I’m not great at promotion, especially when it comes to my own work. (It’s not that I don’t think my work is worthy I just don’t like calling attention to it.
It’s SF/F awards seasons and I think this year in particular I’ve been doing some writing about fan culture, identity, and capitalism that I’m proud of and plan to expand on in 2020.
So I’m throwing my hat into the ring. Here’s some writing that I did this year that’s for consideration for the Hugo Awards best fan writer category:
I’m so pleased and honored to do this writing with Uncanny Magazine and Fansplaining and can’t say enough how grateful I am to their editors for helping to shape my ideas.
“What It Feels Like for a Fangirl in the Age of Late Capitalism” – Uncanny Magazine
While content companies are certainly more sophisticated about fandom behavior these days, fans are often still a step ahead when it comes to content, evolving with platforms and using tags, memes, and insider lingo to share ideas, insights, and humor among ourselves. Not only do fans comment on pop culture, we ARE pop culture, sometimes more interested in each other’s reactions to media content than the content itself. Many times, we fans are the content, and fans themselves develop fandoms. It’s like fan content Inception. As a result, modern fans don’t interact with media content companies as if they are gatekeepers in a traditional sense, but rather participants in a symbiotic relationship: you give us what we want, we reward with money/consumption of your product.
“The Empowered Stan” – Fansplaining
On Stan Twitter, loyalty and popularity are measured by public displays of support and by big engagement numbers for artists. This is often framed around monetary comparisons, like how well an artist charted on Billboard, how many YouTube or Spotify streams they have, or how many records they’ve sold (you’ll hear the phrase “[artist] outsold” a lot on Stan Twitter). Showing support on Stan Twitter means relentlessly boosting your fave—and often means treating anything perceived as a threat to their success like an attack.
“Confessions of an Adjacent Geek”– Uncanny Magazine
When I think about the current rules of engagement/consumption for fandom and what they’ve evolved into, I do sometimes wonder if there’s a room for the person I am now: a “lightly geeky,” casually interested fan with a history of being more highly engaged. It can feel disingenuous to be a “true-but-casual” fan, the kind of fan that drops in and checks out at one’s leisure, but still makes time to occasionally socialize and be present in public fandom spaces, but it especially stands out in spaces that make assumptions about the validity of your fandom and don’t necessarily make room for people like you in the first place.
Other stuff I did this year:
I was a keynote speaker at the Fan Studies Network North America conference this fall
Though the Learned Fangirl is currently on hiatus I also want to highlight the more than 10 years of work we’ve done and the impact of our writers/podcasters so I just wanna shout that out, as always.
Thanks for your consideration.