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  • OTW Fannews: Fandom and Publishing

    By Janita Burgess on Středa, 3 December 2014 - 5:45 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Fandom and Publishing

    • Transformative Works and Cultures editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson were interviewed by fan studies scholar Henry Jenkins about the book they published earlier this year, The Fan Fiction Studies Reader (the book's royalties go to the OTW). Said Jenkins, "And that brings us to the second thing that the focus on 1991-92 as the birth of fan studies may get wrong. The Fan Fiction Studies Reader is focused in expanding this time line in important ways, calling attention to the kinds of writing on fan fiction that existed prior to Enterprising Women or Textual Poachers, work that often came out of the second wave of feminism and was also embedded in the fan community itself. Many of these essays have been out of print or scattered across obscure journals so there is an enormous contribution in bringing them together again, reframing them for contemporary readers, and reappraising their contributions to the early development of this field."
    • School Library Journal discussed the manga landscape and reasons for its resurgence in the U.S. They include "a selection of titles that includes some long-lived classics, a few series that started during the manga bust and have endured, and a handful of new series that launched in the past few months. After each title is the number of volumes published in Japan (to give a sense of the length of the total series) and a note as to whether it is complete or still ongoing."
    • The Kernel featured a long look at fangirl influence on book publishing. "These fans, most of them women, began by claiming ownership of their fanworks to an unprecedented degree. Then they spent the waning years of Twilight fandom forming small publishing presses and setting up shop as editors, designers, marketers, and writers to publish and sell the works of fanfiction they loved...And they did it all amid a tremendous amount of negative pushback from all sides—most of all from members of their own community."
    • At Reading Today Online, assistant professor Jayne C. Lammers wrote about studying a fanworks community. "In particular, I studied adolescent literacy in an online forum called The Sims Writers’ Hangout...[which] was an online space for fans of the videogame The Sims to gather and support each other’s writing of Sims fanfiction—multimodal, digital texts that pair images taken in the video game with narratives authors write...Over its five-year existence, The Hangout had more than 12,000 members, mostly adolescent females, from all over the world who posted over 660,000 messages on a variety of Sims-related and community-building topics to establish an online network of readers and writers."

    What are your favorite works about fandom and fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom in the Streets

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 30 November 2014 - 6:25 odpoledne
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    Banner by Bremo of a crowd of people

    • Arizona State University's The State Press reported on the PBS nerdwalk in Tempe. The walk "celebrated scientists, mathematicians, Whovians, Cumberbabes, those 'Down for Downton Abbey' and more. The crowd of gold shirts, costumed heroes and cosplayers were led by a team of unicyclers in a show of nerdom appreciation." Its organizer said "'Everybody’s a nerd for something...It doesn’t matter what you’re a nerd for, if you have a passion for chemistry, if you have a passion for vector calculus, if you have a passion for comic books…everybody’s a nerd for something, we think that’s something to celebrate.'”
    • The Pensacola News Journal wrote about another effort to take fandom out of convention halls, the Pensacola Pop Expo. "Government Street was closed to vehicular traffic, and pop-up tents lined the street in front of the historic entertainment complex, allowing hundreds of people to mill about socializing and taking in sights...Cosplayers roamed the street, stopping to pose for pictures between stops at vendor booths. There were plenty of artists, but they were professional comic book artists not just selling art but talking to fans and signing autographs. And those vendor booths were selling nerdy treasures like comics, Funko Pop figurines and vintage video games." The event was funded "with a grant from Arts, Culture and Entertainment Inc., which administers grants to local arts groups. The nonprofit event served as a benefit for Manna Food Pantries."
    • A blog post at Project Muse talked about scenes in the city during the Frankfurt Book Fair. It "is divided into 'trade' days and 'public' days. The trade days, Wednesday through Friday, are full of publishing industry professionals engaged in business-to-business activities. The public is allowed in on Saturday and Sunday...I was at the fair on a public day. There were a lot of teenagers in costume! They were in the fair, on the subway, in the train station, and on the regional commuter trains. I guess it’s 'a thing' to get into character to go to the Book Fair." The post goes on to discuss the site's scholarly content on manga and anime which "shows up in religion, gender, political economy, history, futurism, media and censorship. Popular discussions around manga and anime often include cosplay, fandom (otaku in Japanese), and then bend around to nerd culture, science fiction, and the geek movement."
    • At Bleeding Cool, Hannah Means Shannon wrote about visiting Sleepy Hollow. "I got to see other people enjoying the Sleepy Hollow mythology, their reactions, and the way in which the town celebrates its name day...I now feel I understand better how the imagined past looms large in our present day, how we need it and seek it out at just about every possible opportunity. Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow is the quintessential Halloween story just as Dickens’ Christmas Carol is a quintessential Christmas story, a fan favorite for reasons. We can make it our own, and choose to take part in it and that’s down the accessibility of the original material and the creativity of generations of storytellers bringing it to life in new ways for us. And we then follow their lead and address the roots of the tales again to make them our own."

    Where have you unexpectedly run across fandom? Write about your experiences in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Retelling Copyright

    By Janita Burgess on Pátek, 28 November 2014 - 5:32 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Retelling Copyright

    • At The Washington Post, Jessica Contrera looked at publishing and fanfiction. "'Fan fiction has absolutely become part of the fiber of what we publish,' said Jennifer Bergstrom, vice president and publisher of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 'This is changing at a time when traditional publishing needs it most.'” Established authors are getting on the bandwagon. "English crime writer P.D. James’s Austen-inspired­ book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' became a BBC TV movie...Scottish crime writer Val McDermid’s take on 'Northanger Abbey' was published in April. These books don’t typically market themselves as fan fiction. Instead, they’re 'inspired by' or 'a retelling.'"
    • While Contrera's article speculated about how to make FPF legally acceptable, another article in the Post discussed new developments regarding the right of publicity which affects RPF. "The problem, of course, is that people use others’ names and likenesses in 'products' or 'goods' all the time...An unauthorized biography, which is probably not 'news' or 'public affairs' as such, is a commercial product or good, and uses the name or likeness. So are fiction movies and books that revolve around real events...So are songs that refer to cultural items, such as in Paul Simon’s 'Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?' line."
    • In an NPR interview, Cory Doctorow proposed changes to copyright so that it would apply to industries rather than individuals. "What you would say is that it's against the law to break a digital lock if you're violating copyright. And if you're not violating copyright, it's not against the law to break a digital lock. And that would - that would solve the problem pretty handily because then we could make tools that let people do things that are illegal, but that the manufacturer doesn't want them to do, which is a time-honored tradition...The point is that if you have to care about copyright in order to just walk around in the world or use the Internet, then something is deeply wrong."

    What role has copyright had in your fandom's history? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Delving Into Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Úterý, 25 November 2014 - 5:21 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Delving into Fandom

    • The University of Iowa libraries, which partner with the OTW's Open Doors project, have announced a major fanzine digitization project. "10,000 science fiction fanzines will be digitized from the James L. 'Rusty' Hevelin Collection, representing the entire history of science fiction as a popular genre and providing the content for a database that documents the development of science fiction fandom."
    • At Swarthmore College, Professor Bob Rehak talked fandom studies and his article in the OTW's academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. "It was fascinating to see fixtures of my own media passions, such as Star Trek props and the Batmobile, filtered through the contributors’ different theoretical approaches. This sense of rediscovering the familiar is characteristic, I think, of fan studies that deepen and complexify the apparent superficialities of popular culture...Twenty years of fan scholarship have done a great deal to concretize and personalize those relationships, but object-oriented studies now promise to move us even further from the reductive idea of the media fan as gullible consumer."
    • The Prince George Citizen interviewed researcher and author Andrei Markovits about the motivation of sports fans. "[W]hile female fandom is on the rise 'it's very clear it's a gendered world,' he said. 'The emotional investment for men is so much more, but the pain [when their team loses] is also so much more,' Markovits said. 'When I was a kid, every English soccer games started Saturday at 3 p.m. Why? Because the factory gates closed at 2 p.m.... and that gave them time to get to the game. For it to become part of the hegemonic sports culture, you have to have a large group of working-class men.' However, these sports do create a mixing place for people of different social classes within society."
    • At The Daily Dot Aja Romano wrote about the Harry Potter Alliance's equality campaign. "The newest HPA project, named after one of the Harry Potter series' most beloved characters, is designed to raise a new generation of fandom activists. The Granger Leadership Academy, named after Hermione Granger, is a leadership conference taking place this weekend (October 17–19) at Auburn University. The goal is to empower people to turn their fandom into real-world activism, something that HPA founder Andrew Slack found transformative in his own life."

    Where research about fandom do you like to turn to? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom From End to End

    By Janita Burgess on Pondělí, 24 November 2014 - 5:44 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fandom End to End

    • In a post for The Guardian, Erin Riley talks bout the ethics of sports fandom. "Ethical issues may be particularly acute in horse racing, but being a sport fan can regularly involve navigating an ethical minefield. For some fans, it’s the relationship between their particular code or club and gambling. For others, it’s the decisions made by the management of their team that don’t sit well with their values. It can be an appointment of a particular player, the sacking of a coach or the attempt to cover up a scandal. There are almost as many different responses to these issues as there are issues themselves. Fans are forced to figure out a way to respond that weighs the values they hold against the teams or sport they love."
    • On the flip side, at Hardwood Paroxysm, the discussion is about how fannishness changes over time. "It’s something for us to look forward too, a way to spend time with and connect to our friends and family, and generally just a way to remove ourselves from the real world for a certain number of hours a week. And part of why it’s so appealing, besides the reasons listed above, is that spectacle aspect of it. Here are these people that, through the genetic lottery (and hard work as well), are able to do things the vast majority of the human race could never dream of...Everyone wants to be tall and strong and in shape, because life is so much easier when you have those three things working for you."
    • The Baltimore Sun featured the century-plus appeal of Sherlock Holmes fandom. "Watson's Tin Box began in Ellicott City in 1989 and is considered a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars. Its named recalls the box where Watson collected his reports of Sherlock's investigations." One of its founders, "Churchill put together the original collection of artifact boxes, one for each story, that recall details of the story. Some items are antiques, period pieces that reflect Sherlock's times: period checks, blank telegram forms or hotel bills. Other things are 'genuine faux originals.' If he couldn't find a letter or a ticket, he'd create it."
    • Scholar Lori Morimoto looked at more recent developments involving fandom memes and official production. "And it’s this cover that I find all but impossible to discuss through frameworks of appropriation and clearly defined fan-producer identities and relations. A cursory glance at Mizutama’s Twitter images demonstrates the meme’s affective appeal to her, and in this sense its inclusion in the official book cover art seems as much sly in-joke as appropriation. Indeed, the decentralized context of the book’s production – produced by the longtime publisher of both Arthur Conan Doyle works in Japanese and the long-running Hayakawa Mystery magazine, written by Holmes aficionado Kitahara, and illustrated by present-day Sherlock fan Mizutama – begs the questions of where we locate ‘production’, and how we might conceptualize ‘monetization’ here."

    From fandom history to fandom passions, Fanlore is there for it all. Add your contributions!

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Speaking Out for Fandom

    By Kiri Van Santen on Pátek, 21 November 2014 - 5:27 odpoledne
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    Banner by Alice of a simple drawing of a human with a speech bubble containing a heart and a page of writing'

    • While quite a few articles in the media continue to portray fanwork creators as somehow abnormal, even while acknowledging their part within a larger remix culture of popular entertainment, others set fandom more positively in this cultural environment. This support has come from fans and entertainers alike.
    • The 'Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast' interviewed actress Eaddy Mays about fanfiction. "'First and foremost, the media portrayal of fanfiction infuriates me. It’s immature, among many things. It’s bullying. And it should be illegal, frankly." Mays proved herself an it-getter. “It’s when she’s talking about a book the Sterek Campaign sent her about the popular slash ship that you can see exactly how much she takes this issue to heart. She picks it up to make a point, flipping it over and noticing something written on the back for the first time...'It says, ‘Made with love.'' She has to pause, the emotion evident in her voice. 'Can you wrap it up better than that? I don’t think so. That’s it. It’s made with love. So why would you cast any dispersion on that?'”
    • Not all actors seem as in touch with slash fanworks. The Mary Sue focused on contrasting comments made by Benedict Cumberbatch and Orlando Jones in the same week, with Jones saying "'I get it—it’s another way to go but it’s no less valid than what we’re doing and it’s certainly interesting, so I really get a kick out of that. To read fan fiction and to see fan art and to watch other people’s artistry paint different colors on top of what we’re doing… how can you be mad at that? That’s just completely awesome!'"
    • At Bustle, Emma Lord wrote about getting over her embarrassment with fanfic and countering common arguments. "[W]hen did any form of writing get deemed 'lazy'? We’re actively creating something, whether or not it will be widely consumed or appreciated. We’re testing ourselves as writers all the time, trying to see if we can keep the original author’s characters true to themselves, or if we can find ways to surprise and intrigue readers who are into the same fandoms we are. That is the polar opposite of lazy!"

    Who have you seen standing up for fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Women's Experiences In Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Středa, 19 November 2014 - 5:27 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Women's Experiences in Fandom

    • Comic Book Resources reported on a NYCC panel about female fandom in which Kelly Sue DeConnick said, "'I think that there's an important thing to remember too, that what you're seeing now, the influx of female readership and female creators is not a revolution, it's a restoration...Back in the '30s and '40s there was a girls' magazine that had a distribution of 300,000 copies per month and it was comics... [In the decades since] women were discouraged, dissuaded, made unwelcome, and now for a plethora of reasons, women are returning...There are enough comics for everyone...Say it with me now: equality is not a loss.'"
    • In another panel at New York Comic Con, on harassment and assault, the "crowd was greeted with some sobering statistics...25% of women at cons have reported being sexually harassed, 13% report receiving unwanted, inappropriate comments, and 8% of all attendees have been groped or outright assaulted or raped." This sheds light on the post in The Awl discussing rape charges in web celebrity fandoms, which speculated on the thinking of perpetrators. "Internet celebrity is just another opportunity, like management or teaching or parenthood, to assert power over victims in new and profound ways."
    • Blogger ladyloveandjustice, wrote about why the Mary Sue is a sexist concept. "[O]ne of the CONTROVERSIES listed on the TV Tropes page is if a male sue is even possible. That’s right, it’s impossible to have an idealizied male character. Men are already the ideal. In our culture, male tends to be the default. Women take on the distaff parts. 'Him' and 'mankind' are what humanity are, 'her' and 'womankind' are secondary. Yet this isn’t true for Mary Sue as a term. That name was created first."
    • An article in The Guardian cited fanfic on AO3 and Tumblr as places where teenage girls are the creators of sexual fiction. "'There is a lot of PWP (short for ‘porn without plot’ or ‘plot, what plot?’) out there,' 23-year-old Julia Schnorrer said. 'However, every sex scene in fanfic always has a narrative, since it is integrated in a realm of existing characters. Characters are well-rounded human beings who also have a sex life – not off stage but right in the middle of it. Most fanfic writers are women, and I think it derives from the male gaze that dominates visual pornography.' In fan fiction communities, and on sites such as Tumblr, all types of sexuality are represented – as well as the absence of a sex drive entirely."

    Do women have distinct experiences in fandom? If you think so, write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: What's a Fanwork?

    By Janita Burgess on Pondělí, 17 November 2014 - 5:46 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner What's a Fanwork

    • NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour" featured a look at fanfiction with "resident fan-fiction expert, Petra Mayer" who was asked for some recs. Mayer herself reviewed After, and a discussion ensued among listeners as to whether or not RPF qualified as a fanwork. (Partial transcript available).
    • The Daily Dot featured a video it qualified as a fanwork, a genderswap Ghostbusters. "A bunch of middle schoolers put together a shot-for-shot remake of the original Ghostbusters trailer and managed to make it even better. This time around, boys are playing the roles of Dana and Janine, while the girls have the Ghostbusters and Louis Tully covered, complete with self-aware visual effects and gags."
    • Meanwhile the play Badfic Love focused on fanfic writing groups and their personal dramas. "Director Nick Thornton says this production shows just how much talent WMU theatre graduates have. Thorton says it also encourages artists to keep creating. 'We have so much power and we can go out into the world and create our own reality...In a world full of things that are saying, you know: stay at home, don’t do anything, tear down other people’s work. We’re kind of saying, you know, what is your world? What are you going to do with it?'”
    • Jezebel's interview about mpreg with the male mod of an mpreg site focused more on the interest in the topic than its history in fanworks. "Some of our writers focus solely on the birth while others only gloss over it. Some people love it, some people hate it—much like mpreg itself. The positive and negative aspects of pregnancy are usually always included, and many of our artists are sure to include them in their pieces. Pregnancy is made up of so many emotions, symptoms, and milestones. These are part of the visceral experience pregnancy offers, and our members love talking/drawing/writing about it."

    What examples of fanworks are your favorites? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Social Media for Fans

    By Kiri Van Santen on Sobota, 15 November 2014 - 5:36 odpoledne
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    • The Wall Street Journal wrote about different fandom activities on different social media platforms. "[T]he CW is trying just about everything in social media. Interestingly, once its fans tell the network which platform they want to use to interact with their favorite shows, the network leans in hard. 'We attack all the social media,' said Rick Haskins, the CW’s executive vice president of marketing and digital programs. 'Very, very quickly, the consumer says ‘this is the social platform we like [this particular show] on.’ When we see upticks, that’s when we move in quickly.'"
    • At The Daily Dot, S.E. Smith pointed out that not all fandoms embrace social media. "It seems to run counterintuitive to the idea that tech determines the pulse of popular culture. The NCIS website is crude and clunky, the show's Twitter is an anemic promotions vehicle, and the Internet doesn’t exactly come alive with fans livetweeting NCIS on Tuesday nights. The Internet isn’t interested in it for all the reasons that it appeals to vast numbers of viewers, illustrating that what the Internet wants from television is not necessarily what the Nielsen viewer wants."
    • The Asahi Shimbun discussed the importance of the decision to go royalty-free with vocaloid Hatsune Miku. "Developer Crypton Future Media Inc. released guidelines that acknowledge the creation of fan fictions for noncommercial purposes. To encourage collaborations between users, the company also set up Piapro, a social networking website where fans can post their songs and illustrations. 'It's meant to make creative efforts widespread without making users feel intimidated,' said Hiroyuki Ito, Crypton Future Media president."
    • Wattpad continues to pursue amateur authors and to focus on readers. In a discussion with The International Business Times, the inline commenting feature is mentioned. "This adds another dimension to the social interactions on Wattpad. With Inline Commenting, readers can comment on specific words, sentences and paragraphs of a story...Not only does Inline Commenting provide valuable and in-context feedback to writers, but it creates a new social experience for readers. It’s almost like they're reading alongside their friends and they can exclaim, commiserate, and react as the story unfolds."

    How have you seen companies developing content and features for fans? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fitting in Fanworks

    By Janita Burgess on Čtvrtek, 13 November 2014 - 5:32 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fitting in Fanworks

    • Blogger Marie Larsen wrote about her daughter's classroom success in writing fanfiction. "The story is a Transformers fan fiction piece, long enough and worthy enough of being an animated episode." But she was "concerned of its fan fiction style. Recently, I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, where the main character received a failing grade from a teacher that didn't find any value in fan fiction. I wasn't sure how my girl's teacher would receive this piece." However, her story had a happy ending. "To praise her in front of her peers, to give her the only A+ out of all those very bright, accelerated students was a self-esteem booster I could never give her."
    • Dorkly featured 15 People Who Turned Wheelchairs Into Amazing Cosplay, including the Black Knight, Superman, Wall-E and General Loveless.
    • Engadget was one among many that featured a remake of The Empire Strikes Back utilizing fan clips. More than 480 fan-made segments were picked from over 1,500 submissions to make The Empire Strikes Back Uncut. The result included a mash-up of styles including live action, animation, and stop-motion.
    • The Blacktown Sun wrote about the fanfiction generated in a creative writing program. "Year 8 student Ashleigh's 27-chapter novel, Collision Course, was an extension of a fan fiction she wrote based on YouTube gamers Mitch and Jerome, known for their Minecraft reviews. 'I took the real people and twisted them to make characters that would fit the universe of the story,' she said." Meanwhile "Year 10 student Kate's 11,000-word novel The Fantastic Not-so-Real World of Samantha Colt balanced macabre, dark elements inspired by the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island with bookish fantasy inspired by the film Inkheart."

    What fanworks have you fit into your life? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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