Call for Papers | “Creative Writing and Sport”, Special Issue of TEXT Journal Of Writing And Writing Courses | Call ends May 31, 2021

David Foster Wallace is considered one of the great sports writers. He was especially good on tennis, a sport he played competitively at the youth level.

This TEXT special issue will focus on sports writing. Its fiction, its non-fiction and all its other forms for analysis of its literary contribution as craft and intersections, with narratives of race, religion, class, gender, sexuality and ability, and as creative practice. Where the act of sports writing as intellectual pursuit has been politicised, we are afforded rich and fertile territory to explore sports’ many and multifarious issues.

Traditionally, sports writing brings to mind the box scores on the back pages or hagiographic biographies. We rarely consider sports writing as creative and nuanced or in multiple forms such as short fiction, poetry, plays, novels, long form essays and creative non-fiction.

Some sports have been afforded something of a literary tradition, boxing for example with contributions from writing heavyweights Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates, while football (‘soccer’), until recently, was regarded as having none (see McGowan, 2019) and as such, one of football writing’s most important figures, Brian Glanville highlighted the scarcity of good football writing by asserting that the very act of writing about an essentially working-class pursuit, immediately discounted the work from literary consideration. Some academics, David Goldblatt (The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football 2006) and Kasia Boddy (Boxing: A Cultural History 2008), among a few others, have stepped outside academic publishing to bring their work to a more general readership which exists due to sport’s position as a strong social and cultural touchstone for many communities around the world. Fans and audiences of sport are loyal and high consumers of related content.

For this special issue of TEXT, editors invite work that interrogates the processes, concepts, intersections and liminal spaces of all interpretations of sports writing. These might include, but are not limited to:

      • Comparative and/or historical analysis of sports writing
      • Literary critique of sports writing
      • Politics, activism and narratives of social justice in sports writing
      • Sports writing as creative practice—poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction (analysis of, as well as creative work will be accepted. Creative submissions must be accompanied by an ERA research statement that clearly explains the submission’s aims and significance.)
      • Representation in sports writing
      • analysis of how sports writers work
      • the design of a sports writing course in a creative writing discipline
      • the impact on wider discipline discussion
      • Sports writing as research
      • challenges faced by the sportswriter as an academic

Scholarly papers should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words, including references.

How to submit

All submissions are electronic. Please submit research articles of 4000-6000 words as a Microsoft Word document to the special issues editors Kasey Symons at and Lee McGowan at by May 31, 2021. Please use ‘CFP: TEXT Special Issue’ as the subject line.

There is the option to submit innovative approaches to articles as well as pieces of negotiable word lengths accompanied by a research statement or exegetical component. Please contact the special issue editors if your proposed submission requires additional formatting, including images or figures, or if you have any enquiries regarding your submission.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Contact Info

Dr Kasey Symons,

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