News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Spreading Around Fanworks

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

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

    Where are all the places you find fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Shades of Fanworks

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

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

    What are all the deals you know about of fanfic that was pulled to publish? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Advice

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

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

    What advice have you seen fans giving eachother? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Asking for Fan Rights

    By Janita Burgess on Thursday, 12 February 2015 - 5:30pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner featuring a picture of a gavel and text that reads 'OTW Fannews: Asking for Fan Rights'

    • A Tech Dirt post directed attention to the Internet Archive's release of over 2,000 MS-DOS video games, playable in the browser. "What I found truly amazing was that with every excited Twitter or Facebook comment I saw, it was about a different game...Each person seemed to latch onto their own moment in history." But the "Internet Archive is allowed to do this kind of thing...because it was lucky enough to get one of the semi-arbitrary DMCA triennial review exemptions that lets them break old DRM for the purpose of archiving vintage software. But, even then, it's not entirely clear that what the Internet Archive is doing is fully protected today."
    • Slate interviewed Lacey Noonan, the author of a humor RPF story about a U.S. football player. She was asked, "You’ve also written a story that features an encounter between Flo from Progressive, Wendy from Wendy’s, and Jan from Toyota... Are you drawn to characters that aren’t typically seen as particularly sexual?" Noonan: "Definitely. I believe all three of those women are talented actors, but yeah ... not your normal fare. I think it's a writer's responsibility to throw light on the dark corners. It's also a kind of reaction to the blunt ubiquity of American culture. Like, if it's going to be in my face 24/7, then I'm going to have a reaction to it, and I should."
    • The Boston Globe later wrote about Noonan's book being pulled from Amazon for trademark violations. The reason was "the book jacket, specifically the photo of Gronkowski that features the 'MHK' patch on his uniform" though whether it was a demand by the National Football League or his team, the New England Patriots, wasn't clear.
    • Meanwhile the Patriots' opponents in the Superbowl were attempting a number of trademark grabs. "The Seahawks’ aggressive quest for new revenue has led both the NBA and the NHL to try to slow one of the trademark applications. And while Seattle’s owners were once sued over the use of '12th Man,' the team is now trying to seize control of many other variations of the term. In the process, the Seahawks organization has battled fans, local businesses and even a former player... 'They’ve always been a little aggressive about securing intellectual property for themselves,' said Andresen, who has worked with other professional franchises. 'They’ve really taken the position that the more intellectual property, the better.'"

    Where have you seen fans standing up for their rights? 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: Awards Season

    By Kirsten Korona on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 - 7:02pm
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    • Various sites discussed the Wicked Young Writers’ Award first annual fanfiction category, "created by teen entertainment website sugarscape.com to celebrate the growing popularity of fan fiction amongst young people." The contest was "established in 2010...to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and develop writing talent in young people between 5-25 years of age from all backgrounds and areas of the UK & Ireland."
    • Fan art can also have its moment in the spotlight at the Southern Oaks Library Fan-Fiction Fan-Art contest. "Fan art may be any medium and contain original characters, but must contain copyrighted characters as the main theme. Similar rules apply to fan fiction." The contest was open to all genres and contestant ages but they noted that the "[c]ontestant must be able to carry the Fan Art into the judging area."
    • Australia's The Chronicle wrote about a digital artist who "illustrated her life-long love affair with literature in her first solo exhibition Fanfiction, a reworking of her 20 favourite novels."
    • The website io9 paid tribute to a fan artist who had been part of the community at the site. "We lost a member of our community today, io9-commenter and O-deck mainstay, §erenada. As we looked through her commenting and posting history, we uncovered this lovely gallery of artwork she did detailing one of Supernatural's offscreen stories which we're sharing with you now."

    How have you seen fanwork honored? 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: Fanwork Outcomes

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 1 February 2015 - 4:55pm
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    • 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Running the Gamut

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 30 January 2015 - 5:11pm
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    Banner by Alice of with the words 'OTW Fannews: Running the Gamut' with Gamut centered in a tablet, and a quill pen writing the top line in black and a paintbrush writing the bottom line in red.

    • GamaSutra presented a roundup of videogame criticism "on topics ranging from the 'ludocentrism' of games discourse to a different take on Eric Zimmerman's 'Ludic Century.'" The roundup of videogame blogging included a look at German gaming blogs, and a blog post by Maggie Greene that compares "Tales of Xillia to Chinese literary traditions. Specifically, she looks at multiple endings and the effort to capture both tragic compromise and fairy tale and fan-fiction happiness ever-after."
    • Hoodline wrote about a bookstore's book fanfiction with local authors. "We pick a book every month, either one that we just love and is classic, or is just in the zeitgeist for whatever reason, and we assign each writer a character—they don’t get to pick. And then they write 800-1200 words of fan fiction about that character, or heavily featuring them or centered around them. They can do anything they want. Whoever wins gets to come back. The structure of the show is that there are six readers total, and they’re all read by our 'thespian in residence,'...and the audience gets to vote."
    • At The Guardian, Katie Welsh posted about the best vlog reinventions of classic books. "[F]resh-faced teens and twentysomethings aren’t only vlogging about their own lives; they’re dressing up as fictional characters and telling modern reworkings of familiar stories into their webcams as YouTube adaptations of classic novels go viral. The teams behind them may be professional actors or simply fans of the books, and the quality of both scripts and production can vary, but at their best they could give the BBC a run for its money."
    • The Otago Daily Times published a piece on cosplaying runners at Disney. "'I love the atmosphere,' said Lauren Harrell, 27, after she finished the November super heroes race in a hand-painted T-shirt and foam headpiece as Groot, the human-like tree in Disney's Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. 'People are cheering you every step of the way. And nobody judges you for dressing in costume,' said Harrell, who had a speaker attached to her waist so she could dance and sing to the Guardians soundtrack." Other half marathons include Disney Princess or Tinker Bell themes.

    How far and wide have you seen fandom activities? 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: Fanwork Inspiration

    By Pip Janssen on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 - 5:23pm
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    Image of birds flying in blue sky with overlaid text

    • ComicBook.com recommended that readers check out the Five Best Fan-Made Superhero Series & Short Movies. "In case you didn’t notice, Comicbook.com is really into covering fan-made films and web-series. YouTube and increasingly-intuitive technology has made it easier than ever for passionate fans to share their own tales about superheroes, video game characters, or whatever fictional realm that’s captured their imaginations. It’s fan-fiction for the 21st century, and never has it been more abundant and impressive. This year marked a rather significant turning point in fan-made films with Nightwing, a YouTube series that scored almost $35,000 in Kickstarter funding for production costs. What resulted was one of the most highly-produced fan series to hit the Internet so far."
    • The inspiration mentioned in the above article was evident when Patton Oswalt discussed the effect Star Wars had on him. "I could imagine that these characters would go off and do other things, have other adventures. I'd draw cartoons of what this one guy in the cantina went and did after that scene…you felt there were all these little stories happening after you'd left these characters, all these other avenues to explore. It was like Fisher Price's My First Fan Fiction, and that had never happened to me with a movie before."
    • The Tyee suggested that January would instead be a good month for people to hunt out popular fanfic online, even if they shortchanged the number of online archives. "Boy bands aren't your thing? Well, you're in luck then since Wattpad also publishes stories about celebrities and Harry Potter characters. Or you can find tales more to your taste at any of more than a dozen of these online writing communities. Start with two of the largest ones: FanFiction and Archive of Our Own."
    • Fanworks aren't just inspiring viewers and fans but future academics. Mass Live highlighted the accomplishment of a local student who is a recipient of the "prestigious Marshall Scholarship for study in United Kingdom." Student Tess Grogan is "interested in instances of transgressive violence in children’s and young adult literature as well as alternative systems of justice and responses to this violence. She is interested in the implications of 'genderswap' fan fiction – pieces written by fans of books or television that reverse the genders of the primary characters."

    What sources have you seen as fanwork inspiration? 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: Commercial Exploits

    By Kiri Van Santen on Friday, 23 January 2015 - 5:27pm
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    banner by caitie of a monopoly hundred with the OTW logo and the title of this post

    • Many fans of Fall Out Boy launched a petition to protest a proposed event by podcaster Jensen Karp which would revolve around reading "the most ridiculous REAL fanfiction about them on the web." The event was later cancelled though it remained unclear how much participation the band itself had had in the plans.
    • The use of fans' work by third parties was less clear in an announcement by YouTube gamer PewDiePie who launched a fanfic contest with himself as the subject, noting that "The contest will be sponsored by Mountain Dew." Three finalists would have their story submission turned into an animated video. The Terms and Conditions of the contest noted that aside from transferring the rights to all entries (whether they were winners or not) to "Sponsor, Administrator and their agents along with PewDiePie" that the fanworks "must not denegrate the subject, Mountain Dew brand, product and/or trademark."
    • At the American Library Association's District Dispatch, Carrie Russell bemoaned the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act process that also forces OTW Legal to repeatedly defend the exemptions it won for fan video makers in 2009 and 2012. "Here’s the problem: Sometimes DRM gets in the way of actions that are not infringements of copyright. Let’s say you have lawful access to an e-book (you bought the book, fair and square), but you are a person with a print disability, and you need to circumvent to enable text-to-speech (TTS) functionality which has been disabled by DRM. This is a violation of the circumvention provision. One would think that this kind of circumvention is reasonable, because it simply entails making a book accessible to the person that purchased it." Russell called for the exemptions to be made permanent and eliminate the months of time spent by petitioners and government alike.
    • An article in The Guardian highlighted the various benefits of new technology in expanding what producers and consumers are able to exchange (even if fans had long been there first). "The rise of these electronic devices built only for reading has been a boon to the books sector. The transition to digital reading brought with it a new kind of publishing that was distinctly more experimental, energetic and (nakedly) commercial than that which preceded it. Just this week the publisher Little, Brown began publishing ebook shorts based on the hugely successful Broadchurch TV series that are made available to download in the hours after each show."

    How have you seen fans' work adopted and co-opted? 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: Fannish Acceptance

    By Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 - 5:27pm
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    banner with text only that reads OTW Fannews Fannish Acceptance

    • At Bustle Emma Lord explained why Everyone Should Date Someone Who is Into Fanfiction. "I learned something about fanfiction: It isn’t a hindrance to me being in a relationship at all. In fact, it has become a whole new facet of myself that I finally got the opportunity to share with someone, and I was surprised once I found someone who was curious about it that I had a lot to say. I would argue that in general, being a rampant fanfiction junkie makes you even more desirable in a relationship, because we have so much to bring to the table."
    • Sadly, fans can't always count on one another for acceptance. In two separate cases a fan video maker and a sports fan were both bullied or criticized by their fellow fans to the point that they took their lives.
    • In other cases, stereotypes come from the media. AndPop profiled fangirls who met celebrities as if fans in their 20s are a rarity, asking "[W]hat’s it like when your interest carries over, even when you’re now a responsible and employed adult in your late 20s?" One fan pointed out that it was like any other hobby. "'I do it a lot and I go to a lot of shows, but I’m not taking off for six weeks to follow a band around the country,' Bove explains. 'To me, it’s no different than a sports team or anything like that. If somebody wants to go to every Leafs game because they have season tickets, then they go and have fun.'”
    • The Longmont Colorado Times Call profiled the Grey Havens Young Adults fan group. "The group started in October 2013 and gradually gained ground. While they are technically a book discussion group, Bosica and Cowling make a point of not limiting the conversations to the novel at hand, spawning philosophical discussion of fandoms that reach across the worlds of television, cinema, comic books, card games, tabletop games and literature." Some of the participants pointed out the strengths of the group. "'We get into deep philosophical conversations about what is good and what is bad,' said Xan Brown...Peter Larsen, 12, said that sort of deep discussion doesn't happen often in school."

    How have you seen fannishness and fandom being accepted? 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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