- Writer's University
- Note: According to their own mandate, "Writer's University seeks
to help people connect through fan fiction," and I'd say they do a tremendous
job of it, too. This site is huge, contains dozens of resources anyone
who writes or reads fanfic would benefit from reading, and (always a
major personal interest for yours truly) is set out in a user-friendly
format with solid links and navigation. I especially recommend their
section on Mary Sues.
Resources: Fan Fiction
- Note: this isn't so much a site, as a sort of shortcut to one search
engine's results given a search query of "fanfiction". Some useful sites,
some I've never checked.
for Medical Fanfiction Writing
- Note: Exactly what the title says, this has definitions, descriptions,
procedures, and useful links for anyone who's interested in writing
believable medical fiction, not just playing doctor. *g* (A Stacey
- Minotaur's Sex Tips
for Slash Writers
- Note: Be warned, Minotaur is EXTREMELY graphic, although of course
that's why it's helpful for the slash writer who knows her characters,
knows emotion, and knows what she wants them to do -- but hasn't the
faintest idea about the mechanics of male-on-male sexuality.
- Dr. Merlin's
Guide to Fan Fiction
- Note: A web classic, actually. One of the oldest resources I know
of, and it's still around for a reason. Check it out.
- How to Write
Almost Readable Fan Fiction
- Note: Again, I just love self-explanatory titles! Lol, seriously
though, there are some good tips in here for any ficwriter.
- The World
- Excerpt: "Welcome to The World of Fanfiction--an extension of Only
Time. Here you will find all kinds of information on the subject of
fanfiction, tips and hints for writing fanfiction, and many links to
what I consider to be some of the best fanfiction sites on the Internet."
I've read this author's work, and I think I can say she knows what she's
- Miscellanous Angel/Buffy
- Note: Ironically, I was all set to update with a number of links,
and then I stumbled on this site, and it has several of them (and my
personal favourite, a link to one of the best interpretations I've read
of "Restless", you know, the Buffy 'dream episode'). Just
so you know, I'm technically pointing this one out for the 'badfic'
links and fic writing sources.
- Citizens Against Bad Slash
- Note: CABS is irreverent but honest. Be prepared to be slightly
taken aback, and then drawn in. These people discuss aspects of fic
writing, feedbacking, and fandom attitudes, and they do it with style
and humour -- and a sharp eye for slackers and ignorance. I'd be surprised
if you didn't nod thoughtfully at least once. By the way, just in case
you completely missed it, the site is slash-oriented (hell, that's an
- Fists and Fangs:
- Note: You read it, and you think to yourself, "Well, duh!
It's just common sense." And then you stop and consider that horrible
fic-experience you had the other night, shudder violently, and bookmark
this site so you don't do it to anyone else, lol.
- Blurred Vision
- Note: True, it's pure Buffy-verse, but check out the Essays and
the Opinions sections for some serious and good (and seriously good,
lol) tips and cautions about writing. I find the points about staying
true to character particularly poignant, if lofty.
Stupid Fanfiction Writing Tips
- Note: Light-hearted but quite valid comments and cautions.
- Advice to Aspiring
- Note: Jeffrey Carver offers some great advice for … you guessed
it. Ooh, and he has a pretty decent list of links, although they’re
aimed at writers of original fiction.
- The Alternative Reality
- Note: The focus here is on community – particularly that
between sci-fi/fantasy readers, writers, and variations thereof. Not
fanfic-oriented, maybe, and (I think) still growing, but pretty cool.
Useful, too; I’m looking forward to checking out some of the recommended
links I’ve found in the forums.
- The Grand
List of Overused Science Fiction Cliches
- Note: © 2002 by John VanSickle. I laughed, I cried. And then
I laughed and cried again. Why? See for yourself. And then review your
own work, and see if you don’t laugh and cry a little too!
- The Language Construction
- Note: By Mark Rosenfelder, who says this is“intended for
anyone who wants to create artificial languages-- for a fantasy or an
alien world, as a hobby, as an interlanguage. It presents linguistically
sound methods for creating naturalistic languages-- which can be reversed
to create non-naturalistic languages. It suggests further reading for
those who want to know more, and shortcuts for those who want to know
less.” I admit that I’ve always (ahem) avoided having to
do so, but if I ever get (another) opportunity to create an alien civilization,
I’m here, bud!
back to top
- Legal Fictions:
Copyright, Fan Fiction, and a New Common Law
- Note: By Rebecca Tushnet, for the Loyola of Los Angeles
Entertainment Law Journal. This is quite possibly the best
legal examination of fan fiction as a literary genre, a reflection of
society, and its implication for online copyright law, that I know of.
Tushnet cites numerous academic works on fan fiction and countless instances
of (American) corporate and entertainment law used against fan fiction
writers, archivists and communities in general.
- Copyright 101: A
Brief Introduction to Copyright for Fan Fiction Authors
- Note: By A.T. Lee, for Whoosh! Online Edition.
This is a U.S.-centric legal-minded article that delivers precisely
what the title promises, without sacrificing accessibility. (In other
words, it's useful and easy to read. What more can you ask for?)
- 10 Big Myths
about copyright explained
- Note: By Brad Templeton. The title's self-evident, don'tcha think?
- The Fanfiction
vs. Copyright FAQ
- Note: By email@example.com (no, really, lol). Includes some intriguing
interpretation of US copyright law and Fair Use.
Intellectual Property Office
- Note: copyright info according to the CIPO (basically, the Canadian
- Chilling Effects
- Note: Find out about fanfic, copyright, and trademark law from
some people who sound like they know what they're talking about, lol.
(Another great Stacey find. Thanks, Stacey!)
- Fan Fiction
and the Copyright Dilemma
- Note: © 2000 by Ursula Renee. A PDF-download, this is a formally
structured treatise on fanfiction and legality with a pretty decent
bibliography. I approve of her stance, too; she claims that current
law is insufficient and needs to be overhauled to make allowances for
non-profit-seeking fans. Hear, hear!
- The Internet and
Electronic Copyright: Fanfiction and the unacknowledged use of copyright
- Note: by Olwyn Mitchell, , University of Aberystwyth, 1995. MSc
dissertation. A reasonable examination of fanfic, historically, culturally,
and legally, the main focus is on issues of ownership and copyright
solutions. Nicely thought-provoking.
Plagiarism, Cheating and Academic Integrity
- Note: for Web Tools Newsletter. A useful annotated bibliography
regarding online plagiarism. Cool.
- Harry Potter and the International
Order of Copyright: Should Tanya Grotter and the Magic Double Bass be
- Note: by Tim Wu, for Slate. A look at the more
daring and openly infringing world of international publishing -- forget
the internet, there are print publishers in Russia, China, Belarus,
Holland and India that promote thinly-disguised derivative works that
mimic Harry Potter so closely it borders on the satirical. Wu provides
a layman-friendly look into the realm of international copyright law
and why it shouldn't be an absolute. (If nothing else, there are cultural
considerations. Why *shouldn't* Russian children read about a hero they
can identify with? And a female one, too; if I knew Russian, I'd probably
read Tanya Grotter too.) Basically, there's an interesting line between
justifiable protection and hindering fair competition.
- Fan Fiction, Novels
Copyright, and Ethics New!
- Note: by Michaela Ecks, for Whoosh!. A heavily
annotated list of fandom legal issues, with examples , illustrations,
and pertinent discussion on finding a balance between the rights of
authors (of "original work") and ficcers. The emphasis is
on identifying and clarifying issues as opposed to offering an outright
solution, and it works.
– Who Owns Your Story? New!
- Note: by J. S. Levine, for patchmonkey.net. A
U.S.-centric overview of copyright law as relates to writers of fanfic.
Contains a list of relevant legislation, summarized for your convenience
(and mine! LOL), and is both cautionary and encouraging.
back to top
Poachers and the Stormtroopers
- Note: By Henry Jenkins, for Red Rock Eater Digest.
H. Jenkins is a well-known academic defender of fanfiction, and this
is a talk he presented at the University of Michigan in 1998. He uses
anecdotal evidence to excellent effect, and makes very persuasive arguments
in support of fandom.
- Copy Catfight:
How intellectual property laws stifle popular culture
- Note: By Jesse Walker, for Reason Online. A descriptive
and fairly comprehensive overview of some of the legal controversies
- Luke Skywalker
Is Gay? Fan fiction is America's literature of obsession.
- Note: by David Plotz, Slate's Washington Editor. A humourous
and fairly written (in my opinion) article on the fanfic phenomenon,
examining fanfic as a reflection and outgrowth of modern culture. Not
too bad a job deconstructing slash, either, in an intriguing little
Frodo loved Bilbo ...
- Note: by John Allemang, The Globe and Mail. A Star Trek-heavy
and fairly accurate article about fanfic, but more specifically, the
prevalence of slash -- and more to the point, salacious slash.
Mentions some well-known names out of fandom (I recognized them, anyway),
including Thamiris and Mary Ellen Curtain, which adds credibility. It's
a keeper -- and not just because it led me to another promising-looking
DS author, lol.
- Net Could Forge Era of Guiltless Plagiarism
- Note: By Kevin Featherly, for Newsbytes. An interesting
article examining how ease of access to and copying of digital content
influences changing perceptions on what plagiarism is and means to new
generations of writers. Oh bloody hell, it's disappeared. Well,
I'll keep an eye out for a little while. If anyone desperately wanted
it, I think I have a hard copy somewhere around here I could photocopy
and forward ... guiltlessly? I'll never tell, lol.
Liberties With Harry Potter New!
- Note: by Tracy Mayor, for Boston Globe Magazine.
A thoughtful examination of the Harry Potter fanfic phenomenon, tastefully
interspersed with excerpts and art. (Although who the blonde is supposed
to be is beyond me. Hermione's brown-haired, Ginny's red-haired, and
Cho presumably has straight black hair ... 'shipping out of canon, are
we? How very intriguing. LOL ...) Henry Jenkins gets a nod, as does
Fiction Alley (whoo hoo! Go FA!), FF.net and the Potter Slash Archives.
The author, evidently not a ficcer herself, does a witty but respectful
job of deconstructing fanfic rationality and netiquette. It's interesting
to look at an outsider's view, isn't it?
Plot Thickens in Fan Fiction: Loyal Followers Find the Web a Magical
Place to Spin Their Own Versions New!
- Note: by Rebekah Denn, for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Reporter. The primary impetus seems to be Harry Potter (with
a few obscure fandoms for contrast value) and the impact of online discourse
and internet-based publishing. There are some great quotes by Henry
Jenkins, and -- this is a new one for me, at least in commercial journalism
-- a surprisingly neutral acknowledgement of RPS. Good legal points
and a creditable shortlist of sites to check out and fandom terms round
out a fairly diverse and interesting article.
Facts About Fan-Fiction New!
- Note: by Wolfen Moondaughter, for Sequential Tart.
A nicely laid-back defense of fanfiction enriched by extrapolations
from cultural practice and big names in literature. (Oh, and psychology.
Mustn't forget Jung.) I truly enjoyed reading this one, even finding
myself nodding outright once or twice before remembering the process
wasn't interactive. I wouldn't say the author provides any (to me) groundbreaking
rationales or explanations for participating in fandom, but Moondaughter's
enthusiasm, sincerity and ability to write insightful prose is definitely
the Web: Fan Fiction New!
- Note: by Michelle Pauli, for Guardian Unlimited.
Pauli provides a quick peek into a "curious literary genre",
offering some advice and useful site recommendations for the newbie
interested in becoming either reader or writer.
and Other Obsessions Part 3 New!
- By Julie Houston for About (Sci/fi Fantasy). Part of a series
posted back in the late nineties, this is a quick overview of what people
find compelling about fanfic, with an emphasis on contributors' opinion
and useful linking.
Fanfiction: Slashing Culture New!
- By Lynn Reed, for Disinformation. Fanfiction as subversion
and slash as an expression of female initiative in a traditionally male-oriented
genre -- be still my heart, I feel the urge to go do something politically
aware. (Don't worry, it'll pass. But it's kind of exhilerating, you
know?) Look to the end for some great links to popular slash fandoms
back to top
Universes: Fan Fiction Studies
- Note: I can't say enough about this site. As a (more or less) fellow
academic, I can appreciate the empirical and analytical studies M. Ellen
has conducted in an effort to quantify and qualify various myths and
perceptions about fanfiction as a global phenomenon. She includes papers
she's given at academic conferences, commentaries about fanfic and the
media, some statistical data, book reviews, and a stab at documenting
the history of slash. Tremendous stuff. It's under construction,
but really, it's such a great resource, I'm going to keep this here
and hope for the best. And hope I don't lose the few pages I found fascinating
enough to make hard copies of. Sigh.
- Note: By Kathleen Dailey. What I'm doing here? Well, it's been
done before, lol, and here is a list I myself have referred to at times.
There's some overlap, but she includes some links that I won't be featuring
here, so I figure, why not?
on the Road to Xanadu: The Infringement of Copyright in HTML Documents
via Networked Computers and the Legitimacy of Browsing Hypermedia Documents
- Note: By Alex Morrison. Not about fanfic, exactly, but from an
academic stance, and if the vagaries of online publishing are of interest
to you, it's relevant.
- Science Fiction Fandom
- Note: Under construction. Will wait and see if I'll keep it on
- Note: By Nicholas. A short article looking theorizing on the prevalence
of slash in fanfiction.
- Note: By Walt Willis and Bob Shaw, serialized in Amazing Science
Fiction. This enduring masterpiece defies description, really. It's
a commentary on fandom and a SF/fantasy story all rolled into one. It's
older, so some of the allusions might pass right over the heads of readers
such as myself who were born after its creation, but it's well worth
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers
- Note: It's a good site, accessible to the curious amateur, useful
to the serious writer, and of interest to anyone in between. Check it
- Red Inkworks
- Note: some seriously kickass linkage on SF fandom (general, not
fanfic) in here. Just scroll down! I fully plan to go through them more
thoroughly myself when I get the chance. No, really.
- UCSL - Unconventional
- Note: Maintained by Kate Bolin (yeah, thought that'd make you sit
up, lol), this is a fascinating look at unconventional 'shipping, who
does it, when, why, and how. Some degree of Buffy-verse bias pervades.
I'm particularly impressed with the creators for articulating how and
why UC fanfiction constitutes a safe and rational environment for exploration
of sexuality and identity.
Generic Slash Defense Form Letter
- Note: Written/compiled by Susan Beth, this is a thought-provoking
defense (but not apology! Hell no) for slash. I felt like cheering,
and I'd never heard of the fandom constantly referred to in examples.
- Paper on
- Note: by USS ferryboat, under "Sentinel Misc" on her
website. She writes: "I wrote a paper on Fanfiction for my English
102 class. I got an A." Well, I've read the paper and I'd give
her an "A" too. Then again, I appreciate a well-written and
accessible academic paper that doesn't sacrifice style for content.
(Oh, and I should mention it's TS-centric, with a chuckle-worthy and
eminently in-character minific to start things off.) Witty stuff all
around, with a good grounding in copyright and cultural prerogative.
- Rewriting Society's Future: Women, Star Trek and Slash Writing New!
- Note: by Genevieve Petty. A thorough and careful examination of
slash-writing by and for women. Petty begins with the traditional nod
to Star Trek slashdom and online forums, expounds a bit on cultural
perceptions about pornography (and why slashing is a far healthier and
proactive pursuit than skin mags), and ultimately, offers a very encouraging
and supportive message. Compelling, well-researched and soundly reasoned.
- It's a Fan's World:
How Devotees Blur the Boundries New!
- Note: by Mary Borsellino. You know, it's odd -- I just realized
that I'm a telecultist, and yet, I don't own a television. (I "loaned"
my set and VCR to my sister back in the summer of '02, and, well, she
just seems to get a lot more out of them than I do. Besides, I can watch
DVDs on my computer, right? Right.) More to the point, Borsellino breaks
down the nature and functionality of the obsessive (er, "devoted")
fan, in light of the relationship and interaction between audience and
industry. Ultimately, this is a defense of fandom from a unique perspective,
and an intriguing one at that.
back to top