Narrative Riddles

deadline for abstract submission: 

July 1, 2022


Narrative Works:

Riddles are verbal puzzles meant to surprise through misdirection or by linking contrary, seemingly impossible qualities to a single object. Although riddles have been a key element of folklore and a host of literary genres, they are often not explored in the larger context of informal or everyday narratives. We invite essays that consider how riddles shape and change our perceptions, how they trick or enlighten us, and how they cloud or reveal various forms of personal truths. To celebrate Narrative Works’ relaunching from its new home at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, the journal’s next issue will address narrative riddles and enigmatic narrative presentations.  

Narrative Works is an online, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal. This journal provides immediate open access to its content based on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports greater global knowledge exchange. The journal uniquely serves as a venue for disseminating scholarly work on narrative that does not fit neatly within established disciplines. The journal invites contributions from theorists, researchers, and practitioners that cut across conventional academic boundaries.

We welcome submissions including, but not restricted to, the following topics:


  • Narrative riddles as teaching tools



  • Power and enigmatic presentations
  • Subversive riddles
  • Trickster figures and the work of riddles



  • Enigmatic discourse in narrative interviews
  • Surprise and riddles in narrative data
  • Riddles in online narratives (e.g., blogs, memes)
  • Methodological approaches to analyzing riddles in narratives



  • Riddles in non-Western narratives
  • Riddles as counterstories
  • Riddles in folklore and children’s tales


Literature and Folklore

  • Geographical riddles in fiction
  • Short riddles in folklore


Digital Narrative Cultures

  • Narrative algorithms and narrative bots online
  • Memes, blogs and other online riddles

For consideration within this themed issue, please submit a 300 word abstract no later than July 1, 2022. Editors will respond to potential contributors by July 15, 2022. The final paper submission date will be November 15, 2022. Final papers should be a minimum of 6,000 words, excluding references, though manuscripts of different lengths will be considered. Please upload abstracts to the new Narrative Works site, located at:

Anyone interested in submitting to an issue of Narrative Works that is not part of this themed collection, please note that the journal does accept non-themed submissions on a rolling basis.

About Narrative Works. Narrative Works was developed and originally hosted by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative at St. Thomas University, and the archives of the journal (Issues 1-10) can be found by visiting this website. As of 2021, Narrative Works is hosted by the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University. No charges are levied to authors to process or publish articles.  Copyright for articles is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to Narrative Works.

For questions and more information. please contact Kate de Medeiros, Editor, at or