Narrative. We’ve got a story to tell you.


Our Mission:

Narrative is dedicated to advancing literature in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging reading, as the gateway to understanding, across generations, in schools, and around the globe. Our digital library of new literature by celebrated authors and by the best new and emerging writers is available for free.


Our Work:

Since 2003 Narrative has been at the forefront of a new kind of library—a global meeting place, if you will, where readers and writers meet. We publish work of the highest literary caliber, offer opportunities for both established and emerging writers, host contests in search of a new generation of talent, provide reading and writing mentorship to underserved schools around the globe, and every day, all year we offer our expansive library of thousands of stories, poems, essays, cartoons, and more to readers everywhere for free.


Narrative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on donations, grants, and grassroots support. To see more about our mission and vision, here’s a short video about the Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School program, just one aspect of the work we do. We’re hoping you’ll be moved to donate—in which case, click here, and receive our abiding gratitude.


Our Values:


We believe there’s a hungry reader in all of us. It’s been that way since the beginning of time, since nights of trading tales around the campfire. This screen is our campfire.


We believe the digital age represents a unique opportunity to create renewed, vital audiences for literary excellence.


We believe there are exemplars of the art of writing—some known, some yet to be known—all deserving to be published beautifully and read widely.


We believe emerging writers need support, encouragement, and mentoring.


We believe students and readers everywhere deserve a great and free modern library, inside of which they can get deliriously, entertainingly, profoundly lost. And found.


We believe students and teachers need access to the power and inspiration that great writing provides. Our “Tell Me a Story” High School Essay Contest provides a place where young writers can shout from the rooftops.


We believe that stories are what bind us, remind us, and transcend us, in our time, and for all time.


A Few of our Programs & Prizes:

The $4,000 Narrative Prize is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. Recent winners include Ocean Vuong, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award, and Anthony Marra, whose debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, was nominated for a National Book Award. For a complete list, look here.


The Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Essay Contest addresses the need for deep engagement with students aged fifteen to eighteen by offering them an opportunity to be mentored and published alongside many of today’s celebrated writers. Most recently, student writers submitted essays that addressed the prompt “Dear America.” Read the winners here.


The Narrative Storyteller Prize is awarded each year at Narrative Night to a writer whose body of work represents major accomplishment in our time and, in our opinion, stands among the best work of all time.


Other Awards for Narrative Authors:

Narrative’s writers have been awarded the prestigious laurels of the print age, such as the O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes, and have also received Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and many other recognitions. You’ll find a complete list here.


Welcome to Narrative:

Now, friends, pull up a chair, hold on to your bus strap, turn up the volume on your phone: we’ve got a story to tell you. We’ve got thousands, in fact. And poems and essays and videos too. We often say that we know ourselves and our world by the stories we tell. Thanks for letting us share some tales with you.