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This Week in Fandom, Volume 62

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, kudos to the stars and fans of CW shows, especially Supernatural, for raising over US$300,000 for victims of hurricane Harvey. Great work!


The biggest fandom event of the week–possibly of the year–is one many people never thought would happen. The author of the infamous Harry Potter fanfic My Immortal has been revealed. A couple weeks ago, there was a scandal involving a book called Handbook for Mortals appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. Some fans found the book to be so poorly written that they compared it to My Immortal, and things just kind of escalated from there.

There’s a very thorough account of what happened in a pair of articles by BuzzFeed: Article 1, and Article 2.

Tl:dr: To confirm that My Immortal wasn’t written by Lani Sarem, the author posted on their FictionPress account about it, and an editorial assistant at St. Marin Press confirmed that they had a book with the author of the fanfic, who wasn’t Sarem. The internet took that information and ran with it, tracking down Rose Christo, who’s in the process of publishing a memoir about her adolescence as a Native American girl in the New York Foster Care system, during which time she wrote My Immortal. Christo has since admitted to being the author on both her Twitter and Tumblr accounts, and she has answered many questions about herself and her infamous creation. Other than the matter of her identity, this may be the answer to the most pressing question:

So there you have it.


In other news, the podcast Not Now, I’m Reading has done an episode focused on fanfiction and Archive of Our Own! The episode, which is roughly 48 minutes long, covers information about AO3 and the OTW, tips for how to use the Archive, and discussion of the hosts’ favourite fanworks. It also uses the best gif ever to sum up the discussion. Go give it a listen or read the transcript at the link!


Lastly, Skyword has published an article about marketing strategies for media properties with highly engaged portions of their consumer base. These are becoming as ubiquitous and standard as articles explaining what fandom and fanfiction are to the uninitiated. This particular article advocates a considered freemium/DLC model where bonus content feels like a “a great reward.” What do you think about models like this? Let us know in the comments!


We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.