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Year in Review

Category : Uncategorized

We at the PFWA headquarters want to get a big Thank You to all who supported us in our first year. We made great progress for our inaugural year, with three large initiatives granting resources and education to local writers of Greater Philadelphia. Last January we held a “National Novel EDITING Month” with six events, including two editing workshops  on “Crafting your Second Draft” and on the popular drafting software Scrivener. During the spring, we held our first annual Fan Fiction Initiative, which was comprised of eight write-ins and a lecture on “How Fan Fiction is Changing the World.” Our final large push was partnering with the local Philadelphia chapter of National Novel Writing Month in November, during which we aided the region by hosting over twenty events. Over the year, we provided writing resources and networking opportunities to over 200 people. What a great success!

In 2015 we will be adapting to the region’s needs and evolving our programming to fit the feedback we’ve received from local writers. We will shift focus to our networking goals, connecting more writers and building on and between the existing local writing groups and institutions. We will still continue offering our resource-filled newsletters, write-ins, and social mixers, so regularly check the website to stay in the loop

Thanks again to all who helped us in our first year! Without your support, the Philadelphia Free Writers Association would not have been the wonderful organization it has grown to be. We endeavor to continue to provide you with the resources you need to grow as writers.

Our Most Sincere Gratitude,
Jean and Jesi

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Back from Hiatus

Category : Uncategorized

After a successful Fan Fiction Initiative in the spring, PFWA took the summer off to regroup and recharge before the fall. We’re looking forward to picking up where we left off and bringing more initiative-centric programming to the writers of the Philadelphia area.

Don’t forget to check out NaNoWriMo – PFWA supported events through the month of November.

Coming in January will be NaNoEdMo – the month long editing event to shape your draft into a solid, coherent second draft ready for both peers and publishers.

We’re looking for other writer groups already in Philly to add to our event calendar, and spread the word about the great opportunities they offer to writers in the area.

There will be a newsletter tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who is here with us as we begin to get ready for entering our second year of being part of the vibrant writer community in Philly.

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Weekly Round-Up April 12

Our Initiatives

PFWA’s Fan-Fiction Initiative Continues Through April

General Literary Happenings

April is Poetry Month & Camp NaNoWriMo

April 13-19 is National Library Week

Upcoming PFWA Events

April 19: Democratizing Fiction
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

May 3: Social Meetup
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

For National Poetry Month

Daily Poem Sea Cans by Derek Walcott

Daily Poem October 13 by Lauren Ireland

For National Library Week

From the American Library Association

Free Online Products from Oxford University Press

Writing Related

Literary Map of San Francisco

Philadelphia Public History ‘Truck’

Writing Craft and Publication

3 Deadly Traps for a Writer

What Struggle Means for Character

So What Is ‘High Concept’

Realistic vs Logic

5 Writing Lessons from ‘Game of Thrones’

Writing Lesson with Sandy Pool

Putting Your Life In Fiction

Writing Life

How To Handle Interruptions

Agents Going Off the Rails

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Weekly Round-Up April 5

Our Initiatives

PFWA’s Fan-Fiction Initiative Continues Through April

April is Poetry Month & Camp NaNoWriMo

PFWA Blog: From the CAO’s Desk

A Subjective History of Reading Fan Fiction by Jean Beausoleil

Upcoming PFWA Events

April 19: Democratizing Fiction
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

May 3: Social Meetup
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

Literary Lifestyle

How to Buy Ebooks from Anywhere and Read Them in One Place

Writing Craft and Publication

3 Ways to Write a Damn Good Syllable

Dear Publishers, Signed (You)

Never Stop Trying [Infographic]

10 Tips About Process

Why Learning to Write Plot Matters

Submission Calls From Around the Web

(note: linked contests and submission calls are not endorsed by the PFWA. These notifications are provided as a service to our viewers and subscribers. Before submitting, please review what rights, money, or other obligations are in question)

Amazon’s Literary Journal ‘Day One’ Seeking Submissions

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Weekly Round-Up March 23

Our Initiatives

PFWA’s Fan-Fiction Initiative Continues Through April

April is Poetry Month & Camp NaNoWriMo

PFWA Blog: From the CAO’s Desk

The Stigma Against Fan-Fiction by Jean Beausoleil

Upcoming PFWA Events

April 19: Democratizing Fiction
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

May 3: Social Meetup
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

Writing Craft and Publication

5 Valuable Charts that Show How Publishing is Changing

8 Ways Scrivener Will Help You Become a Proficient Writer Overnight

The 3 Dimensions of Character

Authenticity vs Perpetuation of Bad

An Author’s Responsibility (How Realistic is too Realistic?)

3 Deadly Symptoms of Self-Doubt

How I Write by David Baldacci

Are you writing the right story?

Embracing (and Encouraging) A Writing and Reading Life

5 tips for Running a Little Free Library

What Really Matters

They’re Never Just Books

Advice that Every Young Writer Needs to Hear

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From the CAO’s Desk: FFI- A Subjective History of Fan Fiction Reading

websites mentioned: ffnet, AO3, wattpad and kindle worlds.

I first started reading and writing fan fiction, as many others on ffnet (www.Fanfiction.net). The first fandom I fell into was Kingdom Hearts, a Japanese RPG videogame of which the protagonists travel from an origin of a small, isolated island to distant worlds themed after Disney films. It is important to note that my introduction to the medium was of a fandom of videogame origin, since many writers now fall into fanfic via American TV and film fandoms.  It has been my observation that fandoms and the type of media that spurns the most fanfic is constantly evolving. In 2010, I remember Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts both occupying spots in top ten list of amount of works on the site.

After exhausting Kingdom Hearts stories, I stayed in media of Japanese origin: investigating similar stories in Final Fantasy and then Naruto fandoms. Once I was done with those stories, I jumped into original fiction posted on ffnet’s sister site, Fictionpress.net. It would be three years until I would find another site that would offer free community published works, and only then through my association with local writers in the Nanowrimo movement.

In 2013 I learned of Archive of our Own from a fellow local community chorister who is also a Whovian and Merlin fan. The site was (and currently is) in beta (read:developmental phase) so gaining an account to post and review required (requires) an invitation. Reading, however, is open to everyone. This site is American media-centric. Through reading stories posted there, I developed a taste for Merlin, Supernatural, Suits, and, most recently, Teen Wolf and Hannibal.

There is a tangent I should mention here. One great element of fanfic is the wonderful manner in which fanworks cross pollinate not only source media, but secondary media as well. Through AO3, for example, one can read a story that has elements of a source TV show’s narrative, but also integrates songs from a fanmix on 8tracks. Someone else may make fan art for the story, which the author can also link in the notes at the beginning of the story. Reading such stories have not only inspired me to watch the shows, but also buy mp3s of the songs featured in the mixes/OSTs.

The concept of fan fiction working as marketing for source work is not going unnoticed. Authors, (noticeably Orson Scott Card,) academic institutions, and even companies are becoming increasingly aware of the positive influence of fan work on the exposure and guerilla marketing of products. Most days, I’m an unabashed Teen Wolf fan (other days, it’s a mere guilty pleasure .) MTV not only has the episodes online for free streaming, but in the same queue has multiple promotional videos, including an interview show with the actors and an informal after-show with young avid fans who show fanshared videos and offer reaction commentary on what is going on in the show.

To return to the idea of literary consumption, the production of fanfiction has gained validity on two notable publishing websites. WattPad is a community publishing site for serious, professionally minded writers. Reputably, this site receives more attention from publishers than other sites. It has recently added the genre of fanfiction among categories for selection. The second website  of note is the well-loved behemoth that is Amazon. Kindle Worlds, established in May 2013, offers fanfiction writers of certain fandoms to professionally publish and sell their work. A limited amount of fandoms are licensed by Amazon, but the idea has gained momentum and at least one other website is deliberating on copying their idea.

When I began reading fan fiction in 2010, they were mere black words on a white page website with no graphic and only the language to recommend it. In four short years, this genre has bloomed into a true mode of fanwork exchange, linking art and often music to literature and sourceworks. Moreover, it has gained credibility and significance in the literary and commercial worlds. I can’t wait to see how dynamic and empowered fans will contribute to our society’s culture next.

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PFWA Event Calendar Woes, Being Fixed

Category : PFWA News

Our sincerest apologies to all our viewers! PFWA’s online event calendar was corrupted during maintenance and needed to be re-installed. Because of the corruption, even though our data was safe, we need to recreate all our events from scratch.

Please have patience as we update our calendar. All PFWA events should be up-to-date by Sunday, March 30, and community events will be added over the next week.

We’ve gotten to the root of the problem, and have implemented further safe guards to backup more data snapshots in the event of anything like this ever happening again in the future.

Thanks for your understanding.

JR Wesley on behalf of the PFWA Team

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Weekly Round-Up March 16

Our Initiatives

Fan-Fiction Initiative Continues Through April

April is Poetry Month

Upcoming PFWA Events

April 19: Democratizing Fiction
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

May 3: Social Meetup
[Facebook RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

Events Around the City

Upcoming: Cherry Blossom Festival

Writing Craft and Publication

The 10 Stages of the Creative Process

Story as Architecture / Architecture as Story

Anachronisms: Nobody Said That Then!

Perfecting Your Plot

In Writing, There are Rules, and Then There Are “Rules”

“Am I Publishable, or Not?”

Where Pantsing and Plotting Miss the Real Story

On Being A Writer & Creative

Confidence is a Choice, not a Symptom

What Really Matters – What Authors Give Back

29 Ways to Stay Creative

11 Writers on Dealing With Criticism

 Writing Contests Around the Web

(note: linked contests and submission calls are not endorsed by the PFWA. These notifications are provided as a service to our viewers and subscribers. Before submitting, please review what rights, money, or other obligations are in question)

“Let’s Write” – Deadline Postmark April 10 ($8 to enter)

League of Utah Writers – Deadline June 15 ($10 to enter)
http://luwriters.org/index.html (left column has links)

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Weekly Round-Up March 9

Our Initiatives

Fan-Fiction Initiative Continues Through April

April is Poetry Month

Upcoming Events

April 19: Democratizing Fiction
[Facebook RSVP]
[Twitter RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

May 3: Social Meetup
[Facebook RSVP]
[More Details >> Add to Calendar]

Writing Craft and Publication

Characters and Characterization

Kill Your Darlings: How Game of Thrones can change your writing

The Varied Emotional Stages of Writing

Top Three Reasons why Fiction Manuscripts Get Rejected

Top 10 Reasons I May Have Rejected Your Short Story

Creativitity is Neither Madness Nor Magic

On Being a Writer

The Overlooked Job of the Writer

On the Care and Feeding of Writers

Writers Don’t Make Much Money: The Struggle Continues

How to Avoid Homelessness and Starvation as a Writer

The Busy Person’s Guide to Reducing Stress

Writing Contests [Around the Web]

(note: linked contests and submission calls are not endorsed by the PFWA. These notifications are provided as a service to our viewers and subscribers. Before submitting, please review what rights, money, or other obligations are in question)

24-hour Short Story Writing Contest – Deadline April 26 ($5 to enter)

2014 Chapbook Contest | The New Michigan Press DIAGRAM – Deadline April 1 ($18 to enter)

Eaton Literary Agency’s Annual Awards Program – Short Story Deadline March 31 (free)

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From the CAO’s Desk: FFI- The Stigma against Fan Fiction

This past weekend, I was a presenter at Anime Boston. The previous day, I had attended a panel on “Hunger Games and Battle Royal,” which compared and contrasted the American YA novel and film with the Japanese film and manga. Also at the con, was a panel about Culture Convergence, in which the presenter-who is in an anthropology Doctoral program–spoke about how anime cons are becoming more inclusive of American fandoms. Walking the halls of the convention center, I saw many Queen Elsas and Doctors and Daleks.

Sunday, the final day of the con, I give my “Introduction to Fan Fiction” presentation. I frame it in my own personal narrative, including how Japanese culture strongly played a part in my integration into the fanfiction community: my first experience with fan fic was of the Kingdom Hearts variety, I never understood the appeal of Naturo until I read some fan fic of it.

I then integrate a historical overview of how fanfiction in the US started with Star Trek fanzines. The conversation continues and I also mention that I’m currently working on Sterek (Teen Wolf) and Johnlock (BBC Sherlock) fanfic. These topics stimulate a lot of audience discussion, which is great: for conventions, in which a large part of the experience is community and not necessarily pure, high-brow education, I prefer presentations to include an interactive quality, rather than just being an info dump. Unfortunately, one of the male audience participants decided to heckle “You’re at the wrong con,” when I was reacting to some of the points of US American fandom. I responded with a counter point about the con culture convergence and inclusivity. (It’s kind of nice being the one up on the stage with the mic and therefore having more power over mere attendees.)

The next day I’m on a seven and a half hour Megabus ride returning home to Philadelphia, and I have a moment for some reflection. A few thoughts come to mind: First, would this man have made such a comment if we were discussing Avengers (or another more male dominated) fandom? Secondly, I was glad I responded as constructively and assertively as I did, because, after the presentation concluded, an 11 year old Teen Wolf fan (sporting a hoodie featuring the fictional high school’s insignia) and her mother came up to the stage and greeted me. I’m glad I could indirectly show her my support argue that such a young girl did have a place at the con.

Fan fiction writers encounter push back not only IRL at cons, but also constantly on the internet. We are dismissed by other fans, other writers, members of the press, and sometimes (although less and less frequently) the creators and main players themselves.

In my humble opinion, much of this negativity stems from a discrete form of sexism. Fan fiction originated in the US from Star Trek zines, and most of the stories, then and now, are slash. Slash challenges not only heteronomality, but also the traditional gender paradigm, in that it is fiction written by women for a feminine audience and thus does not appeal to a masculine audience that is used to all literature being written by and for them.

Many would also assert that “Fan fiction is all porn.” Such a statement is categorically untrue, and is as accurate as saying that “All videos on the internet are porn.” Certainly, there are many stories that are pure literotica; however they are far from the norm.

What negativity or positivity have you encountered with fanfiction? These are my observations, but by no means a scientific study. I hope to hear some writer’s opinions!


June 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Event
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Writer Meeting
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Malvern Write-In
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Writer Meeting
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Malvern Write-In
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Writer Meeting
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Malvern Write-In
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Writer Meeting
  • [Wri-Mo Led] Malvern Write-In

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