Special Issue of TEXT Journal –Why YA?: Researching, writing and publishing Young Adult fiction in Australasia

full name / name of organization: 
Jessica Seymour (Southern Cross University) and Denise Beckton (Central Queensland University)

The early twenty-first century saw Young Adult (YA) fiction rise to become the world's fastest growing literature category. The diverse narratives are rich with mature themes, often throwing the reader's world and experiences into sharp clarity, but they are also capable of light-heartedness, irreverence and suspension of reality. YA fiction explores identity, growing up, and environmental, social and political concerns, often portraying violence and sexuality with startling precision and empathy. Australasian YA fiction, in particular, frequently draws on the relative isolation of the setting to bring issues of identity and belonging into sharper clarity. Ironically, while YA fiction is considered a genre for adolescents in scholarship, these narratives are attracting a wider age-defined readership. Whatever the themes and concerns of the text, however, at the heart of every good YA narrative is a good story.

Given that the YA genre is one of the most dynamic and economically progressive in the contemporary marketplace, we are eager to highlight Australasian YA fiction, creative practice and scholarly research. YA scholarship, in response to the genre's growing popularity, has become more common in the last few decades, but this scholarship is generally considered to be an offshoot or subcategory of the more well-established Children's Literature criticism. We propose to offer a YA-specific space for scholars to present their research. This special issue of TEXT Journal seeks to reflect on Australia's unique scholarly and creative contribution to this dynamic genre, and seeks submissions that address the growing interest in stories for teenage readers, particularly those stories set in and around Australasia. Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following:

- Reading, writing and publishing Australasian YA fiction – who is reading, writing and publishing this work, and why?
- Issues around the contemporary publishing landscape – where does Australian YA fiction fit in?
- Performing and/or modelling Australian citizenship in YA fiction
- Tracing textual influences and traditions in Australian YA fiction
- Representations of young people in Australasian YA fiction
- The role of place and setting in Australasian YA fiction
- Postcolonial themes and portrayals of racial diversity in Australasian YA fiction
- Diversity of form in Australasian YA fiction; manga, graphic novels, verse novels, and transmedia narratives
- Trends in YA fiction – content, themes, readership and publishing, crossover publishing
- Comparative studies of Australasian and international YA fiction
- The careers of those in the YA industry
- Writing scholarship in Australasian YA fiction
- Hybrid forms and Australasian YA fiction
- Australasian YA fiction and film/online adaptations
- Other related topics

Scholarly papers should be no more than 6000 words in length. Creative works will usually be up to 3,500 words in length, or as agreed by editors.

Creative work must be accompanied by an ERA research statement that clearly explains the submission's relevance as a research outcome. Peruse any of TEXT journal's Creative Writing as Research special issues to familiarise yourself with research statements.

Please also contact us with ideas for book reviews

Deadline for initial submission: May 30, 2015

Please include a brief biography (200 words max, in TEXT style) and ensure that you include your email address for reply. Submissions MUST be in TEXT style and formatting. Please see www.textjournal.com.au/speciss/info.htm for submission guidelines.

Final revised submissions will be due: July 15, 2015
Publication date: October 2015 or April 2016

Email j.seymour.21@student.scu.edu.au if you have any queries.