Commercial Works Authors

  • OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?

    By Ellorgast on Úterý, 23 June 2015 - 4:29 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Several people are silhouetted against a sky fading after sunset, posing as though dancing.  Text in front of them reads 'OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?'

    • South Africa's Daily Maverick provided an overview of fandom with some definitions. "You cannot be a part of fandom if you love something but do not interact with fellow fans. Fandom is less a kingdom of fanatics and more a kinship of one...Imagine this happening; a group of fans sit down, someone says I really thought x should have been y and almost everyone agrees on the fact. Not that big a deal, right? Now imagine that they do that same thing on the internet. Suddenly the scope of people who are meaningfully discussing and often reach consensus numbers in the thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes much more than that. That alone is a powerful thing; hard for the original creator of a book or TV show to ignore, but it is not the only powerful thing about fandom."
    • As each year passes, it seems most people take part in fandom in some way, however unlikely. It's also increasingly seen as a professional outlet. ABS CBN News featured live erotica readings in the Philippines that included fanfic creations, though these at least were created by the performers. " The writers dream up their concoctions in various formats: monologues, radio plays, fan fiction, interactive games. They draw inspiration from everywhere: history, art, science, comic books, movies. Once a draft is ready, it’s submitted to a core group of writers who conduct an informal workshop, offering comments and and revision, until there’s a general consensus that the work is ready."
    • The Daily Beast focused on print erotica, interviewing a writer selling U.S. president fanfic on Amazon. "'I wanted to write something that had never been done, but then I thought, ‘Oh, this is a really interesting idea,’' he said, before adding that in fact, presidential erotica has sort of been done. 'There was some [erotica] that involved sex with four presidents, but they were all consecutive. No one had sex with William Howard Taft (1909-1913) but also Richard Nixon." No mention was made of Historical RPF fanworks.
    • As a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro at The New Statesman pointed out, commercializing fanwork is hardly new. "I love the fact that, you know, in the early versions of King Lear, the story had a happy ending. Shakespeare turned it into a tragedy, and through the 18th and 19th centuries they kept trying to give it a happy ending again. But people kept going back to the one that Shakespeare created. You could definitely view Shakespeare as fan fiction, in his own way. I’ve only ever written, as far as I know, one book that did the thing that happens when people online get hold of it and start writing their own fiction, which was Good Omens, which I did with Terry Pratchett. It’s a 100,000-word book; there’s probably a million words of fiction out there by now, written by people who were inspired by characters in the book." (Gaiman is mistaken about the limits of his success, though).

    Make sure your own favorite fanworks don't get forgotten: 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: For the Benjamins

    By Claudia Rebaza on Úterý, 28 April 2015 - 4:50 odpoledne
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    Banner by Sidhrat of U.S. $100 bills floating in the air with the title 'OTW Fannews: For the Benjamins'

    • PC Gamer discussed a Half-Life fan's job offer after releasing a popular mod. "Transmissions: Element 120 is a "short single-player" Half-life 2 mod that equips players with a new kind of gravity gun that enables them to leap over buildings and fall from great distances without suffering damage. Taking place after the events of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, it challenges players to figure out where they are and why they've been sent there. On the technical side, it boasts custom levels, code, models, sounds, and a number of upgrades to the Source Engine, including enhanced dynamic lighting, improved support for complex structures, and better AI. And it was all created by one guy."
    • Los Angeles magazine instead suggested that fan films could be personal vehicles. "Fantasy author and captain’s hat aficionado, George R.R. Martin, famously hates fan-fiction based on his Game of Thrones universe, but it’s an uphill battle for Martin, judging by the popularity of his characters amongst online amateur writers with a penchant for sword fights, dragons, and magic. And it’s not just the literary kind Martin has to worry about. Now, fan made videos that either recreate scenes from certain episodes (“The Red Wedding” is a favorite) or spin-offs that feature new characters and plot lines but are still set in the world of Westeros are popping up on YouTube. Some are predictably terrible and a lot like Jack Black and Mos Def’s attempts at recreating their favorite movies in Be Kind Rewind but others are downright genius."
    • There are certainly more commercial projects that are creating spaces for readers to join in with their own contributions. But publishers are also on the lookout for anything that's getting popular. Kidscreen reported on HarperCollins offering a contract to a fanfic writer for his Minecraft series "that’s been making the rounds in middle schools across the US. Wolfe wrote at the first part of the trilogy at age 16 and then self-published it on Amazon.com in January, 2014."
    • Meanwhile Supernatural actors Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr. are creating a show based on their convention appearances. The "crowd-funded show called Kings Of Con — a fictional series that follows an exaggerated version of Rob and Richard...will follow their experiences during their 15 annual international cons, in which the fans aren't the only crazy ones — but the cast is as well."

    Whether projects about fans or projects by fans, is everyone going commercial? Write about those events 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: Improving on the Original

    By Kiri Van Santen on Středa, 22 April 2015 - 4:36 odpoledne
    Message type:

    banner by Robyn of the title of the post

    • Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat had positive words for fanfiction in a recent interview. Asked for "the best or funniest piece of Sherlock fan fiction or fan art you’ve seen" he replied, "A load of it has been superb. There’s a tendency to disparage it. I don’t agree. Even the slash fiction, that’s a great way to learn to work. No one really does three-act structure, but just trying to put words that make somebody else turned on, that’s going to teach you more about writing than any writing college you can go to. It’s creative and exciting. I refuse to mock it—because I’m a man who writes Sherlock Holmes fan fiction for a living!" He added that "[EL James] turned her fandom of something into something that’s an industry in itself. Why are we not applauding until our hands bleed? No, we mock her. We say, 'Oh, it’s not very good.' Except she managed to write something that everybody wants to read...By what standard is it not good if loads and loads of people love it?'"
    • Fans of The Inheritance Cycle novels were offered fanfiction while they waited for the next edition. The books' official fansite posted "We are excited to announce the launch of Shur’tugal Fan Fiction, the ultimate archive of Inheritance Cycle fan fiction stories! Aspiring writers and Inheritance fans now have an outlet to read, write, and enjoy stories by fans, set within Eragon’s universe."
    • At Grantland, Steven Hyden discussed the afterlife of Smash, as an effort to stage its play within a TV show "raised more than $300,000, making it the most successful Kickstarter for a theater show ever." Hyden concluded, "The line between fiction and fan fiction has been eradicated. The web-enabled afterlives of Community and Arrested Development have proven that long-struggling network shows can subsist solely on the passion of diehards elsewhere. With the Bombshell Kickstarter campaign, fans have found a way to actually improve what they’ve resurrected — a Smash without Leo, Ellis, Uma, smoothies, and all other remnants of the badly managed TV version."

    What fannish version of canon would you like to see resurrected? 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: The Mirror Writers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pátek, 10 April 2015 - 5:32 odpoledne
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    Banner by Alice of a fountain tip pen dragging away from a mirror

    • A number of media articles have recently mentioned fanfiction in relation with the pro side of writing. One was in TIME where Rhys Griffiths discusses the continuation novel. Describing various works not written by the original authors, Rhys calls them an attempt "to obscure the act of literary ventriloquism that is occurring. The continuation novel differs from fan fiction (also enjoying a purple patch, which is unlikely to be a coincidence) chiefly in its ‘official’ nature. The books are commissioned by the deceased author’s estate, written with its approval, and marketed using both author’s brand associations."
    • A more direct example of 'literary ventriloquism' appeared in Flavorwire, which posted about fiction ghostwriting. "In this respect, both the YouTube megastar and the self-effacing ghostwriter are weirdly analogous to the writer of fanfiction and the self-published author, both of whom publishing has gone to great lengths to exploit in recent years. The now competing self-publishing models of Apple and Amazon point to an automated future...of a 'consumer' driven model that relies on upvoting." The article concludes that "The fact that the reader gets to choose 'precisely what she wants to read before any work goes to press,' neutralizes the dream of fiction...to alter what we think is possible. It becomes nothing but a magic mirror that reaffirms our prejudices."
    • It is writers' prejudices that concern Jordan West, who gives advice on diversifying characters in fanfiction. "As much diversity as there is in fan communities, it shouldn’t be difficult for people to find reflections of themselves in fic. Fan works aren’t restrained by the same conventions as mainstream media, so we can’t blame editors or producers for telling us what we’re allowed to write. The go-to feeling for reading a fic should be based on whether you like it, not gratitude that it even exists."
    • Games Radar profiled tie-in novelist Karen Traviss, who discussed both the freedoms and restrictions of being paid to write for a gaming franchise. "One guy told me he'd proudly showed the first novel to his family to demonstrate that the game that had kept him working almost 24/7 for the last couple of years was something that had an existence beyond gameplay, and that a novelist, an 'independent' arbiter of its worth in a way, had seen the same magic in it that he had. I thought that was very touching, and I don't use the word touching about the industry very often."

    Where are the lines you see between fanworks and their pro counterparts? 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: Building and Re-Building

    By thatwasjustadream on Čtvrtek, 2 April 2015 - 9:39 odpoledne
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    OTW Fannews Building and Rebuilding graphic by Rachel G with an image of the YouTube logo being broken apart

    • The Prince Albert Daily Herald wrote about a fanfiction author whose path to publication involved plagiarism. "Another series she’s working on centres on the fictional Red Rebels motorcycle club, which was inspired by the television series Sons of Anarchy. It started off as a Sons of Anarchy fan fiction novel she wrote and was stolen by someone online who stripped it of the television references and tried to pass it off as an original novel of their own. The rip-off garnered some positive reviews, so Breadner decided to give motorcycle club fiction a try."
    • Rosalyn Hunter wrote about her experience with fan video takedowns. "I posted the work on You Tube and others were able to find it. They gave me comments and encouragement to go on and try again. I had begun the learning process. I was pleased, but this positive experience was not to continue. My next videos were found to have content matching commercial works, and so they were either blocked worldwide, or removed entirely...I created a video and posted it as a private work. This work too received a content warning. Others were not able to view and comment on the work...I was told in one case that I could erase the music and pick a piece from their music library, but the images were integrated with the music. To remove the music would upset the unity of the work so that it would make no sense."
    • The Asian Age reported on expected takedowns. "[A] massive crackdown by Google on Blogger, its popular global blogging community, will effectively ban all ‘mature’ creative content from the site." As of 2012, Google made it easier to censor Blogger content by country. "Adult fanfiction writer Khyati Gupta, who has been writing an ongoing work-in-progess of erotica for almost six months now, shares...'To me, a blog always meant a space where I could be myself, express myself freely and share my creative musings with a host of people who don’t personally know me and are therefore better placed to give me completely objective feedback. It was that one space where I didn’t have to restrain my imagination. Erotica is a fairly marginalised genre in India as far as paperbacks go.”
    • By comparison the Apocalypse Weird franchise centers on collaboration. "The creative collaboration on Apocalypse Weird is scheduled to include 20 authors, with two new titles releasing each month. There are also plans for a fan-fiction thread, in which readers will be able to expand on the stories of their favourite characters with the chance of their contributions becoming canon in the Apocalypse Weird universe. There’s an impressive level of creativity and ambition in this indie publishing collaboration, something too often missing from mainstream publishing today."

    What examples of takedowns or collaboration have you experienced? 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: Fanficcers for Hire

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 29 March 2015 - 4:51 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Banner by Erin of a series of graph bars and the OTW logo

    • Westword featured a story on another app targeted to fandom for content aggregation. It allows users to create separate collections, or 'nests', for different fandom content. Its creator "examined how many people watch certain shows, what percentage are female, the number of fan fictions posted online, and how many hits those fictions garner. As a result, she can now confidently estimate that there are about 10 million fangirls" in the US.
    • The Verge was among several sites discussing the new Wattpad app which promises to curate content for users. "The app is curated, breaking its mature-rated stories up by content-specific channels such as 'southern romance,' 'urban,' and 'panty droppers.' As on Wattpad itself, users can comment and vote through the app, which for now, is only available on the App Store. The app will also feature regular romance stories alongside its fan fiction, but Melissa Shapiro, Wattpad's head of marketing, says it's the celeb-focused stories that drove the app's creation. 'On the heels of the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, interest in mature stories has spiked,' Shapiro said."
    • Apparently erotica is in such demand that some are hiring fanficcers to write it. Seven Days interviewed a Vermont-based ghostwriter. "After she left her corporate job because of childcare issues, Croteau relates, she searched for freelance writing work on the networking platform oDesk. She "found that there were a number of people looking to have someone write an erotica story or a romance story for them. I thought, 'I used to write it for fanfic [fan fiction]; might as well,' she recalls, "and found that there's something really fun about writing about sex.'"
    • While nothing's stopping fanficcers from finding a platform to sell from, The Globe and Mail looked at the After Dark app as part of Wattpad's reader battle with Amazon. "Instead of major publishing houses deciding who gets printed, it’s readers themselves who choose, McIlroy said. 'The most radical thing is the passionate interaction between the writer and reader that’s not intermediated by a bunch of pompous fools who say, ‘We know better than any of you.’' Other players are sure to appear. "[D]igital authors are attracting crowdfunding, online readers have become editors and stories are being turned into games by companies such as Google Inc.’s Niantic Labs."

    Where have you seen fanficcers hired to write for pay? 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: For the Fun of It

    By Janita Burgess on Úterý, 24 March 2015 - 5:00 odpoledne
    Message type:

    OTW Fannews banner by Robyn with the text that reads for the fun of it in rainbow tie-dye colours

    • Orangeville.com featured a 12 year old boy who has published Minecraft fanfiction. "The book is presently available in Kindle format...Scott said he hadn’t set out to pen a novel. Rather, he merely doodled the story for fun, something for he and his friends to look over...It wasn’t until his mother encouraged him to continue it that he began to seriously entertain the possibility of a book." While his success has so far been small, it's still been important. "'It’s an awesome experience to know somebody other than my parents liked the book,' he said."
    • Apparently the Cosmo girl is now a fanfic writer. For those yet unpublished fanfiction writers, Cosmopolitan pointed the way to success in fanfiction writing. Included in their 8 steps were "Don't spend too much time coming up with Most Original Story Ever. Just start writing" and "Prove you're a true fan by incorporating Easter eggs."
    • Some have noticed the thin line between gossip and fanfiction, but Tablet Mag offered a look at religion in fanfiction. "[T]hough I am generally dismayed by fanfic about real people (our intern Gabi pointed me to a clueless and shudder-inducing fantasy in which Harry and Louis of the boy band One Direction are a Jew and a Nazi getting hot-n-heavy in a concentration camp), who could object to a wee tale about Jon Stewart inviting Rachel Maddow, Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper, and Keith Olbermann to his Seder? Meanwhile, in Hanukkah ficdom, I was utterly tickled by “Chag Sammy-ach,”...that gives us Sam and Dean Winchester, the demon fighters of Supernatural, battling the titular monsters of the award-winning children’s book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins."
    • The Guardian interviewed author Susie Day about her short story centered on Sherlock fandom and LGBT protagonists. "It’s fair to say, not a lot of research was required for the Sherlock side of the story. And it’s true, Shirin and Candy could’ve been brought together by their mutual love of a cricketing Time Lord and his favourite ginger schoolboy, or quiffy John Smith and his Mister Master… or Sunnydale witches… muppets in space… Spooky and Dana… Dean Winchester and his car…I’m fascinated by reception history: the way that when and how we watch impacts on how we ‘do’ fandom. The Reichenbach Fall was a unique TV event, the agonising wait that followed even more so. For 717 days, continuing that story (how Sherlock did it, what happens when John finds out he’s alive) belonged to fandom."

    Which fandom worlds do you know the most about? 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: Interacting with Canon

    By algonquin on Úterý, 3 March 2015 - 5:12 odpoledne
    Message type:

    • 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.

  • Transcript for "Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated"

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 8 February 2015 - 7:18 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Banner by Kat of old school pixel images of a typewriter, an mp3 player, a cosplayer, a film camera, and a desktop computer with the title 'International Fanworks Day, February 15, 2015'

    As part of celebrations for International Fanworks Day, the OTW hosted a chat on February 8, 2015. "Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated", with authors Cecilia Tan, Tara Sue Me, and Racheline Maltese.

    We would like to thank all of the panelists who took part in this chat. Be sure to check out other planned events for International Fanworks Day and let us know how you will be celebrating!

    The transcript has been edited for clarity and to omit attendees' arrivals, departures, and personal greetings.


    Janita Burgess
    I just put a little reminder post on tumblr with a link to this chat room, so we might get people joining as this goes on.

    *Racheline
    Ah excellent, I should go remind my Tumblr peeps.

    *Cecilia T.
    Yeah, I just hit Twitter, Tumblr, Ello, Tsu, Facebook, Google+. What am I forgetting?

    Kiki
    Morse code

    Ed W.
    to catch your breath

    Janita Burgess
    Unless you have LJ or DW... That's pretty freaking thorough.

    *Francesca C.
    semaphore

    anyone remember the old Python sketch--Wuthering Heights

    with an Aldis Lamp

    Claudia R.
    Haha, one of my favorites, Francesca

    *Cecilia T.
    Oh right! LJ/DW/IJ. brb...!

    Nerine Luna C.
    I can't even imagine having to keep up with all those social media o.O

    *Racheline
    I think a lot of us view it as part of the job. Cecilia is a champion at it though.

    Nerine Luna C.
    I'm good with just facebook and tumblr, and twitter to just check up on others (I don't really tweet myself)

    *nods* I can imagine, but still.. those are a lot of things to keep up with

    algonquin
    I'll be honest in that I've pared down to what gets the most response. I'm on a year's sabbatical from Facebook.

    Janita Burgess
    I wish I could do that, but I think my mom would think I was dead

    *Tara S.
    I only do Facebook and Twitter.

    *Racheline
    Weirdly, FB works really well for me, even though I'm not a huge fan of it. But a lot of the romance reading community is there. Twitter is my favorite probably. And I enjoy using Tumblr but that's sort of a weird hybrid of my fan and pro activity.

    Soprano R.
    I'm on an indefinite sabbatical from Tumblr, myself. It kept eating my soul.

    algonquin
    LOL. tumblr is TEH DEBIL but I love it so much. So much positivity for fandom. As for Facebook, the algorithm BS has really limited my writing audience, and my family on there drives me insane. Hence the break.

    *Cecilia T.
    Tumblr is the world's most addictive time sink.

    Soprano R.
    Yes. Yes it is.

    *Cecilia T.
    There are entire TV shows and movies I'll never see but I know all about them from Tumblr.

    algonquin
    SAME

    Soprano R.
    MEGA SAME

    Kiki
    Fannish osmosis via tumblr

    *Cecilia T.
    Yes exactly.

    Nerine Luna C.
    yep. absolutely.

    Bjørg J.
    Same for me

    *Racheline
    So here's the trick for the FB algorithm -- post the thing to your author page, then share it from your personal page. Boom 500 views!

    *Cecilia T.
    So set the scene for me, what are you all drinking and what music are you listening to (if any)?

    Bjørg J.
    All I know about Doctor Who I've got from tumblr, ever seen an actual episode

    algonquin
    Diet Coke, no music or I'll be singing instead of paing attention

    Ed W.
    diet coke and rock n roll

    Soprano R.
    I just finished my rose hip tea and I'm tempted to listen to the Bayonetta OST...

    *Cecilia T.
    I'm drinking a tea blend called Starry Night (black tea with coconut shavings, delicious) and listening to Adam Lambert.

    *Francesca C.
    I'm your host, Francesca Coppa, I'm one the folks who founded this popcorn stand, and I'm really really pleased today to be able to host a discussion with three authors who have written both fanfiction and published work in the market--Cecilia Tan, Racheline Maltese, and Tara Sue Me. (For our audience, their chat usernames and mine are all prefaced with a * symbol.)

    Seanan McGuire has a great quote where she says

    "A lot of fanfic authors go on to become professional authors, and keep on writing fanfic in whatever spare time they have. I am not a special snowflake in this regard. I belong to a blizzard."

    These are three VERY special snowflakes in that blizzard!

    Welcome everybody to the Organization for Transformative Works chat on "Why Fanworks Should be Celebrated" which is one of the events leading up to International Fanworks Day on Feb 15!

    I'll like to start by having them introduce themselves, and maybe talk a little about your fan-pro history: how you got into fandom, when you went pro, how you see the relationship between fan and pro writing. We then have questions previously submitted by the audience and we're also happy to let the discussion range organically--so if you have questions, do ask them.

    (we'll ask you to type "raise hand" and we'll call in people in order)

    but to start, let's have the panelists introduce themselves, so maybe we'll go in order of the sidebar--Cecila, Racheline, and Tara--is that ok?

    *Cecilia T.
    Sure!

    *Racheline
    works for me

    *Tara S.
    sounds good!

    *Francesca C.
    Cecilia take it away :D

    *Cecilia T.
    LOL! It's snowing here, by the way. Again. *cries* But hi, I'm Cecilia, and I was a professional fiction writer for about ten years before I fell headfirst into Harry Potter fanfic. I started writing fic and I have never stopped, basically.

    I'm still active in Potter fandom today.

    I just looked back at my Livejournal to see what year that was. 2006.

    (I should add, I used to be sort of in the closet about it, but that didn't last.)

    My life goal is pretty much to kick down any closet door I see, so of course it didn't last. :-)

    I should also add I welcome people writing fic in my own universes, too. It's all about love, why would I want to squash that?

    *Cecilia T.
    LOL. That's plenty from me for now. Racheline?

    *Racheline
    Hahaha. Okay. Like Cecilia, I've spent a lot of time in HP fandom and have always been open about my real identity online which is a luxury I have that I acknowledge a lot of people don't.

    I think I started in fandom as a tween and was exchanging stories in the V fandom (um, it was a miniseries in the 80s about lizard people aliens) via postal mail.

    Online I've been most active in the Harry Potter, Glee, and Riverside (Ellen Kushner's book series that begins with Swordspoint) fandoms. My background is in journalism; I was always a writer. But it was basically an accident that I wound up with a lot of professional opportunities because of that fan stuff to write both fiction and non-fiction.

    I just got my first piece of fanart ever for some of my original work, so that's been really exciting (also like Cecilia, people should feel free to play in my sandboxes).

    *Cecilia T.
    (<3 fanart!)

    *Tara S.
    Hi, I’m Tara and I joined the Twilight fandom in 2008 and started writing fanfic shortly thereafter.

    In Jan 2009, I decided to try my hand at erotic AH AU Twilight fanfic. I didn’t tell anyone in real life and, in fact, I only told my husband after I was approached with a book deal.

    I have a background in the Pharmaceutical industry.

    And that's about all for me!

    *Francesca C.
    That's great, that's wonderful.

    Maybe we'll start with a few of the questions that were submitted

    and alternate with questions from folks here?

    One of the questions we got is: Do you think published fiction does or could benefit from elements more normally found in fanfiction?

    Do you each want to have a crack at that?

    *Cecilia T.
    Sure. Same order?

    *Francesca C.
    yeah, that's easiest

    puts Cecilia on the spot :D

    *Cecilia T.
    I do wonder what they mean by elements -- I think I've got most of the same elements of emotional arc, eroticism, and fantasy in my pro writing as I do in my fic. But I often think pro publishing could use with adopting some things like warnings/enticements. If only there were a way to make the warnings optionally visible/invisible on printed books!

    No one has to slash my characters or queer them because they're already queer, usually. :-)

    *Racheline
    Yes, yes, yes! Being in the romance space, I see that space fighting battles we resolved in fandom ages ago. Some presses and review sites still rate books with queer content as more adult than books with only cisgendered M/F content. And I'm like we're still doing this? Really? So there's a lot of cultural stuff I think the world of pro writing could learn from fan culture.

    I also think there's this trend towards serialized writing that is popular because of how it drives sales, but you know who does serialization fantastically? Fandom. Because we learned it from being TV fans. And I think pro writing that isn't screen-based has a lot to learn from some of us in that regard.

    *Tara S.
    I know for me, I felt more freedom in fanfic and I do think sometimes I feel limited when I’m writing something for publication.

    There are sometimes things I’d do in fanfic (even silly things) I think would never translate well in published fic. Who knows? Maybe it would.

    *Cecilia T.
    Oooh, yes yes yes about serials. I wrote two online serials after my experiences both writing and being addicted to various fanfic WIPs. I wrote The Prince's Boy to see if I could create that same addictive experience using original settings and characters. And Daron's Guitar Chronicles is still ongoing. It's been running ever since 2009 and still going strong.

    *Racheline
    Tara, that's so interesting, because I definitely started writing published romance because of things I felt like fandom wasn't responsive too that I wanted to explore.

    *Cecilia T.
    I know what you mean about silly things we do in fandom though. And there are things you can do when your fandom has a common language and conventions.

    *Francesca C.
    I'm interested in the fact that both Cecilia and Tara talked about warnings/ratings/enticements - I was asked to give a talk at the Midwestern Archivists association about the AO3's tagging system, and we really understand metadata when it comes to story content.

    I think you are right that mainstream publishing - and other mainstream venues--have a lot to learn from fandom when it comes to warnings, advertising, tags, and all that

    *Francesca C.
    All of you-right? All of you have written serials?

    *Racheline
    I definitely do warnings posts when I promote my work in fan spaces. In non-fan spaces people tend to be a little boggled.

    I'm currently doing two series one for Torquere (book 2 just came out) and one for Dreamspinner that starts later this year. I'm also involved in a project I can't really talk about yet that's about delivering serialized narratives from writers you may already know and love. You'll hear more this summer.

    *Francesca C.
    Let me give one more question from the list and then we'll maybe solicit a few from the present audience,

    Question: How do you recommend taking a story from a fanwork to a story that can be published? How different does it need to be from the fandom in order to decrease the likelihood of the original work trying to prevent publication?

    *Cecilia T.
    With Harry Potter I've never been able to file the serial numbers off. The magic and the things inherent to that world that make the stories interesting can't be excised. But I did file the numbers off an Alan Rickman/Jason Isaacs piece I wrote that had Harry Potter elements. I had to change the movie set to a different movie and make it more of a satire of Wizard World. I've filed the numbers off a Hikaru no Go fic also, moved it from Tokyo to New York and changed it from the game of Go to chess. But mostly I'm not even tempted to. Fic is fic and I want to keep it that way.

    The Rickman/Isaacs story was for an anthology called "I Kissed a Boy" and the editor specifically requested it. :-)

    *Racheline
    I didn't really encounter this, because my original stuff doesn't come directly from media properties. Rather, I decided I wanted to write backstage stories about how film and television are made and people falling in love in that context, because of some of the misunderstandings I saw out there in fandom. But I think you write or transform something into original fiction the way you write anything. You ask questions. You say "What if?" You keep changing that what if until you hit on something that really turns your crank and maybe you've never seen before. And then you tell the story.

    Small changes cascade quickly, but they should be changes that mean something. Just filing the serial numbers off isn't really that fun as a writer or reader.

    *Tara S.
    To be honest, if you’re wanting to get your work published, I don’t recommend posting it as fan fiction. I know that comes across a bit contradictory, but there are several reasons why:

    The works that got published from the TWILIGHT fandom (MOTU/Fifty Shades, The Office/Beautiful Bastard, UoEM/Gabriel’s Inferno, and my own three Submissive Books, to name a few) were vastly different from the original work. There were no sparkling vampires, no mind reading, no werewolves, etc. Everyone was fully human and no one was in high school.

    These works were a very small subset of TWILIGHT fan fiction. They were all erotic in nature, mostly dealt with wealthy men, and a good number had BDSM elements.

    There have been many cases where an author’s fan fiction was picked up by a publisher, but ended up not selling well and those authors were unable to get another contract. (Granted, this could happen with ANY book).

    In my opinion, your best bet is to write the work want to get published as original (and either self publish or query) and write your fan fiction for the joy of writing fan fiction.

    *Cecilia T.
    I agree. For the most part for me the joy of fic is that it *isn't* pro work.

    *Racheline
    I don't honestly even think of fic as writing. To me it's more like acting, like reinterpreting Shakespeare. It's inhabiting characters in different given circumstances.

    *Francesca C.
    I want to take mod's discretion and ask each of you a specific follow up! :P

    I'll give the three questions an then circle up and around

    Cecilia: Can you talk more about what you mean by "fic is fic and I want to keep it that way?

    Racheline: Could you talk more about the incremental transformations – because I think this is how a lot of mainstream creativity happens (the The Godfather meets Star Wars) type model?

    Tara: Wasn't there something special and, like, productive/competitive in that small part of Twilight though? Doesn't fandom provide distinct points of inspiration—not just by canon but other fans and fanworks?

    so C, go first?

    By Fic you mean fanfic, yes?

    *Cecilia T.
    Yes, fic=fanfic. I started writing so much fanfic in 2006-2007 because I was at a place in my pro career where I was in a slump, things weren't selling, and I needed something to make writing fun and exciting again!

    There's a way in which you could say I fell in love with writing all over again because of fanfic. Fanfic doesn't feel like work.

    And because for me in Harry Potter it really didn't translate into professional work directly, it was self-contained -- it's it's own community and its own world separate from "work" writing. The benefit was though that now I have written professional work that feels to me as fun and vibrant as my fanfic did. Partly because a lot of the friends I made in fandom moved over to supporting my pro work, too. And some of my pro work then was written with them in mind, not only The Prince's Boy (which can be read as a Harry/Draco high fantasy AU if you squint hard...) but also my Magic University novels, which are pretty obviously a commentary on the Potter books.

    But when I sit down to write for a fanfic fest, which I still do once or twice a year, it's very much a separate thing from my pro writing.

    *Racheline
    Well, here's an example of something in Harry Potter that inspired a backburner project of mine. If you write down all the named characters in HP, there are more boys that girls. Why? HP doesn't tell us. Let's come up with a reason that's internal to the story. Maybe there's something wrong with magic? Maybe it costs us something? Why? Why do we do about it? How does that effect a society over three generations? Or thirty? What mythology does a society start about it? How does this effect family structure? Inheritance laws? The value of women? The practice of magical for casual needs? The development of technology? Is there or is there not an industrial revolution? Answer those questions and you've just built a world because you love HP that has nothing to do with HP. And if we all do that exercise; we'll all write radically different books.

    *Cecilia T.
    (Exactly!! *loves Racheline*)

    *Francesca C.
    (Me too!)

    *Racheline
    I think Cecilia is also right on about how work can comment on what you love. My series with Torquere is about someone who becomes unexpectedly famous. But he's an introvert and kind of hates it. There's a little bit of Katniss Everdeen in his DNA, because he is surly about it. But that's dialogue with texts that also talk about fame, not fanfiction. But people who are fans can enjoy that wink in the direction of Hunger Games.

    *Tara S.
    Oh, I definitely think fan works provide inspiration. I think we can find inspiration everywhere, so it’s natural we’ll find it in fandoms. That’s one of the great things about the fanfic community - the creativity. And like I mentioned before, I think we allow ourselves a certain freedom we wouldn’t otherwise allow. I wrote a m/m fanfic because of others I’d read. And though I hope to one day write a m/m for publication, I haven’t yet.

    As for competition, it was definitely present in the Twi fandom. I haven’t been part of other randoms, is it not found there?

    *Francesca C.
    Thank you guys so much! Should we take a question from the group--anyone here want to raise a hand?

    We'll take a couple in order

    *Racheline
    I'm in the weird position of gravitating towards fandoms about ambition, Tara. It's certainly there in Glee. It's lurking around the edges in Vikings and House of Cards. So yeah, competition is this vibe in fandom sometimes.

    Soprano R.
    I actually have three questions, but I can ask the prominent one, if not.

    They all kinda play on each other, really. Is that okay?

    *Cecilia T.
    Soprano I'd say give it a go with the first one and see where it goes from there?

    Soprano R.
    Oh, okey-dokey!

    *Cecilia T.
    You might find your other questions get answered along the way anyway.

    Soprano R.
    Well, my first question is "How can I get more exposure for my writing?"

    *Cecilia T.
    Fanfic or pro writing?

    Soprano R.
    I've been writing for 10+ years, and I'm an aspiring pro-author.

    I wanna go pro.

    Right now, I'm writing fanfics and I feel sorta invisible...

    Any tips?

    *Cecilia T.
    Exposure is something you seek for your writing *after* you get published. When you're trying to get a publisher initially, it's OK to be invisible because it's mostly happening in the backstage area of publishing. Yes, there are people who do it now by self-publishing and building up an audience through their sales, but it's a relatively new way to do it, still.

    For those who want to build up a fanfic reading audience and try to bring that audience with them when they go pro, I think it really depends on the fandom. Different fandoms have different spaces where they hang out. Ultimately the most important thing is that the writing be strong and that it speaks to people.

    *Francesca C.
    others-thoughts about exposure?

    *Racheline
    So, go pro. Write fanfiction because you love it, not as an audition. Write your original fiction and submit it to publishers or agents. There's this mythology we all have about getting chosen, about being the girl discovered in a diner and made a star. And look, weirder things have happened, as a lot of us can attest to, but you have to make your own opportunities. Saying I have some degree of a fan following probably made it a little easier to pitch some of my work to publishers, because it meant I came with a sales base. It also means I sometimes get invited to do things, because people know my work -- both fan and pro. But you have to take the things you want. You have to believe in yourself and just sort of devour the world.

    Whatever your social media, whatever you're promoting, don't just promote. No one cares, and everyone is exhausted by adertising. No more than 30% promotion. Talk to people, give us a window into your life. Making people interested in you as a writer -- not just your stories -- goes a long way, fan or pro.

    *Tara S.

    I don’t recommend using fanfic to go pro.

    My advice would be to write something original if you want to go pro and keep it separate from fanfic. There’s no reason you have to have visibility with fanfic if you want to go pro. Your agent/editor isn’t going to worry about your fanfic visibility.

    *Cecilia T.
    *nods*

    *Tara S.
    Tell a good story. Write well. The rest will follow.

    *Racheline
    No, but your agent or editor may care that you have a blog with x-thousand followers. That was my experience.

    *Francesca C.
    Soprano, you want to ask a follow up? or others, want to raise hands? also--yes

    authors, feel free to respond to each other, just signal when you're done

    *Cecilia T.
    Yes, but it's much more usual to get those thousand followers to your blog after you're published rather than before.

    Soprano R.
    Awesome. I'm totally taking notes as I read this. So sorry if I'm a bit slow. I'm super-serious about this, you already know.

    *Cecilia T.
    Don't feel like you have to have them first before you go pro.

    *Racheline
    True. I was user like 300 on LJ. My story is weird. (done)

    *Francesca C.
    Eliza - I see you, you're up!

    *Cecilia T.
    :-)

    *Francesca C.
    (Soprano, just raise hand again when/if you want to later)

    Eliza
    do you guys do strict editing before you send to publishers?

    *Racheline
    Yes. ALWAYS. I do a lot of work with my co-author who I also met in fandom. The extra set of eyes helps, but we also have first readers who we work with on story structure notes. Always send the absolutely cleanest manuscript you can. It'll never be perfect, and that's okay. But get it right. "Ugh, the editor will deal with that" is only allowed when you're deep in a series with the same publisher, and you drop your editor a note for her thoughts when you get hung up on something in this project you've both had a long term commitment to.

    *Tara S.
    I want anything I send to my editor to be as clean as I can make it.

    *Cecilia T.
    When I'm pitching something to get a new publisher or submitting a short story I try to make sure it's as clean as a whistle. I use beta-readers and I do a lot of re-reading. But when a novel is already under contract and the big New York publisher is demanding it on a certain date, i admit sometimes things are still in somewhat more of a "first draft" form. Still pretty clean but maybe still some loose bits editorially, because I know the editor is going to put it through a round of rewriting with me, and THEN a more polished draft will go through two layers of copyediting and proofreading there.

    Eliza
    thanks

    *Cecilia T.
    But having been a professional writer and editor for over 20 years, my idea of "a little loose" is possibly still tighter and cleaner than other people's polished drafts. :-)

    *Francesca C.
    This is a very specific question, don't know if you guys know the answer

    but will take from list

    How do I get in touch with book/manga publishers without being scammed?

    anybody able to speak to that?

    (Meanwhile, again, audience, do raise your hands - we'll come back to you next)

    *Cecilia T.
    Hm, I don't know anything about the manga publishing world. In the English book publishing world, check out the ratings that publishers have on sites like Writers Beware. And run from ANYWHERE that wants YOU the author to pay for anything.

    algonquin
    (I can raise hand to answer that if the authors don't have anything)

    *Racheline
    Not my genre, but sites like Absolute Write and Preditors & Editors are great for finding out scuttlebutt about presses and best contract policies any why you should or should not balk at certain common contract terms. And like Ceclia says, to do pay to play unless you are being an entrepreneur who has chosen to go the indie/self-publishing route.

    *Cecilia T.
    Link for Writer Beware: www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/

    prof_anne
    Hi, I just wanted to let people know that the course I'm teaching on fanfic at Princeton (several folks here on syllabus) is as public as I can make it. Most of the readings will be public except where copyright is a problem. There will be a blog where we talk about what's going on in class, and we'll be discussing fan-creator and pro/fic issues.

    *Racheline
    DO NOT pay to play, rather.

    *Tara S.
    And if they aren't on Absolute Write, google {company name] warnings.

    *Cecilia T.
    prof_anne: COOL!!!!

    *Francesca C.
    Algonquin, want to add?

    on the question of how not to be scammed by a press?

    or how to find one?

    algonquin
    In addition to the sites the others listed, RESEARCH EVERYTHING. One of the most common things authors do is to want everything to be fast, fast, fast. Comics/manga industry and book publishing are super-slow.

    Soprano R.
    That last question about manga publishers was mine, actually~

    prof_anne
    Also, FWIW, agents/pubs don't really care about fic unless your read counts are in the multiple millions.

    *Cecilia T.
    yep.

    *Francesca C.
    other questions--any hands?

    algonquin
    The best thing you can do is to get out there, follow authors/illustrators in your genre, and learn from them. There are great comics/manga folk who are on Twitter and offer a TON of advice.

    *Francesca C.
    Bjorg! you have the floor

    Bjørg J.
    Thanks

    This is from a discussion I had about plagiarism. The discussion was really about plagiarism between fics, but during it someone mentioned that Neil Gaiman refuses to read fanfic because he doesn't want to be accused of plagiarising an idea from a fic and the legal hassle that'll cause and I know Marion Zimmer Bradley got badly burned from the crossing between the fanfic world and her original fiction. SO my question is, how do you handle this problem?

    *Francesca C.
    obligatory citation of the MZB fanfic controversy which is more complicated than it first may appear: http://fanlore.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley_Fanfiction_Controversy

    (backs out of convo again)

    *Racheline
    I don't read fic about my work, but not for that reasons. Like book reviews are for readers, fandom is for fans. There are lots of ways I have my foot in both worlds. And I'll excitedly reblog fanart about my work. But fic is a form of commentary and as an author I'm often not wanted in that conversation. So my general plan is to stay away from fic. I love that it's there. And I love the OTW guidance about it. But mostly, I want my worlds to live and breathe without me.

    That said, huge parts of the Doctor Who writers room is now made up of people who used to write DW fanfic. We do need to get more used to the muddy overlap.

    *Cecilia T.
    The OTW solved this question for me!

    In a nutshell, here's what Rebecca Tushnet, a lawyer who is involved with the OTW told me:

    If you're not reading fanfic because you're afraid that some fan may sue you for using their ideas in your pro work and a frivolous lawsuit would bankrupt you/break your relationship with your publisher, then you ALSO have to stop reading your fan mail, comments on your blog, your twitter feed, etc. Singling out fanfic as the source of danger makes no sense bc one of these frivolous suits could come from any communication with a fan.

    Now if you have other reasons for not wanting to read it, like it will mess with your muse, then don't feelobligated to do it of course. But there's no compelling legal reason not to read it.

    So now I read it when people write fanfic in my universes and I encourage them to. (I also tell them if they don't want me to read it, mark it or tell me and I promise I won't.)

    prof_anne
    *applauds getting used to the muddy overlap*

    *Francesca C.
    Tara, any thoughts?

    *Tara S.
    I don't think I can add anything to what Cecilia and Racheline said.

    *Francesca C.
    other hands then?

    it's 1 hour 21 min in so want to make sure questions here get answer--Waltz!

    you have the floor!

    Waltz
    thanks!

    Bjørg J.
    Thank you for your answers, the person in the discussion made it out as if it -was- a big deal, legally that is. I hope it's okay for me to copy/paste this and show her?

    *Cecilia T.
    Sure.

    *Racheline
    aok

    *Francesca C.
    (There'll also be a transcrupt Bjorg which you can c&p or send her to direct)

    (transcrIPT)

    Bjørg J.
    Oh thanks.

    Soprano R.
    I have another question in regard to publishing. But I'll wait till Waltz is done. ^_^

    *Francesca C.
    sanders you go after soprano :D

    waltz, soprano, sanders is the queue

    Waltz
    Earlier, there was the discussion of serial fiction, which is something I've been interested in pursuing for a while. I know that, in the past, serial (non-televised) fiction was more popular in the US, showing up in major publications and dramatized in radio, but it feels like that has fallen out of vogue. However, in places like Japan, where the light novel industry is going strong, serial written fiction is still pretty popular. My question is, where in the West do you think is a good platform, online or otherwise, for sharing and promotion original/non-fic serial written fiction? It seems like it could be hard to market, but I have yet to see an online platform that I felt was especially solid either.

    *and promoting

    *Cecilia T.
    Wattpad seems to be the place that has the most eyeballs for serial writing.

    It's a mix here of some fanfic and some original, tons and tons of original.

    A couple of other places have tried to get going, like Juke Pop Serials, but Wattpad is the one that really has critical mass right now. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    *Racheline
    Riptide which publishes M/M fiction has had some very successful serials. And I can tell you you're going to see something new in serial fiction in the SF/F space later this year. I think this is really something you're going to see burst open and be popular again over the next couple of years on all sorts of platforms. Look at Serial on NPR. Look at podcasts like Nightvale.

    *Cecilia T.
    (I should add, actually, that it's OK to post on Wattpad AND other places, like your own blog, and/or LiveJournal, Blogspot, etc.)

    *Tara S.
    Wattpad is the only platform I can think of.

    *Francesca C.
    Soprano - go for it!

    Waltz
    (I will definitely look more into Wattpad, thanks everyone!)

    Soprano R.
    Awesome, thanks!

    I would like to know, once I get my manuscript written up, where and how should I look for publishers? Do they prefer electronic or physical copies? What process/steps should I take in this endeavor?

    Three-point question. Heh heh...

    *Cecilia T.
    Each publisher has their own guidelines on how they like material submitted. You have to look up each one and then follow their instructions, typically.

    Almost no one takes anything on paper anymore, though. it's always some form of electronic.

    *Racheline
    This is going to be the most boring answer ever, but the answer is Read. Google. Read. Look into publishers who publish stuff you enjoy reading. Google, to see what their instructions are. Read the instructions. Follow them. And definitely, I can't plug Absolute Write enough. There are also various organizations for various genres that you might find helpful -- i.e., Romance Writers of America or Broad Universe (for women writing SF/F). But while this stuff can feel overwhelming. It's not secret.

    *Cecilia T.
    But some want the whole manuscript, some want only the first three chapters and a synopsis--you go by what they each ask for. The guidelines are usually findable online. DON'T just randomly email the manuscript to every email address you can find. You'll just get ignore.

    *Tara S.
    You will need an agent if you want to be published by Big 5. I suggest agentquery.com or querytracker.com to find appropriate agents. Again, NEVER pay an agent. Research them well. If you decide to approach publishers without an agent, NEVER sign anything without having it looked at by either an agent or a literary attorney. Yes, this will cost money, but it's worth it in the long run. (done)

    *Cecilia T.
    Ditto what Tara said.

    *Racheline
    Yup. I would always recommend having a literary attorney or agent look over any contract. People sign all sorts of stuff they shouldn't all the time.

    *Cecilia T.
    The hard part is that when you're starting out you have to write a whole book FIRST before you can attract an agent or submit to a publisher. And then you find out that it isn't what they're looking for. But you have to do it first or no one will look at you because they don't know ifyou can actually write a book. I'll also mention that every now and then the Big 5 publishers in romance will have open calls for submissions, no agent necessary.

    Forever Yours is the digital imprint of Forever/Grand Central/Hachette, the big publisher who did my Slow Surrender books. They are open right now for romance manuscripts, including m/m.

    *Racheline
    There are also a lot of agent/publisher pitching opportunities on Twitter. You have to have a finished manuscript for those. But Google PitchWars or Pitchmas. I know people who have found representation that way.

    *Francesca C.
    Sanders, you're up!

    anybody else with questions, raise hands and get into the queue

    *Cecilia T.
    (Here are the Forever Yours guidelines, by the way: https://www.facebook.com/ForeverRomance/app_190322544333196

    sanders
    I've a comment first, and then a question. Going back to the question of authors reading fanworks and the extensions to fan interaction, Cecilia really offers a great example of how that's evolved in with a digital fanbase through Daron's Guitar Chronicles. I'm an unabashed fangirl here, so grain of salt, but she keeps an open dialogue going with readers while being clear she's got her own plan for the story (and will NOT spoil us, no matter how we beg, bribe, and cajole).

    The question is completely separate: as you all, and I include FC in this, have roots in fandom, what are some fanworks you'd recommend to someone getting started in exploring those fandoms? You've named some of the mega-fandoms (Glee, and HP) and those are just plain daunting to dip a toe into, so where would you tell a newbie to start?

    *Cecilia T.
    I think the big divide in HP is between the erotic stuff and the gen/non-erotic stuff, and also between slash or het. So I'd want to know which quadrant to point people to as a starting place... but assuming like me people are looking for slashy erotic HP, then there are some "classics" to look at.

    In fact, the easiest thing to do is point people at the "most popular" page on Skyehawke, on of the oldest of the fanfic archives that is still online. Many of the "big" HP slash classics are here: http://archive.skyehawke.com/popular.php

    (done -- apologies to everyone whose productivity I've just tanked for the next week)

    *Francesca C.
    Racheline, Tara, any thoughts about where to tell a newbie? I think Cecilia's point about "which quadrant" is important.

    *Tara S.
    I've only had experience in the Twi fandom, but I think at its core a fandom is comprised of relationships. And people are basically the same everywhere. If you want to get involved, just strike up a conversation. I don't actively write Twi fanfic anymore, but the relationships I made there are priceless.

    *Francesca C.
    I'm often looking for stories to teach to students who know little or nothing about fanfiction or fanworks.

    *Racheline
    I'm really wary of giving recommendations because so many stories are so different without their historical context -- of how fandom was writing, how certain issues were addressed, what the issues were in a given fandom. Fandom moves at light speed. Anything written over a year ago can feel dated, which is okay, but I think is weird for new readers? In Glee, there's a gorgeous fic by Wintercreek called "Singing the Journey" that caused more controversy than I think it should have for its examination of faith communities and atheism, but I love it to pieces. So that's my off-the-top-of-my-head rec there. Also, if you're into James Bond, "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" which is new!Bond Bond/Q fic has moved me more than just about any piece in fandom in the last few years. Bot are on A03 I think.

    (Both of those have sex, but fall way short of the level of explicitness fandom is legitimately and proudly capable of.)

    *Francesca C.
    I will say, with students, I've found it best not to use the most explicit fic if only because the whole conversation ends up being about Harry Potter's penis.

    *Racheline
    Oh, Rainjoy also has this brilliant Glee fic that is a superhero AU that examines fame and fandom. And I've just blanked on the name. She's on LJ though. (now I am done).

    *Francesca C.
    Not that this is a bad thing, but often you're looking to emphasize some other transformational point.

    *Cecilia T.
    Fanfic can be hard to introduce people to unless they are also intimately familiar with the original work, I find. Unless it's broad satire in which case maybe you don't have to, say, know the Star Wars universe inside and out, you just have to know that Darth Vader is Luke's father.

    critterlady
    question

    *Francesca C.
    critterlady, go ahead!

    prof_anne
    *raises hand*

    *Francesca C.
    (gotcha for after anne! also--*wave*)

    critterlady
    When writing fanfic, most my work has very little sex. However, I found myself writing a very explicit scene. Is it better to offer that as a regular scene and link to the explicit for the over 18?

    Jess S.
    may i ask a question after anne?

    *Francesca C.
    (Jess, yes, though we are coming up on time)

    Kiki
    Raises hand

    *Racheline
    You should do what you're comfortable with and what you feel conforms to the laws where you are. The reality is that a huge number of teens in the US -- where sex education is often poor -- are getting their sex ed from fandom. Letting people know what they are getting into is always good though.

    *Francesca C.
    Tara or Cecilia--advice on explicit scenes in fic?

    *Tara S.
    No, nothing to add

    *Francesca C.
    I think with this panel, critterlady, we're mostly for it. :D

    Anne--what's your question?

    *Cecilia T.
    critterlady, I think it depends on your audience. My fanfic is all 18+ explicit, very erotically graphic, so I don't know. I do have friends who post a PG=13 version to fanfic dot net because they have a huge readership there and then they post the X rated version to Livejournal and Archive of Our Own.

    Just put the proper ratings on and everyone should be happy.

    *Francesca C.
    *moves us along so we get to all!*

    prof_anne
    I wondered what contexts you were introducing people to fic--for teaching, there are so many different reasons to teach it. Now I'm using Sherlock Holmes because everyone is somewhat familiar with it, but it is a constant conundrum...

    *Francesca C.
    Is that question for me?

    LOL

    Soprano R.
    Wow, guys, thanks for your insight! This makes me wanna work even harder now! Thanks again, and see ya around~!

    *Francesca C.
    If it's for me, I teach fic in a number of contexts: it might be if I'm teaching the source, or I do also do courses on remix etc. where fanfiction is itself the subject per se.

    prof_anne
    Yes, you or anyone else who introduces fic to people...

    *Francesca C.
    Anne--was it also for the panel?

    prof_anne
    yes

    *Francesca C.
    Panel, do you introduce people to fic and if so, in what contexts?

    *Cecilia T.
    For me it's mostly friends or fans of my writing who find out I write Harry Potter fandom and they want me to recommend some for them to read. If they are into kinky erotica, I send them to my own fic first. ;-) But for more general people it is a conundrum on what to give them first. You want them to enjoy it and connect with it, so if you give them something that requires too much foreknowledge of either the original work OR the fanfic context and fandom in-jokes, etc. you risk them just scratching their head or being turned off.

    In other words... I don't know. (done) :-)

    *Racheline
    I don't feel like I'm really in that many contexts where people don't know about it. There's always a journalist that needs the primer though.

    *Francesca C.
    We have jess and Kiki

    *Tara S.
    Usually for me it's when people ask about how I got published or if I'm talking about books with a friend and they bring up a book that was once fan fiction. I'm always surprised at how many people don't know what fanfic is.

    *Francesca C.
    Oh, apologies Tara

    thank you for answering!

    Jess?

    prof_anne
    I want someone to do a youtube video on *how do I even fanfic* with AO3 screenshots

    Jess S.
    i was wondering about serials, i've never considered them before hearing about them in this chat. would it be easier when starting out to write the entire work first, if for example the serial was going to be released weekly? i know keeping to a schedule is always important in writing but if you were, say, writing as quickly as possible to get a chapter out on time, it might not be of the best quality

    *Cecilia T.
    I'm surprised I haven't seen a Buzzfeed list of Top Twenty Fanfics to Read if You're Not Into Fanfic Already.

    *Racheline
    (also apologies in advance, I am going to have to leave exactly at 2, but you can always follow up w/ me at my blog -- Avian30.com)

    *Francesca C.
    Does it have to be good or does it have to be Thursday?

    *Racheline
    Jess -- definitely write most of it first. Treat it like TV. Life happens. You want episodes in the can, and a clear plan/arc for your story.

    *Cecilia T.
    Jess, writing a serial is like walking a tightrope. You're almost writing live in front of an audience and you can go backwards and edit and change things. So I LOVE writing serials because it's a huge challenge, but it's not for the faint of heart.

    *Tara S.
    When I wrote The Submissive, I wrote/posted a chapter a day M-F. It's not a pace I recommend. I later went to once a week.

    *Cecilia T.
    CAN"T got back and change things, I mean.

    *Francesca C.
    That's amazing, Tara.

    *Cecilia T.
    I wrote the Prince's Boy with a chapter once a week. Never missed a day posting in two years, and I usually kept 2-4 chapters ahead.

    *Francesca C.
    Okay, I think last question--Kiki we're going to squeeze you in here!

    *Cecilia T.
    But every so often I would get busy and I would end up writing a chapter the night before it posted!

    Kiki
    Are there publishers accepting f/f? Are there ones that do not accept f/f?

    Jess S.
    thanks guys

    *Cecilia T.
    Daron's Guitar Chronicles posts twice a week.

    Kiki, there are. Both Riptide Publishing and Riverdale Avenue Books do f/f.

    And I shoudl mention Circlet Press, the small publishing house I run. Duh!

    *Racheline
    Kiki -- yes, yes there are! Torquere also takes it. Supposed Crimes is new and dedicated to it. I have a list. Feel free to hit me up offline.

    Dreamspinner takes it in their YA line.

    *Francesca C.
    Okay, it is 1:59

    Kiki
    Thank you.

    *Francesca C.
    which leaves me time to THANK THESE AMAZING PANELISTS

    and to thank you

    all for coming and listening and asking questions

    *Racheline
    Thank you! super fun! great questions everyone and sorry to run!

    *Cecilia T.
    woo! *more confetti*

    *Francesca C.
    Cecilia, Racheline, and Tara all have blogs and a million social media outlets

    *Cecilia T.
    Thank you for having us!

    *Tara S.
    Thank you so much, everyone!

    Waltz
    Thank you for sharing with us!

    Eliza
    Thanks, guys

    sanders
    Thanks for doing this, y'all.

    Cate
    Thanks!

    critterlady
    Thanks, looking forward to the transcript

  • OTW Fannews: Fanwork Outcomes

    By Claudia Rebaza on Neděle, 1 February 2015 - 4:55 odpoledne
    Message type:

    • The Atlantic explored the appeal of shipping. "Shipping may have achieved prominence in the burgeoning world of Internet fan fiction, but the phenomenon, if not the expression, goes back at least a hundred years, when Sybil Brinton, a wealthy Englishwoman in her forties, wrote the first known work of Jane Austen fan fiction, 'Old Friends and New Fancies,' in 1913. In this self-proclaimed 'sequel,' Brinton mimicked Jane Austen's voice as she imagined non-canonical pairings of well-loved characters from all six of Austen’s novels."
    • VietNamNet Bridge discussed a national fanfic contest. "During Japanese Literature Week in Ha Noi (December 26 to January 8), Japanese books will be promoted at seminars, film screenings and exhibitions...kicking the event off with the awards ceremony of a fan fiction contest. The nationwide contest, which opened on November 4, asked Vietnamese readers to create fan fiction based on works by prestigious Japanese authors such as Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, Ogawa Yoko and Higashino Keigo."
    • Rocket News 24 profiled a fan whose art reinterpreted Sailor Moon characters as black African women. "Born and raised in New Jersey to Nigerian parents, Odera Igbokwe is an illustrator who 'loves to explore storytelling through character archetypes, afro-diasporic mythologies, and magical girl transformation sequences.' Sailor moon is one of Odera’s major inspirations and the recent broadcast of the remake Sailor Moon Crystal inspired them to finally create fanart for it."
    • Publishers Weekly profiled an author who discussed her fanfic roots. "The interest from publishers is understandable—Jackson’s A Pound of Flesh has been viewed more than four million times on FanFiction.net and it has over 21,000 user reviews (including a rave from a Quebecois grandmother who read the book in French using Google Translate). Not bad for a schoolteacher who says she had no literary ambitions growing up."

    What have you seen fanwork lead 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.

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