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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LLL, Jun 29, 2006.

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  1. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    I've been writing fan fiction for YEARS now, and I've gotten rather tired of the way fan fic is seen, and the way fan fic authors are always portrayed and thought of. You know, the overweight/socially challenged/living in mother's basement/engulfed in fantasy due to inability to deal with life mode? And the assumption from the pro world that fan fic is of course trash, therefore, if we write SW we couldn't possibly be doing anything of publishable quality ... really creases me.

    I just finished something I'm rather pleased with, and when I started looking around for something to DO with it other than the archive here, I found it ... Yes, there actually is a professional writing contest that will read fan fiction!

    So then I got to thinking about it. What if ... WHAT IF ... other professional-level writing contests were out there that might accept/read fan fiction? And what if fan fiction authors submitted quality writing that was favorably looked upon? I have already found one other contest that I plan to submit to, and it seems that there could be others.

    What about a writing workshop for fan fic authors who would like to see their work, and fan fic in general, taken a bit more seriously??
     
  2. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    You mean something akin to Star Trek's Strange New Worlds contests? I'm all for it.
     
  3. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    The one I found is for already published books, but has a zine category and a fan fiction category. Do a search for Hollywood Book Festival.

    I entered, but as you can see, entries for this one are a bit expensive. You might want to wait a bit and let me see if this one is really for real. Many so-called writing contests are scams. Although, I think the fee listed may be a misprint. When I entered, that was the late fee for the contest that just ended, and when they changed the date they may have forgotten to change the listed fee back down to what the regular deadline fee was for last year.

    The other contest I want to enter is the Peace Writing contest at www.omnicenter.org. That one has specialized subject matter, which I think the theme of my novel fits -- even though it is Star Wars! But you never know ... there could be other contests out there that the theme of your work fits. Fan fic authors have traditionally either given up on fan fic and started their own original work to get noticed, or just not even bothered to look.
     
  4. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    ?????$75$??????


    Sorry, that just REEKS.

    Strange New Words doesn't charge an entry fee, and neither should any other legitimate writers contest.

    Would I like to see something like it for Lucasfilm? GOD YES! Fan films get recognition, (with out 'entry fees') Fan Artist have gone on to work for Lucasfilm... I think Fan Fiction is long past due...


    I can think of half a dozen writers off the top of my head who would give them a serious run for their money.


    No matter, the deadline has past.

     
  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I'd love to see about it and definitely have ranted about it enough, but no way am I entering for 75.
     
  6. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    $75? eh, that's not too steep. I've paid a heck of a lot more for workshops. I'd be interested in finding out more about the contest and its past winners/participants and such.
     
  7. Eleventh_Guard

    Eleventh_Guard Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2005
    I think Lucas ought to hold a contest, either annually or biannually, where amateur authors can contribute short stories (say, between 5000 and 20000 words) and the best few would be purchased from the author for a sum that is nothing to LFL but quite a bit to an amateur writer, and published and made canon. Actually, annually would probably be best... odd numbered years are canon and even numbered years are literary Infinities, or something.

    I get around the fanfic vs. original fic delineation sometimes by writing fanfic of public domain material. It's technically fanfic, but it's legally publishable.
     
  8. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    I often get archive e-mails from the Hollywood Book festival trying to get submissions. I'd be a bit leery just because they are charging. I've treated it like spam. Does anyone else know anything about them?
     
  9. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    I'm not saying, just that contest. I'm saying we who write fan fic ought to revisit the idea of contests, period.

    And, something doesn't reek just because it charges an entry fee. My fiance was a contest judge a couple of years ago, and you have no idea how much WORK those people do judging the entries. Plus, many judges write you a critique of your writing. Once you send your entry in to a central location, these all have to be repackaged and sent to the individual judges, which results in a lot of postage. And many of the organizations running these contests aren't rich, either, so that's where they scrape up the prize money. If you check a copy of Writer's Market, you'll see that the most prestigious and well-known contests ... also charge entry fees.

    Which isn't to say that this "Hollywood Book Festival" isn't steep. When I entered it it was $50. Granted, it's mostly for already published books, but still. Considering it IS being publicized by email like that, it could be just a "contest mill" or a scam. On the other hand, the prize being offered is fairly modest, which tends to be less consistent with a scam. That is why I suggest nobody else deal with it til I see how this goes.

    But, if you'll reread what I originally wrote, THERE COULD BE OTHER CONTESTS OUT THERE that might be willing to read us if we send them quality work. THAT'S what I'm saying.

    In fact, I've already found another one with NO entry fee that I plan to submit to.

    If you're interested in pursuing this kind of thing, we could have a support/critique thread here.
     
  10. Noelie

    Noelie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2005

    It is a little steep for those that may not have it :) That is many of us.
     
  11. Kidan

    Kidan TFN EU Staff star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2003
    I for one would be VERY interested in pursing this type of thing. Though I like the funds to do contests which require entry fees...
     
  12. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    I would rather push for a recognised by Lucasfilm event if we are to discuss it here. This is a Star Wars fan fiction repository after all, and our WRF is ment to support our community.

    We DO have a 'concrit' thread, but we COULD make this into a 'how to' thread to address the idea of getting Lucasfilm to be open to the idea of hosting a "Strange New Worlds" type of contest. Celebration 4 is next year* - Fan films are recognised, fan art has been quietly rumbling about a fan art gallery - why not start trying to get C-4 to be the launching pad for a (Sorry - not feeling overtly creative at this moment) A Galaxy Fan Fic Away?

    *Note that I am not advocating that it be limited to convention attendees - far from it, but what better place to actually LAUNCH the project?




     
  13. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002

    It sounds like an idea. I certainly would love it if fan fiction was ever taking seriously enough to generate me some income. However any plan should take into consideration the present attitude of Lucasfilm towards more fan fiction notoriety so soon after 'La Affaire de Lori Jareo'.
     
  14. Eleventh_Guard

    Eleventh_Guard Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2005
    That is an awesome idea!
     
  15. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Again, this is why I think May is a good target date - nearly a year away...

    There are some wonderfully articulate, verbose and knowlegable people here, especially those that post on the WRF - you know who they are!! - I think you folks should start considering putting together a proposal or two (or more)...
     
  16. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    I think in my speedy post last night, I probably came off a bit calloused. My comment wasn't meant derisively, what I was suggesting was that compared the costs of some workshops and even reader's fees for other contests for original work it's not too bad. Horror Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America both charge more and even with some of the local contests the entry fee far outweighs the significance. Even at the academic level we always have 'registration' fees and the like.

    I still don't know the particulars of the contest well enough to make a judgment call, but the 'entry fee' isn't always a red flag for a fraud.
     
  17. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    I'd be up for something like this. :D I don't think it necessarily has to be LFL who runs the first contest - get enough interest in these competitions, and LFL might take notice.

    Also, I've no doubt there are maaaaaaaany other contests in which to practise. No harm in baby steps. :D
     
  18. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    George Lucas is a strange man . . . on the one hand, he likes to encourage fan creativity, and really understands the concept of "lots of people buying many small things." On the other, his entire career has been about avoiding giving up any kind of control over his work--be it legal, creative, or--especially--monetary. (To be fair, controlling the money means controlling the creative aspect.)

    So when you ask yourself if LFL would ever run a contest where fans could legitimately "publish" fanfic, you need to ask how George is going to keep absolute control over Star Wars, and where the money's going to come from.

    Absolute legal control is easy--profic writers sign away their rights to their work in exchange for a license (and a paycheck) all the time. Ninety-nine percent of fanfic authors would be willing to do the same--only without the paycheck. (And the 1% who wouldn't do it need to be writing original fic, because legal opinion leans heavily away from them in terms of who "owns" the rights to fan fiction.)

    So, at bare minimum, you have a very large number of people willing to work for you for free. "Work for free" isn't any good unless you actually want the work, however. At the moment, LFL doesn't want the work. It's willing to tolerate the work if people are willing to pay for the opportunity to produce it in a semi-legitimate environment, however. That's a big part of what the Hyperspace-only blogs are for. There's some weird yes/no legal doublespeak about what you're allowed to post on your blog, but the fact is LFL doesn't bother people who post "family friendly" fanfic. Occasionally a site with fanfic on it makes it onto starwars.com's front page as a featured fan site. Legitimate? Ermm . . . maybe. It's a lot closer to legitimacy than we had back in the days when the company used to panic over every perceived "intrusion" into its property, though--including "Battlestar Galactica." (It lost that suit.)

    "I'll tolerate your crap if you pay me to host it, and you agree to a TOS in which I own it" isn't the same thing as cultural legitimacy, however. For that, the money has to come from people who want to see a product, not from people who want to produce a product no one wants to see. The greater numbers are on the "production of crap" end, and I can see why LFL would concentrate its money-making efforts there. However, that doesn't mean that LFL *couldn't* make use of fanfic on the "consumption of something people want to see" end.

    As things are, it sells fan art inside every "Star Wars Insider," and sells advertising space around its fanfilm contests. (Or it did last I checked.) Occasionally it buys the rights to a fanfilm and sells that, as with "Pink 5." The money-making part of these ventures is on the *consumption* end, meaning somebody, somewhere, is willing to pay to look at these things. It's the idea that the products are valuable that makes them seem "legitimate"--people other than the creators will trade money to see them or have their products advertised near them.

    Lucasfilm is about a half-step away from doing this with fanfic, IMO, and there are probably only a couple of things stopping it from going all the way. One, there is a belief among entertainment-world lawyers that fanfic is different from other fan media, and more legally threatening. This belief has no basis in reality when it comes to TV shows and films, as far as I can tell. There may be some validity to fear of competition when it comes to print media, especially since the profit margins on ink-and-paper publications are so small. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King don't have zillions of dollars because people buy their books--they have zillions of dollars because people turn their books into films, and toys, and posters, and blah, blah, blah. Some of the Star Wars "empire" (no pun intended) is built on the print-media EU, and there are probably some lawywers feeling fear and trembling over the idea of "undercutting" that with fan material.

    There's nothing you can do about irrational te
     
  19. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    I googled Marion Zimmer. Pretty depressing stuff. It's sad, even if understandable, that a few extreme fans have succeeded in turning the originators off the creative and commercial advantages of fan fiction.
     
  20. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2002
    I hope this is the right place to put this comment, but did anyone else hear that one of the reasons J.K. Rowling might kill off Harry Potter in his final book is that she doesn't want anyone continuing the story in future books, or something like that? I understand her reasoning, but that seems like an overly possessive attitude to me.

    The news story I saw also referenced Arthur Conan Doyle bringing back Sherlock Holmes 6 years after he killed him off, if that's of any consolation.
     
  21. 1Yodimus_Prime

    1Yodimus_Prime Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Which I believe he did grudgingly. There are still people who believe he died the first time, and the second guy was an impostor. But that's Holmes buffs for you. They're more tediously detail oriented than any star wars fan I've ever met.

    Ophelia, sounds like you've done some thinking on this subject. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you just wrote up a formal proposal right there.
     
  22. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Eh, I don't think Rowling will kill Harry off. If she were writing adult books maybe, but she's a mom, and she's writing for kids. She wouldn't traumatize them that way after "leading them on" for years. It would be like L. Frank Baum blowing away Dorothy--there would be little ones who just wouldn't get over it. (Then again, the Star Wars saga is supposedly a collection of kids' movies, and the PT characters have a 100% fatality rate, other than the droids and the baby twins we see for about 2 seconds. Okay, and I guess Chewbacca, unless you count his death in the EU.)

    Yodimus: You know, I started thinking that the perfect people to start agitating for something like that would probably be the official SW fan club folks--which is a pity, since most of us aren't members. I'll have to think about whether there's a good way to "sell" the idea to The Man In Plaid, although I think he'll eventually try something like it. If there's a way to to make money off of merchandising, GL will find it. :p

    Whether such a thing would truly "put us on the map" or not I don't know . . . in the best of all possible worlds, such a contest would help launch the careers of a couple of respected profic writers, and would be like the "Writers of the Future" contest in that people would see it as a "real" thing to do. However, the greatest thing we'd have to aspire to is being seen as real fantasy/science fiction writers instead of fake ones--and people think of real F/SF writers as being overweight nerds who live in their mom's basement, too. :p
     
  23. DarthNightfire

    DarthNightfire Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Well, can anyone here make up really good non-SW sci-fi books? Well then write them. Then try to get Lucas's attention.
     
  24. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    I think that this thread has shifted a bit unintentionally from LLL's original intent. The topic was writing contests already in existence open to fanfic contributions. :)
     
  25. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    testing ... testing ...

    I've been trying to post a reply on here repeatedly since last night, and the stupid post will NOT go up.
     
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