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 blinded; 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 a blind 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.

YA in Action

Volume 49: Issue 3 (Summer 2022)

Submissions due: November 1st, 2021

From hashtags (think #BlackLivesMatter #StopAAPIHate #FreePalestine and #WeNeedDiverseBooks) to books for young adults, the written word can inspire us to act. Patrise Khan-Cullor’s YA edition of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World (Wednesday Books, 2020) reminds us that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. With journal entries, photos, and notes that show the formation of an activist from a very young age, this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience seeks to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable. In Taking On the Plastics Crisis (Penguin Workshop, 2020), youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. And in Marke Bieschke’s Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States (Zest Books, 2020), young adult readers can journey through photos, artwork, and other visual elements of significant protests, sit-ins, and collective acts of resistance throughout US history. 

We want to know: What issues are you and your students passionate about? How do you define activism? What does activism look like for you and your students? How do you use young adult literature—in your classroom, in your personal life, in your research—to act and/or to inspire activism? What YA titles inspire you to act? What YA titles show you how to?

We invite correspondence about ideas for articles and submission of completed manuscripts. We would especially love to hear from adolescents about the role YAL plays in their own activism or desire to act.  Here’s a partial list of topics, meant only to suggest the range of our interests for this issue: 

  • For people who have never been involved in activism before, books like This Book Is Anti-Racist (Jewell, 2020) can be a powerful starting point. It provides readers with actionable steps and lessons on how to take action! What other books act as guides to waking up and getting involved in activism? How are books jumping-off points for action? 
  • The resurgence of anti-Asian hate, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and racist rhetoric by Trump, is not a new occurrence in the United States. Books like We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura teach readers about pivotal moments of oppression and resistance in Asian American history and illustrate how we can connect this history to our present day. What other books provide context into excluded histories that can help us face our current reckoning and grow as activists? 
  • This past year, we’ve increasingly seen how important activism is when it comes to voting rights. How do books like Yes No Maybe So (Saeed & Albertalli, 2020), You Say It First (Cotugno, 2020), and One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally (YA edition, Anderson & Bolden, 2019) demonstrate ways in which adults and adolescents can get involved in political activism?
  • Titles like Parachutes by Kelly Yang and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson inform readers about sexual assault and calls for allies to speak up about harassment, rape, and the #MeToo movement. How do works like Yang’s and Anderson’s inspire action for women’s rights? What other YA titles ask readers to “shout” for women’s rights and advocate for radical feminism? 
  • George M. Johnson calls themself a journalist, author, and activist. How does their book All Boys Aren’t Blue offer readers an introduction to advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights? How can an author’s online presences, like George’s, also be a model for young people on how activism can be extended from books to social media? What other books help inform young readers about the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights? 
  • In Love Is a Revolution by Renee Watson, the protagonist struggles with finding her place as a teen activist in comparison to her cousin, who is passionate about environmentalism and being part of a teen activist group. How does Watson’s book portray the tension people may feel when first getting involved in activism? How can it inspire teens to find their passion for activism? How does Watson’s book speak to the power adolescents hold? What books could be paired with Watson’s to show the importance of environmentalism? Consider Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation (Cooper & Aronson, 2020). 

Open Call—What Is Important to You Right Now?

Volume 50: Issue 1 (Fall 2022)

Submissions due: March 1, 2022

We are halfway through our editorship, and we’ve learned so much from our ALAN family of YA authors, researchers, teacher educators, classroom teachers, and school librarians. We know our contributors are careful, critical readers of YAL, and we also know that representations of youth in YAL and social justice are important topics to our readers and those who write for us. For this issue, we’re handing the mic over to you because we want to know what else is important to you—what’s on your mind when it comes to YAL? We invite you, our ALAN family, to shape this issue by telling us what you think is important in the field of YAL right now. Below are some questions that may help guide your submission, but remember—this issue is truly about what you, our readers and writers, have to say! Submissions should be related to the teaching and scholarship of YAL, but feel free to be creative with your topics.

  • How have anti-Critical Race Theory and anti-LGBTQIA+ laws affected your teaching/research practices and students? How have you responded in your classroom/research?
  • How have you been affected by other new legislation, both good (e.g., Latinx and Asian American history course requirement in secondary schools) and bad (e.g., voter suppression and anti-abortion laws)?
  • How are current events (i.e., the discovery of Indigenous children’s remains at residential schools, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the removal of US troops from Afghanistan, the continued COVID-19 global pandemic) affecting your YA reading list and/or your teaching/research practices?
  • What excites you right now in the field of YAL?
  • How are you defining the field of YAL right now?
  • What trends are you seeing within the YA texts you and your students are reading?
  • What projects are you working on in your classrooms and/or in your scholarship with YAL?
  • Have your YA reading lists shrunk or grown as a result of personal growth, new legislation, new research, budget allocations, etc.?
  • What is still not getting enough attention within the YAL universe?
  • What’s new? What’s old and getting reworked? What has been exhausted that you’d like to see the field improve upon or move away from?
  • How is YAL inspiring your research/teaching/learning?

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.