Fanfic is the fastest-growing form of writing in the world. As well as making contact with a wide audience writing on the internet is now an established route to conventional publication too. Many writing on the internet begin by working in ‘fandoms’ anonymous authors bring their own gloss and invention to novels, films and tv series, developing characters, expanding narratives and, in the ‘slash’ genre, boldly going where the conventional genre writers fear to tread in relationships.
In The Democratic Genre poet Sheenagh Pugh explores fandoms as diverse as Jane Austen, Blake’s 7 and The Bill. She discusses fanfic terminology, its mechanisms for participation and support, the differences with conventional publishing and, for the first time, the literary standing of the writing. The book discusses open and closed canons, historical and futuristic settings, and the fanfic community of beta-reading, collaboration and peer criticism.
Fanfic is now an established cultural phenomenon and this book is its essential guide, much used in universities in the UK and the US.