OTW Guest Post: Lee & Colleen

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.

Lee is the founder of Carnation Books, and her goal in life is to read as much fanfiction as humanly possible. She lives in Silicon Valley with her programmer husband, their two cats, and one very cute dog. You can find her on Twitter. Colleen is a 30-something mom of two who has been in fandom in some capacity since the age of 14. She can be found on Tumblr and Twitter.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

Lee: Back in 1996, a kid in my fifth-grade class told me about this cool TV show The X-Files, where these two FBI agents investigated paranormal phenomena (he probably didn’t phrase it quite like that, though). We had just gotten the internet at home, so the first thing I did was go to Yahoo! (which was an index of websites at the time) to find websites about The X-Files. I was enthralled, and spent the next few weeks reading detailed summaries of every XF episode that had aired up through the fourth season.

After I’d memorized everything about the entire first couple of seasons, I was desperate for more Mulder and Scully, so I wondered whether anyone had written stories set in the XF universe. Once I stumbled across an XF fanfiction webring, I was hooked; I spent the whole summer of 1996 carrying around a yellow accordion folder full of Mulder/Scully Romance fanfiction that I’d printed out. We had a dot-matrix printer, which meant that I’d spend hours tearing the dotted edges off of the paper and then carefully tearing the perforated paper into individual sheets.

I wrote my first fic when I was 11. Besides my obsession with XF, I was also into New York City and the TV show Friends, so I wrote a crossover wherein Mulder and Scully went to New York City to solve a case, fell in love (of course), and met up with the cast of Friends. It’s been lost to the tides of time, which is too bad, because I would love to go back and read it, but I was too shy to post it anywhere, and cloud storage hadn’t been invented yet.

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 87

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have you heard about DC Universe, the new streaming service by DC Entertainment launching this fall? The Lincoln Journal Star recently revealed that the service will include exclusive content, original series, a DC encyclopedia, and more. Let us know in the comments what you think!


People are talking about KCON, the K-pop convention that just took place in New York. The Chosunilbo reports that a record 53,000 fans attended the con, beating last year’s ticket sales by 20 percent. South China Morning Post points to the popularity of BTS as one explanation for the popularity of K-pop and KCON, while Kotaku cites “the shared joy that came from finally getting an outlet to share their passions with like-minded people”. (more…)

OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Agnese Pietrobon

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.

Agnese Pietrobon is an independent scholar in fandom studies with a master’s degree in social psychology and psychology of communication. She is currently president of the cultural association fanheart3, dedicated to fans and fan culture. Today, Agnese talks about her work for fanheart3, Italy’s first fanfiction convention, and her fannish history.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I discovered fandom before I knew what the word fandom meant! When we were kids, me and my friends used to reenact scenes from movies and shows. We loved to try and give them different endings: Star Wars, movies with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill… Then, in high school, my best friend and I used to share a journal where we wrote self-insert stories where our fictional selves met Backstreet Boys (embarrassingly normal for adolescents) and Kevin Spacey (embarrassingly not normal at 15 years old).

It wasn’t until years later that I realized those were fanfictions (and NC-17 rated, too). In my defense, the Internet was still something very, very new at the time, and living in a small town in Italy did not give me access to fanzines or similar media. So being a fan for me mostly meant these things, and collecting pics from magazines, or watching and re-watching VHS while analyzing every expression my favorite characters wore, while sharing all of this with the people I had around.

It was only when I started reading the Harry Potter books, though, that I finally gave a name to the things I was doing: I joined a blog dedicated to this fandom where I could chat to no end with other people about our favorite ships and about my absolute conviction that Snape was Harry’s father. Only 4 books had been published at the time, so we spent a lot of time discussing theories and ideas.

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