Call for Commissioned Artwork – Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Special Issue on “Queer Futurities”

Call for Commissioned Artwork – Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Special Issue on “Queer Futurities”

The special guest editors of Research on Diversity in Youth Literature (RDYL) are currently seeking original cover art created by either an undergraduate or graduate student at San Diego State University to include on their special issue on “Queer Futurities” (co-edited by guest editors Dr. Angel Daniel Matos and Dr. Jon M. Wargo). RDYL, edited by Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen and Dr. Gabrielle Atwood Halko, is a widely distributed, open-access academic journal founded by a group of scholars and activists focused on scholarship that addresses matters of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and advocacy. Research in this journal has been discussed in nationwide news and media outlets.

We are seeking high quality cover art that addresses the broad themes and scope of this issue, and ideally, we are hoping that this artwork is produced by someone invested in RDYL’s mission and the focus of this special issue. The artist/designer of the selected cover will receive $500 in compensation for their work once the final product is received and approved by the journal’s co-editors.

For your reference, here’s a description of this special issue:

Despite recent institutional changes that have altered the legal and socioeconomic status of LGBTQ+ people in the United States (i.e. United States v. Windsor in 2013 and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), individuals in these communities continue to encounter discrimination, violence, and death based on their gender and/or sexual orientation. The 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting and the stark rise in murders of trans people of color, for instance, are just a few of the events that have disrupted this misguided sense of utopia instilled by institutional change. Furthermore, these and other events have brought into question whether it is possible for queerness to link to notions of futurity.

In considering this climate of violence and prejudice, special issue of RDYL asks: What is the role of queer futurity in contemporary children’s and young adult literature, especially since many texts in these fields are written with a utopic, future-oriented sensibility? How does youth literature, inclusive of queer themes, frame and enable readings of the future? Are these future-oriented texts politically and affectively viable, or are they normative and misguided in their approach? The articles in this issue examine how recent children’s and young adult texts approach, problematize, or justify the link between queerness and futurity. Furthermore, they examine both the present and future of queer representations in children’s and young adult literature, media, and culture.

Please send your submission to Dr. Angel Daniel Matos and Dr. Jon M. Wargo via email: and . Your submission should include a high quality image of your artwork along with a 1-page cover letter that discusses how your design reflects the issue’s themes and your interest in the issue’s topic by no later than Friday, May 3, 2019. Here are some further guidelines to consider before you submit:

  • Your design should be vibrant and full of color.
  • We are open to different styles and approaches to the theme of this special issue. However, the cover design should reflect a sense of hope, optimism, and futurity as it pertains to LGBTQ+ youth and it should have a wide-audience appeal. We are especially interested in covers that reflect diversity on multiple levels. The artwork must also reflect some degree of familiarity with current topics and trends in the field of LGBTQ+ children’s and young adult literature.
  • Your artwork must be large enough to include on both the cover of this issue as well as potential promotional materials such as flyers and posters. We kindly ask that you submit your artwork in the following format: GIF format, 225px width and 300px height, portrait orientation.
  • Your artwork must be original and unpublished.

All entries submitted for this call for artwork will be notified of our final decision in mid-May. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Angel Matos (


Dr. Angel D. Matos (San Diego State University) and Dr. Jon M. Wargo (Boston College)

Guest Co-Editors, Special Issue on Queer Futurities

Research on Diversity in Youth Literature

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