Calls for Manuscript Submissions

Calls for Manuscript Submissions

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The Psychology of YA Literature:

Traversing the Intersection of Mind, Body, and Soul

Volume 46: Issue 1 (Fall 2018)

 Submissions due: March 1, 2018

Mental illness, trauma, the effects of violence, and other psychological issues permeate the lives of the young people with whom we work and the families and friends who exist around them. Young adult authors have taken up these topics in their writings, providing space and opportunity for readers to find solace and support and to develop understandings that complicate their existing assumptions and beliefs.

In this issue, we invite you to consider how YA authors explore, for example, what it means to feel lost, to be in that “moment when I know that I should scream. But screaming would be hard. And blackness would be easy. Black picks me” (Exit, Pursued by a Bear, E. K. Johnston, 2016, p. 47). Or to feel worn out, to have “no emotions left: I was a candle that’d burned all the way down” (Enter Title Here, Rahul Kanakia, 2016, p. 181). Or to want something you can’t have due to forces out of your control: “I want to grab your hand, allow you to pull me through, to take us wherever you want to go, fill my calendar with your smile and laugh the way we used to” (If I Ever Get Out of Here, Eric Gansworth, 2013, p. 12).

As educators, we invite you to describe your efforts in using YA literature in the classroom. Perhaps your work might help students build richer understandings of the mind, body, and soul and learn to challenge, as noted by David Levithan, how “some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over. I know how wrong this is” (Every Day, 2013, p. 119). We wonder how your work can offer hope. Yes, it is a “hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance. It takes uncommon strength to live with these things. But I have seen that strength over and over again” (Every Day, pp. 119–120).

As always, we also welcome submissions focused on any aspect of young adult literature not directly connected to this theme. All submissions may be sent to Please see the ALAN website ( for submission guidelines.



Dollars and Sense?:

Economic (In)Equities in YAL

Volume 45: Issue 3 (Summer 2018)

 Submissions due: November 1, 2017

Some might agree with Billy Idol: “It doesn’t matter about money; having it, not having it. Or having clothes, or not having them. You’re still left alone with yourself in the end.” Others, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, might subscribe to the belief that “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” These words, however, reflect the voices of those with money, those who have the privilege of deciding that the money they possess isn’t all that it’s worth. We can’t shake the steady voice of Nelson Mandela who advises us to remember that “Money won’t create success, [but] the freedom to make it will.” When it comes to money, our local and global realities are complicated. We talk of the top 1%, those in positions of power by virtue of their hefty investment portfolios. We learn of the vastly different living wage earned by people around the world. We hear of families in our own communities without homes, of jobs lost, of educational opportunities denied, of institutional oppression that limits access and mobility.

For this issue, we invite contributors to consider the complexities of economics and how they are taken up in young adult literature. How do authors represent class systems in the settings they create? How often is race conflated with socioeconomic status? What are the implications of such representations for young adult readers? How can we support their critical reading and understanding of wealth and poverty and their role in politics and policies, in literature and life? Do those with financial equity benefit inequitably? Are they “untouchable, immune to life’s troubles” (Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves, p. 66)? Is it true that all young people have a chance, that “Someday an opportunity will come. Think about Harry Potter. His life is terrible, but then a letter arrives, he gets on a train, and everything is different for him afterward. Better. Magical” (Matthew Quick, Boy 21, p. 73)? Can we find truth in the advice to “Take care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life” (Meg Medina, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, p. 79)? Do economic disparities leave us in despair?

As always, we also welcome submissions focused on any aspect of young adult literature not directly connected to this theme. All submissions may be sent to Please see the ALAN website ( for submission guidelines.