Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Fanfiction is a work or story developed by fans that utilizes either characters, settings, or plot points from a source text or revolves around famous individuals that are not directly written by the original authors or creators. As a whole, it is a vast and widely misunderstood genre that is typically associated with the poorly written work of teenagers or the hyper sexualized content of famous works like Fifty Shades of Grey. In all reality, fanfiction can serve as a vital tool for librarians and readers’ advisory personnel to encourage reading. This paper takes a look at the content of fanfiction, noting how it is very similar to regular fiction in the sense of appeal factors and plot elements. While at the same time, these stories are seemingly endless in quantity, with works existing related to generally every topic, book, or piece of media in existence. Furthermore, fanfiction tends to have a wider acceptance of diversity due to the genre’s lack of regulations, allowing for writers to explore all topics, identities, and sexualities while containing characters from essentially all races and ethnic backgrounds. This brief overview of fanfiction as a whole can serve as an introduction for librarians and RA personnel to begin navigating the content of fanfiction to further encourage reading.