A director's chair with the OTW logo on it and the words OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Bettina

Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

Bettina is a lifelong fangirl. She loves reading, gaming and going to conventions. In the past she dabbled in writing fanfiction, but nowadays she leaves that to more talented people. Today, Bettina talks about her work with the GSSU Archive which can now be found on AO3.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I’ve always been kind of “fannish”, even as a young child. One of my earlierst memories is of me sitting in front of my grandmother’s TV set and watching Star Trek. I loved the show so much and loved TNG even more. I wanted more and because of that I started reading the TNG novels in German. In the back of one of the novels I found an ad for a Star Trek club. Up until then I didn’t even know that other people shared my obsession.

I decided to write a letter for more information about the club (it was before the Internet!). I had to convince my parents to pay for the membership. It worked out and I became a member of the STCE club (Star Trek Central Europe). The STCE published info zines and yearbooks, which also included fanworks. I met other fans, found my first fandom friends, found fanfiction. I never really looked back after that.

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A director's chair with the OTW logo on it and the words OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Sara and Beth

Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

Sara B. hosts the Talkin’ Fanfic Podcast, where she interviews fanfiction authors about their work. Sara is a thirty-something year old female from the same state as Clark Kent, and when not reading and writing fanfiction, she occasionally rides bikes, enjoys snuggling with her boyfriend and her cat, and talking about the Bat-family with her twin sister. Beth works in the litigation management sector and is also a licensed realtor in her state. On AO3 and other online fandom spaces she’s known as ChaosBlue, and is the host and producer of The FanFic Maverick Podcast. As OTW celebrates its 14th anniversary this month, Sara and Beth talk about their podcasts and recent collaboration involving fanfiction history and the OTW’s role in it.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

Sara: When Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I was obsessed with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, and my sister and I started reading a kid’s book series called Jedi Apprentice. I think I found my first Star Wars fanfic through TheForce.net forums, where I found a link to Jedi Apprentice: Fan Dimension, a fandom-specific fanfiction archive! I couldn’t believe I could read about the further adventures of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, it totally blew my mind.

Beth: My first introduction to fandom was in 1997, when personal fansites on Geocities and Angelfire were popular. I was absolutely obsessed with a Nickelodeon scifi show called Space Cases, and so of course I was very active on the Spaces Cases AOL message board community. I had my own Geocities Space Cases fansite which was part of the Space Cases webring, and one day while I was browsing other sites on the webring I came across my very first piece of fanfiction. Reading this little fanfiction story about my favorite Space Cases characters was MAGICAL. It lit my soul on fire. I started scouring the internet for fanfiction stories in all the other fandoms I loved and was instantly captured by the creativity and passion of the fanfiction writers I encountered. I’ve been obsessed with fanfiction ever since. That’s 24 beautiful years of joy I’ve had thanks to the amazing work of fanfiction writers.

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A director's chair with the OTW logo on it and the words OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Martyna Szczepaniak

Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

Martyna Szczepaniak is finishing her post-graduate studies in linguistics at Jagiellonian University. She is interested in the ways in which people are using language and genres on the Internet, including (one may even say focusing on) fannish texts. Today, Martyna talks about the MCU and her article in Transformative Works and Cultures.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

As with a lot of my cultural fascination it’s all my best friend fault. When I was in high school (c. 2008-2010) I bought her old phone and there was a Twilight fanfic on it. I read it, I fell in love and I wanted more. Google landed me on Fanfiction.net which was my main source of fanfic for the next few years. It was also the first time I felt I was part of a fandom because I’ve read fanfiction before — aforementioned friend was writing self-inserts with us and our favorite bands, which I was reading and commenting on. But that Twilight fanfic was the moment I started to be aware that it was much bigger that us and there are a lot of people who are writing amazing stories and sharing them with the world.

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