CFP – Special Issue of Bookbird: “Another Children’s Literature”: Writing by Children and Youth

Call for Submissions
“Another Children’s Literature”: Writing by Children and Youth

Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature invites contributions for a special issue on “another children’s literature”—one created by children and youth themselves. Usually, “children’s literature” has been assumed to be literature written by adults for children.

In this issue, however, we intend to focus on literature created by children and youth. While there has been some critical attention to the juvenilia of canonical authors and considerable educational and psychological interest in what children’s writing reveals about children, comparatively little attention has been paid to the literary dimensions of—and theoretical issues raised by—children’s and youths’ writing.

In the Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature (2010), Evelyn Arizpe and Morag Styles with Abigail Rokison consider writing by children a “neglected dimension of children’s literature and its scholarship,” wondering “whether children’s writing can be considered ‘literature’” and even whether children’s writing is “a genre in itself”: they conclude that “a serious study of children’s writing as literature is still to be written.”

This special issue on “another children’s literature,” recognizing with Juliet McMaster that “literature by children is a different matter from literature for children,” hopes to undo some of that neglect of literature written by children and youth. As David Rudd writes, “It might still be argued that unlike women and other minority groups, children still have no voice, their literature being created for them, rather than creating their own. But this is nonsense. Children produce literature in vast quantities.”

Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:

  • exceptional cases of important texts published by writers before they were adults, including both contemporary and earlier texts written by children and youth
  • publication (and obstacles to publication) of children’s and youths’ creative writing, including submissions to writing contests and literary anthologies in magazines and books
  • adult mediation, including censorship, of child- and youth-authored texts
  • in addition to fiction and non-fiction, drama, poetry, and song lyrics written by children and youth
  • collaborative writings of children and youth with adults
  • children’s and youths’ online “writing,” including blogging and fan fiction
  • potentially distinctive characteristics of writing by children and youth, including narratology, representation, plot, mode, language play, characterization, focalization, closure, or intertextuality

Full papers should be submitted to the editor, Björn Sundmark ( and guest editor, Peter E. Cumming ( by 1 October 2016.

Please see Bookbird’s submission guidelines for full submission details. Papers that are not accepted for these issues will be considered for later issues of Bookbird.