Skip to Main Content

Fanfiction 101: Customizing Your Superheroes

About Fanfiction

Amazon Worlds

Books on Fanfiction or Fandom

  • Gray, J., Sandvoss, C., & Harrington, C. L. (2007). Fandom: Identities and communities in a mediated world. New York: New York University Press.
  • Hellekson, K., & Busse, K. (2006). Fan fiction and fan communities in the age of the Internet: New essays. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co.
  • Jamison, A. E. (2013). Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World. Dallas, TX: Smartpop.
  • Jenkins, H., & American Council of Learned Societies. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.
  • Jenkins, H. (2006). Fans, bloggers, and gamers: Exploring participatory culture. New York: New York University Press.
  • Jenkins, H. (2013). Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture. New York: Routledge.
  • Schwaback, A. (2011). Fan fiction and copyright: Outside works and intellectual property protection. London: Ashgate.

Copyright and Fanfiction

  • Lantagne, S. M. (2011). The better angels of our fanfiction: The need for true and logical precedent. Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal (Comm/Ent), 33(2), 159-180.
    Overview of the legality of fanfiction including case law. Frames the conversation around the ideas of "sampling" and fair use.

Fanfiction in the Classroom

  • Black, R. W. (2005). Access and affiliation: The literacy and composition practices of English-language learners in an online fanfiction community. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(2), 118-128. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.49.2.
    Discusses how English Languge Learns can gain skills from participation in fanfiction creation, consumption, and commentary.  Highlights the mentorship aspects of betareaders and reviews.
  • Jwa, S. (2012). Modeling L2 writer voice: Discoursal positioning in fanfiction writing. Computers & Composition, 29(4), 323-340. doi: 10.1016/j.compcom.2012.10.001
  • Kell, T. (2009). Using fan fiction to teach critical reading and writing skills. Teacher Librarian, 37(1), 32-35.
    Outlines the background and basic componets of using fan fiction as a classroom creative writing project.
  • Mathew, K. L., & Adams, D. C. (2009). I love your book, but I love my version more: Fanfiction in the English language arts classroom. Alan Review., 36(3), 35-41.
  • Roozen, K. (2009). “Fan Fic-ing” English Studies: A case study exploring the interplay of vernacular literacies and disciplinary engagement. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(2), 136-169.

General Fanfiction Commentary/Definition

  • Barenblat, R. (2011). Transformative work: Midrash and Fanfiction. Religion & Literature, 43(2), 171-177.
    Wonderful descriptions of fanfiction and how it relates to community and fandom in general, drawing parallels between the sense of community engendered by fanfaction with that of Midrash in the Jewish tradition.
  • Burns, E., & Webber, C. (2009). When Harry met Bella. School Library Journal, 55(8), 26-29.
    Basic overview of fanfiction with simple Do's and Don'ts.  Also lists several popular examples of fanfiction websites.
  • Lothian, A. (2011).  An archive of one's own: Subcultural creativity and the politics of conservation. Transformative Works and Cultures.6.
    History and rationale for the creation of the Archive of Our Own repository.
  • Moore, R. C. (2005). All shapes of hunger: Teenagers and fanfiction. Voice of Youth Advocates, 28(1), 15-19.
    Very good overview of fanfiction.  Includes a list of key terms and suggested websites.  Slightly dated but still very valuable.
  • Schaffner, B. (2009). In defense of fanfiction. Horn Book Magazine, 85(6), 613-618.
    First-person account of fanfiction and the fan community.
  • Thomas, B. (2011). What is fanfiction and why are people saying such nice things about it? StoryWorlds: A Jouranl of Narrative Studies. 3. 1-24.
    Review of the academic literature on fanfiction. Divides the academic discourse into first, second, and third wave.
  • Watt, C. (2004). Familiar breeds content in online fiction creation & consumption. Indiana Libraries, 23(2), 49-50.
    Basic overview of fanfiction with an emphasis on the teen perspective.

Libraries and Fanfiction

  • Bartel, J. (2004). From A to zine: Building a winning zine collection in your library. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Griffis, K., & Jones, D. Y. (2008). Readers' advisory 2.0: Recommending fanfiction. Public Libraries, 47(6), 62-65.
    Advocates for the inclusion of fanfiction in reader's advisory.  Also lists popular fanfiction sites with reviews.
  • Kem, J. F. (2005). Cataloging the Whedonverse: Potential Roles for Librarians in Online Fanfiction (MS thesis). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


  • Chandler-Olcott, K., & Mahar, D. (2003). Adolescents' anime-inspired 'fanfictions': An exploration of multiliteracies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(7), 556.
  • Jenkins, H. (2012). "Cultural acupuncture": Fan activism and the Harry Potter Alliance. Transformative Works and Cultures. 10.
  • Luscombe, B., & Laub, G. (2012). James' bondage. Time International (Atlantic Edition), 179(15), 48-50.
  • Moore, R. C. (2010). Trial and (Ex)tribulation. Voice of Youth Advocates, 32(6), 468-469.

Slash Fanfiction

  • Tosenberger, C. (2008). Homosexuality at the online hogwarts: Harry Potter slash fanfiction. Children's Literature, 36, 185-207.
  • Davies, R. (2005). The slash fanfiction connection to bi men. Journal of Bisexuality, 5(2/3), 195-202.