Some novels are published in several parts in a periodical magazine like In Cold Blood was published as a four-part serial in The New Yorker.

Q1. Is it possible to express that an author is currently publishing a serial novel in a magazine, using the author as the subject of the sentence? More concretely, I'm wondering if there is a word for which

Truman Capote had a ????? in The New Yorker

works (This would lack the title of the novel, but it's not important here). Obviously serial would work, but I'm not sure if to have a serial is idiomatic.

Q2. Assuming the novel is published serially and in a row (e.g. four parts in March/April/May/June issue of the magazine), are there words that are used when the novel fails to be published (e.g. due to the author being sick)? For example, are there words that work like

In Cold Blood ???? this month.

Capote ???? this month.

Informally, I think to skip could be used, but are there more specialized words that fit the context?

  • 1
    I wonder if the certainly idiomatic (at least in other contexts) "series" would fit as a replacement for "serial" in your Q1 (I'm not sure it would be valid outside TV / radio programmes' context)
    – kos
    Commented May 12 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


These are relatively rare situations, and so don't be surprised that you need several words.

I'd say that he "had a novel serialized" in the New Yorker.

And if, for some reason, it isn't published one month, I'd explain the situation.

The episode of Cold Blood, won't be published this month, as the author is recovering from illness.

Capote wasn't able to write an episode of his serial this month.

  • 1
    I would honestly expand it even further to "had a novel that was being serialized". "Had a novel serialized" sounds like "had a house built", implying that you paid somebody to do it. Commented May 12 at 17:27
  • Actually, typical case I was thinking is Japanese manga. Practically all of them are released that way, that is, hundreds or 1000+ titles are published in periodicals today (then later published as a standalone volume).
    – sundowner
    Commented May 12 at 22:43
  • It is likely then that there are idiomatic expressions, in Japanese Language
    – James K
    Commented May 13 at 5:12

Novels that are published serially are called "serialized novels".

You will find "serialized novel" (or serialised) well-attested in Google Books. It's a term of art used in lit-crit.

Dickens, Conan-Doyle, Wells, Twain, Stevenson, to name just a few, all wrote novels published serially.

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