Fanfic used to be a joke — now it’s teaching kids important skills like learning how to write
In the past 20 years, over 60 billion words of fan fiction have been written and posted on Fanfiction.net, the world’s largest repository. The site’s 10 million members have collectively authored a corpus about three-quarters the size of the entirety of published English-language fiction. This outpouring of creativity has been generated primarily by young people, with a median age of 15 ½.
Fan fiction is a private universe that has become a welcoming community, particularly for those from marginalized groups. In it, young people are mentoring each other to become skillful writers and thoughtful readers—and they are doing it entirely on their own time and their own terms. Adults would do well to listen to and learn from them.
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