Special issue of Literacy: Call for papers

‘Writing Realities: Examining new directions in writing research, instruction and learning’

Guest editors: Ross Young, Doug Kaufman (University of Connecticut), Felicity Ferguson

This special issue of Literacy will highlight new directions in writing research and instruction through the voices of international scholars and practitioners. It will present and extend recent research suggesting several core principles that must be attended to for effective learning of writing to occur (Young et al. 2022). These include: writer-identity, critical literacies, culturally sustaining pedagogy, multiliteracies, translanguaging and intertextuality. 

Due to the increasing centralisation and commercialisation of writing instruction, pupils are routinely required to leave their own identities, cultural capital, thoughts, opinions and knowledge outside the writing classroom door. Through the rigid interpretation of national curriculums and published schemes, students may be required to take on a monocultural identity that doesn’t always honour or take advantage of their rich ideas and experiences. Learners from a variety of social positions –including those from diverse cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds– can feel alienated from writing because they have not typically received an apprenticeship in becoming autonomous and confident writers who carry with them a strong personal and collective writer-identity once they leave school. However, this special issue invites you to share how innovative instruction driven by some of the principles highlighted above can introduce opportunities for young people to take personal responsibility for their writing and learn how to harness their own authorial agency. In the process, they may also learn how to live, work and represent others within an inclusive, outwardly loving community of writers.

This issue will be organised in a way that presents a cohesive portrait of the innovative shifts in research and instruction that the writing education field is currently experiencing. First, we would like it to outline the research and theoretical constructs driving these shifts, offering a context, an argument, and a direction for the reform and revision of traditional curricula and teaching. Next, we wish to share examples of effective writing instruction from across the spectrum of learner development, starting in the early years and moving through to further and adult education. Finally, we invite authors to present models for preparing pre-service and practicing teachers to engage in effective classroom instruction.

In summary, for this special issue, we are asking for contributions from scholars and practitioners working in different circumstances, paradigms and research traditions to submit papers that discuss and explore any of the following:

  • Writer-identity
  • Critical literacies
  • Culturally sustaining writing pedagogies
  • The physical, social, and cultural contexts of building a community of writers 
  • Translanguaging
  • Intertextuality in the writing classroom
  • Teacher writers and action research

Submission instructions

Please send a 500-word abstract, title and short bio from each author to guest editor, Ross Young at literacyforpleasure [at] gmail.com by November 1, 2023.

For any questions concerning this special issue, please contact Ross Young at literacyforpleasure [at] gmail.com.


  • Young, R., Ferguson, F., Kaufman, D., Govender, N. (2022) Writing Realities Brighton: The Writing For Pleasure Centre


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