About SIGNAL Journal

SIGNAL Journal is the peer-reviewed (refereed) journal of the International Reading Association's Special Interest Group - Network on Adolescent Literature. The journal publishes articles, essays, and reviews about varying aspects of young adult literature (YAL), as well as interviews with YAL authors.

Submission Requirements

Manuscripts, which may be 4-15 pages in length, should be double-spaced and follow APA documentation style. NOTE: Please italicize book titles, but not series titles. Series titles should be capitalized but not italicized or placed in quotation marks. Please also submit manuscripts as Word documents, attaching tables, charts, and photos (.jpg or .gif) in a separate file.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to Dr. Sean Connors at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Please include a short biographical sketch, including the name of your school and position. The editors reserve the right to modify manuscripts to fit length and language considerations. SIGNAL Journal requires that articles have not been published elsewhere.

Review Process

Each manuscript will receive a blind review by at least two members of the review board, unless the content or length makes it inappropriate for the journal. The review board will make a decision within four to six weeks of receiving manuscripts. Any revisions of manuscripts submitted for further review will also receive a blind review by at least two members of the review board. The review board will make a decision within four to six weeks of receiving the revised manuscript. 

If you have questions or if you're interested in being added to SIGNAL's e-mail list, please send an e-mail to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or click here for membership information.

 

Call for Manuscripts: Fall/Winter 2015

Theme: Imagining Other Worlds: Speculative YAL Fiction

Deadline: July 1, 2015 

The popularity of speculative fiction with fans of young adult literature shows no signs of abating. A recent Publishers Weekly survey counted Fantasy, Adventure, and Science Fiction among the most popular genres with adolescent readers. In 2015, the release of the final film installment in the popular Hunger Games franchise will punctuate a period that saw dystopian warriors, vampires, and zombies, not to mention Gothic monsters and ghosts, conquer the YAL publishing market. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) its popularity, speculative fiction is often marginalized in academic settings. Critics may dismiss speculative fiction as “genre fiction,” but its proponents celebrate the important cultural work it performs. As novelist Juliet McKenna states, “Speculative fiction may not imitate real life but it uses its magic mirror to reflect on the world around us.”

Writing in defense of speculative fiction, John Clute argues, “We cannot afford to exclude any vision — any way of looking at the world — that human beings have invented for ourselves.” This issue of SIGNAL Journal invites prospective contributors to consider the value of creating opportunities for students to view the world through the lens of young adult speculative fiction, an umbrella term that is used to refer to a diverse array of genres, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia, Steampunk, and Horror. How can teachers create opportunities for students to read young adult speculative fiction critically? Recognizing the stigmas that have historically accompanied it, what rationales can educators provide to justify teaching young adult speculative fiction in secondary and college English classes? What works of young adult speculative fiction can educators profitably pair with canonical literature, and how can they do so? What can reading individual works of young adult speculative fiction closely reveal about the ideological positions they invite readers to adopt? Most importantly, what do readers stand to gain from immersing themselves in the imagined worlds they encounter in works of young adult speculative fiction? These are some of the questions that contributors might explore. SIGNAL Journal aspires to publish a balance of theoretical and practitioner oriented articles that are concerned with the study of young adult literature. Inquiries may be directed to Sean Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

Call for Manuscripts: Spring/Summer 2016

Theme: The Role of Sports in Young Adult Literature

Deadline: February 1, 2016

If once accepts that sports occupy a prominent place in the American consciousness, then the past few years have been somewhat nightmarish. From professional athletes charged with domestic abuse and sexual assault to allegations of academic fraud by coaches and officials in university athletic departments to doping scandals and accusations of cheating at the Little League level, one could easily conclude that the culture of sports is broken. Yet if sports, as a microcosm of society, make visible our shortcomings, they also capture our better angels. As evidenced by the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, sports can play a role in healing wounded communities. Historically, sports have contributed to breaking down barriers of race, gender, and sexuality, and stories about sports and athletes have long entertained and inspired young adult readers. 

This issue of SIGNAL Journal examines the role of sports in young adult literature. How do writers such as Chris Crutcher, Matt de la Peña, and Matthew Quick use sports as a platform to examine social issues? What questions should researchers and educators ask of young adult literature that focuses on sports? How are sports represented in television shows and films for adolescents? How can teachers pair sports-themed young adult literature with classic texts such as Pat Conroy’s My Losing Season or Bernard Malamud’s The Natural? How do young adult novels about sports or athletes reinforce or disrupt problematic assumptions about gender and sexuality? What do young adults stand to gain from reading sports-related non-fiction? How can educators use young adult literature about sports to engage students in critical conversations about social problems? How have young adult novels about sports changed or evolved over time? What is the legacy of writers such as Matt Christopher, John Tunnis, and Clair Bee, and in what ways are contemporary authors for young adults indebted to them? These are some of the questions that contributors might explore. SIGNAL Journal aspires to publish a balance of theoretical and practitioner oriented articles that are concerned with the study of young adult literature. Inquiries may be directed to Sean Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Call for Manuscripts: Fall/Winter 2016

Theme: Open Theme

Deadline: July 1, 2016

This open themed issue of SIGNAL Journal invites researchers and educators to submit articles related to all aspects of young adult literature. What young adult titles warrant attention in the classroom, and how are they best taught? What do teachers and students potentially stand to learn from reading works of young adult fiction through the lens of theory? What questions should researchers and teachers be asking of contemporary young adult literature, and why? How do you approach teaching non-traditional texts for adolescents (for example, graphic novels and multimedia texts)? What innovative instructional practices have you found effective in teaching young adult literature? What questions does the practice of adapting young adult literature for film invite scholars to ask? How are you using young adult literature to engage students in critical conversations about social issues? What questions do you invite students to ask of television shows and films for adolescents? What publishing trends should researchers and educators interested in young adult literature pay attention to, and for what reasons?

These are some of the questions that contributors might explore. SIGNAL Journal aspires to publish a balance of theoretical and practitioner oriented articles that are concerned with the study of young adult literature. Inquiries may be directed to Sean Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .