New Bookbird Issue 4 / 2016
A Journal of International Children's Literature
Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature (ISSN 0006 7377) is a refereed journal published quarterly by IBBY.
Bookbird aims to communicate new ideas to the community of readers interested in children's books and is open to any topic in the field of international children's literature. Bookbird also includes themed issues for which the editor will post calls for manuscripts on the IBBY website.
Bookbird also includes news of IBBY projects and events which are highlighted in the Focus IBBY column. Other regular features include coverage of children's literature studies and children's literature awards around the world as well as reading promotion projects worldwide.
Call for Submissions
“Another Children’s Literature”: Writing by Children and Youth
* EXTENDED DEADLINE 1 October 2016 *
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 (email@example.com) and guest editor, Peter E. Cumming (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Call for submissions
The Quest for the Real: Nonfiction for Children and Teenagers
Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature invites contributions for a special issue on “nonfiction for children and young adults.”
While many children and teenagers prefer to read nonfiction for pleasure (from books of records to military history to sex education) the focus of research and writing about young readers skews extremely heavily towards fiction. Indeed Bookbird itself has not focused on nonfiction since 2003 and no winner or shortlisted candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen writing prize has ever been an author of nonfiction. The previous special issue came at a time where color images and computer design were transforming younger nonfiction, and (so it seemed) digital technologies threatened to replace print altogether.
Today, though, nonfiction is experiencing a renaissance with, for example, books that take a global approach to history, explore ecological issues, present new scientific discoveries, or inspire readers to take action. A special issue on nonfiction presents an opportunity to explore in many directions, from the publishing practices in different countries to the beliefs and assumptions of adult professionals. If we exclude textbooks and school work, where does nonfiction fit in the reading lives of young people?
Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:
- A description of the ways in which subjects such as history, science, technology, math, or engineering are crafted for young readers in a country or region – outside of textbooks.
- An analysis of what defines a book as “nonfiction” in a given area. What rules of citation and evidence are expected? Where does memoir fit? What about books that use the forms of nonfiction on a fictional topic (Dragonology, for example).
- Is a preference for fiction or nonfiction linked to gender? Why? Is this a social construct? A matter of concern? Is this true across lands, languages, and regions?
- Are nonfiction books well served in awards and honors, why or why not?
- Fiction is often praised for “story” or “imagination”: do these terms have a place in nonfiction? In contrast, nonfiction is often thought of as recounting known facts, but it can also be seen as modeling the never-ending quest for knowledge. How do story, fact, and exploration figure in the nonfiction of an author or authors?
- In many countries nonfiction is presented in series. Why? Are there examples of authors writing individual books out of a passion for a particular subject?
- Most nonfiction for younger readers makes extensive use of images; how is line, color, archival or current photography, utilized in nonfiction? What innovations in design creatively link images and text?
- In schools the focus of history is often the story of that nation, so young people grow up in historical silos. How can nonfiction outside of school serve to connect separate histories.
Full papers should be submitted to the editor, Björn Sundmark (email@example.com), and guest editor, Marc Aronson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 January 2017.
Please see Bookbird’s full submission details at: Submissions. Papers which are not accepted for this issue will be considered for later issues of Bookbird.
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Bookbird Editorial Office
Dr Björn Sundmark
Professor of English Literature