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

OTW Guest Post: Leah Elisabeth

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.

Leah is a librarian/program coordinator in a small town library. She has been writing fanfiction since 2009. Currently, she spends all her free time participating in and facilitating fandom events. Today, Leah Elisabeth talks about her work with the Secret Santa Exchange in the Untamed fandom.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

My first active fandom was Supernatural. I started watching in the first half of season 5 and was immediately addicted. When the mid-season finale aired, I was absolutely distraught and immediately started looking online for things to tide me over until the show came back in the new year. I found fanfiction on Fanfiction.net. Shortly after that, my laptop broke and I had to send it away for repairs. This was before I had a smartphone, so with no access to my newest addiction I was inspired to start writing my own fanfiction.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: daffodeela

Every month or so the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

daffodeela is a fanfiction writer who has published her fanfiction on FFN, AO3, and Wattpad since 2011. She was a crew member for a fanwork contest called Banjir TomatCeri from 2015 until 2017 and also for the annual fanfiction event, Indonesian Fanfiction Awards, since 2018. Today, daffodeela talks about fanfiction communities in Indonesia.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

My best friend in junior high school was the one who introduced me to the world of fanworks. She told me things about fanfiction and how fun it was to read them all. My first fandom was SKET Dance, a slice of life, comedy anime that I loved (still love) so much. I couldn’t get enough of its official content so I was so glad when I found out there was a thing called fanworks!

I had a ship in SKET Dance and I wrote fanfiction for it. Then I thought about another anime I watched and enjoyed, Naruto, then went to dig some fanfiction on it. I was really shocked over how many fanfiction stories were written for Naruto! I ended up enjoying my time in Naruto more than in SKET Dance because of the lack of fanworks in it. I also had some ships in Naruto and felt delighted reading them all.

I was alone in the fandom and didn’t interact much with other people until I found a community of my ships and Indonesian fanfiction on Facebook. That was the start of me sinking deeper into the fandom world and I had another fandom to dig for.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Katie Davis and Cecilia Aragon

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Cecilia Aragon is a Professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington, and a long-time science fiction, fantasy, anime, and manga fan. She teaches and studies human-centered data science, computer science, and data visualization. Katie Davis is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Information School and a founding member and Co-Director of the UW Digital Youth Lab. Her research explores the role of new media technologies in young people’s personal, social, and academic lives, with a particular focus on the intersection between networked technologies, identity development, and well-being during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Today, Cecilia and Katie talk about discovering fandom and their research on fanfiction communities.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

Cecilia: I wrote my first fanfic when I was ten years old, but as an isolated first-generation Latina growing up in small-town Indiana, I had no clue that’s what I was doing. I’d read The Lord of the Rings and fallen in love with Tolkien’s world, but was upset that there were so few female characters. I thought, couldn’t girls have adventures too? So I rewrote the story in a spiral notebook, re-gendering a few of the main characters and adding some adventures I thought were missing. But I never
showed that notebook to anyone, and it didn’t occur to me at the time that anyone else might enjoy doing the same thing.

I first became aware of fandom as a community in the mid-1970s when I became a teenager and an avid fantasy and science fiction fan. Unfortunately, I was an extreme introvert, too shy and anxious to go to cons. Fanfics weren’t posted publicly in those days (at least nowhere I knew of), so I never read fics or got involved in any of the communities where fics were shared. It’s really too bad for me the web didn’t exist at this time, because I know now that online fandom communities would’ve helped me through an extremely difficult adolescence.

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