• OTW Fannews: Keepers of the Flame

    By Sarah Remy on vendredi, 21 August 2015 - 4:02pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner title in red with envelope icon

    • At Nerd Reactor Genevieve LeBlanc wrote about the joy of fandom. "It was Simon Pegg that said that being a geek was 'a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.' For me, it means I have the ability to take joy from small moments like these. The happiness is disproportional to the actual significance of the event; I got immense entertainment with friends about two Coke bottles sharing names with fictional characters. It’s absolutely meaningless, but being a nerd means that it gets to make me happy. And who can deny the benefit of a little extra happiness in our lives?"
    • At ESPN CricInfo Ahmer Naqvi took a thoughtful look at what fan activities consist of. "The realisation coincided with a time in my life when I was experiencing and learning to enjoy so much more that the world had to offer...suddenly everything in cricket (other than perhaps an India-Pakistan game) was expendable in a way it hadn't been before. And it is then that a part of me could finally accept, and be even confident of the fact, that not adhering to the rituals I had made up in my head didn't mean that I didn't love the game. Because eventually it wasn't about what I needed to prove to others but about what it gave to me."
    • At Noisey, Luke Winkie took a look back at the relevance of Wizard Rock. "There are still some wizard rock bands propping up the scene—hiding out in ancient Myspaces or hidden Bandcamps. But none are quite as active or in-demand like Harry and the Potters...It didn’t matter who you were, you could always relate to someone about Hogwarts. It’s hard to find stuff like that in adulthood. The fandom has dissipated in popular culture, so you’re forced to keep it alive in your head. It makes Harry and the Potters a nostalgia act, to a certain extent—expected from a band that’s only put out two new songs in the last five years. 'People come to our shows to reconnect to that ‘midnight release party’ vibe,' says Paul DeGeorge. 'It conjures a lot of those feelings that haven’t been exercised in years.'”
    • The Orlando Weekly took note of a planned fanfiction reading. "Love it or hate it, fan fiction has become one of the most popular literary forms of the 21st century. Hordes of scribblers of wildly varying talent regularly post hundreds of thousands of unauthorized expansions of various fandoms to sites like AO3 or Some fanfic writers even get published after doing a search-and-replace of proper nouns and we all suffer for it (*cough*Fifty Shades*cough*). So of course local literary kingpins Jesse Bradley of There Will Be Words and John King of 'The Drunken Odyssey' have teamed up to, uh, celebrate the genre."

    What have you seen that best expresses the love of fandoms? 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: Fanfic From Past to Present

    By thatwasjustadream on dimanche, 9 August 2015 - 5:01pm
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    image of many hand-drawn hourglasses lying in a pile at various angles, with the word OTW Fannews, fanfic from past to present on the right hand side

    • Library Journal wrote about the OTW's partner library at the University of Iowa. They have begun digitizing fanfiction. "High acid paper is flaking and finely rendered illustrations are fading, and with them, the records of thriving fan communities stretching back as far as the 1930s, predating heated debates over Kirk vs Picard by decades. These communities were as lively as any message board conversation or LiveJournal debate...'This is not an overview or analysis of science fiction; these are the very objects that built it, publications made by fans for fans, in basements and living rooms across the world—this is the material history of the genre...Science fiction is an immense tapestry, and all of these publications must be recognized as threads in order to better understand the whole picture.'”
    • Tech Times tried to give a snapshot of fanfic history. "Jumping ahead to the 20th century, the actual term "fanfiction" was coined in 1939 by the sci-fi community as a derogatory term to differentiate between crude, amateur sci-fi fiction and professional fiction, or "pro fiction."...It popped up again in a 1944 lexiconic fandom handbook titled '[sometimes] improperly used to mean fan science fiction, that is, ordinary fantasy published in a fan magazine... occasionally bringing in some famous characters stf [science fiction] stories. [...] Fictitious elements are often interspersed in account of fan activities, which may make them more interesting, but plays hob with a truth-seeker like [Greek philosopher] Thukydides. Round robins have been attempted in the fan fiction field.'"
    • An article at Huffington Post discussed the similarities and differences of fanfic and profic. "[T]he unpolished prose of a pre-Mockingbird Lee seems like a bit of self-conscious Mary-Sue-ism. Meanwhile, Atticus’ darker edge calls to mind the weirder, grittier fanfics -- the ones where Edward Cullen becomes a violent dominant with a tortured past, for example. He’s been abruptly jerked to fit into a new character mold, with some conflicted authorial consciousness of his old one. Go Set a Watchman has more to offer than typical fanfic, at least in one particular way: It’s asking (particularly white) readers to confront the idea that their white savior idols aren’t worth putting on altars."
    • Digital Spy reported that the Big Bang Theory's writers have been reading the show's fanfiction. "'We started out a little bit nervous about it and we actually kind of got wrapped up in it,' writer Steve Holland revealed. 'It was a story about what happened to Amy on prom night that wasn't part of the episode, and it was actually really sweet and affecting. So we started off a little bit as a joke reading this, and then we really got into the story and what was happening.' Steven Molaro added: 'There's a storyline where Penny and Bernadette get so wrapped up in Amy's fan fiction – that's absolutely what happened to us in the writers' room with the Big Bang Theory fan fiction that we found.'"

    What part of fanfic's history have you been a part of? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism

    By Claudia Rebaza on dimanche, 2 August 2015 - 3:01pm
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    Banner by Alice of a road sign reading OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism and a dotted path from a compass to an X

    • Media outlets have been engaged in 'fandom tourism' articles for some time. Although there are fewer articles these days demonstrating surprise that fandom or fanworks exist, there are still a number of fandom profiles that either serve to stoke fandom nostalgia by pointing out activity surrounding a particular canon, or by demonstrating surprise that works exist in a specific fandom. Some recent examples were run in Jezebel, Flavorwire, and The New York Times.
    • While the spate of fandom tourism articles may have been inspired by San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), other articles involved SDCC directly. In a post at Belief Net, Nell Minow discussed her participation in the San Diego Comic Con panel Fandom: The Next Generation. "We all dream of sharing our passions with our children. But it is important to be careful about it. Everyone on the panel had a story about sharing the wrong movie — or the right movie too soon — with a child who got upset, and feeling that we had 'flunked parenting.' Young children will say what they think you want to hear and if it seems too important to you, they will tell you they like something when they really do not."
    • NPR talked with screenwriter Nicole Perlman, who discussed her excitement at seeing fans of her next project. "Perlman says she got very excited the first time she saw someone dressed up as her new project, Captain Marvel. 'She looked fantastic, so I completely accosted her and I kind of whispered it shyly, 'I'm writing the movie, take a picture with me please!'"
    • Polygon contrasted the approaches of Marvel and Warner Bros when fans promoted their new projects. "When trailers leaked from Comic Con, because studios show things to huge halls of people who are all carrying recording equipment and still think they can control the footage, the response from Warner Bros. was, to put it mildly, messed up." Writer Ben Kuchera concluded, "The reaction to the Suicide Squad footage was mostly positive; this was a great thing for Warner Bros. until they had to stomp in and make sure we knew they didn't approve of the way we were excited about their product and everyone needs to cut it out at once or they'll turn this movie right around and drive home."

    What articles could your write about your fandoms? Don't wait! Post them to 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: Paying Court

    By thatwasjustadream on dimanche, 12 July 2015 - 3:59pm
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    banner with lines suggesting an envelope and a postal stamp and the words OTW FANNEWS

    • OTW Legal Staffer Rebecca Tushnet was among those interviewed for the new fandom documentary, Fanarchy. Fan Film Follies reported that it will premiere on July 19th, 2015 on the network Epix. "Fanarchy explores the rise of fan culture and the ways in which modern fandom is challenging the Hollywood system by becoming a creative force in its own right. Questions are raised about copyright, intellectual property and the concept of originality in a re-mix culture."
    • Another fan documentary premiered recently on the BBC. In When Pop Ruled My Life: The Fans’ Story "[t]he presenter’s murky past helps this enjoyable documentary explore the question of what drives small fanatics, but the beauty of the programme lies in its affection for the fans. Take, for instance, the Iron Maiden devotees – now white-haired men – who named their children after band mascot Eddie and now chuckle about their wives leaving them. Or the Bay City Rollers extremists who still turn up to reunion shows in tartan Rollergear, with the word 'Les' embellished on their backs in diamante."
    • Movie Pilot released a post highlighting the many fanart responses to the character of Yarny in the new Electronic Arts game, Unravel. "[P]erhaps due to the cuteness of the character alone or the excitement and nervousness of its director Martin Sahlin, the internet and video game community immediately fell in love with the little guy."
    • Entertainment Weekly promoted the MTV fandom awards, noting the new categories this year. Eligibility for at least one of them, "Fandom Army of the Year" would seem to be dependent on having a recognizable fandom name. Perhaps this is why celebrities seem to be increasingly involved in these choices, either by weighing in on different options or outright soliciting official descriptions.

    What forms of fandom recognition have you seen? 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.

  • SDCC 'Fandom Is My Fandom' Panel

    By Janita Burgess on vendredi, 26 June 2015 - 4:58pm
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    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    Those of you lucky enough to be attending this year's San Diego Comic Con have the opportunity to see OTW Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Legal staffer Heidi Tandy on the 'Fandom Is My Fandom' panel on Thursday, 9 July at 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Room 14A.

    Heidi will be moderating. Panelists include:

    What's the panel about?

    '“Fandom” isn’t just one thing these days, and it never was. But now that fans - and their creativity, content and consumption - are something for media companies to understand, PR people to focus on, social media to thrive on and news organizations to report about - what happens to the “traditional” fan community and the fanboys and fangirls that create the culture and content? Are follow-on works like fanart, vids and fanfic to be mocked, tracked, supported, enjoyed within an organic community, or considered a stepping-stone to a creative career? What if the answer is “sometimes one, sometimes all, and sometimes something else”? We’ll look for answers and information from deep inside popular fandoms, the media companies that work with them and the sites that host them.'

    For more information, visit the SDCC webpage!

  • OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?

    By Ellorgast on mardi, 23 June 2015 - 4:29pm
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    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: Fandom Pushback

    By Kelly Ribeiro on vendredi, 12 June 2015 - 5:04pm
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    Star Trek

    • Some months ago, OTW Legal submitted an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v Google. Now the Ninth Circuit has reversed a panel opinion granting an injunction against Google, on the ground that an actor’s performance was not separately protected by copyright and that the First Amendment should have precluded an injunction. This is a great result for free speech on the internet!
    • In other legal news impacting fans and fandom The Telegraph revealed a proposal for police monitoring of fandom during the late 1990s. "It has emerged that Scotland Yard kept a secret dossier on Star Trek, The X-Files, and other US sci fi shows amid fears that British fans would go mad and kill themselves, turn against society or start a weird cult. The American TV shows Roswell and Dark Skies and the film The Lawnmower Man were also monitored to protect the country from rioting and cyber attacks."
    • The police have hardly been the only ones to mischaracterize fannish practices, as a Gizmodo article assigned credit/blame to X-Files fans for changing fandom. The entertainment industry was slower to change. "Even though the show’s crew was largely interested in the online fandoms, 20th Century Fox took a far harder stance, especially towards fan sites sharing unauthorized images of Mulder and Scully. Fans organized, fighting for their right to post artwork and stories about their favorite characters. Without pushback, the studio could’ve stymied the fan fiction community— as well as remix culture, which is also sometimes attacked as derivative— before it had a chance to take off."
    • On the other hand, Quartz singled out women's continuing contributions to fandom. "Women make up half the human race—including their perspectives makes for richer, better stories. But more than that, the presence of women in fandoms serves as a constant counterpoint to the dreary stereotype of sexless, gross guys huddling in their mothers’ basements. Geeks were never really like that to begin with: all sorts of people have always loved Dr. Who and Mr. Spock and Wonder Woman. The greater visibility of fangirls helps geekdom in general, by showing that there’s no one way to be a fan."

    When have you seen fans push back? 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.

  • Get Ready for June Bloom!

    By Ellorgast on mercredi, 3 June 2015 - 5:00pm
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    'Fanlore June Bloom 2015'

    Have you ever searched for something on Fanlore only to come up empty? Have the words "How does this not have a Fanlore page yet?!" ever crossed your mind? Have you ever wanted to share something fandom related with your fellow fans?

    If you answered YES to at least one of these questions, then this month's challenge is for you!

    Use June Bloom to start the pages you always wanted to see on Fanlore! Spread the love of your fandoms to others.

    The pages you create don't have to be complex! We want you to simply sow the seeds and watch these pages bloom as other editors add their own knowledge and perspective. With your help we will be able to turn Fanlore into a beautiful garden full of different pages everybody will be able to enjoy.

    If you don't know where to start, don't worry! Every week the Fanlore staff will be posting a theme to help inspire you. Watch their community on Dreamwidth and the fanlore_news Twitter for additional announcements.

    If you don't like editing on your own, an editing party will take place June 13th starting at 16:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?) in the Fanlore chat room. Come and ask questions or just work on entries alongside other people!

    For those who can't make the editing party, there will be a staffer ready to help you every weekend in June. Simply stop by the Fanlore chatroom. If you find the Fanlore room empty, leave your your question (along with your Fanlore username) and a staffer will get in touch with you on your Talk page. Plus you can always send an email to the Fanlore Gardeners.

    Remember: As an anti-spam preventative measure, brand new accounts are not allowed to create pages for the first four hours. But that doesn't mean you can't help by editing existing pages first! It will be great practice for those unfamiliar with wiki editing.

    Start by checking out the New Visitor Portal then start searching for things connected to your fandom! You can also check out the Fanlore Wish List for inspiration.

  • Events Calendar for June 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on lundi, 1 June 2015 - 1:26pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of June! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Signups began May 15 for the Kurt Hummel Big Bang 2015, focusing on the Glee character. Finished fics must be at least 15,000 words long, and any ships and fic types are welcome as long as warnings and ratings are indicated. Author signups close June 15, and artist claims open August 26, with posting beginning October 20.
    • Signups are going on now for the 2015 Wincest Big Bang, which celebrates "the epic love of Sam and Dean" from Supernatural. Written works should be at least 10,000 words (for the "big bang" category) and 5,000 (for the "mini-bang"). Artists, authors, betas, cheerleaders, and pinch hitters are all needed. Author signups close on June 27, and artist claims begin July 19. Participants must be at least age 18.
    • The New York Tolkien Conference is a free conference for fans and scholars of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Mythlore editor Janet Brennan Croft and John DiBartolo of the Lonely Mountain Band are the guests of honor, and there will be paper presentations on a variety of topics related to Tolkien. The event is June 13 in New York City. While admission is free, registration is required for campus security to allow access to the conference facilities.
    • Capital Con DC, June 19-21 in Washington, D.C., is a "convention that wants to promote and foster growth in the science fiction and fantasy genres." Sci-Fi Photo Guys will be on hand with a green screen, custom backgrounds, and digital editing to let guests pose for their dream photos. Special events include a formal ball Friday evening and "crossplay pageant." Guests include actor Doug Jones (Hellboy), author Sherrilyn Kenyon, and illustrator Leanne Hannah.
    • Mississippi Comic Con is a two-day event that will bring together a diverse list of guests, vendors, artists, and fan groups, in an affordable, family-friendly environment. Guests include costumer Kristen Hughey, actor and comedian David Della Rocco (Boondock Saints), James C. Leary (Clem from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and anime voice actor Trina Nishimura. The con is June 27-28 in Jackson, Mississippi, United States.
    • For three years the Fan Studies Network has provided an enthusiastic and welcoming space for academics in all stages of study interested in fans and fandom to connect, share resources, and develop their research ideas. Following the success of their first two conferences, they're announcing a third annual event: FSN2015: The Fan Studies Network Conference, taking place June 27-28 in Norwich, England, United Kingdom. Participate in the discussion on Twitter by following hashtag #FSN2015.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The UK publisher Intellect is now seeking chapters for the next edition in its Fan Phenomena book series. Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga will be an edited collection of essays about the forces that contributed to the global popularity and commercial success of the books, films, and graphic novels of The Twilight Saga. Chapters will explore Twilight’s unique appeal to fans as well as its impact on people, literature, film, music, television, and social issues. Abstracts and author biographies are due June 15; final papers, October 1.
    • Exploring Imaginary Worlds: Audiences, Fan Cultures and Geographies of the Imagination, a special section of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, invites contributions that focus on the various ways in which audiences explore, interpret, and respond to imaginary worlds. They are interested in articles that engage with audiences as opposed to speculative accounts or textual analyses--research that maps specific communities and their rich relationships with world-building. The deadline for abstracts of 300 words is June 26, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out the week of July 6.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • OTW Fannews: Find Your Passion

    By Sarah Remy on mercredi, 20 May 2015 - 6:11pm
    Message type:

    Find Your Passion banner red arrows and yellow background

    • The new issue of Cinema Journal was guest edited by the OTW's Kristina Busse and she, along with co-editor of Transformative Works and Cultures Karen Hellekson, contributed articles. The entire issue is available for free online. Topics include articles on fan labor and feminism, fandom's gift culture, Fifty Shades and the "archive of women’s culture," and articles focusing on sampling, vidding, and cosplay.
    • Portland, Oregon's Go Local PDX hosted an article by a college admissions coach about getting writing experience. "Write fan fiction. If you care about an audience and feedback, writing fan fiction can be a great way to get both. Lots of people obsessively read (and comment on) fan fiction about their favorite characters, so a well-written spin-off from a popular novel or series can quickly develop a large readership. In addition, it’s easy to find writing prompts: people on fan fiction forums often run informal contests built around silly topics like 'a Les Miserables-inspired scene with a beach party.' is the main hub for this, but a quick search can help you find more specialized sites devoted to particular topics.
    • As a post at Candy Mag pointed out, prompts and fanworks are everywhere. Focusing on content at Pinterest, the post pointed out a variety of fandom crossover fan art exploring various fanwork genres.
    • Cult Noise interviewed Cassie Whitt about her defense of music fangirls. "You should never [be] afraid to be passionate about something. In fact, you should see your ability to do so as a strength most people don’t have. Love music in a way that makes sense to you, and as long as it’s not hurting anyone or yourself, what other people think about it doesn’t matter. And if you’re ever feeling misunderstood or without an outlet for that, find fan communities. All communities have different vibes: some of them will be good, others will suck, and others have the potential to become like a second family."

    Did you use fanfic to prep for college admissions? Are you taking courses about fanworks? Write about fandom and academia 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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