Fanfiction

  • OTW Fannews: Judging Women's Fandoms

    By Kelly Ribeiro on Friday, 24 April 2015 - 5:15pm
    Message type:

    Womens Fandoms

    • The Global Times of China speculated about the appeal of Mary Sue stories. One reader responded "The reason I like reading and watching Mary Sue stories is because I can be swept away by the beautiful romantic relationships...The heroine doesn't stick to one man, and no one blames her." Her first experience with Mary Sues was in "a piece of fan fiction set in the world of Slam Dunk, a popular Japanese manga comic about a high school basketball team that was adapted into an animation series in 1993. 'The Mary Sue character was the same age as me, and had a similar mentality to life as me, so I was able to perfectly identify with her...[Reading it] was as if I was in the cartoon world myself, and having these romantic relationships with the handsome basketball players.'"
    • At The New Statesman Elizabeth Minkel pointed out that the very same behavior lacked commentary when it was by men but not when it was by teenage girls, or indeed women in general. "Drop into any Top Gear thread online right now and...there’s a genuine outpouring of emotion for the Top Gear that was: these fans, mostly (grown) men, are offering up their vulnerabilities, talking about how the show was always there for them - a comfort, something to look forward to every week...Drop into any 1D thread right now and you’ll notice that even though the language is different, maybe even incomprehensible to you, the sentiment is the same: these fans, mostly (underage) teenage girls, have flooded social media with that same outpouring of emotion, for Malik’s departure or for the end of the group as it’s always existed. It should be easy to have compassion for people who love something and lose it."
    • At The Conversation the focus was on female fans of Australian football. "Our research debunks a couple of persistent myths about women sport fans. These myths concern women’s motivation for attending football, which is commonly explained in terms of their duties as mothers (women support football because it is a 'family' game), or dismissed as something that women do mainly because the men in their life are into footy. These assumptions about why women follow football reinforce some particularly stubborn gender stereotypes." Instead, the study "reveals that while family features significantly in the way women become fans – overwhelmingly women are socialised into following a team through their parents – they develop a connection with and enjoyment of AFL that prevails independently of family."

    Where has the line been drawn between men and women in fan reaction and support? 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: Improving on the Original

    By Kiri Van Santen on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 - 4:36pm
    Message type:

    banner by Robyn of the title of the post

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

    What fannish version of canon would you like to see resurrected? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Skewing the Process

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 19 April 2015 - 5:23pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Kat of a scale with 'OTW Fannews' on one side and 'Skewing the process' on the other

    • Matt Binder wrote in Salon that right-wing conservatives in the U.S. were trying to exploit the activities of misogynistic fans for personal gain and political capital. "A common tactic used by right-wingers is the call to 'stop politicizing everything' — while at the same time trying to push forth their own political agenda in the culture wars, of course. Keeping politics out of any art form is laughable, but there is a certain extra level of hilarity in attempting to do so with one that already has a long history of social justice...these are actual panels from an actual Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow comic from April 1970 addressing racial justice head-on."
    • At Medium is the Message, Rex Sorgatz discussed changing habits regarding spoilers. "Back in the aughts, we survived a similar crisis, when two cultural events coincided:The quality of television programming suddenly got much better [and] The conversations around television exploded on social media. The collision of these trends triggered a nuclear reaction — a pop culture fission, spewing immense heat. People got very, very serious about The Spoiler Alert. The burgeoning recap society, in particular, was put under immense scrutiny."
    • Japan Times talked about how marketing tricks meant fans were skewing the music sales charts. "The problem is that music purchases by idol fans aren’t really music purchases at all: They are a sort of abstract currency by which the fans make extravagant expressions of love for the group — the more you buy, the greater your love. They’re a completely different class of consumer from someone who simply buys a song in order to listen to it, and trying to force them to behave like traditional music fans misses the point."
    • The Millions featured a long piece from Elizabeth Minkel on academic courses on fanfiction. "The cynical side of me expected to hear that a fanfiction class in an Ivy League English department would’ve been met with criticism from the old guard...But [Jamison] hasn’t encountered professional backlash at Princeton or back home in Utah. 'I’m sure there are people who think that but they haven’t told me about it — not my colleagues...I get more pushback on YA and, frankly, on Victorian women’s poetry than I do on fanfic. Nothing can match the snideness with which male scholars of modernism tend to regard Victorian poetry by women.'”

    Where have you seen fans changing cultural practices? 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: Coming Together

    By Kelly Ribeiro on Thursday, 16 April 2015 - 5:59pm
    Message type:

    Jared Padalecki

    • Bustle's Emma Lord focused on the successful protest of a fanfiction 'comedy' act at WonderCon as part of discussing misconceptions about fanfic writers that she's tired of. "WonderCon recently had to pull Chris Gore’s 'Fan Fic Theater' panel, in which he was going to read out loud actual fan fiction and make fun of it for sport. Like many fellow authors, I took to Twitter to question what the panel was for, and within thirty seconds of my incredibly civil tweet asking what was up, I’d been blocked by Chris Gore himself...It didn’t take long for the convention to cancel the whole thing, because duh, WonderCon, you can’t make fun of the very audience for your event and expect them to not get defensive about it."
    • The Age reported on fans' reactions to the murder of a cosplayer in Australia with a display of numerous pieces of fan art. "[A] global group of cosplay fans...are expressing their grief through art. Masa Vukotic was a well-regarded member of the cosplay - or costume play - community...Many members of Melbourne's cosplay community have paid tribute to the teen with sketches and paintings of Masa dressed in her signature 'lolita' style. Some admitted they had never met Masa, but felt compelled to draw images of her or post photos of themselves wearing pink in her honour, her favourite colour."
    • Comic Book Resources wrote about a discussion on The Nightly Show about fandom and diversity. Marvel’s director of content and character development, Phil Jimenez, said "It feels strange to me that we would partition race, gender and nerd as if they were distinct things...All human beings are this combination of experiences and ideologies. […] Everybody’s get some nerd in them. But the idea that, somehow, being a nerd is separate from one’s religious or moral or political beliefs is strange to me. We all bring everything to our decision-making on a daily basis.”
    • Fusion.net reported on the success of various actor-led charity campaigns. "Padalecki’s campaign is the latest example of a burgeoning form of celebrity activism—one inextricably intertwined with social media and the nerdiest brand of superfandom. The new activism is kicked off by a star—in this case, the lead of a show that has a massive following on Tumblr—but powered by his admirers. (Incidentally, all examples involve male stars and their largely female fan bases.) The star, in turn, interacts with fans about the campaign, energizing the cause. Everyone feels good knowing they’re fighting for the same thing."

    What cases have you seen of fans coming together? 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: Global Rights

    By thatwasjustadream on Sunday, 12 April 2015 - 4:25pm
    Message type:

    image of a seated person with arms on a table, one hand holding a small globe with the words OTW Fannews Global Rights over the image

    • The EFF reported on Japanese fans and organizations protesting the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). "In addition to opposing lengthy copyright terms, the anime and fan-art community are also concerned about the TPP's criminal enforcement provisions. There is a particular section that says that 'competent authorities may act upon their own initiative to initiate a legal action without the need for a formal complaint' by the copyright holder. The fear is that this would lead to a major crackdown on derivative works, including written or drawn fan fiction, recorded music covers of songs, or cosplayers, who may upload photos of themselves dressed as characters."
    • Le Devoir.com wrote about the origins of fanfiction. "To understand the phenomenon of fanfiction...begin by remixing the famous list of Daniel Pennac's "The Rights of the Reader," which will become those of "the consumer." Literature becomes just a commodity, and it's permissible to do whatever we want. From one chapter to another, the reader is free to react, to have equal exchanges with the author, to make special demands, or even to write his own fanfiction." (Article in French).
    • lesen.net focused more on legal issues than the rights of the author. "The law is also problematic when it comes to the inventions of fanfic writers. There are stories where, in addition to well-known people, original characters occur in crossover stories which combine different book universes. Behind the new characters and the stories themselves are original, but unprotected, ideas. Original characters outside of the accepted world in principle belong to the rights-holders of the (story's) world. Meanwhile, within the fanfiction community virtually all characters and plots can be easily transferred and plagiarized." (Article in German).
    • The Washington Post also discussed appropriation in art using a variety of different examples. "There are no perfect, lawyerly answers to this. But general rules apply: The artist must add something — an idea, a nuance, a criticism — to the work he or she appropriates; it mustn’t be done simply to deceive; and no one should prosper by borrowing if it comes at the expense of another artist."

    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: The Mirror Writers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 10 April 2015 - 5:32pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a fountain tip pen dragging away from a mirror

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

    Where are the lines you see between fanworks and their pro counterparts? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: It's Your Fault

    By Lindsey D on Wednesday, 8 April 2015 - 4:59pm
    Message type:

    OTWFannews banner with text It's Your Fault and a hand with a finger pointed forward

    • A post at GQ focused on a documentary about the making of a fan film tribute to another film and decided that fanworks have become too common for notice. "[T]he genre's been so co-opted by the mainstream that it's now part of the marketing playbook. Cultural gatekeepers are now enlisting us to submit our footage for their projects. Take the Ridley Scott-produced documentary Life in a Day, or EMIC, Google Play's recent collaboration with Christopher Nolan to promote Interstellar. In a weird way, people look at you funny if you're not filming something for your YouTube channel, or figuring out how to conquer Vine. These days, it's almost more audacious to say, 'No thanks—I'm just gonna be the audience.'"
    • Nintendo Life didn't get the memo, and instead wrote about a Zelda fan film. "The Zelda Project is a fan run website based in Los Angeles, California that focuses on recreating various scenes and locales from the Zelda series via photography, film, and art. Player Piano is a YouTube channel run by Filmmaker Tom Grey that primarily focuses on classically-trained musician, Sonya Belousova, recreating video game music on a piano. Both of these groups appear to be quite talented, so this fan-film could definitely be worth a watch when it's completed."
    • A number of outlets wrote about the implications of the all-female and all-male Ghostbusters remakes. Salon decided that the fault doesn't just lie with a sexist culture but that the blame also lies with fanworks. "[S]tudios are actually listening to their customers, and remakes are what you want. It’s what you’re making, after all — and by 'you' I mean the vast majority of people out in the indie fan world that supposedly serves as our alternative, our escape from the moribund studio system. What has the Internet been spending all this time making? Fan fiction, fan art, fan films. It’s hard to tell at times if the people making 'gritty reboot' trailers are parodying Hollywood or unironically creating something they want."
    • The author of Vulture's recent piece on fanfiction was interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio, and asked if she thought there was great fanfiction available. "I found fanfiction that was ok and every once in a while something that I thought 'Oh, that's pretty good'. But I think...it's really more the writing and the reading and the sharing than the end product...Every single piece of fanfiction is like a work in progress...and it's such a sort of group experience that it's difficult to apply a term like 'great' to it. That's like saying 'Is there a great fairy tale', I mean there isn't a definitive version of any fairy tale, there's just a million different tellings." (No transcript available).

    Has the spread of fanworks reached a tipping point? Write about your evidence 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: Product Placement

    By Lindsey D on Sunday, 5 April 2015 - 5:34pm
    Message type:

    • Vulture released a series of articles on fanfiction, including an attempt to unravel "My Immortal", and a look at some published authors discussing fanfiction activities. "[T]he undeniable signature of a writer’s fic orientation isn’t eroticism but confession, the frank and extended discussion of emotions. If porn offers men the vision of women whose carnality is neither elusive nor mysterious, fic offers its mostly women readers men whose inner lives are wide-open books — not so easy to find in popular culture. Whether these imaginary Spocks or Justin Biebers are straight or gay, theirs is a love that not only dares to speak its name but will happily go on talking about itself for thousands of words at a time."
    • While fanfic has gone on for not just thousands of words but thousands of years, there are constant claims about what was its first example. A recent one was made by the president of the local chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America. "Thompson has written extensively about Jane Austen fandom, and she has an article coming out in the United Kingdom: “Crafting Jane: Handmade homages and their makers.” Even Jane Austen fandom was ahead of its time. The ultimate contemporary fan tribute is to write your own stories, set in the world of your favorite author-filmmaker. 'I'll be talking about the first translation of ‘Sense and Sensibility' into French from 1817...The writer didn't like the end of the book, so she rewrote it. It represents the first fan fiction.'"
    • ABC Newcastle, Australia sought to find the origins of fandom. "When people can be so unwavering and loyal to their fanaticisms, what are the ethical boundaries around organisations not exploiting their product's fans? Melanie James believes fans can be viewed in different ways. 'Fandom is cultivated by organisations. Football clubs want their fans; movie franchises want their fans...A marketer would look at a fan quite differently [to someone else]. [Marketers could think], 'There is a potential person for me to make a lot of money out of, because they're going to buy the t-shirt, the video, the game, the costume and go to the movies.' They're a commodity.'"
    • Wattpad certainly seems to think so. A story in It Business, Canada reported on a marketing to millennials talk that revealed that product placement is something the company is attempting to use with its writers. For example they have fit "existing stories to brands, with ads for Taylor Swift’s new album performing well inside pieces of fan fiction featuring Taylor Swift. Brands have also written their own stories for Wattpad readers, with writers of the new USA Network TV series Dig writing stories for the platform. Brands have also created a whole campaign around a Wattpad story. The company has a very large following in the Philippines, and Unilever wanted to reach it to promote its Eskinol pimple cream. They commissioned a Wattpad writer to write a story about someone getting a pimple just before a date." Their strategy is to obscure the marketing aspect as much as possible. "When we failed, it obviously looked and felt like an ad."

    How have you seen fanworks being co-opted for marketing use? 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: Building and Re-Building

    By thatwasjustadream on Thursday, 2 April 2015 - 9:39pm
    Message type:

    OTW Fannews Building and Rebuilding graphic by Rachel G with an image of the YouTube logo being broken apart

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

    What examples of takedowns or collaboration have you experienced? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • Events Calendar for April

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Wednesday, 1 April 2015 - 1:26pm
    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 April! 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.

    • Eastercon: Dysprosium. Held every Easter weekend since 1955, Eastercon is also known as the British National Science Fiction Convention. This year's event is April 3-6 in London, England. Guests of honor are Jim Butcher (Dresden Files author), author and filker Seanan McGuire, steampunk artist Herr Döktor (Ian Crichton), and longtime fandom contributor Caroline Mullan. The event also includes the Dalekdrome, in which competitors first making over a remote-controlled Dalek and then running it through an obstacle course.
    • It's the second run of the Hobbit Big Bang, with artist claims opening April 4. Crossovers and AUs are allowed, but stories should focus on The Hobbit (books, films, or RPF). Posting runs from May 10-24. (Share your experience with big bangs on Fanlore.)
    • Nullus Anxietas V, April 10-12 in Sydney, Australia, is a fan-run convention for fans of the Discworld novels and other works by Sir Terry Pratchett. The program has several events that appear each time such as the Gala Dinner, "Maskerade," Charity Auction, Guest of Honour Interview, and "Terry's Bedtime Stories." The conventions regularly feature large attendee-run groups that have been known variously as Guilds and Sects. There are also smaller events such as interviews, games and competitions, guest klatches, and other activities.
    • Star Wars Celebration is an event for all ages. The celebrations began in 1999 and have been held all over the world! The con, April 16-19 in Anaheim, California, contains exhibits, an interactive show floor, screenings, merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, and autograph sessions. Costuming workshops, academic discussions, behind-the-scenes insights, fan films, and sneak peeks at the future of Star Wars are all elements of Celebration as well. (Find fan experiences with Star Wars Celebration on Fanlore.)
    • For 30 years, Studio Ghibli has produced some of Japan's most popular and profitable films, and yet, beyond the work of famous film director Hayao Miyazaki, many of Studio Ghibli's achievements remain unknown outside of Japan. Spirited Discussions: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli is a one-day conference, the first of its kind, and aims to investigate the meanings of Studio Ghibli, and its significance to Japanese and global culture. It is April 18 in Cardiff, Wales.
    • There are several roles to play in After Camlann: A Big Bang Challenge for BBC's Merlin, and all signups are open now--for writers, artists, betas, and "cheerleaders." The writer signup deadline is April 20, artists should sign up by May 30, and posting will take place in August.
    • Figments & Filaments, April 24-26 in Kansas City, Kansas, is a celebration of "costuming & cosplay in all of its various genres and applications."
    • Interested in historical RPF? History Fest, a first-ever prompt fest for "fanworks about historical figures," is accepting prompt fills through April 30. Fills can be fanfic, fanart, or mixes, and there is no required minimum level of historical significance. (Learn more about RPF on Fanlore.)
    • Free Comic Book Day 2015 will take place Saturday, May 2. This is expected to be the largest FCBD ever, with over 5.6 million comics given away to visitors at 2,100 participating comic shops.
    • Shatterdome Seattle, May 3 in Seattle, Washington, is the only Pacific Rim fan convention on the Pacific Rim. It is a one-day event featuring a private showing of the movie, cosplay and trivia contests, and panel discussions. The convention is for fans by fans. Go Pacific Rim on the Pacific Rim! (Discover more about Pacific Rim fandom on Fanlore.)

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The Third Annual Fandom and Neomedia Studies (FANS) Conference, in Dallas, Texas, in June, is issuing a call for papers on all aspects of being a fan. Abstracts are due April 30.
    • The Fans, Videogames, and History anthology's editors invite proposals for chapters addressing historicising game fandom; fan contributions to game history; and methodological reflections on studying historic game fandom. The deadline is April 30.
    • Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media invites papers that will interrogate the film adaptation of the 50 Shades of Grey novel series from "a plethora of new perspectives including industry, text, and reception analysis." Topics may include fans and fanfiction; kink, BDSM and sexual politics; and social networking and the blogosphere. Papers are due April 30.

    Help out a researcher!

    This month we have received a request for research participation from Jean Drzyzgula at St. Mary's College of Maryland. As part of her thesis for an undergraduate degree, she is conducting research on *fandom and identity exploration* under the oversight of Dr. Iris Ford.

    The purpose of this research study is threefold: to understand the role participation in media fandoms has on the development of personal identities for young MOGAI (LGBT, Queer) people; to understand the extent to which participation in media fandoms has impacted participants’ identities; and to understand how these trends impact individuals participating in them.

    Note that survey participants must be at least 18 years of age. You can find the survey online; a consent agreement is included on the main page.

    Contact information is jadrzyzgula [at] smcm [dot] edu and Icford [at] smcm [dot] edu.

    The final paper and any future works will be shared with the community, and some limited portions of the data set collected may be available depending on if it is judged to not impact confidentiality (and with advisor approval).

    If you have requests for research participation, please view our policy for inclusion at our website.


    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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