The Evolution of Fanfiction from Zines to Online Communities

Fanfiction has come a long way since the early days of zines. In the past, fans had to print their own zines and distribute them by mail. Now, thanks to the internet, fans can share their fanfiction with the world in seconds. This evolution of fanfiction from zines to online communities has changed the way fans interact with each other and the way they create and share their stories.

A Brief History of Zines

In the days before the internet, fans had to get creative if they wanted to share their fanfiction. Enter the zine. A zine is a self-published magazine created by fans for fans. Zines were often filled with fan art, fan fiction, and commentary on the source material. Fans would write their stories, then print them out and assemble them into booklets to be sold, traded, or given away. Zines were primarily distributed by mail, and sometimes at conventions.

Zines were popular in the 80s and 90s, but the rise of the internet led to their decline. Fans no longer had to wait for the mail to arrive to read the latest fanfiction, and the ability to share stories instantly with a global audience was a game-changer.

The Rise of Online Communities

With the rise of the internet, fans no longer needed to rely on zines to share their fanfiction. Online communities such as LiveJournal and were created to give fans a place to share their stories and connect with other fans.

LiveJournal was launched in 1999, and quickly became a popular platform for fanfiction writers. LiveJournal allowed users to create their own personal blogs and post their stories, as well as interact with other fans. Users could comment on each other's stories, share fan art, and chat in forums. LiveJournal became the go-to platform for fanfiction writers until the rise of other social media platforms. was launched in 1998, and quickly became one of the largest archives of fanfiction on the internet. allowed users to post their stories, as well as browse and read stories from other fans. Users could also review stories and leave feedback for the authors. became a hub for fanfiction writers and readers, and helped to popularize fanfiction as a legitimate form of creative expression.

The Role of Social Media

Social media has had a massive impact on the way fans create and share fanfiction. With the rise of platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, fans have been able to connect with each other on a global scale, and share their fanfiction with a wider audience.

Twitter has become a popular platform for fanfiction writers to share their work and connect with other fans. The hashtag #fanfic has over 11 million posts on Twitter, showing just how popular fanfiction is on the platform. Authors can post links to their stories, as well as interact with other writers and readers. Twitter has also allowed fans to share their fan art, and connect with other artists in the community.

Tumblr has also become a popular platform for fanfiction writers and readers. Tumblr allows users to create their own blogs, and post their stories, as well as fan art and other fan content. Tumblr also has a strong community aspect, with users able to follow other users, and interact with them through comments and messages.

The Future of Fanfiction

The internet has changed the way fans create and share fanfiction, but what does the future hold? As technology continues to evolve, it's likely that fanfiction will continue to evolve with it. We may see new platforms and new ways of sharing fanfiction emerge in the coming years.

One area of fanfiction that is already seeing growth is fanfiction podcasts. Podcasts allow fans to share their stories in an audio format, and connect with other fans through discussion and analysis. Podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour have already gained large followings, and more fanfiction podcasts are sure to emerge in the future.

Another area of growth is in the trend of self-publishing. More and more fanfiction writers are choosing to self-publish their stories, either as e-books or print books. This allows fans to support their favorite writers, and gives writers the opportunity to monetize their work.


The evolution of fanfiction from zines to online communities has been a game-changer for fans. The internet has given fans the ability to share their stories with a global audience, and connect with other fans on a scale that was once impossible. We can only imagine what the future holds for fanfiction, but one thing is for sure: the passion and creativity of fans will continue to drive the evolution of fanfiction for years to come.

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