Making Fanfic: The (Academic) Tensions of Fan Fiction as Self-Publication

Chelsea Murdock


This article considers fan fiction as (self-)publication, particularly noting the tensions between institutional notions of textual production within academia and how fan writing works against paradigms of publishing espoused in higher education. Such tensions are indicative of institutional pressures for “legitimate” publications. Offering a fan writer’s first-person perspective on fan fiction, this article questions who defines “publishing,” how that definition affects fan creators within academia, and offers a consideration of these relationships as meaningful in ongoing conversations regarding how “publishing” is conceived. 

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.