Linda Green (timeturner)
Fan fiction, the practice of creating stories using the characters and settings of someone else's published work, serves as an educational medium for those willing to reap the benefits of its creation. In particular, fan fiction communities serve as literacy sponsors where members are taught to write, read more critically, and embrace a future of writing that they otherwise might have been too intimidated to broach.
Within a fanfiction community, members are provided freedom to express themselves while obtaining instruction in various methods of fiction writing. While publishing house and professional editors rarely have the time to offer advice, the fanfiction community provides comprehensive advice for free on grammar, plotting, characterization, structure, flow, rewriting and more.
Reviewing other's written works, a timeless tenet of writer's workshops and groups, has translated into the online fanfiction community. Through this process, many fledgling fanfiction authors are taught how to improve their own skills by learning to critically read and disseminate the writings of others. Where a classroom teacher might struggle to teach this through the works of classic literature, the fanfiction community provides a foundation for critical reading where the members rush to read new chapters as they are posted rather than considering their critiques to be drudgery.
The experience and knowledge learned through involvement in writing fanfiction and participating in a fanfiction community have long lasting benefits to the author. In addition to the improvements in their writing skills learned through the writing and reviewing process, authors are exposed to the intricacies of publishing houses and writing contests. Many online communities host their own fanfiction writing contest and many encourage their members to participate in original writing contests as well. These small steps help to pave the way for future writing work as authors become more familiar with the success (and failure) that accompanies a long term writing career.
During the course of the lecture, sample readings from fanfiction will be utilized to illustrate the improvement of writing from a new, fledgling author to an author that has been involved in fanfiction for a longer period of time.
Mrs. Green is the manager of HarryPotterFanfiction.com, the world's oldest and largest fanfiction site dedicated exclusively to Harry Potter. She is the author of Entering Potter's World: A Guide for Fanfiction Writers and has received numerous online awards for her fanfiction stories. In addition, Ms. Green was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest for her original work, Hallowed Ground. She is currently employed as the Children's and Youth Program Coordinator for the Conway County Library.