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 2017/Winter 2018

Theme: Celebrating SIGNAL Journal’s Past, Present, and Future

Deadline: July 1, 2017

In a 1981 SIGNAL newsletter, then chairperson Lorraine Gearhart wrote, “The use of young adult literature in the classroom as a means of encouraging wide reading is the concern of reading teachers and others. Adolescent literature as a genre takes second place to the fostering of lifetime reading habits. That is not to say that classroom teachers are not interested in literary quality or fine authors. Ultimately, those factors sustain readers of all ages.” Gearhart then raised a question that continues to concern SIGNAL’s readership three-and-a-half decades later: “How does a classroom teacher create or encourage readership among young adults?”

To celebrate the 42nd anniversary of SIGNAL Journal, this issue invites readers, as well as editors and board members, past and present, to contribute submissions that respond to Gerhardt’s question while acknowledging the many changes that young adult literature and the field of literacy instruction have undergone in the years since she first asked it. How, for example, has our understanding of what constitutes a “text,” or of what it means to “read,” evolved, and what are the implications for teachers and students? How do you use the expanded range of mediums through which contemporary teenagers access stories and storyworlds to promote reading? In what ways has (and hasn’t) the role of young adult literature in secondary and college classrooms changed? How might studying young adult literature’s past deepen our appreciation for issues that teachers and scholars confront today? In what ways has SIGNAL Journal informed your work as a literature teacher? In addition to celebrating SIGNAL Journal’s past, this issue also aims to identify and explore questions and issues that teachers and scholars of young adult literature are likely to confront in the future. These are just some of the questions that contributors might potentially 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 2017

Theme: Sustainability in Young Adult Literature

Deadline: February 1, 2017

Although they are not always acknowledged as such, problems such as climate change, deforestation, pollution, sustainability, and so on are, at their core, social justice issues. They have also begun to receive attention in works of literature for adolescents. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels such as Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy and M. T. Anderson’s Feed are often set in worlds that have been ravaged by the effects of climate change brought on by corporate greed. In other works—for example, Marie Lu’s Legend and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder—totalitarian regimes deploy bio-weapons such as the plague against their enemies. Consideration of these issues is not limited to the genre of speculative fiction, however. Eliot Schrefer’s Endangered and Threatened, along with other works of realist fiction, examine how issues such as government corruption, deforestation, and war impact the natural world, threatening humans and animals alike. Still other works of young adult literature identify steps readers can take to mitigate these problems. In Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life, Linda and Tosh Siversten outline specific actions they suggest readers can take to combat a range of environmental issues, while Garth Sundem’s Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change: Courageous Actions Around the World collects stories about adolescents engaged in activist work in their respective communities. In these ways and others, a growing body of young adult fiction and nonfiction is interested in understanding how environmental issues impact young people, and how they are in turn responding to them. 

This issue of SIGNAL Journal invites contributors to share their experiences using young adult literature, fiction as well as nonfiction, to engage students in exploring issues associated with sustainability, climate change, nature, and other related topics. How do you use literature to engage students in examining the natural world? What texts—print as well as non-print—do you find helpful in doing so, and how do you challenge students to take those texts up in class? What critical questions do you invite students to ask of fiction and nonfiction that touches on environmental issues, defined broadly? How do you pair works of canonical literature that are concerned with the natural world—for example, Thoreau’s Walden or much of Dickinson’s poetry—with young adult texts that address related issues? How do you create opportunities for students to read young adult literature through the lens of eco-criticism and other related literary theories, and what do you understand them to gain from doing so? In what ways do you partner with teachers in other content areas to engage students in studying issues related to sustainability and the environment, and how do they benefit from experiencing these interdisciplinary relationships? These are just some of the questions that contributors might potentially 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. .