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  • OTW Fannews: Writers of all stripes

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 19 March 2014 - 10:13 odpoledne
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    • Author Robert Jackson Bennett wrote about how to define fans and how that related to his role as a content creator. "I happened to meet a much more established writer than me...I brought up the sort of weird alienation I felt...I knew in my head that I was writing stuff for everyone, for all kinds of people, something that’s applicable to humanity in general rather than people like me, but it was still odd to see it right in front of me, these people I wasn’t like, and know that I was writing for them. He looked at me and said, 'That’s because they’re not you’re[sic] people. They’re not. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are.'"
    • ComplexTech posted an interview with author Clive Thompson, who may have some insight for Bennett. "[T]he cognitive benefits of the Internet require social work. That turns out to be a problem for the 10 percent of the population who regards social work with absolute horror...If you pie-chart them, a lot of the negative pieces about the Internet are written by novelists." However, he thinks some writers are the ones to watch. "[T]he world of fan fiction is the most technologically explosive thing I've ever seen in my life. Every single technology that has come along, fan fiction people have come along and colonized it and stress-tested it and found the most amazing things...If you're ever wondering about a future technology, just drop what you're doing and find out what fan fiction people are doing with it...whatever it is, it's the future."
    • Such discoveries aren't likely to come from fanfic-for-hire, as Amazon is commissioning authors to launch fandom lines. Orion Books Editor Jo Gledhill advised fanfic writers to know what makes them happy. "[D]ecide whether you actually do want to find a mainstream publisher! It’s not for everyone. If you love writing and you love the support network of fan fiction, don’t think of it as a stepping stone. It’s a huge community with millions of readers, you’ll get some fabulous advice and feedback as your writing develops."
    • Here & Now focused on the value of that network in a story about Harry Potter fan. "Esther Earl was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12, and died in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday. But in that short time, she developed a network of friends through social media, blogging and YouTube videos. She was a devoted fan of the Harry Potter books and was an active member of the Harry Potter Alliance. At LeakyCon, a convention for Harry Potter enthusiasts, Esther met young adult author and vlogger John Green, who would become a friend. Green dedicated his best selling book “The Fault In Our Stars” to her and said that she was an inspiration for the novel."

    What stories and posts about fanfic writing have been important to you? Write about them on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom milestones

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pátek, 14 March 2014 - 12:26dop.
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    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of a black & white highway with the OTW logo and ribbons across the post title of Fandom Milestones

    • On March 1, Three Patch Podcast released an episode with Development & Membership Chair, Kristen Murphy, as a guest. They discussed the formation of the OTW and the AO3's million fanwork milestone. Asked about the AO3's popularity she replied, "I think there are a lot of different factors that have helped it become popular. One is that a lot of people just like the features of the Archive, which is awesome! I think another factor is the way fandom has spread out to new platforms, some of which are not very conducive to posting fanworks. Like, if you mostly interact with other fans through Twitter, but you’re a fic writer, you’re going to need someplace other than Twitter to post your fic. There’s something really cool about the fact that fans are spread out in all these different places — Twitter and Tumblr and journals and forums — but there’s this place in the middle where so many of us come together to share our work." (No transcript available).
    • The OTW wasn't the only one celebrating a big milestone in February as Japan's online art community Pixiv passed 10,000,000 registered users. Crunchyroll reported on their celebration activities and listed the top tagged fandoms on the site.
    • RocketNews24 looked at how artists were responding to the gold medal won by figure skater Hanyū. "[F]ans are having fun making their own Photoshop creations including “Hyōjō no Prince-sama”(Prince-sama on Ice)."
    • The music group Emblem got some attention for promoting a fan's story about them on their Wattpad account which Just Jared dubbed 'official fan fiction.' "The guys – Wesley and Keaton Stromberg, and Drew Chadwick – each have their own stories written about them and will be updating it every week!"
    • As Vintage Books was announcing that Fifty Shades had passed the 100 million sales mark, Wired asked if a new publishing model was at hand when it comes to fanfic. "For decades, it was understood that fanzines and amateur press associations were where writers—particularly in genre fiction and comics—got their chops...It’s easy to argue 50 Shades of Grey is an outlier, that its success isn’t indicative of a larger trend. However, since its publication in 2011, the lines between literary and fan publishing have continued to blur."

    What fandom milestones have you seen? Write about them on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Corporate assembly fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 12 March 2014 - 7:19 odpoledne
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    • Frontline featured a number of fandoms in its documentary Generation Like. "From the agency that’s leveraging the Twitter followers of celebrities like Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) to make lucrative product endorsement deals, to the 'grassroots' social media campaign behind the Hollywood blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "Generation Like" explores how companies are increasingly enlisting kids as willing foot soldiers in their marketing machines."
    • A "Social Media Week" event featured a panel on “Fueling Social Fandom”. "'You think about fandom not as a one night stand everytime your show is on…it’s a long time relationship,' Fishman said, adding the most important thing for TV executives to do mirrors a relationship: listening."
    • Sugarscape is one of many sites featuring a fanfiction contest but this one is done piecemeal. "The idea is that every day when the story is updates, you'll have the chance to add the next paragraph all over again and by Sunday 23rd February, we'll have the full fan fiction. So even if yours doesn't get picked the first day, keep entering every time the story updates and you could see your writing up on the site!"
    • Kotaku used votes instead to create a 'Fan Built Bot' for Transformers. "Windblade is a rare female Transformer...Some people are vexxed by the idea of female Transformers...we do get an episode where most of the old-timey female robots are destroyed for being female, which doesn't seem nice. In the IDW Comics continuity, Arcee is the result of a failed experiment to introduce gender to Transformers. That doesn't seem nice either."
    • While some fan activities in the news seem more about recreation or transforming the format of a work, the question for many these days may be whether they're part of a corporate marketing effort and to what end.

    What ways of creating fandoms or fanworks have you come across? Write about it on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Storytelling platforms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 9 March 2014 - 8:18 odpoledne
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    • While sites like Wattpad have already demonstrated a large, international reach among young fanfic writers, other companies keep trying to capture that market.
    • The Observer wrote about Movellas which is distinguishing itself by targeting literacy rather than community. "50% of respondents said Movellas had made them enjoy reading more; 70% enjoyed writing more. Importantly, 20% of its users get free school meals (about the national average). Only 25% are boys, which the founders are looking to change with boy-focused publisher promotions and a move into 'story games'...Maybe it's time to stop being sniffy about fan fiction."
    • One boy who came late to writing fanfiction is author Hugh Howey, who was interviewed by Pacific Standard Magazine about his Kindle Worlds experience. However, he's always appreciated it. "I’m...ready to turn 40—but I grew up in a generation of open-source projects and Wikipedia and collaborative programming and the blogosphere. The idea of collaborations seems very natural to me. I also grew up reading comics, where every comic book author is writing fan fiction." Discussing the history of storytelling he continues "It’s interesting that the people who consider themselves purists are really quite modern in their thinking, to think that the novel is an uneditable, uncollaborative work...They have it a bit backward...It’s the other way around."
    • BBC One created a documentary on Fan Armies that focused on Tumblr, saying "Through their fandom, fans are developing skills that will make them more employable in the future." These included not only writing but multimedia skills. "They're really good video editors...they're really good at photo editing." They're also good at promotion. "Even to build these fanpages and have thousands of followers is learning to market something and build something...they can go work for a company and build their social media profile because they know what they're doing and how to do it well." (Transcript not available)

    What stories have you come across about storytelling platforms? Write about them on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanwork transitions

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 5 March 2014 - 9:18 odpoledne
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    • Even while fanfic writer Bianca Bernardino is seeing her work turned into film, another author is turning to fanfic of her own work. As L.J. Smith explained last year, "[E]ven though I have written the entire series, I don’t own anything about The Vampire Diaries. And from now on, the books will be written by an anonymous ghostwriter, just as Stefan’s Diaries are. It will say 'Created by L. J. Smith' on the cover, but I am not allowed even to change a word in the ghostwriter’s book." Instead, Smith has released the first of a series through Amazon's Kindle Worlds.
    • J.K. Rowling's changing views on relationships in Harry Potter led to articles across the Internet, from The Washington Post to The Wire recording fan reaction. But blogger Lucy Softich reminded readers that "it doesn't change anything." "It was also really interesting when she told us Dumbledore was gay, but it didn’t really affect the story. It didn’t add subtext that wasn’t already there, or validate any arguments. Authors decide how to write their books, yes, but once they’re published, they can’t change anything...Fanfiction, on the other hand, can do anything. It can take the smallest interaction between characters, and turn it into a shipping war. It can take the merest hints, and create new and unexpected plot-twists. It can highlight things everyone else overlooked. And unlike books, its not permanent."
    • While more people trying out fanfiction are pleasantly surprised by the experience, Emma Cueto at Bustle suggests that the real problem is that too many people don't understand what it is. "Look at the book (and movie) The Hours, which was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Isn’t it just meta-fanfic where the book that inspired the fan fiction is also part of the story?...It just happens to be very well done and rooted in a literary great, so no one bothered to notice. Then there are shows like Once Upon a Time that put a new spin on fairy tales, or Sleepy Hollow and Dracula that grew out of classic novels...Don’t tell me that isn’t just fan fiction with a budget."
    • Kendra Mack at Open Source focused on the importance of participation in fanwork communities. "But female fans have long participated in (and led) fan communities before this RW shift, remixing and making new meanings from fictional texts. Henry Jenkins has written about the influence of television fan fiction writers in the 1980s, many of whom were women...This practice of fan refocalization continues today with shows like Adventure Time, a (personal favorite) cartoon with two male character leads that has many fans creating derivative fiction and art focused on the secondary female characters. The show also received positive fan reaction and high ratings after airing an episode in which the gender of all the characters are reversed, not to mention a slew of fan art and fiction involving the gender-swapped heroines."

    What fanwork transitions do you think should be remembered? 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Marketing to women

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pondělí, 3 March 2014 - 1:22dop.
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    Banner by Bremo of a smiling Frank Sinatra passing a group of excited fangirls

    • There have been discussions in the media over past months that suggest that a significant reason for the erasure of women in fandom is that companies have no interest in marketing to them. This was made explicit in an article on io9 which discussed the fear of TV network executives that their cartoons had too many female fans.
    • Even targeting stereotypical female interests seems difficult for marketers to do, leaving women's fashion options lacking for years. Perhaps that's why this feature on a history of fangirl fashion in Elle seems to be more a collection of random female fan photos than an exploration of the creative fashion statements seen at fan gatherings.
    • Part of the problem may be the general disapproval expressed when women come up with their own ways of enjoying fandom. Even when commercial entities use many of the same ideas it's somehow different when fans do these things for themselves. This attitude may be a factor in why even some fannish people resist becoming fans.
    • The Shipping News focused on what such disapproval said about wider society. "[I]t’s not the fans that make it all about sex, it’s everyone else...we just like to see people fall in love. Sure, sex is a part of that – a super fun part that we enjoy immensely – but anyone that has read over 80,000 words to get to a kiss, knows that porn is just a side effect...they have got to stop assuming that slash fandom is synonymous with sexual deviancy. Slash fandom encompasses A LOT of different things, so the fact that they are obsessed with the part that is porn says more about them than it does about us."

    What issues involving female fandom have you come across? Write about it on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Restricting fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Čtvrtek, 27 February 2014 - 8:06 odpoledne
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    • OTW legal staffer Casey Fiesler has written a paper on “Remixers’ Understandings of Fair Use Online" which found that fans' understanding of fair use is often incorrect. “What the community typically believes and does can actually affect what is judged legal,” says Amy Bruckman, professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and researcher on the study. “So it’s in their interests to have cohesion to craft codes of best practice.”
    • The Australian government has released a report on Copyright and the Digital Economy that supports the development of fair use, and specifically mentions fan fiction as a reason to adopt it. "Fair use in relation to quotation may provide more room for some artistic practices, including the sampling, mashup and remixing of copyright material in musical compositions, new films, art works and fan fiction. More broadly, some artistic practices based on appropriation, including collage, where images or objects are ‘borrowed’ and re-contextualised might be covered by fair use." (p.212)
    • When commercial entities get sold, or decide that a particular project isn't sufficiently profitable, fans can lose both the product and the work they put into it when it's shut down. "An enormous fan outcry began as the remaining [YoVille]players were the most dedicated the game had, and they didn’t want to lose everything they’d invested in their virtual lives. They threatened Zynga boycotts and made heartfelt YouTube videos pleading their case. Their response got the attention of the original creators of the game, Big Viking, and now there’s a new push to buy back the title from Zynga, rather than having it be killed outright."
    • Another problem is when businesses fight to restrict new technology that can help consumers influence those decisions. "Studios and broadcasters argued then that [recording] technology would end civilization as we know it. Instead, it opened up a universe of new opportunities. Just last week, my colleague Ryan Faughnder reported that the Fox comedy Enlisted may be saved from low-ratings death by a surprising surge in DVR and on-demand viewing."

    What legal and business stories have you come across that involve fandom? Write about them on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Cross-border fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 26 February 2014 - 8:25 odpoledne
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    Banner by Robyn of two stick figures saying 'Fan' and 'Fiction' to one another while standing on a split color square

    • The Manila Standard Today featured some articles on fanfiction, dubbing them "The other side of the fandom." The features explain types of fanfic and their locations online, concluding "Writers are not paid when they write fanfics. They all do it for the fandom, for their readers, and for themselves. Thus for consolation, reading the comments of their reader, knowing someone appreciates their work and waits patiently for the new chapter are enough for them to keep on writing."
    • A spate of stories on Sherlock fanfiction writing in China show a certain surprise about slash but there is also a focus on the significance of it within Chinese culture. "The other part of that equation is that the cultural landscape has shifted, attitudes about gay men, gender roles, and sex have shifted and women have seen this...In a country where gay men are in marriages they don't want to be in, where people are told to act straight, and where gay men and lesbians are even entering fake marriages to get people off their backs and live their lives, the Fu Nv represent an improvement in the country's attitudes toward the LGBT community, even if it is by way of raunchy Curly Fu-Peanut fan fiction."
    • In France some have decided to crowdfund a Sherlock fanfic adaptation of a young Sherlock and John meeting. Asked about the motivation for the project, director Naomi Javor replied "To quote the author. “You don’t need to be gay to like someone the same sex as you. [You must be] In love.” This is the message that spoke to me and inspired me...[I] want the viewers to feel like it gives [sexual] minorities an opportunity to be represented as well. It differs from mainstream media because I don’t need to worry that my network will shut me down."
    • The Fandom Post looked back at 2013 to pick out The (Lighter Side of the) Year in Anime. "Before the first month of the new year is over, we’d like to make some additions to The Year in Anime Awards, which we presented a short while ago. It’s not all just about serious awards for worthy shows. No, the review staff of The Fandom Post also knows when it’s time to kick back and take a less reverent look at the year just passed. Here, our staff members present some individual or specialized 'awards' for outstanding…something or other."

    What fanworks have you seen crossing boundaries? Write about it on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom accomplishments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pondělí, 24 February 2014 - 6:22 odpoledne
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    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of an iPad with a blue ribbon displayed saying 'You rock!' and the post title over a half logo

    • Transformative Works and Cultures editor, Karen Hellekson, will be delivering one of the Academic keynote presentations at the 72nd meeting of WorldCon in London. She will discuss a range of Doctor Who fan videos, including those that recreate missing episodes and re-frame post-2005 episodes.
    • Legal staffer Heidi Tandy will be presenting at South by Southwest on Tuesday, March 11 at 10 AM at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Together with professor Anne Jamison, she will be discussing Why Fanfic Is Taking Over the World
    • The 5th annual Digital Media and Learning Conference, themed “Connecting Practices,” calls for learning organizations and institutions to pursue “extreme collaborating" and will be attracting hundreds of technologists, educators, activists and researchers to the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Massacussets on March 6-8. Among the projects being highlighted is an "online fan fiction community that brings together readers and writers to create, read and review fiction works, fostering mentoring relationships that advance writing and intergenerational learning."
    • The speedrunning site Speed Demos Archive has been holding an annual winter livestreamed speedrunning marathon called Awesome Games Done Quick which has been raising money for cancer research. This year, they raised over a million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. As LibertyVoice noted "The non-stop game-fest continued for seven days straight and then kept going for bonus games."

    What fan accomplishments do you think should be remembered? 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Creativity everywhere

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pátek, 21 February 2014 - 4:59 odpoledne
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    Banner by Erin of a sunrise behind the OTW logo with images of a globe, paintbrushes and a computer sound button.

    • Crunchyroll displayed a slew of artwork when taking note of a new fanart meme. "The last week has given rise to bit of obvious genius on Japanese art portal Pixiv. Suitable for some awesome wallpapers, the hot trend of the moment in fanart is to draw characters trapped behind the glass of a smartphone."
    • Meanwhile, io9 pointed out how fans are drawing the next Disney princess even though her details haven't been released yet. "Only one image associated with Moana has come out, and Disney has said that it isn't concept art for the movie, which focuses on Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief from a long line of navigators. But based on that artwork and the setting of the film, a handful of artists have started drawing their own visions of Moana, drawing from various South Pacific cultures."
    • Bowing to user demand, the World of Warcraft site battle.net added a fanfiction forum. "That's right, you asked for it and now you've got it. We hope you have your creative juices flowing because now is the time to share just what it is that's been crawling through your brain and itching to be be shared beyond the confines of your skull. Those voices you hear? Those are your own characters or interpretations of the world (of Warcraft) whispering in your ear and begging to be set free upon your fellows."
    • IGN looked at audio fanworks for games. "Fans go to great lengths to celebrate the games they love. Some write fan fiction, draw beautiful images, or cosplay as their favorite characters. Others channel their reverence and admiration into rap albums. Some video game-themed rap songs make a big impact, but several more fall under the radar. The following are some of the best songs that didn't quite nab the recognition they deserve."

    What fanwork discussions have you come across? Write about it on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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