OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Lindsay Ellis

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.

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This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 148

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we get started, did you know that this week marks one year since the Game of Thrones season finale? Yes, it has been an extremely long year. In any case, fans marked the occasion on Twitter with exactly the enthusiasm that those of us who do remember those dusty days of 2019 might expect.


Disconcerting times for many of us this week as the New York Times published an article about the Omegaverse (or ‘wolf-kink erotica’, as the headline writer has it). The (paywalled) piece, which includes interviews with OTW staffers Rebecca Tushnet and Kristina Busse, addresses the topic in the context of a lawsuit brought by one romance novelist, Zoey Ellis, against another, Addison Cain. Cain issued DMCA takedown notices against Ellis’s work, costing her (Ellis says) money and readership, on the basis of plot similarities which will be very familiar to anybody who’s dipped a toe (or indeed, a whole joyful limb) into the waters of A/B/O:

In both books, Alpha men are overpowered by the scent of Omega heroines and take them hostage. In both books, the women try and fail to suppress their pheromones and give in to the urge to mate. In both books, the couples sniff, purr and growl; nest in den-like enclosures; neck-bite to leave “claim” marks; and experience something called “knotting,” involving a peculiar feature of the wolf phallus.

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This Week In Fandom, Volume 147

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! This week, the entertainment world seemed to swing into action, with a deluge of new content either released or announced. Some highlights include Avatar: The Last Airbender’s arrival on Netflix, and Hamilton’s stage performance recording coming to Disney+ over a year ahead of schedule on July 3rd. Is there anything else new and shiny on a streaming service that you love and we missed? Tell us in the comments! Read More