Fan Fiction For Class?

Here is a simple, yet powerful (Facebook) comment from my daughter, a grade 11 student.

What I know as a parent: My daughter is very passionate about this. She spends hours thinking, planning, writing and revising. When all is well, the posting moment happens with great excitement. Next there is the monitoring: who of my followers  read it? any new readers or followers? Throw in a little advertising via social media tools (twitter and tumblr in this case). Wow! a few new readers and some great feedback. Well – better get going on my next post!!!

Lots of great enthusiasm here – passion, creativity, motivation, self directed learning, standards, authentic audience, and a social element to learning.

And now, to call the question: is there a spot for fan fiction writing in the curriculum?????

~Mark

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2 thoughts on “Fan Fiction For Class?”

  1. Hi Mark,
    I think, based on your reaction to your daughter’s FB post, that you already have the answer to this. (The rest of the world just needs to catch up.) The issue that has to be addressed (or at least one big one) is that some people scoffs at fan fiction. It may be because people who enjoy “literature” see fan fic as too derivative or sophmoric and focused on popular culture icons. However, as a friend of a serious Twilight fan fiction author (adult, as if that matters), I realize that all writing is inspired by something, including works by other authors. It is responsive to the audience. Fan fiction is read and debated and even awarded (both with actual awards and with publishing deals with “real” publishers). Maybe as part of a writing portfolio? Maybe as a way of demonstrating that the student can plan, write, revise, and respond to feedback? But does bringing it into the educational sphere tarnish the experience rather than reward it (like what’s happening in some quarters with GBL)? Your audience may not be your easily-shocked English teacher if you’re putting a new romantic spin to Harry Potter.

  2. I think there are lots of creative ways for English/Language Arts and writing instructors to use Fan Fiction with their students. I wonder, however, if students like your daughter then will feel that adults are co-opting a space they see as theirs…

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