Hotel Bonaventure , Montréal, Québéc, November 4-7, 2021

Our theme

Fantasy, Imagination, and the Dreams of Youth

 

For many years the subgenre of ‘Young Adult’ has been incredibly popular. We grew up on Brian Jacque’s Redwall and Andre Norton’s Fantasy and Science Fiction, both. Many of us are familiar with Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic and Defender of the Small series. Many libraries and bookstores in the early years considered all SF&F as ‘children’s literature’; a stigma still unfortunately strong today. The field of young adult fantasy has become much more acceptable to the mainstream in recent years, growing from being merely popular to becoming a dominant category of 21st century literature, bringing millions of new readers to hundreds of new authors. While focusing on younger protagonists, these stories appeal to all ages, including mature readers reminded of their own age of wonder, and of the challenges everyone faces in adapting to the obligations and opportunities of an adult world where new rules and situations are not always understood. Using a milieu of magic and mystery allows writers to make stories where anything is possible, beyond the constraints of mainstream literature. Fantasy elements also allow allegorical exploration of issues of authority and responsibility, peer pressure, and other forms of economic and social conflict. Characters based onmythology or pure imagination can transcend conventional definitions and roles and explore questions of diversity and gender, racial, and cultural identities.

El Mundo (c) John Picacio

In blurring the boundaries between children’s and adult fiction, fantasy gives us many delightful worlds and creatures to deal with real emotional and social values. Young adult fiction leads readily into Magic Realism and Slipstream. The genre celebrates fantasy fiction in all of its forms: epic, dark, paranormal, urban, and other varieties.

We invite members to share what they enjoy, what they have learned, what they have written themselves, and what they hope to see coming in the field of young adult fantasy fiction.

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