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Today Is the First International Fanworks Day, So Let’s Discuss the Very Best Of Fan Creation

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Today is a momentous day: It’s the first ever International Fanworks Day. So let’s celebrate the glory of fan creation.

Created by the Organization of Transformative Works — a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history of fanworks and and fan culture as well as the fanworks themselves — today is a day on which we are tasked with celebrating “the myriad ways in which fans create art inspired by the things that they love.” I feel like we can do this, folks. Heck, The Mary Sue is named after a trope in fanfic. We’re in this. It’s our jam.

And fans are an impressive resource of creativity. As the OTW put it in their press release announcing the fan holiday:

Fandom is international, transversing borders and languages. On the OTW’s largest project, the Archive Of Our Own (AO3), its nearly 1.5 million fanworks exist in 54 languages and the organization was supported by donations from fans in 71 countries during 2014. Across the web, thousands of fan-created and fan run archives can be found that host works in text or multimedia formats. Fans also create scores of offline fanworks whether in cosplay, fan crafts, or live productions.

In celebration of the day, let’s talk about fan creation. To mark the occasion, here is one of my favorite quotes about fanfic, from Lev Grossman’s 2011 TIME piece “The Boy Who Lived Forever:”

Fan fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.

What’s the best fic you’ve ever read? You know, the ones that made you cry or laugh or that was even better-written than its source material? For that matter, what’s the most ridiculous-to-the-point-of-greatness fic you’ve ever read? An erotic tale from the point of view of Groot comes to mind for me, as well as a one-pager between Draco Malfoy and an apple and a crackfic where everyone in Sherlock were crustaceans.

What’s a work that completely altered the way you see the story it pulled from? What are the best uses of fandom you’ve seen put into action?

What’s the most mindblowing piece of fanart you’ve ever seen? Heck, what’s your favorite race-bending and/or gender-bending and/or anything-bending Tumblr gifset you’ve ever seen? How has fandom changed the way you interact with all that media out there? With art, from the stuff you create to the stuff you consume? I know it’s certainly changed me.

Hit the comments! Tell us your thoughts, tell us your feels.

(Image via Natello-Universe/Tumblr)
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