seriously though

I honestly do not get creators who mock or hate on fanwriters and artists as a concept -

- like, here is a community of people who love your stuff, flaws and all, to such an extent that they’ve devoted hours and days and weeks and months and years of their lives to extending its lifespan beyond that of the original comic/series/film/book/game/universe/show - even if it was cancelled; even if it’s out of print or hard to find; even if you made it over a decade ago - and these people are, from their own love and dedication, actively expanding your audience, and your legacy, and providing enough groundswell for older narratives to be given new interpretations, new editions, new movies - 

- and in some cases, I would argue, especially when it comes to more recent adaptations of major franchises, these fans are actively filling in the gaps in the worldbuilding and backstories and canonical discontinuities by creating plausible, well-thought-out headcanons that, while still not part of the source material, nonetheless lend the entire story a greater depth and nuance than it already had, because other people read those headcanons and think, fuck YES I’m going to rewatch the entire series with that in mind, and get eight other friends who’ve never seen it to watch with me, so we can all sit down and discuss this meta we read online and see which interpretations make sense to us

- and at the same time, they’re also bringing whole new audiences to your creations by creating AUs and mashups and race- and gender- and queerbent versions of your characters and stories, which not only helps existing fans to see your work in a whole new light, but also encourages newcomers who might otherwise be put off by, for instance, the lack of representation in certain classic franchises (which, let’s be honest, is a legitimate issue) to be so inspired by the fanworks and the comparisons with other shows as to give the originals a try -

- and if you pay attention to all this stuff, to the crossovers and the ships and the artwork and the stories and the sheer, unbridled enthusiasm of your audience - if you actually listen to what makes them love your work in the first place - then you might just find that it helps make you become a better creator, period, not because you’re suddenly letting the fans dictate your output, but because fan interpretations and meta can, at times, be every bit as valuable as the input of professional editors and reviewers, providing you with valuable insights into your process, your characters and your narratives you might not have gotten any other way - 

- and if you still take all this joy and intelligence and camaraderie and enthusiasm in your creation, and laughingly respond with “UGH FANWORKS, it’s all just teenage girls and sad housewives writing crap gay porn, DO NOT WANT” then you can just go fuck yourself, because frankly, you do not deserve even a fraction of the magnificence your audience is giving you. 


Asexy April is a month-long fanworks fest celebrating asexual, aromantic, grey-A, and demisexual characters and their relationships, back for its third year in a row! All canons, headcanons, and forms of media are welcome here!

Submit your fics, art, music, videos, mixes, meta, and anything else you want to produce to this blog or tag them #asexy april to have them reblogged! Works on AO3 can be submitted to the collection!

Posting begins April 1st and runs all month. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Supernatural: Good Fan VS Bad Fan

So The Advocate actually did something awesome, and put up an article covering the relentless queerbaiting controversy over Cas and Dean on Supernatural.   The article is gaining some really great comments in this string of reblogs, but I want to highlight one of the comments that Emily Rose made over in the comment section on that original advocate story:

What an interesting dynamic in this comment string. Many of these replies are, as they said, other slash shippers. They’re the “good” slash shippers. They’re the slash shippers that know it’s not something you’re “supposed” to talk about. They’re the “True Fan” slash shippers who don’t “push” anything on the show and know that OBVIOUSLY any fan who wants to see the years of subtext indicating Dean’s bisexuality, or the blatant romantic troping and subtext for Destiel, actually be examined and explored on the television is “Delusional.”

Not like them. THEY keep their slash ship in fandom, hidden away, where it’s SUPPOSED to be.

….Right. Okay.

See, this entire argument of slash shippers versus slash shippers and “keep it in the fandom where it belongs” is based upon a few concerning things. First of all, the idea that slash ships are something we’re supposed to be ASHAMED of. Something we’re not supposed to talk about. You know, even when I was shipping Mulder and Scully, which was a contentious ship environment, no one told me “You’re not allowed to talk about that!” Sure they’d argue that they didn’t want to see it on the show, for whatever their reasons, but they never completely denied that the topic of conversation should ever be broached in polite conversation. No one has ever done that with ANY male/female ship I’ve shipped, in fact.

No, it’s queer ships we’re not supposed to talk about. Basically, queer ships are considered a “kink” by these people, something you can share among other people of the same kink…. but not something you should bring up otherwise! After all, that’s us (fans, shippers, writers, artists) running wild with the characters, doing things they’d never show on television with them! And in the past, maybe that was true. Everything queer was stuffed into the celluloid closet, left in subtext, and queer viewers were supposed to read coded comments and feel that nod and appreciate that it got past network censors.

The network censors are not there keeping these shows on the straight and narrow-minded part of the straight and narrow now. What’s their excuse?

No, let’s look at the other slash fan excuses for “keep slash ships off the show!” 

“Stop shoving your ship down our throats! YOUR ship is no more valid than MY ship! It’ll never happen! I KNOW mine will never happen, you need to know yours never will! Ugh!” This is based upon a fallacy of equal implausibility. ALL slash ships, in their minds, are equally impossible. Which is … frankly, simply not true. So the argument becomes because the show isn’t “about THAT.” 

About what, exactly?

About people? 

Because that’s all this is. Some people are queer. Their stories don’t have to be a “queer story,” it folds into the understanding of the character within the story. Jeers telling us “go watch (some usually sneered at by these people stereotypically ‘queer’ show) where they talk about things like that if that’s what you’re interested in” is rather insulting. No, I’m interested in Supernatural. I’m interested in all of these characters, and killing monsters, angels and demons, heaven and hell, urban legends and faith and fate and free will and found family… family which also can include a romantic relationship WITHOUT changing the entire theme and arc of the show. Particularly in a relationship so deeply seeded as this.

And it is deeply seeded. The people asking about queerbaiting in the AskSupernatural tag were not pulling this out of thin air. Go google Queerbaiting. Supernatural will show up. Not just Tumblr posts, or tweets like these, or disgruntled “Destihellers” who “watch the show wrong,” but major articles on news sites discussing queerbaiting. Or major television news sites who over the last few years have been asking “Will they or won’t they” regarding the characters relationship, the same as they would any heterosexual pairing on television. 

And that is how it SHOULD be. The same as any heterosexual relationship on television. The difference between that and this, though, is that the ‘bait’ is put out there (in a heterosexual relationship, that’d be ‘ship teasing’) but then it’s denied. “No, we never did that.” “No, that would never happen.” “No, you’re NOT ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT THAT.” 

Or worse. “Well, wait and see!” “Patience.” “Spoilers!” Etc. 

Do you know what those lines are? They’re lures. They’re showrunners who know that they have something in Dean and Castiel’s relationships that fans have gravitated to, that they’ve played to (“You have me confused with the other angel, the one in the dirty trenchcoat who’s in love with you,” “he was your boyfriend first,” “possibility of love in all places,” “I need you,” “I love you…” “He’s in love,” “You did it, all of it, Dean Winchester,”) that they want to capitalize on. They want and need their queer audience and play to it without intention of following through, and with the hopes of maintaining plausible deniability.

That’s queerbaiting by the book.

So, it’s interesting to me how many “True Fan” slash fans are in these comments bashing other slash fans for not knowing their “place.” How often have these same fans gone in telling the writers that Dean and Sam are soulmates, that they should drive off that cliff together at the end holding hands, that SamNDean belong together, that the writers don’t understand them if they have them fighting, that they’re doing it wrong if they’re at odds, that their relationship is the most important thing of the show and anything less than complete focus on that relationship is failure on the part of the show…

Essentially, queer coding their slash ship while demanding textual validation of their own interpretations.

So. Like I said. This entire discussion is truly fascinating.

Dear fanfic writers, fanartists, vidders, giffers, meta-writers, and pretty much all other fandomers: 

You’re not pirates or thieves and you’re not stealing anything when you create transformative works. 

We know you probably already knew that, or at least you’ve been told that, but it’s always nice when a federal judge says it (in a roundabout sort of way). 

In a case involving the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hotfile, the judge told the MPAA that they can’t say the alleged infringements were piracy or theft, or that the uploads were stealing content. As Torrentfreak posted, Hotfile “asked the court to prevent the MPAA from using ‘pejorative’ terms including piracy, theft and stealing”. The case involves the uploads of entire show/film/music files, and if the court thinks that piracy, theft and stealing are too pejorative to apply to that kind of infringement, then it’s definitely too pejorative to apply to transformative works. 

Here’s a bit from the court’s ruling: 

“In the present case, there is no evidence that the Defendants (or Hotfile’s founders) are ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves,’ nor is there evidence that they were ‘stealing’ or engaged in ‘piracy’ or ‘theft.’ Even if the Defendants had been found to have directly infringed on the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, such derogatory terms would add nothing to the Plaintiffs’ case, but would serve to improperly inflame the jury.”

Case law in the US develops when lawyers argue by analogy, so it’s now possible to look to this case, and link to it, when someone calls creative fanders pirates or thieves or says they are engaged in stealing or theft. If file-sharing isn’t any of those things, how could creating a transformative work be? 

We are very interested to see what sorts of euphamisms the MPAA and their witnesses come up with - but we also hope they just say “copyright infringement” a lot. 

You can also call it “counterfeiting” if someone makes an exact copy of the contents of another’s work and puts it online. That’s what purses and watches are called when they’re sold on blankets on the streets of NYC - it’s a copy that keeps money out of the hands of the creatives who made the original work, whether it’s a book or song or film. It’s a copy that doesn’t prevent anyone else from owning a copy, which is why it’s not the same as stealing someone’s flowers or wallet or car - nobody else is deprived of owning it just because you’ve uploaded a counterfeit. But it does take something away from the creator(s) (and the distributor or marketer who may have put money up to support the creator(s)). It takes revenue away from them which makes it harder for them to finance new stuff for you to enjoy. Illegal uploaders are counterfeiters,

The admin of has been providing high quality Disney screencaps for years now, so that Disney fans may use them for a number of non-profit activties. Art reference, graphic creation, just to simply ENJOY. Even Disney cast members are known to use them, including members of the Imagineers. And yet out of the blue, the admin has been contacted with a cease and desist. The admin of MAKES NO PROFIT FROM POSTING THESE SCREENCAPS. The only thing she gets in return for her time is our thanks, and we are devastated by the loss of one of our favorite Disney resources.

We ask that Disney (Tyler Rhoades in particular, who emailed the admin in the first place) reconsider and allow this website to continue on. It is doing no harm, and has been HELPING Disney fans for years. And again, I cannot stress enough — the admin is not making money by sharing the Disney love. She is only HELPING. (x)

Please sign the petition and spread the word! Think of the big picture, as this is ultimately an issue of companies’ attempts to restrict fanworks. 

Hey, Teen Wolf fandom, Mtv has something for you! It’s called The Collective and while it might seem shiny, nifty, annoying and/or inapropriate, it’s wrapped up in something that’s kind of archaic. 

A 2011 Terms of Use.

There’ve been a lot of discussions today on twitter and tumblr about the new “Collective” site for Teen Wolf fandom, which is hosted at [LINK] and is subject to the Terms of Use for all of Mtv, which are here. We’re going to focus on the legal issues, not the larger philosophical question of what happens when a show-team and its online arm start hosting fan content. 

As you can see, Mtv’s Terms of Use were written in 2011, which is pretty archaic for Terms of Use for a site that hosts user-created creative content. The Terms of Use are relatively standard for a site with message boards and downloads from The Powers That Be - and they don’t require users to assign copyright ownership of anything they post, which is A Good Thing (although there is a broad license that allows Mtv to do a lot of noncommercial things with submissions - see more on this below). 

However, if you post to The Collective, you’re required to “respect [Mtv’s]  copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights.” What does that mean for fanworks? We have no idea - there’s no definition, no standards, no explanation. Do you have to respect Gerard or the twins or McCall Senior? Do you have to respect the Nogitsune? (I once had a long discussion with a fellow lawyer as to whether it was possible to “tarnish” Voldemort as a matter of law; this is along those lines.)


What’s weirder is this: 

"You shall not … reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, display, perform, publish, distribute, disseminate, broadcast or circulate to any third party (including, without limitation, on or via a third party website), or otherwise use, any Material without the express prior written consent of VMN or its owner if VMN is not the owner."

In other words, they want people to upload fanart and creative expression, but at the same time you can’t reproduce (like in a collage) or create derivative works from any copyrightable elements of the site, or any TW trademarks. 

Derivative works and transformative works don’t completely overlap, but Mtv’s Terms of Use shouldn’t bar derivative works from the site while at the same time asking users to “share your talents”. It just doesn’t make sense. 

We’ve seen some people ask whether Mtv could take fanart and other items posted to The Collective and sell them on shirts or postcards - or put them on the Official Show DVDs without asking the artist’s permission. Technically, they can’t because the ToU says, “Posting is for noncommercial purposes only.”

That should mean that Mtv can’t make any commercial use of the content posted to The Collective without getting additional permission and rights from the artist. That’s how we hope it will be read. 

This might be a good time for Mtv to update the Terms of Use for its entire site - but at the very least, they (and/or RebelMouse) should create specific Terms of Use for The Collective that protect fans’ rights in what they create, and possibly put limitations on what Mtv can do with fan-created and fan-submitted content. They also should have a form for fans to use if someone else submits their creativity without permission - if someone does take your stuff and put it on the Collective, or any other site, you can submit a DMCA takedown request to the site, but for a site that is focused on fan creativity, the process should be clear and easy for fans to use. 


The tl;dr - there are legal issues with the Terms of Use, but most of them are because the Terms of Use for Mtv’s sites are a few years out of date. Hopefully this will get Mtv to update their policies; if they want to chat about it at Comic Con, their first easy chance to find us will be at the Transformative Works & Transmedia panel on Friday night - we’ll definitely be talking about The Collective. 


I knit this over a year ago, but when is a more appropriate time to post than when season 3 is only one month off?(!!!)

I knit this glorious John Watson jumper for the 2012 Ravellenics challenge during the summer olympics which meant that I had to get the whole thing knitted in two weeks. Not sure how I pulled it off. Pretty sure I didn’t sleep. Somehow it fits, but I think that was just dumb luck.

Knit from this pattern by the most lovely Trudi Brown who is fantastic enough to make free knitting patterns like this for the fandom?? Worship her.

Click here for the knitty gritty details, but I’m also placing my writeup under the cut because I am damn proud of how many references I put in that description.

Here’s hoping for the reappearance of John’s oatmeal jumper in season 3! <3

Read More


" Fanworks should not have specific/undue influence over the creative choices that "creators" make. It needs to continue to function as its own ecosystem that co-exists with canon but also has autonomy to be critical, to explore themes and ideas that creators cannot (or will not) make due to the commercial nature/necessity of premium IP. In addition, critical/academic analysis is useful and places original works in a larger social and cultural construct but when it crosses the line into confrontation, acrimony, and accusation that pits one group of fans against another in a circular echo chamber of one upmanship, shaming and outrage it reinforces the negative perception of fans and their occasionally myopic perspective."

what he said

and lots of other great conversation from today’s OTW chat

woofwoofs said:

Hi, I have a question. I wasn't at Dashcon, but I was wondering if you discussed people fetishizing queer folk? Specifically homosexual men. And if not, what are your views on it? I see it a lot, typically done by heterosexual folks, and lately I've been feeling uncomfortable because of it. People seem to not take being queer seriously.

Oh yeah.   We discussed it from a lot of angles —  first of all how it feels to queer people when it is bad, blatant, and/or creepy.  For me it is very much linked to a shallow-view of LGBT allyship where heterosexual people think they can just, ya know, support gay marriage or be like ‘gay people are just people toooo’ without doing any real research into what queer people’s lives are like.  The result is unrealistic not just sexually (as Mark pointed out GAY MEN DO NOT USE MOTOR OIL AS LUBE EWW) but it devalues the intricacies of our lives and the oppressions we face.  It also tends to ignore sexism, racism, etc.   I talked about the deal that needs to exist between straight people and queer people — if they want to write queer stories, do queer art, and other fanworks then they need to be BETTER and more educated than the average ally.  And if they write m/m as ‘I’m not gay I just love youuuuu’, erase bisexuality (like erasing Peggy from Steve Rodgers story to ship him with Bucky), or make ‘I love my [insert ship name here] but real gays are gross’ then I believe my exact quote was “those people should die in a car fire.” :D

BUT we also talked about how accusations of ‘fetishizing’ is used as a sexist tool against female fans predicated on the implication that everyone writing m/m ships is straight.   It’s a way to devalue that a great deal of m/m content is written by queer women.  It’s a way to ignore that the richest characters for fanworks are often men because female characters are so rare or poorly written — essentially letting the sexism slide so the finger can be pointed at female fans instead of the powerful forces behind our media.  Basically it can be a total crap accusation and it really depends on the fandom, ship, or particular work.   

TLDR: Straight people need to do a lot better and we all need to examine these things through a critical lens.

- Sarah 


The newest addition in my series of fandom knitting: a tiny John Watson jumper for your phone!

Using Natasha Sills's adorable Weasley cell cozy pattern and an altered chart from my John jumper, I knit this little buddy in just a couple of days. It fits my Moto G perfectly, as well as iPods and iPhones.

My quick-tips to making your own can be found here if you’re interested. If you have any questions about my version or need something clarified, please feel free to shoot me an ask! <3

Now I can wear my own John jumper and match with my phone. Ultimate nerdom has been achieved.