Links roundup for 16 September 2012

Here’s a roundup of fanfiction stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • AfterEllen stepped up to explore “Why smart lesbians read (and write) fan fiction.” They write, “We lose ourselves in stories, but we also find ourselves in stories. Fan fiction isn’t just a way for us to gay-up straight characters (or sex-up gay characters); it’s an exercise in molding narratives that resonate with our unique life experiences. Fan fiction readers and writers aren’t waiting for networks and showrunners to hand them a beautiful bouquet of freshly picked roses. They’re planting their own gardens and fertilizing their own imaginations and pruning and weeding and growing something proud and strong. They may have borrowed the seeds, but the blossoms are all their own.”
  • A post at the i.b.taurus blog also took issue with the idea of focusing only on the sex in fanfiction while overlooking the gender issues. While discussing the practice of kink memes, writer Hannah Elison points out how “journalists continue to paint fanfiction as a world of ‘creepy’ anonymous erotica, despite erotic work making up a small percentage of stories” while “they ignore the fact that though these stories may unashamedly portray acts of bdsm, intersexuality and even bestiality, they have yet to escape the ever-present force of dominant gender paradigms.”
  • An NPR look at the origins of Fifty Shades of Grey managed to avoid a discussion of the sexual, but neither did it provide much on the topic of fanfiction at all. OTW Staffers Suzanne Scott and Francesca Coppa provided some input, but the focus remained rather firmly on E.L. James.
  • A better look at fanfiction appeared in The Boston Globe. While it focused on that other favorite topic, copyright, the disclaimer “Full disclosure: I write and read fan fiction as a hobby” may account for the observation that “Yes, the vast majority of fan fiction falls woefully below such lofty standards [as Shakespeare]. But so does most original writing, particularly the self-published kind — and some fan-written stories would hold their own against much professional fiction. (Granted, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is appallingly bad, but then “Twilight” is no “Jane Eyre,” either.)”

If your fanfiction focuses on the sexual, the copyright, or just the fun, why not write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

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