Founded in 2010, the Young Adult Reading Network (YARN) is the first independent online literary journal dedicated to young adult (YA) literature; they publish short fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews, as well as an editors’ blog and lesson plans for teachers. While there have long been hundreds of journals publishing curated short-form literature for adults, the few existing YA journals published primarily teen writers. YARN was founded to showcase a diversity of fresh voices in YA by including teens alongside established writers and emerging adult writers, to elevate the YA genre and promote literacy. The YARN editors believe that readers are made, not born—and they are made with each work they read. The journal provides a broad swath of content: exclusive interviews with luminaries like Meg Cabot and Mitali Perkins, boundary-pushing stories like those by Jonathan Papernick, and finely crafted poems like those by college student Allison Malecha. Its content acts as gateway reading, enticing readers to return to YARN and to venture into their local libraries and bookstores.
Why is reading vital?
The world is an increasingly complex place, with divergent opinions and underlying tensions causing violence to erupt in every corner of the globe—and in our own back yards. Reading is a powerful way to combat this scary trend because, as recent studies have shown, reading literature actually promotes empathy and understanding.
Tell us about some accomplishments or successes you’ve had since winning the prize:
2015 is YARN’s 5th Anniversary! We are excited to be offering Spring/Summer edition of YARN this year—it’s the first time we’ve published new material in the summer, and we hope to find new readers this way, since the core of our audience (teens) tend to be off school with lighter “required” reading loads. We hope that with more free time, teens will turn to YARN for “non required” reading that’s still smart, challenging, and good at the beach.
All our recent work can be seen free at www.yareview.net. We would like to highlight a few recent items, though: Our 2015 Pushcart Nominees; our 2014 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award Winner “Into the Vast”; our fun 2014 Random Word Contest, for 2014’s National Poetry Month, judged by John Corey Whaley, NBA honoree and 5 Under 35-er..