Scholarly essays are sought for a collection on the “dark/gothic” fairy tale motif in children’s and young adult literature. One of the most popular and long standing traditions in literature for youth, fairy tales have always had elements of fantastical horror, dark motifs, and other Gothic themes built into them. Cannibalism, murders, despair, rape, kidnapping, reincarnations, broken families and many other horrific elements are to be found in these stories. Countless experts insist that their inclusion was, and still is, vital to the growth and maturation of the child reader. The melding of the traditional fairy tale and Gothic literature themes help the reader not only to see the positive aspects of life, but the darker side as well. Ghosts and ghouls, graveyards, ancient houses, and other such spooky elements allow the reader to transpose their fears into the fairy tale, analyze them, and grow past that obstacle.
Books such as The Graveyard Book (Gaiman), Coraline (Gaiman), Red Riding Hood (Blakely-Cartwright), The Book of Lost Things (Connolly), Cinder (Meyer), Beastly (Flinn), and Fablehaven (Mull), to name but a few, provide example of such modern stories which expose young readers to both the positive and negative sides of life, to love and hate, to victory and defeat, etc. Such dark/Gothic motifs helped foster the longevity of the traditional fairy tales for hundreds of years, as well as thematically drive their modern counterparts.
Focusing upon contemporary children’s and young adult literature, classic fairy tales, and modern retelling’s thereof, this collection is calling upon academics, scholars, researchers, students, and lovers of fairy tales to submit abstracts of 250 to 300 words for consideration. Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:
-Critical and theoretical approaches
-The child as fairy tale hero
-The role of the female hero
-The “monster” as fairy tale hero
-Retellings of classic fairy tales (Red Riding Hood, Beastly, Zel, etc.)
-Comic and graphic novel adaptations
-Fairy tale structure in non-traditional fairy tale texts (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Someone Comes to Town/Someone Leaves Town, etc.)
-Societal/psychological/cultural implications of dark fairy tales in literature for children and young adults
-Dark fairy tales and popular culture
-Coming of age issues (sexuality, maturity, etc.) in young adult “fairy tales”
Please note that this is a collection that focuses on children’s and young adult literature with dark fairy tale elements. This is not a collection on fairy tales. As such, please focus your abstracts accordingly.
Please send abstracts of 250 to 300 words to Tanya Jones and Joe Abbruscato at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20, 2012. Please include contact information, CV, and a short bio. This collection has already been discussed with agents at McFarland, though other publishing companies are possible.