Submissions to Parabola


Parabola is a quarterly journal devoted to the exploration of the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life.

Each issue of Parabola is organized around a theme. Examples of themes we have explored in the past include Rites of Passage, Sacred Space, The Child, Ceremonies, Addiction, The Sense of Humor, Hospitality, The Hunter, The Stranger, and Prayer & Meditation.



Parabola welcomes original essays and translations. We look for lively, penetrating material unencumbered by jargon or academic argument. We prefer well-researched, objective, and unsentimental pieces that are grounded in one or more religious or cultural tradition; articles that focus on dreams, visions, or other very personal experiences are unlikely to be accepted. All articles must be directly related to the theme of an issue.

All material should be written in clear, grammatical, and fluent English. We are willing to consider submissions by authors for whom English is not a primary language, but they should be checked carefully by a reader who is fluent in English before they are sent to us.


We rarely consider original fiction, and then only if directly related to the theme of an issue.


Poetry must be submitted as email attachments in the following file formats:

.doc (MS word),
.txt (standard text file) or
.rtf (formatted text file.)
Submissions in other formats will not be considered.
Submissions are limited to a maximum of five (5) poems per author.
The file must be transmitted under the author’s last name, with all poems in a single file, separated by page breaks.

Each page must have the author’s name on it.
Entries that do not follow submissions guidelines cannot be considered.

Submissions should be sent by email to


Parabola occasionally publishes extended reviews of books, movies, videos, performances, art exhibitions, and other current programs or events in a section called “Tangents.” These reviews are intended as a bridge between the theme-related front half of the magazine and the reviews in the back. Tangents should bear some connection to the theme of the issue, although it does not have to be as direct as an article.



  • Articles run 1000-3000 words
  • Book Reviews run approximately 500 words
  • Retellings of traditional stories run 500-1500 words
  • Forum contributions should be no longer than 500 words.


Typewritten, double-spaced, on standard white letter-size paper (8 1/2″ x 11″), with wide margins at top and bottom. No onionskin or erasable bond. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page of your article, please type the following information:

1. Your Name
2. Your Address and Telephone Number
3. Word Count

If endnotes are used, they should be as complete as possible: include the author’s name, book or article title, translator or editor (if applicable), city of publication, name of publisher, date, and page numbers.


Parabola will accept material submitted on disc or via email. We can open most Macintosh and IBM-compatible applications. If you include your article in the body of an email message (we prefer attached files), please use only ASCII text. Your biographical information should be included in the same document as the article. Include your last name in the file name (ie., “smith.doc”), not our name (ie, parabola.doc”)

Upon acceptance we will request your disk or email file.

If you are sending us a word processing file or disk copy, please try to keep the formatting as simple as possible. In particular, we prefer manual endnotes to automatic footers.


On a separate page, include a brief (2-3 sentence) biographical description of yourself. Fit the description to the subject matter of the article, e.g., for an article on Tibetan Buddhism, “Smith spent three years travelling in Tibet.” Or, a publication credit: “Smith is the author of Pilgrimage in Tibet (W. W. Norton, 1987).” Always include your publisher.

If you are submitting your article electronically, please note that “a separate page” does not mean “a separate document”! Bio’s sent as separate documents are very easily lost or confused with those from other articles; please include your biographical information in the main body of your submission.


Article is to be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope, #10 or larger. Manuscripts without SASE will not be returned.


Mail Articles to:

20 West 20th Street
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011

Or email:


Parabola purchases the right to use an article in all substantially complete versions (including non-print versions) of a single issue of our journal. We also request the right to use the piece in the promotion of Parabola, and to authorize single-copy reproductions for academic purposes. All other rights are retained by the author.