• OTW Fannews: Women's Experiences In Fandom

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

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

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

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

  • OTW Fannews: Grabbing the Spotlight

    By Janita Burgess on Woensdag, 15 October 2014 - 4:32pm
    Message type:

    OTW Fannews Grabbing the Spotlight Banner

    • A post by Denise Dorman at Bleeding Cool raised some hackles when she suggested that comics creators were losing money due to cosplay at cons. "Conventions are no longer shows about commerce, product launches, and celebrating the people who created this genre in the first place. I’ve seen it first-hand – the uber-famous artist who traveled all of the way from Japan, sitting at Comic-Con, drawing as no one even paid attention to him, while the cosplayers held up floor traffic and fans surround the cosplayers–rather than the famed industry household name – to pose for selfies. The hard-working artists and creators who are the very foundation of this industry…have been reduced to being the background wallpaper against which the cosplayers pose in their selfies. At what point do you start to wonder if...the general fandom population even gives a shit about the creators more than they care about their Instagram profiles?"
    • Certainly more creators are taking note of the power of fan gatherings to help market their work, such as at Wise Ink Blog. "At a recent book launch in DC, a couple twenty-somethings approached one of our authors and asked if they would be willing to do another event in the future. Talk about a writer’s dream! Not only did they show up to the launch, they wanted to come to another one! But these were not average book launch attendees. They were part of a DC Meetup group called Geeks’ Night Out. Why does that matter? Because they were a built-in audience for the book and we had no idea they existed. The fandom/meetup/Con trend is sweeping the nation and it’s high time that indie authors took advantage of it!"
    • Netflix has been doing various studies on user viewing patterns. Their latest one addressed spoilers and who spoils. "Today, talking about spoilers is just talking about TV; in fact, people aren’t willing or even interested in censoring themselves anymore. McCracken attributes this to better TV storytelling. Over the past few years, writers and showrunners threw out the rulebook, which has created a new and improved TV that is complex and morally challenging. TV has gotten so good that we need to talk about it. McCracken found that as TV evolves, so does the language and behavior of how people talk about their favorite shows. In his research, he identified five personality types -- based on how and why they might convey key plot points to their friends." These include The Clueless Spoiler, The Coded Spoiler, The Impulsive Spoiler, The Power Spoiler and The Shameless Spoiler.

    How are you seeing creators marketing to fans? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Guest Post: Jamie Broadnax

    By Kiri Van Santen on Zaterdag, 4 October 2014 - 4:54pm
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    Graphic by caitie of an OTW-themed guest access lanyard

    From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

    Today's post is an interview with Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds , an inclusive site for women who embrace geek/nerd culture. Jamie is the Digital Vice President at the She Thrives Network and has written for Afropunk and Madame Noire.

    What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about fandom blogging?

    Having an opinion on a particular fandom and seeing how others respond to it. Whether they agree or disagree. I'm always interested in other people's perspectives on things even if their point of view contrasts mine.

    You started Black Girl Nerds after googling the phrase in 2012 and finding 0 results. In the past years, though, nerd culture has continued to infiltrate the mainstream. In your experience, is the “nerd” world moving toward racial/ethnic and gender inclusivity? And is inclusivity the goal, or do you believe we should focus on creating our own nerd spaces rather than fighting to be allowed into established ones?

    Excellent question. I would love racial/ethnic and gender inclusivity in nerd culture. It's very important that we see ourselves in comic books, TV shows, tech industries, science conventions, and several other industries that tend to marginalize women of color. However, I'm not completely against creating your own nerd space. BGN was created because of the lack of representation within our subculture. I believe taking the initiative to create your own space is what helps foster growth in spaces that are less diverse. I also think it is important that there are safe spaces on the web where people can connect to a community of individuals that identify and relate to them. It is a form of empowerment that is a basic part of the human condition.

    Where in nerd culture or fandom hasn’t progress been made?

    Mainstream nerd websites and TV shows like "Big Bang Theory". I always find it interesting that by default nerds in media spaces are always white and usually male. The tech space also has a ways to go, but luckily more organizations like Digital Undivided and Black Girls Code are bridging the gap. There is still more work to do and having niche communities like Black Girl Nerds is just the beginning to helping diversify all things in nerd culture.

    What do you think is the most important political/legal/philosophical issue in fandom right now?

    Hmmm...that's a toughie. I don't necessarily associate fandoms with serious political or philosophical ideologies. However, one issue that comes to mind is the issue of race playing a factor in cosplay. Many cosplayers have chatted with me online and on my podcast about dealing with vitriol from non-Black cosplayers. My friend Chaka Cumberbatch, a well known Black female cosplayer, was questioned by white nerds as to why she was cosplaying as Sailor Moon.

    The irony of this bitter criticism is, why are white girls cosplaying as an Japanese character?

    Let that one simmer for a minute.

    What book/movie/show/game/etc are you most excited about right now, and why?

    I'm reading Greg Pak's Storm comic which is awesome. She's my favorite superheroine in the Marvel universe. I'm also interested in starting on The Strain book by Guillermo Del Toro. I'm currently a fan of the TV series and really enjoy live tweeting it on Sunday nights.

    The Organization for Transformative Works is a fan-run nonprofit dedicated to preserving fanworks and advocating for fans. Do you believe that these goals are important? Do fans need advocates?

    I love that concept! Absolutely fans needs advocates. I believe having a partner, team, group, or community that is willing to serve and help you makes us all better people. It helps us to grow, connect, and develop new innovative ideas and to overall just have fun with people who get you. It's important, especially for nerds like us who are used to feeling isolated and excluded because many others didn't share our same fandoms.

  • OTW Fannews: Putting Out the Welcome Mat

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Vrijdag, 26 September 2014 - 1:57pm
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    Image of male and female icons with text OTW Fannews Putting Out a Welcome Mat

    • At Suvudu, Matt Staggs urged fans to be more welcoming to others. "The first thing that those of us who have identified as geeks or nerds need to accept is that there’s nothing marginal about our interests anymore. Liking comic books, games, collecting action figures doesn’t make me or you or anyone else part of a subculture. Far from it, as a matter of fact: It’s all mainstream. Want proof? Go ask your parents or grandparents if they know what Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead are. Face it: Like the Borg always threatened (the ‘rents probably know about them, too!), we’ve been assimilated."
    • At The Houston Press, Chris Lane was more specific about who should be welcomed. "I personally feel that many of the classic comic mythologies are at least partially to blame. Most of the Silver Age comics that still seem to steer comic fandom's boat started out as wish fulfillment fantasies for powerless teenaged boys. There's a deeply rooted idea that a formerly weak and ostracized protagonist can earn the romantic attention of the girl he wants if he just is heroic enough, in essence 'earning' her affection. The problem is, real women and real romance don't work like that. It's why being a woman's close friend doesn't ensure that the friendship will ever blossom into romance. I think a lot of men have a serious problem understanding that, and accepting that scenario when they encounter it."
    • There are certainly many fans who continue to believe that tests of fannishness are a standard feature of fandom, but at Blackgate Sean McLachlan pointed out why excluding people is not the way to go. "Having celebrated my 45th birthday at this year’s Worldcon, I’m old enough to have seen a lot of these controversies, and they seem to be getting uglier. As women, gays, and ethnic minorities ask for real equality instead of just window dressing, the pushback is getting more venomous. A lot of white guys who claim they’re all for equality get downright nasty when they’re told to actually treat people as equals. This is only making the activists more committed. They say that as female, gay, or black fans, it’s up to them to make the community more equitable. They’re wrong. It’s up to us — straight white men like you and me. We’re the problem, so we need to be the solution."
    • Knowledge at Wharton posted a podcast with Mallika Dutt, who uses pop culture to defeat gender inequality. "I’ve found that using culture to change culture is an effective way of engaging people.  When I say 'using culture,' that includes social media, television, radio, print, short animations, documentaries, street theater, traditional theater and comic books. We’re not focused on one form of storytelling. We use all storytelling forms to bring people into the conversation. Media, arts and technology have been crucial to Breakthrough’s work. We’ve created several multimedia campaigns, three music videos, three video games and multiple documentaries."

    How welcoming have the fandoms you've taken part in been? 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: Founded on Fanworks

    By Kiri Van Santen on Woensdag, 17 September 2014 - 4:46pm
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    image by Robyn of James Madison, fourth president of the US

    • Jennifer Parsons wrote at Tech Dirt about fanfic written by one of the U.S. founding fathers. "Why fanfic? What made Madison decide to use existing characters to make his point rather than inventing his own characters like John Arbuthnot did for his own political allegory?...The easiest way to tackle these questions is to tell you an allegorical story. There once was a comic artist, 'Jim M.,' who wanted to comment upon the important issue of CIA torture. To make his point, he drew a three panel comic strip. In the first panel, Captain America is taking down a fanatical Nazi commander who tortured prisoners of war for the good of the Fatherland...In the second panel, Jim M. draws Captain America standing next to President Obama, who is casually observing that although the CIA did 'torture some folks,' the lapse can be excused because the torturers were patriots who loved their country. In the third panel we see Captain America's shadowed face as he walks away from a burning American flag."
    • Although some are very pleased with the offerings on Kindle Worlds, various sites posted a story by Jeff John Robertson at GigaOm about Kindle Worlds' success in light of a presentation by OTW legal staffer, Rebecca Tushnet. "For Amazon and its partners, it will be difficult to overcome such perceptions since the underlying problem is not just about licensing terms, but something more fundamental: the impossibility of having it both ways, of fostering maximum creativity while wielding maximum legal control. As Tushnet notes, Kindle Worlds is hardly the first time that a licensed model of creativity has come up short: the music industry’s imposition of sampling licenses smothered hip-hop in the 1990’s, while commercial controls eroded the popularity of the early fan fiction universe, Darkover."
    • The Fandom Post reported on Dynamite Entertainment being one of the latest companies to go DRM-free. "There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library. Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers."

    How far back have you seen fanworks go? 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: Getting Along

    By Janita Burgess on Dinsdag, 19 August 2014 - 4:50pm
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    OTW Fannews Getting Along

    • TIME's James Poniewozik examined why different media fandoms need to play nice. "Outlander the TV series is an adaptation, which Starz–like HBO or AMC or any other adapter–is making for an audience that, ideally, will be far larger than the readership alone. Can you not have a legitimate opinion on them unless you have read the source books–and unless you love the source books and are invested in a series you haven’t yet seen? Are the old fans the true fans, the authentic fans, the authoritative fans? Can you truly appreciate and understand an adaption without reading the source–or is it actually a handicap?"
    • Upworthy pointed to a video which mocked the 'fake geek girl' syndrome by deconstructing the arguments surrounding it. [No transcript available]
    • Adelaide's The Advertiser explored women's problems in comics fandom while also featuring a variety of cosplay pics which provided a good look at the variety of female characters on display. "'We need to realise that every fan has an equal right to be a fan, no matter how much or how little they’ve seen or read.' Ms Scott is confident the enlightenment of male fans is imminent. 'I feel like I’m seeing it more and more girls come through, there’s a greater sense of things being inclusive and celebratory, more light and fun and exciting...Recently I saw someone cosplaying as a Snow White-themed Boba Fett from Star Wars — and when you have a fandom doing that, it’s amazing.' Ms Adams says angry male fans have missed the point. 'Fandom is for everyone, young or old, male or female, and the attitude toward it needs to change.'"
    • The New Statesman asked if 2014 was the year of the fan. "A few months back, I saw a post on Fyeahcopyright, a tumblr about fanworks and legal issues written and edited by lawyers Heidi Tandy and Hannah Lowe...[which] posited that all of this increased attention of and respect for fans could signal 'The Year of the Fan'...A quick google search revealed that there have been a few somewhat feeble-seeming attempts at years of fans in the past – a season-long promotion for an American baseball team, or a series of South Park full of winking in-jokes – but this is more about a collective feeling, some positive momentum, something that’s been gathering steam at an exponential rate recently."

    What do you feel needs celebrating in fandom? 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: Cons, Cons, Cons

    By Claudia Rebaza on Vrijdag, 15 August 2014 - 6:12pm
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    Banner by Robyn with the post title over a blurred photos of fans at a convention

    • As many cons are opening their doors this month, SDCC continues to draw a lot of media attention. Vox wrote about its evolution. "Please understand: I don't think anyone is wrong to love Hall H...But when the only pursuit our films have is awesomeness, and humanity is leeched out of so many of them, it's not hard to look at all of the marketing here and wonder whether it's time to stop asking for the 90th iteration of the same old thing and, instead, hope for something new...There's a beauty and purity to the expression of love that is fandom, but Hollywood has figured out a little too well how to channel that in events like Comic-Con. We are invited, over and over again, to keep paying homage at the same temples, to the same gods. We celebrate, and we celebrate, and we celebrate, but we forget all too often to create."
    • Early fanzine publisher Maggie Thompson spoke about cons and comics. "You get people who just huff and huff, but there are more comics dealers today, certainly, than there were in 1976! And the people putting on the convention have always made an effort to promote the comic books that are part of that outreach. At the Eisner Awards, I heard people commenting bitterly, ‘Ooh, they’ve got all these celebrities, the comics people aren’t good enough.' And I’m going, you know what? These guys are fans too! Samuel L. Jackson’s a comic book fan. Jonathan Ross is a London celebrity host of a talk show, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a fan. And it’s one of the things that I love, because it’s the common love that brings us all together. "
    • NPR's Monkey See blog discussed SDCC and anxiety. "And the first thing I learned — confirmed for myself, really — is that Comic-Con is much, much less weird than a lot of people who don't attend it make it out to be. I encountered so many contemptuous tweets about it in absentia, so many assumptions that this was, at best, some kind of Weirdo Dude Ranch where, for once, freaks have the opportunity to be among their own. And I'm not saying there's none of that, particularly if among freaks and weirdos you count those who would wryly attach that label to themselves. It is, quite clearly, a haven. But I dare you to watch and conclude that the extreme football fan tailgaters profiled therein — who tend to be tagged as extreme in their enthusiasms but not socially derided — are less weird than the people of Comic-Con."
    • The L.A. Times saw MTV's fandom awards at SDCC as the next step in marketing. "Despite all of its efforts, it's unclear whether Hollywood will ever figure out how to harness fan enthusiasm — be it through social media, Comic-Con, or any other avenues — in a way that consistently translates into profits. 'Veronica Mars' fans may have brought the long-canceled show to the big screen with their Kickstarter donations, but, despite all the talk of the revolutionary power of crowd-funding, the movie ultimately proved a box office dud, grossing just over $3 million. As former Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart wrote last week on, 'One studio chief told me recently that all social marketing represents is a road map for spending less money while still failing to find an audience.'"

    What are your favorite cons? 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 Misunderstandings

    By Kiri Van Santen on Zondag, 20 July 2014 - 5:28pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Lisa of a street sign that has been knocked down and is pointing arbitrarily.

    • Attack of the Fanboy put a spotlight on gender segregation in gaming tournaments. "Keeping a few tournaments specifically aimed at females is not an ideal situation, but it does allow a woefully underrepresented part of the population a chance to compete on a professional level. To use the IeSF’s own justification for the initial segregation, many major sports use this method as well. Technically women are allowed in the NBA, but due to various reasons none have been placed on a team. That is why the WNBA exists, to allow a group who would be left out, a chance to compete professionally."
    • While some companies recognize their sport is 'for girls', at The Globe and Mail, Amberly McAteer discussed how many just don't get it. "It’s not just professional baseball that thinks women need extra motivation to support the home team. An official women’s T-shirt from the Pittsburgh Penguins went viral on Twitter because it declared that the wearer 'wants the stick' and loves to 'puck.' Because, of course, women are sex objects. Thanks for your sexist contribution, hockey. The Jays Shop, too, carries mildly insulting women’s gear: sequined tanks, 'meet you in the dugout' deep-vees. The only jerseys available in women’s sizes are indeed the players widely believed to be 'cute,' while the men’s section offers exponentially more."
    • A theater company in Charleston, South Carolina created a play about "the dark side of Twilight fandom". "'Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up' is a darkly humorous send-up of Twihard culture and celebrity obsession, with a side of gunplay and a dash of Stephen King's Misery thrown in...The lights come up on Kate and Sam waking from unconsciousness, bound and helpless in the apartment of a crazed superfan named Bill (Andre Hinds). It quickly becomes clear that Bill wants tween America's favorite couple to get back together, and he won't let them go until they do. But the situation really goes to hell when 15-year-old Becky...moderator of the fansite, shows up and starts laying down the law."
    • A CNN report on manga brought about a heated reaction from fans as well as The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. "As Japan prepares to implement a new law which bans the possession of child pornography but exempts manga and anime, CNN released an over-the-top sensationalist video report this week that demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about the formats. Much of the report by Tokyo correspondent Will Ripley is devoted to undercover footage of an Akihabara manga shop, which Ripley calls 'a place that caters to young people.' (In fact manga is read by people of all ages.) Over mostly-blurred footage, Ripley describes “magazines and videos so graphic, so sexually explicit, we turned our undercover cameras off.' least one of those blurred-out covers that was too much for CNN’s delicate cameras actually wasn’t pornographic at all.”

    What troubling fandom issues have you come across? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: The importance of fangirls

    By Claudia Rebaza on Dinsdag, 20 May 2014 - 4:00pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Lisa of a black & white photo of fangirls in the 1940s waving photos

    • Game designer Jane Jensen took issue with the idea of female role models in a Gamasutra post, suggesting that writing hot men is a worthy pursuit. "Reason #1: Female gamers will love you for it. There are, in fact, a large portion of women who play games. According to the ESA, 45% of all gamers are female. This varies greatly by genre, I’m sure. But if women do tend to play the type of game you design for, then why not give them a male character they can salivate over? Because…Reason #2: Male gamers are okay with it...Reason #3: Pop culture says it works."
    • Writer Brian Fies wrote about the problems women have in the comics field beginning, "Comics has a female problem. Girls and women don’t always feel welcome. They bring uninvited baggage, like feelings and opinions. They create and buy the types of stories they want to read. Even worse, sometimes they create and buy ours." He cited how "Cartoonist Noelle Stevenson drew a comic about visiting a local comic book shop to support her friends’ work and being mocked by staff who asked if she wanted to buy a 'My Little Pony' book while she was at it. Stevenson is one of the hottest talents in comics right now, and her webcomic 'Nimona' is a regular stop of mine. She creates the content that keeps those jerks’ shop in business, yet they humiliated her and chased her out the door."
    • Blogger mylifeinverse wrote about the importance of fangirls. "The fandom world isn’t just online, and it isn’t something that pales in comparison to 'real life.'...fandom is something extra, something wonderful, something worth exploring. It is an unbreakable bond with people all over the globe, it is passion that can turn to positive action, and it is an identity that is as real and significant to fans as their last name or hometown." So "Don’t make fun of fangirls; they’re incredibly brave to throw themselves into something with no promise of tangible returns. Don’t dismiss fanfiction; it is proof of passion, of dedication, of skill. Don’t demean fandom; this subculture has a purpose that is in no way sub par."
    • Also important is when fangirls spread their fandom to the next generation. In an article for USA Today, Matthew Forbes wrote about his mother. "Kiss played for about an hour and a half, and my mom held me up on that seatback the entire time. I don't think she caught a single glimpse of Kiss the whole night. Looking back, I don't know how her arms didn't get tired. Today my memories of the show itself are pretty spotty, but I've never forgotten the experience, and never forgotten what my mom did to make sure I got the night of my 11-year-old life."

    Where have you seen the importance of fangirls? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • Events Calendar for May 2014

    By Claudia Rebaza on Donderdag, 1 May 2014 - 6:22pm
    Message type:

    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 May! 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 Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Free Comic Book Day takes place on "the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores."

      More about Free Comic Book Day on Fanlore

    • M/M Rares

      M/M Rares is an annual fanfiction exchange for rare slash pairings. Participants write a fic at least 1000 words long focusing on a slash pairing another participant has requested. As this is an exchange, they receive a 1000+ word fic featuring a slash pairing they requested in return.

      Nominations Open: 13 April
      Nominations Close: 3 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Signups Open: 5 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Signups Close: 23 May @ 8:00 PDT
      Assignments Sent: No later than 30 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Fics Due: 25 July @ 8:00pm PDT
      Fics Revealed: 1 August @ 8:00pm PDT
      Authors Revealed: 8 August @ 8:00pm PDT

      More about M/M Rares on Fanlore

    • LexiCon

      LexiCon is an open-to-all gaming convention. Visitors can learn to play new games like Gravwell, Sentinels - Vengeance, Jupiter Rising, Relic Runners, City of Iron, and BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia. LexiCon also will have family gaming events like "Learn 5 Family Games in 90 minutes" and Adult Party nights Friday and Saturday. There will also be a Magic the Gathering Tournament with $1,000 1st prize, plus lots of extras.

    • BLush Convention

      BLush Convention is a biennial not-for-profit event organized for Philippine and Asian fans of Boys' Love and Yaoi. The first event was held last 8th December 2012 at Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. This year it will take place on May 3 in Manila. It will feature panels and talks, merchandise booths, the much-anticipated butler cafe, La Vie En Rose, and more.

    • Open Doors chat with fans

      OTW's Open Doors committee will be holding two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses) in order to discuss the import of the Yuletide archives to the AO3. The second will be held on May 4, 1am UTC (see when the chat is held in your timezone)

    • VidUKon 2014

      Vidukon is a fan run convention in the UK where fannish vidders and vid watchers get together to OD on vids and vid talk and have the fun times. Aside from video shows, panels and workshops will run for those interested in the whys and wherefores. A Vid Bazaar is also included in the con-suite where DVDs are up for sale or swap. You can get a spot on the table for a flat fee, payable at registration. Registration is £40 for an attending membership, which includes two and a half days.

      VidUKon is also accepting Premieres and submissions to their Vidder's Choice show - a chance for any member (attending or supporting) to show a vid of their choice during the opening evening. Deadlines for these are 11th May 2014.

      Starting in 2014, a virtual convention will be running alongside the physical convention. If you buy a supporting membership, you will be able to watch the vidshow, including Premieres, streaming, in real time, with comments enabled to discuss the shows with your fellow virtual attendees! After the convention, this will be available to everyone. They are also considering streaming some panels, depending on interest.

      More about VidUKon on Fanlore

    • WisCon

      Running since 1977, WisCon is the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world. WisCon encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon honors writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes and whose voices have opened new dimensions and territory in these issues.

      Special events include the Tiptree bake sale and auction, a writer's workshop and a Dessert Party, as well as a vid party. The deadline for submitting a vid is Friday, May 9, 2014, two weeks before the con.

      More about WisCon on Fanlore

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • Stardom and Celebrity in Contemporary India

      The forthcoming issue of Indian Journal of Comparative Literature & Translation Studies is opening submissions on "Stardom and Celebrity in Contemporary India". The informing assumption is that there is no single culture of celebrity and the issue will endeavor to highlight the co-existence of multiple domains of celebrity culture in India. IJCLTS invites original, unpublished and innovative work from across the disciplines and across the world. The extent of the essays should be between 3000-5000 words or shorter but rigorously analytic pieces (500-1500 words) whose scope is less extensive than that of an essay but which raises a pertinent point regarding celebrity culture. The pertinent master categories of India studies.

      Besides the articles, IJCLTS is looking for translations, interviews, and book reviews. Submit by 31st May 2014.

    • CFP: My Little Pony: A Transcultural Phenomenon

      "This one day conference seeks to place the 30 year long ‘My Little Pony’ series within critical, cultural and creative contexts, exploring the brand from a multi-disciplinary range of perspectives. 300 word abstracts are invited." The conference will be held at University of Brighton – Grand Parade on Saturday 28 June 2014. Please send abstracts and enquiries to Ewan Kirkland at e.kirkland [at]

      Deadline for abstracts: 28 May 2014

    • CFP: Queer Fan Cultures in Greater China

      Queer fandom nowadays has become a global phenomenon. The blooming of Chinese queer fandoms in the past two decades has also offered rich sites of queer representations of gender and sexuality. Yet, research explicating Chinese queer fandoms is still far from adequate. The editors seek chapter contributions that elaborate the cultural specificities, significances, transformativity, hybridity, historicity, and futurity epitomized by Chinese queer fan cultures. We are especially keen to receive manuscripts that consider the queer dimensions of gender, sexuality, desire, and fantasy from a wide range of Chinese temporal and geographical settings. We also very welcome submissions that employ interdisciplinary and/or comparative approaches.

      To submit chapter proposal submissions for consideration, please send a 1000- to 1500-word abstract with working bibliography and a CV by May 30th, 2014 to queerfandom2014 [at]

    • CFP: The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Solutions and Resolutions

      Charles Dickens’s last novel, unfinished as it is, has become a call to arms to a legion of fans, academics and authors to solve the mystery and complete the uncompleted. The Victorian Popular Fiction Association will publish The Drood Inquiry, which will investigate and celebrate the many weird and wonderful responses to Dickens’s story, exploring the ways in which these solutions reflect upon the authors’ attitudes to Dickens and his legacy, and how Dickens’s story and characters exist both within the boundaries of the original text and without in the numerous spin-offs that have arisen.

      Proposals are welcome for 20 minute papers to be presented at a one day conference on the themes of the book or the insights its subsequent treatment can provide on Dickens’s reputation, as well as any discussion of theories on how the story ends. Proposals (up to 500 words) and a brief biographical note should be sent by 31 May 2014.

    • CFP: Golden Age or Gilded Age? Fan Cultures, Past, Present, and Future

      Fan culture has been intimately linked with mass media since the beginning of the movies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As various technologies have pushed media evolution along – sound, color, television, and internet – fan culture has kept pace and fueled not only consumption but also developed communities. First in fan magazines, then at conventions, fan culture has spread and inspired fans to celebrate the media they loved. This love frequently leads to the development of derivative works such as fan fiction and fan editing—the expansion of existing media elements into whole new worlds.

      Is this the Golden Age of Fan Culture, as brought about by the internet’s ability to transmit media and foster communities, or is this a Gilded Age, where fan culture has gone postmodern, sometimes eclipsing the objects and subjects of fan desire? This area welcomes proposals on a diverse range of topics pertaining to fan culture, both present and historic, with a particular emphasis on visual media such as film and television.

      2014 Film & History Conference is looking for submissions of 200-word proposals by 1 June 2014.

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


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