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

OTW Guest Post: Norloth

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.

Norloth is an illustrator and a fan-artist who loves to wander in Tolkien’s world. She is also one of the founders of The Redbook of Middle-earth, a Chinese fan-site dedicated to Tolkien. Today, Norloth talks about how she came to be a Tolkien fan and run a site.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

When I first watched The Lord of the Rings films in early 2002, I felt so eager to share my thoughts and feelings about the story with someone else. But it seemed no one around me was interested in it. I had to search the internet for a place where I could communicate with others about the trilogy. I found a forum called “The Lord of the Rings Chinese Forum”, which I think was when I first found out about fandom and fanworks. Browsing the forum every weekend became a must. I was not a sociable person, but the forum gave me the courage to reach out to people and make new friends.

There were two sections on the forum where people could post their fan-art and fan-fiction. I would post my own artworks there, most of which were portraits of Aragorn…(I was not as skillful as I am now.)

Read More

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

OTW Guest Post: Júlia Dariva

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.

Júlia Dariva is a senior majoring in English Language and Literature at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Brazil. Currently on the third year of her research internship, her interests focus on the intersections between fan productions, Queer Theory, and Linguistics. Today, Júlia talks about her article in issue 35 of Transformative Works and Cultures.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I’m actually not sure whether this was something that existed outside of Brazil, but when I was a pre-teen in the late 2000s we had this social media website called Orkut, which worked sort of like Facebook does, I think, in the sense that you created a profile for yourself so you could interact with friends and join communities. There were communities for all sorts of stuff — from “I hate typing errors” to “never have I ever died before” to “I’ve never used a whole eraser” and whatnot — and the communities you were in would show up at the bottom of your profile, so the ones you chose to be part of worked very much as ways to describe yourself to your friends.

Among the communities you could join, a lot were dedicated to the discussion of different characters, shows, celebrities, etc. In these, people would engage in fan activities such as writing meta, sharing their video editing, role playing, and writing fan fiction, for example. There were communities dedicated to fan fiction writing in general, too, where you would find more or less random assortments of fandoms.

Though some fan fiction authors would post their work from their real-life profiles, I believe the majority of us would interact in these communities through what we called “fakes”, which were basically role-playing profiles made up of random names and pictures of different characters and/or celebrities.
Read More

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

OTW Guest Post: Erika Romero

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.

Dr. Erika Romero is an adjunct at St. Thomas University who teaches undergraduate writing and literature courses. When not teaching (or reading fanfic), she creates content for her teaching tips YouTube channel and blog or writes picture book manuscripts that she hopes to get published one day. Today, Erika talks about her article in Issue 36 of Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), Including new media adaptations and fan fiction writing in the college literature classroom.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters and became an immediate fan. Read the four books that were already out but had to wait so long for book five. Came across online fan fiction, specifically Portkey.org. Since I shipped Harry/Hermione (Pumpkin Pie!), it was a great first site to find. That led me to FFN and AO3. For the last 20 years, I’ve basically read at least one chapter of fanfic every day (usually much more). I have many fandoms that I read fic for, but Harry Potter has stayed pretty consistent for me.

Read More