What Fanworks Mean to Me 2018

Last month the OTW’s Communications Committee sent out a call for essays on “What Fanworks Mean to Me” as part of celebrations for International Fanworks Day, coming February 15. A number of you responded, and we’d like to thank everyone who contributed! We share some of those submissions with you below, but for those of you who missed our challenge, we’d like to start a conversation on how fanworks are part of your life. For example:

  • Where do you go to find works or more information about your fandoms?
  • If you use the Archive of Our Own, what steps do you take to search it and find specific items?
  • What are your favorite fandoms or tags to browse, if you’re not looking for something in particular?
  • How do you look at fanworks — on your phone, eReaders, computers, in print?
  • When do you usually look for fanworks?
  • Do you tend to save them, bookmark them, rec them, delete them?
  • If you’re trying to find a fanwork again, where do you go for help?
  • Have other fans shared with you the way they look for works, and what did you think were good tips?

Leave your comments here, or keep the #WhatFanworksMeantoMe hashtag going elsewhere with your responses!


Freedom. To have ideas about someone elses’s creation and do something about them. To borrow a creator’s characters, things, universe, and use them myself. To write to my heart’s content what makes me happy, without pressure.

OMI_刹那未醒 / OMI_UnwakingMoment, China
因为自己的冲动而产出的东西居然有人喜欢并且认识了人生以来最重要的一些朋友,知道了爱的单纯,在成年之后得到了最纯洁的热情。 这样吧。

Sprinkles257, United States

Fanworks mean, well, a lot to me! There are many amazing franchises run by amazing people (or one person), but unfortunately, some of those franchises run…short. It is completely understandable with how busy those people can be, and it is also bad if a franchise goes on for too long. How do we, everyday people, fix these issues? Fanworks, of course! We take something great and make theories. We take those theories, potential situations, or just things for fun and make them into something equally brilliant as the original!

I love looking at, reading, drawing, and writing fanworks! I have so much fun with it. Sometimes we may disagree on concepts, but do you know one thing we all have in common? We want content, and so we make it! It is truly a beautiful thing with so many beautiful people.

LastYearsModel09, England

Video games are my passion. I adore playing them, collecting art and memorabilia of my favourite games, listening to their soundtracks and reading about them. About a year ago I discovered a new creative outlet for my love of gaming: fan fiction.

I originally started by just reading other fans work but then I decided to try writing some of my own! While some writers produce long, multi-chaptered works I keep to short stories as due to having CFS I have a daily battle with fatigue, so I find it’s easier for me to produce smaller works and obtain a sense of achievement from actually being able to finish something!

I love fan fiction as it’s another way to interact with the games and characters I love so much. I also find writing to be therapeutic, as it helps me to work through some of my emotions.

林小奶酪儿sweetie – CheeseLinStweetie, China

Michael Langdon

I’ve been reading fanfiction for about three years now, and I don’t actually have any particular fandom. There are so many fics I have read (even though I got an account just a while ago) that made me wonder if the original works shouldn’t just be written by fans, because oh my God they write so much better, and they write just so people will give them enough self-confidence to go on writing. One of my friends was in a pretty bad place a while ago, and I know for a fact that she didn’t want to give up for the simple reason that she didn’t want to disappoint her readers.

Honestly, there’s something amazing about reading something written on the other side of the world. Sometimes I’ve read fics on fandoms I’ve never even heard of, and the authors’ decision to make it an AU makes it possible for me to read without question.

I want to use this post to thank fanwork creators for all the stuff they do for us.

Edited to Add: Thanks to the mods at WIP Big Bang Challenge for letting us know that they have launched an IFD event! You can read about it on Dreamwidth, Live Journal, or Tumblr and visit their AO3 Collections page.

If you know of other communities planning IFD activities, let us know in comments!


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