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  • OTW Fannews: Shark & Ranger Takedowns

    By Pip Janssen on Pátek, 20 March 2015 - 4:36 odpoledne
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    Banner by Rachel of a generic Newspaper banner with the OTW logo and the words OTW Fannews

    • Bloomberg BNA was one of many sites to write about a dispute over a Power Rangers fan film created by professional director Joseph Kahn. It was taken down from Vimeo in response to a takedown notice under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act from the owner of the Power Rangers franchise. Although it was later permitted to be rehosted, the case raised a number of interesting questions about fair use and who would have prevailed in court. A post on Entertainment Geekly also questioned the 'fan film' label and the intentions for the film.
    • Legal Professor Paul Heald speculated over 3-D shark designs being sold online after their appearance in Katy Perry's Superbowl performance. "The generally accepted position is that clothing is not protected by copyright. The copyright act contains a long list of what’s protected: literary works; musical works; plays; choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; movies; sound recordings; and architectural works. Where would clothes fit? Well, the best you can do is sculptural works—they are sort of thin 3D sculpture. However, within that category, costume designers run into a problem called the “useful article” doctrine which disqualifies utilitarian sculptural works...It is generally accepted that clothing is unprotected [because] [i]ts design is intrinsic to its function."
    • Kimberly Anne Tan interviewed a bookseller on Urban Wire about fanfiction. Asked whether fan fiction should be recognised as literature, Anthony Koh Waugh replied, "Literature, to me, means written works of quality and artistic merit. There are fan fiction inspired by classic works and popular fiction and among them, some are better written than the others. I see fan fiction as a creative innovation and whether or not the genre should be recognised as literature will depend on the acceptance by the literary circle." However asked if he would sell fan fiction, he said "Of course! Fan fiction is a form of creative writing. Having said that, it also depends on how a particular book fits within our curation criteria."
    • Certainly it's increasingly easy to find, even in published form. Zaire's Books Alive featured discussion of a short story by Kiru Taye, a Nigerian-born novelist residing in the United Kingdom, noting that she had written an erotic fan fiction short story inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah.

    What fanworks have you seen affected by takedown notices? 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: This Is Your Life

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 15 March 2015 - 4:27 odpoledne
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    Banner by Lisa of a young woman looking down at a cell phone and smiling.

    • At xojane, Emily Ansara Baines claimed I Learned Everything I Know About Sex From Reading X-Files Fan Fiction in High School. "Thanks to fan fiction, I didn’t mind some dirty talk. I also finally started to understand how oral sex was supposed to work and maybe even be enjoyable. While anal didn’t intrigue me, thanks to X-Files fan fiction I saw how it could be romantic and not, as my girlfriends told me, demeaning. So, when it came to me actually having sex, I felt prepared. At 16, I was the youngest of my friends to embark on that experience."
    • Rosemarie Alejandrino wrote about her anger at the idea that fanfiction should be hidden. "A friend of mine told me that her parents had lectured her about not reading enough books and wasting all her time on the computer. Then she said to me in confidence, 'I read thousands of words a day, and I can’t tell anybody because … all I read is ‘Glee’ lesbian fanfiction.' And suddenly I was angry. As someone who found solace and comfort in reading, who looked up to the Matildas and the Belles and the Rory Gilmores of the world, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to be ashamed of reading and to keep such an impactful part of your life hidden from the world."
    • While some students are winning cash prizes for their fanfiction, others decided to teach about it. The Daily Californian featured a story on a pair of undergraduates at UC Berkeley exploring erotic fanfiction. "At a weekly DeCal class called “The Theory of Fanfiction,” students share and explore the forms and themes of fan fiction. Students meet each Monday to discuss the genre’s role in the literary world as well as in society as a whole. Through the class, started this semester by UC Berkeley senior Isadora Lamego and junior Katrina Hall, students explore the history of fandom, the role of social media in developing the genre and fan fiction’s importance in providing a vehicle for alternative sexuality and kink expression."
    • Ten Eighty looked at the line between hearing your audience and turning their interests or identities into an ongoing joke. “There is a possibility of a Queer kid seeing that thumbnail, clicking on it with the hope of their favourite YouTuber coming out as part of their Queer/LGBTQ+ community,” says Jazza. “For the YouTuber to use that click-bait and to then shoot down the possibility of them being Queer as being weird and gross, that’s what made me angry.”

    How have fanworks been part of your life? 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: Commercial Weirdness

    By Kiri Van Santen on Čtvrtek, 12 March 2015 - 4:29 odpoledne
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    banner by Alice of a cartoon octopus with a book and television set

    • A post at Wired featured images from a new book on science fiction zines of the 1940s through 1960s. "Despite being produced with a limited tool set, and existing in a vastly different milieu, these hacked-together pamphlets laid the groundwork for modern day fandoms. 'The most surprising thing I noticed about the zines was how closely the format—editorials, letters, essays, reviews—paralleled the format of blogs,' says co-author Jack Womack. 'All this stuff is proto-blog, proto-Instagram, proto-snark, proto-troll, and naturally, also an active exchange of ideas that motivated some very weird people to do great things in their life,' adds co-author Johan Kugelberg."
    • The word "weird" seems to be perpetually attached to fanworks, as an article in Yahoo! Movies UK made apparent. The word seems to go missing though when discussing commercial contests, even when they are pitched at underage fans and propose improbable sources. "Mondelez will pick 10 finalists for Wattpad's community to vote on. The company will then turn the winner's story into an animated digital film and promote it on Sour Patch Kids' social platforms. 'We're really just continuing to further build out our relationship with influencers...We know that these are the new celebrities for teens, and they have a much more authentic voice, so we're really putting our brand in their hands and allowing them to create on our behalf.'"
    • Efforts to enroll fans as company pitchmen seem to be booming. A post at Good E Reader spoke uncritically about Skrawl's business model, also directed at kids. It "is already in place in more than 20,000 schools in 60 countries and has been responsible for more than 2 million writing contests, allows story collaboration based on engagement and a points system. One user will post a story, then others will add their own sections to it." Skrawl's CEO stated "[A]s publishers hunger for popular content while cutting promotional budgets, such ready-formed, literate and eBook submissions are likely to become a great place to find talent."
    • Perhaps some of the term's use comes from anxiety. In discussing romance fandom, The Washington Post said, "Fan relations are enormous in the romance world, and romance readers come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds. But they’re almost never male. 'The last thing popular romance needs is a man in a suit ‘mansplaining’ what belongs in the canon,' said DePaul University professor Eric Selinger, the rare man at the conference who actually adores romance fiction...'There are not a lot of us who read these books,' he admitted. 'There’s this thinking that men are not interested in love, which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you look at popular music. For many of the men, they find the books tremendously intimidating.'"

    What terms are you tired of seeing connected to fandom? 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 Texts

    By Pip Janssen on Neděle, 8 March 2015 - 4:48 odpoledne
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    sunset over hills with text saying Fandom Texts

    • At The Conversation, Hannah McCann discussed studying fans of popular culture. "Researchers in the field of romance studies have argued that criticism of the genre often involves patronising female readers. Similar levels of critical concern are rarely turned on texts marketed to male audiences, or those seen as part of high culture. Studying romance fans themselves has been a way to recover the agency of female readers, in part by seeing female fans as active meaning-makers."
    • Media scholar Henry Jenkins and Patrick Galbraith held a conversation on Jenkins' blog In Defense of Moe. "These are people who actively seek alternatives to expectations of men, which is to say assigned sex/gender roles, in relationships with fictional characters. This can take the form of 'marriage' to a fictional character, belonging to a community of shared interest around a character, and so on. Manga, anime and games do not necessarily get us out of hegemonic sex/gender roles, as we have seen from Gamer Gate, but some certainly see that potential. Again, there is Honda Tōru, who argues for a 'moe masculinity' that embraces both the masculine and feminine sides of one’s self, which can be nurtured and accessed in interactions with fictional characters outside of the expectations of society."
    • Syracuse.com wrote about a class on Dr. Who. "More than 200 people (about half SU students, half non-students) enrolled in the live class on the SU campus. About 3,000 people registered for the online class, meaning they can follow the lectures at home, watch the screenings and participate in the class discussions via Twitter and Google+. Rotolo said about 900-1,000 of those online students participate actively."
    • At Edge, Mary Sheehan argued for the significance of One Direction fandom for queer culture. "When both partners are the same gender, both partners have equal power. Young people seeking portrayals of open, equal relationships in media can identify with Larry Stylinson and these kinds of LGBTQIA ships. '[Larry Shippers’] actions are laden with the complexities of our current social climate. They formed a community and collective identity to solve their fears alongside those for the world around them.'"

    What are some of your favorite articles or studies about fandom? 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: Sharing Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Čtvrtek, 5 March 2015 - 6:35 odpoledne
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    Banner with text that reads OTW Fannews Sharing Fandom

    • Writer Shawna Benson examined patterns of fandom growth and activity that she'd observed while moderating social media for The 100's Writers’ Room, as well as social media lessons learned. "Yes, we sell the US shows to other countries, but what do we do to accommodate those fanbases which spring up in other countries? Suddenly, the 'official' accounts feel less useful. They don’t get the CW in the UK, Australia, Brazil, France or Spain, or even Canada — the main countries which outside of the U.S. watch The 100. How do we accommodate those fans? The official accounts are restricted in this. Guess what? Writers’ rooms are not."
    • As part of International Fanworks Day, LiveJournal community Mari di Challenge interviewed OTW Translation Committee chairs Hele Braunstein and Priscilla del Cima about the committee's work (article in Italian). Both spoke about their fannish backgrounds, how AO3 fits together with the OTW and its other projects, how the organization sustains those projects financially and personnel-wise, what the OTW's vision of fandom is, and what changes might happen in the next five years.
    • Book review blogger Traci began a series of posts about the OTW. "I was recently reading an article and it was mentioned that media seems to 'see bronies as far more newsworthy that Organization for Transformative Works or the Vlogbrothers' Nerdfighter movement.' Now, I see a lot of things about Nerfighters, and the Green brothers in particular, but have not seen much on OTW outside of those in the know. So I decided to fangirl all over one of my favorite organizations for a post. Then I realized that I would need at least a couple posts to fully share my love and appreciation."
    • The Verge's Entertainment Editor Emily Yoshida discussed her discovery of fanfiction on the StarWarsChicks.com posting board. "One of the first things I was drawn to besides the message board was...The Library, it was a fanfic archive of the stories everyone in the community had written." She was asked to speculate about why fanfic writers seemed to be mostly by female writers. She suggested that the medium of writing was better suited to women. "It's non-visual, it takes a long time to read somebody's whole novel...and that's the payoff is this expectation and this waiting and this buildup...but it gets that same kind of following and addictive aspect to it." (No transcript available).

    Fanlore is a place for all fans to share their knowledge about fans and fandoms. Add details to an existing entry or start a new one!

    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: Interacting with Canon

    By algonquin on Úterý, 3 March 2015 - 5:12 odpoledne
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    • The it-getters at PBS' Idea Channel released an episode focusing on fanfiction & LGBT representation. "Official writers are...gesturing at alternate universes, at relationships that could exist between characters -- were the world of the show...not what it actually is. I see this as the sacred charge of so much fanfiction, to express the love left unexpressed in so much popular culture." (No transcript available.)
    • Wired's Angry Nerd spoke about why the existence of Fifty Shades of Grey is vital to fanfic. "The key component is fans' passionately engaging with the work and digging more deeply into fictional worlds than their creators ever did." He goes on to discuss how much of what Hollywood is producing is no different than what fans are doing in the way they re-imagine old franchises. (No transcript available.)
    • An article in Vice attempted to identify the reasons behind political fanfiction. "Franke-Ruta discusses the ways that we project our own imaginations and beliefs onto serious considerations of political figures and issues. We do the same with our coverage of sports, culture, and viral news as well—we're constantly granting individuals and events symbology, emotional impact, and an imaginary, packaged takeaway. There are many ways to do this—especially online, where we can create an identity more in line with others' than our own more easily than we can in real life. But fan fiction might be the most extreme example: You are, literally, taking control of reality."
    • While the stories above featured fan art and fanfiction, The Mary Sue tipped fans to a Imgur gif tool. "All you have to do is find the video you want online, plug the URL into Imgur’s new tool, and tell it the start and end points that you want to memorialize forever in a glorious, infinitely looped animation. If the created GIF would be larger than 10MB, Imgur also automatically converts it to a much more efficient GIFV, which is a standard from improved video clips that they’ve been pushing since last year."

    What fanworks have you seen that have had an impact outside fan communities? 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: Being In the Know

    By Janita Burgess on Sobota, 28 February 2015 - 7:51 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner by caitie with a rainbow shooting star and the words OTW Fannews: Being In the Know

    • A post at Movie Pilot pointed out how early fanwork passions can begin. "I was on Wattpad and came across a profile and her name was Alexandria1019. She has a couple of stories she wrote, which are amazing in my point of view...And the coolest thing, she's a 7th grader." Her dreams are short-term but her reasons are universal. "'When I get older, and go to high school, I want to join a writing club. I want to be a writer because whenever I write, it's like I'm in a totally different universe. Like I'm not in reality...I know they aren't my characters and my story that I wrote myself, but it gives me a chance too express what I think. Because, I can't really express what I think to people.'"
    • These early lessons can have a big impact though. An article at Neon Tommy discussed why people respond to fanfiction. "I found myself reading multiple stories like Red’s, about kids who used fanfiction as a means to improve their English, and with fantastic results. Users told me about how fanfiction helped expand their vocabulary, as well as experiences such as an anonymous user who 'learned about the culture…ideas and feelings of the writers. When reading I stopped more than once, to learn about a new tradition, a word, a poem, an author, a new kind of music…It’s a window to new knowledge…' So, with fanfiction, it wasn’t just me who was improving my writing skills."
    • The New York Post was one of many sites trying to find stories related to Fifty Shades of Grey to coincide with the movie's release. In their case they found a fanfic writer to discuss pulling to publish and the merits of the fic as originally written. "But many in the fanficton.net community are confused and concerned by James’ success. 'The prose style, the dialogue — it was very juvenile. It was very simplistic,' says Karen, a 50-year-old administrator from Phoenix who uses the name piewacket on the site and recalls reading James’ original posts."
    • A different look at fanfic was provided by the OTW's Kristina Busse in a post at How We Get to Next. There she argued against separating fanfiction from communities. "Star Trek also became 'trans-fannish' very quickly, Busse explained, intermingling with followers of other series. 'In the 1970s conventions started to include Doctor Who, and by the 1980s you have entire zines that are nothing but crossovers. It moved beyond the specific show; people would become fannish butterflies where they would go from one fandom to another.' In doing so, they brought with them characters, plots and settings — and also tropes."

    How do you define fanfiction and what has it brought to your life? 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: Spreading Around Fanworks

    By Kiri Van Santen on Čtvrtek, 26 February 2015 - 5:29 odpoledne
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    banner by Robyn of a cartoon woman announcing types of fanworks with a megaphone

    • Public radio station WBEZ announced they would be producing fan-written minisodes of its historical drama podcast PleasureTown. "In minisode 1, we meet Esther, the town seamstress, who spins a yarn about her lost heritage and life under the watchful eye of the menacing Miz Janine. The PleasureTown legend continues... this time, at the hands of its fans."
    • Kasterborous reposted some Doctor Who Crossover fan art. "One of the greatest things about the Doctor Who fandom is their passion for all things Who and their propensity for wanting to mashup the Doctor with just about any other programme or intellectual property out there. From SuperWhoLock to Eleven and the Ponds meeting Capt. Picard and the crew of the Enterprise, it would seem there really isn’t anywhere in time and space the TARDIS can’t show up."
    • While an article at D magazine regrettably elevated fan films over fanfiction, it pointed to another Whovian fanwork, Doctor Who: The Soldier Stories, as part of an article on the “Fan Days” festivities in Dallas, Texas. "Comic books and entertainment in the sci-fi/fantasy wheelhouse tend to get viewed as escapist fare, a chance to get away from some of the more dull or soul-crushing aspects of the real world. That may be true to a degree, but it ignores the community and connections that form from an appreciation of the things that get discussed at events like, say, Dallas Comic Con. It’s a chance for the fans to let their freak flags fly proudly."
    • Fanfic writers got a little more credit in an article at Publishers Weekly which included them in A Look Ahead to Self-Publishing in 2015. "Gardner says she expects to see 'more real person fan fiction and stories about breaking news in the coming year.' Also, while genre fiction remains strong, she’s seeing a change in subject matter—'sexy cowboys' are giving way to sexy MMA fighters in the romance genre, and jinns are taking over from vampires as common protagonists in the fantasy realm."

    Where are all the places you find 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: Shades of Fanworks

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 22 February 2015 - 7:08 odpoledne
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    Banner by James Baxter of colored pencils arranged in a circle around the title Shades of Fanworks

    • The release of Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters led to a wave of stories connecting it to its fanfiction roots. A post at MoviePilot though, focused on fan art for the fandom.
    • Vodkaster asked if the movie was about what women wanted or what fans wanted (article in French). Writer Johanna Ruiz cited surveys showing that literature was a particularly female format, and stated that women were embracing writing online to create their own literature. She further suggested that there's a deficiency in representing women's desire in commercial production which has led to its expression within fanfiction.
    • Independent focused on the new markets reached by the book, while overlooking fandom entirely. "While there are all sorts of negative connotations around erotic fiction, what the mainstream publishing world never really reckoned on was the fact that women actually wanted to read these books.... Somehow EL James and a respectable publisher managed to introduce pornography to a demographic that are ordinarily notoriously porn-proof. This was soft porn for suburbia, erotica made accessible, not to mention acceptable, through its coverage in the respectable pages of the Sunday supplements."
    • Vanity Fair renewed claims that literary agents are searching fan fiction sites for the next Fifty Shades of Grey. "Her pitch to publishing houses was forthright about the book’s origins, but she didn’t lead with its fanfic roots, admitting, 'In many ways the way in which you enter publishing determines where you will be.' At the time, there was also a sense that the Fifty Shades effect wouldn’t have staying power. 'There were definitely editors that said they thought [fan] fic was over, which I think is funny in retrospect because that was 2012, and how many deals have there been since then?'"

    What are all the deals you know about of fanfic that was pulled to publish? 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 Advice

    By Janita Burgess on Čtvrtek, 19 February 2015 - 5:51 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fandom Advice by Bremo

    • One fanfiction reader turned writer based on his wife's advice as reported by Houma Today. "Nearly 15 years ago, Caldwell discovered online discussion boards and began reading fan fiction... Barbara, his wife of 16 years, inquired about his reading material. 'He said it was Jane Austen fan fiction, and he explained it to me... He told me about the stories out there, and he would critique them. As we were reading them, he kept saying ‘They missed it.' or ‘They left this hole here.' Finally, I had enough of that, and I said ‘Prove it. Prove that you can write better.'"
    • One mother tried to advise her daughter to abandon the stalking aspects of her fannishness. "'You know being a fan girl is a little bit like being a stalker,' I explained gently. 'But me and my friends like being stalkers,' laughed my teen. 'I just wish they would stalk me back!' Weeks later my daughter's phone was cut off and when I rang the phone company to enquire why they said she'd overrun her call limit with texts and calls to America. Knowing my child didn't know anyone Stateside I guessed her 'fangirling' was behind it... I confiscated my teen's phone and banned her from all fangirling for a week. Monitoring my child's ability to stalk wasn't something I'd have added to the list of 'mothering skills' but it's on there today."
    • The Ask Weezy advice column for teens gave advice more directly when it received a question from a Fanfiction.net user. The writer was worried about a friend he met there visiting him because his parents didn't know he regularly visited the site.
    • Blogger Jenny Cee posted advice about software and apps that would make fannish life easier. "Are you freaking tired of seeing that one ship come up over and over again as you trying to find a good fic read? Is there that one trope you can not stand, and if you see it one more time you will just lose it? Then yeah, then go ahead and install the greasemonkey (firefox) or tampermonkey (chrome), and scoot your butt over to the Greasy Fork and install the A03 savior. It’s has a bit of learning curve, but they are some helpful tutorials on how to set it up."

    What advice have you seen fans giving eachother? 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.

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