Parker sold her first poem, “Any Porch," to Vanity Fair in 1914. It satirizes the babble of upper-class ladies. She was hired a few months later by sister magazine Vogue as an editorial assistant. Two years later, she became a staff writer for Vogue.
In 1917, she married Wall Street stockbroker Edwin Pond Parker II. He was soon taken away to serve in World War I. Reacting to the strong anti-Semitism of the day, she joked that she got married to escape her Jewish name.
She began writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair in 1918 when PG Wodehouse was vacationing. She met Robert Benchley and Robert E. Sherwood through the magazine. The trio began have lunch almost daily at the Algonquin Hotel. The group, which came to be known as the Algonquin Round Table, came to include members such as Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman.
The circle was known for its scathing wit and sharp criticism of local characters. Often they would include each other's quotes in their own writing. Upon the death of notoriously quiet president Calvin Coolidge, Parker quipped: “How could they tell?"
Parker's searing criticism was very popular, but too often, she stung powerful producers on Broadway. Vanity Fair terminated her in 1920. Benchley and Sherwood resigned in outrage.
Parker continued to publish short stories and poems. In 1925, Harold Ross founded The New Yorker. Benchley and Parker were on the board of editors. She became famous for short, biting poems. Many were about her unsuccessful romantic affairs. Some played with the idea of suicide.
Over the next fifteen years, Parker published around 300 poems in Vanity Fair, Vogue, The New Yorker and Franklin Pierce Adams' column, “The Conning Tower." Her first volume of poems, “Enough Rope," was published in 1926. It sold 47,000 copies. Some reviewers applauded her salty disillusion while others called it “flapper verse."
Nevertheless, she was famous. She published two more books of poetry and two more collections of short stories in the next decade.