The ALAN Review

The ALAN Review

The ALAN Review (TAR) is a peer-reviewed (refereed) journal published by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN). It is devoted solely to the field of literature for young adults. It is published three times per academic year (fall, winter, and summer) and is sent to all ALAN members, individual and institutional. Members of ALAN need not be members of NCTE.

TAR publishes high quality articles and professional materials that support the learning and development of readers committed to (or wanting to learn more about) young adult literature—its authors, its readers, and its advocates. TAR publishes scholarship and resource materials that build, expand, and challenge readers’ understandings, as well as support them in the daily work they do with the students in their care.

Additional Information about TAR

We host online versions of the regular columns published in our print version. You can read them here.

Submission and Author Guidelines

Those interested in submitting manuscripts for consideration in The ALAN Review should familiarize themselves with the guidelines for authors below. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to


The ALAN Review (TAR) publishes articles that explore, examine, critique, and advocate for literature for young adults and the teaching of that literature.  Published pieces include, but are not limited to, research studies, papers presented at professional meetings, surveys of the literature, critiques of the literature, articles about authors, comparative studies across genres and/or cultures, articles on ways to teach the literature to adolescents, and interviews with YA authors.


Many of the individual members of ALAN are classroom teachers of English in middle and high schools. Other readers include university faculty members in English and/or Education programs, researchers in the field of young adult literature, librarians, YA authors, publishers, reading teachers, and teachers in related content areas. ALAN has members in all 50 United States and a number of foreign countries.


Manuscripts should usually be no longer than twenty double-spaced, typed pages, not including references. A manuscript submitted for consideration should deal specifically with literature for young adults and/or the teaching of that literature. It should have a clearly defined topic and be scholarly in content, as well as practical and useful to people working with and/or studying young adults and their literature. Research studies and papers should be treated as articles rather than formal reports. Stereotyping on the basis of sex, race, age, etc., should be avoided, as should gender-specific terms such as “chairman.”


Manuscripts should be double-spaced throughout, including quotations and bibliographies.  The names of submitting authors should not appear anywhere in the manuscript. Short quotations, as permitted under “fair use” in the copyright law, must be carefully documented within the manuscript and in the bibliography. Longer quotations and complete poems or short stories must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner. YA author interviews should be accompanied by written permission for publication in TAR from the interviewed author(s). Interviewers should indicate to the author(s) that publication is subject to review of an editorial board. Original short tables and figures should be double-spaced and placed on separate sheets at the end of the manuscript. Notations should appear in the text indicating proper placement of tables and figures.

The ALAN Review uses the bibliography style detailed in the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Please adhere to that style when including in-text citations and preparing reference lists.


Authors should submit manuscripts electronically to In the subject line, please write: ALAN Manuscript Submission. All manuscripts should be written using a recent version of Microsoft Word and use APA bibliographical format. Complete submissions include the following three documents: 1) A manuscript without references to the author(s) and with name(s) removed in the Properties section under the File menu to ensure the piece is anonymized; 2) A title page with names, affiliations, mailing addresses, and 100-150 word professional biographies for each submitting author, as well as a brief statement that the article is original, has not been published previously in other journals and/or books, and is not a simultaneous submission; and 3) In order to reduce personal bias and increase personal awareness and responsibility in The ALAN Review, we are asking all our authors to submit a positionality statement along with their manuscript. A positionality statement addresses who you are, how you view the field of young adult literature, and your relationship with the field. We ask that each submitting author writes their own positionality statement. Please consider the following question to craft your statements: How are you positioned in terms of the content you will be reviewing? In other words, what are your social identities (e.g., ability, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) and your professional expertise in relation to the manuscript you are submitting?


Each manuscript will receive an anonymous review by the editors and at least three members of the Editorial Review Board, unless the length, style, or content makes it inappropriate for publication. Usually, authors should expect to hear the results within eight weeks. Manuscripts are judged for the contribution made to the field of young adult literature and mission of The ALAN Review, scholarly rigor, and clarity of writing. Selection also depends on the manuscript’s contribution to the overall balance of the journal.


The ALAN Review assumes that accepted manuscripts have not been published previously in any other journals and/or books, nor will they be published subsequently without permission of the editors. Should the author submit the manuscript to more than one publication, he/she should notify The ALAN Review. If a submitted or accepted manuscript is accepted by another publication prior to publication in The ALAN Review, the author should immediately withdraw the manuscript from publication in The ALAN Review.

Manuscripts that are accepted may be edited for clarity, accuracy, readability, and publication style. Upon publication, the author will receive two copies of The ALAN Review in which the article appears. Publication usually occurs within 18 months of acceptance.

Calls for Manuscripts

Those interested in submitting work for consideration to The ALAN Review can read the current calls for manuscripts below.

Celebrating Joy in YAL, Our Classrooms, and with Adolescents

Volume 50: Issue 3 (Summer 2023)

Submissions due: November 1, 2022

We’ve heard calls from authors and scholars alike to center joy rather than trauma narratives and tropes in ELA classrooms (Myers, 2014; Stone, 2020; Thomas, 2019). The editorial team wants to know how you’re taking up these calls through YAL in your classrooms, syllabi, and with the young people in your lives. We are looking for manuscripts that explore the intersection of what it means to center joy in complex, nuanced, and authentic narratives of adolescents’ lives. Below are questions to get you thinking.

1. What YA books center joy and disrupt trauma narratives of historically marginalized peoples? Why is it important for us to highlight these texts in our syllabi?

2. How do you intentionally center joy in your course syllabi and what assignments do your students complete around joy?

3. Where do we see Queer love stories being told and how are you using those stories with your students?

4. How do texts centering joy and positive identity formation handle “isms” faced by marginalized characters (e.g., Sick Kids in Love)?

5. In what modalities do we see joy being centered? Comics? Graphic novels? Verse novels? How do different modalities lend themselves to disrupting trauma narratives?

6. How do YA novels handle the tension and relationship between joy and challenges? How do your instructional choices use YAL to show students joy and conflict are not mutually exclusive or completely absent from one another in the nuance of our lives?

7. What YA novels bring you or the young readers in your life a sense of joy?


Myers, W. D. (2014 March 15). Where are the people of color in children’s books?. The New York Times.

Stone, N. (2020 June 8). Don’t just read about racism—read stories about Black people living. Cosmopolitan.

Thomas, E. E. (2019). The dark fantastic: Race and the imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games. New York University Press.

Unthemed Call

Volume 51: Issue 1 (Fall 2023)

Submissions due: March 1, 2023

We loved seeing the range of submissions from our last unthemed issue and learning from educators about what you’re doing in your classrooms with YAL. Therefore, we decided to make it a tradition! Every fall issue for the rest of our tenure will be unthemed so we can start the volume year with what’s most important to people doing the work.

We would love to see submissions featuring student voice, inservice teacher perspectives, and collaborations across geographic locations. As a journal, we are committed to decentering whiteness and amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We are always looking to receive manuscripts that continue to further this mission. We cannot wait to see what you submit!

Please submit all manuscripts electronically to: Please see the full submission guidelines in the tab above.

Please note, The ALAN Review‘s editorial team is creating an inclusive writing guide for authors, which will include expectations for inclusive language use and citations. While this guide is being prepared, authors are asked to consider the inclusive language and citations used throughout their manuscripts. Please access the following resources to help determine the inclusivity of your manuscript and your references list:

Become A Reviewer

Those interested in becoming a reviewer for The ALAN Review should read and understand the expectations below as they prepare their response to authors.

The ALAN Review: Become a Reviewer

Thank you for wanting to serve as a reviewer for The ALAN Review! TAR publishes high-quality articles and professional materials that support the learning and development of readers committed to (or wanting to learn more about) young adult literature—its authors, its readers, and its advocates. TAR publishes scholarship and resource materials that build, expand, and challenge readers’ understandings, as well as support them in the daily work they do with the students in their care.Expectations of reviewers are as follows:

1. Read and evaluate manuscripts within three weeks of receipt. Reviewers will provide timely and thoughtful feedback on the relevance of the manuscript to the call/field of YAL, clarity of the writing, and strength of the methods/approaches described. Reviewers will provide evidence for the claims they make about the manuscript and provide specific feedback for the author. We aim for the revision process to be constructive for the author; therefore, we expect reviewer comments to be actionable, clear, and kind.

2. Reviewers ultimately select if a manuscript is: Accept (with minor revisions), Conditionally Accept (accept with necessary revisions), Revise and Resubmit for Review (Substantial revisions necessary; resubmit with no guarantee of publication), Reject (Not suitable for publication in TAR).We appreciate your expertise and support of our authors. We employ a double-blind referee system: identities of the author(s) and the reviewers are not revealed to one another.  However, we include reviewers’ comments (or excerpts) in our responses to submitting author(s).To indicate your interest, please fill out the below Google form with your information and expertise. When we receive manuscripts for each issue, we try to match manuscripts to our reviewer’s expertise. If selected, you will then receive a blinded copy of a manuscript and a Google form to complete the review within 2-3 weeks.To become a reviewer, please fill out this interest form.


Archives of The ALAN Review are hosted at Virginia Tech and can be accessed from that web site. Please note that archives reflect a two-year delay from the print publication date.