Fanfiction improves students’ writing?

Anna and Elsa of Arendelle by Yuurisans Katsucon 2014 Disney Frozen CosplayRecently, fan fiction has gained popularity “across all age brackets, especially teens,” says Gretchen Kaser of Public Libraries Online.  The writing style involves using established characters from known works (like Anna from ‘Frozen”) and putting them in new settings and/or situations.  A fan might write a story about what happens when Anna and Elsa are actually members of the CIA.

Many teens are using fan fiction as an outlet to improve their writing skills, but also to explore new emotions and make friends.  Sites like LiveJournal, Tumblr, Fiction Alley, and Archive of Our Own provide a community for writers to post stories that they create about characters that they know and love.  Many believe that this gives teens “an added incentive to keep writing and honing their crafts.”

However, some feel that “young writers should be using their creativity to concoct stories from scratch.”  Another concern regards the mature content in some works of fan fiction, on sites that members as young as 13 have access to.

While there is quite a bit of uncertainty in regards to this issue, “many public librarians feel the pros…outweight the cons and have capitalized on this trend by creating fan fiction programs or clubs in their libraries.”

Image credit:, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0