turn Pages mode, allowing you to exit the story as usual.

    Viewing Cartoons, Graphic Stories, and other Images

    The Narrative App allows you to view Narrative’s Cartoon Galleries, Graphic Stories, and other Image Galleries. In order to do so, go into the story, then touch the center of the screen to bring up the button bar, then touch the Image Gallery button, which will be bright blue rather than gray because there are images associated with the story. To flip through the images, use the Forward and Back buttons provided for that purpose. To view images in a different orientation, simply tilt the device. To zoom in on an image, use the pinch gesture with your thumb and finger. To exit the gallery, touch the Back button and then exit the Reader as usual.

    Playing Audio and Videos Files

    The Narrative App is primarily designed for reading Narrative’s text stories. However, the App does support a limited amount of audio and video capability, including some of the content provided through the Narrative Outloud section, such as author readings and interviews. To access the audio/video files, go into the story, touch the center of the screen to bring up the button bar, then press the bright blue Audio/Video Gallery button. Then touch the file that you wish to listen to or view. Please note that some audio/video stories include a “teaser” file which is a short preview of the full content. If you know you want to see the full content, then ignore the teaser/preview file. Compatibility Note: Unfortunately, some older iPhone devices do not play some of the video types used on earlier Narrative content.


    When you start up the App for the very first time, it will ask if you are a subscriber to If you already read Narrative, then select “Yes,”enter the email address that you use to login to, and then then touch the Activate button. This will automatically activate your App. If you’re not a subscriber, select “No,” enter your name and email address, and touch the Subscribe button. The App will create a membership for you and activate your App. The system will email you a password for the Narrative website just in case you wish to enjoy Narrative Magazine through your computer’s web browser as well as through your mobile device.

    Adjusting Your Email Preferences

    By default, when you subscribe to Narrative Magazine through your mobile device, you will receive occasional emails, including the Story of the Week. You will NOT receive emails from third parties. If you wish to adjust your email preferences, you can do so by going to, logging in, going to My Account, and then Email Preferences. Also, the email message itself contains a link for unsubscribing from the emails. Even if you turn off the various email options, you can continue to enjoy Narrative’s stories via the website and/or the App.

    Automatic Synching

    When you go to the Homepage, if more than a half hour has passed since the last time you were there, and you are connected to the network, then the App automatically checks with and updates the list of stories on your device so that you have access to the most current list of stories. In this way, the list of stories on your device’s Homepage remains synchronized with the list of stories on the Narrative website’s homepage. Because of the way the Narrative web server caches its data, expect your App to pick up changes to the website after about an hour or so. The Archive List is synchronized using the same method. Please note that no data connections are made and no data transferred unless you are actually using the Narrative App.

    Deleting Stories from your device

    When you touch a story it is downloaded to your mobile device so that you can read it. Stories don’t tend to take up much room on your device, but if you wish to you can easily delete old stories that you don’t want anymore. To delete stories from your device, touch the Downloaded Stories button (which is at the bottom of the Homepage), and then touch the Trashcan button. To delete all the stories from your device, simply touch the Delete All button. You can also delete individual stories by touching the red circle next to the story title and then touching the Delete button.

    Using the App when disconnected

    Once a story is downloaded, then it resides on your device. This means you can read it even when you are disconnected from the network. For example, if you download a few stories while in the airport, you can read them on the plane even though you are disconnected from the network.

    Availability of Content

    In general, all the stories in Narrative’s current issue and the archive are available to you on your mobile device. However, in some cases, we may turn off mobile accessibility to certain stories, for example, if it is a very large audio/video file or if the formatting of the story is not suitable for a small screen. Unfortunately, Narrative Backstage content is not included in the App at this time.

    Story Status

    Each story on your device has a status, which is displayed in small, gray, italic text to the right of the story title. Here is the meaning of each status:

    No Status Displayed: If no status is displayed next to the story title, that means you have not yet downloaded the story to your device.
    Downloaded: This means the story has been downloaded to your device, but you have not started reading it yet.
    Started: This means you have started reading the story (flipping through its pages).
    Finished: This means you are done reading the story (you flipped to the last page).

    Starting Where You Left Off

    If you were reading a story when you last closed the App, then the next time you start the App, it will automatically take you back to that same page. If you start reading a story, then leave it, then return to it, the App will pickup where you left off on that particular story.

    The About Narrative Page / Adding a New Subscription

    Touching the “Narrative” logo at the top of the Homepage or touching the red “N” logo in the upper right corner of most other screens will take you to the About Narrative page. The About Narrative page provides a brief description of Narrative Magazine, lists the App’s credits, and also provides a Re-Activate button in case you wish to re-subscribe/re-activate your device using a different email address.