OTW Fannews: Shades of Fanworks

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.