Writing Digital Culture into Contemporary Realist Young Adult Literature: a novel and exegesis


This thesis argues that contemporary realist Young Adult Literature (YAL) thrives at an exciting nexus of possibilities, including literary experimentation, storytelling, identity formation, and culture shaping. As such, certain YAL represents a valuable discourse around urgent post-digital literary and cultural ideas that evidence new ways of thinking about, and responding creatively to, the subject of digital technologies within the lives of young people and within literature.

The research is practice-based and comprises a young adult novel and contextualising exegesis exploring the language and practices of digital culture and its impact on contemporary realist YAL. I acknowledge that significant work in this area already exists in other YA genres—science fiction in particular has done much to addresses the human relationship to technology but this lays beyond the scope of this project.  This creative writing thesis represents a practice-based methodology that combines traditional writing techniques with new digitally informed practices of communication and representation found in social media technology. In this way this creative writing research builds upon the work of other YA authors similarly concerned with representing the experienced/lived world of digital culture for its readers, while innovating new ways of approaching multimodal fiction writing through the remediation of previous experience in filmmaking and screenwriting practice, situating this as a formative, adaptive and transferrable technique for developing original work.


KEYWORDS: creative writing, multimodal writing, digital culture, young adult literature, creative practice-based research.

Here is a pdf of my thesis table of contents to provide an overview. I am currently working on minor corrections and will upload more in Summer 2021.