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.
Lindsay Ellis is an author and video essayist who creates humorous educational YouTube content about media, narrative and film theory. In addition to her own YouTube channel, she co-writes and hosts the fiction-focused YouTube series “It’s Lit!” for PBS Digital Studios. Her debut novel, Axiom’s End, comes out July 21. Today, Lindsay talks about fandom and fair use.
How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?
The year was 2001. I was a rather apathetic atheist in high school in South Tennessee, and I had several classmates who made trying to save my soul into an extracurricular activity. Between my sophomore and junior year, a local youth group paid for me to go on a trip with them to New York for a week of soul-saving fun. I did not find Jesus on that trip, but I did find the Original Broadway Recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera at the now-defunct Virgin Megastore in Times Square. As soon as I got home, I spent the rest of the summer reading Phantom fanfiction, (or, “Phanfiction” har har). The rest was history.