This Sunday, fans celebrated the first annual International Fanworks Day by creating fan art, fanfiction, fan videos, and leaving kudos, comments, and recommendations.
The day was started by the Organization for Transformative Works who work to cultivate, preserve, and legitimize fanworks.
Every other entity seems to have its own day, Claudia Rebaza from OTW says, “whether it's pigs or the thesaurus. We thought it was about time that fanworks get their own celebration given how many people are involved with them!”
Many fans participated in a Feedback Fest, leaving comments on their favorite fanworks to let the creator know how valued and appreciated their efforts are.
Other fans participated in a short fanworks challenge, by creating brief works specifically for the day, and tagging them #IFDrabble. Works could either be a drabble (a fictional work of exactly 100 words) or a drawble (the quick art equivalent), like this delightful drawble from pandora-gold imagining Draco Malfoy, as played by Adam Lambert.
Image Source: Tumblr/pandora-gold
In addition, there were over 700 fanfics added to the International Fanworks Day celebration tag at Archive of our Own alone.
More than anything, Claudia hopes, the day served as a way to bring fans together more closely, as they open up about their favorite authors, artists, and works. “There are probably few things that better define fanworks than the way they connect people,” Claudia writes.
And as fan communities continue to grow, those connections gain strength. The popular fanfiction site Archive of Our Own is growing at a remarkable rate, recently publishing its 1 millionth fanwork in 2014, and showing continuous growth since.
Fanfiction author Dawn Felagund admits in a post on her blog honoring International Fanworks Day, “Like many people, I initially believed that writing ‘fan fiction’ was worthy of being deemed a guilty pleasure, possibly unethical, certainly illegal.” But as she delved deeper into fan culture, writing and creating more, she says, “I’ve since experienced a 180 in my thinking on this […] I like to see the rise of fanworks and fan fiction in particular as a rejoining of the collective storytelling that has sustained humankind for millennia. And I am proud to be part of that movement.”
If you missed International Fanworks Day, there will be another celebration next year. In the meantime, Claudia reminds us, the work continues year-round, “One thing that all of us could probably remember to do more often is to leave feedback for all the wonderful content we get from fellow fans. The thanks should also go to people not as often acknowledged, such as community organizers, beta readers, etc.”
She adds, “Everyone's involved in fanworks for the love of it, but it usually make a person's day when they realize people have noticed and appreciate the work they're doing.”
If you created fan art as part of International Fanworks Day, upload it to our gallery or, if it’s love-themed, enter our contest. Let me know when you’ve done it at @brittashipsit so I can check it out.