Saturday, July 18, 2009

News&Events: The 2009 San Diego ComicCon FanFiction Panel

News&Events: The 2009 San Diego ComicCon FanFiction Panel Details.


I’m not a ‘park mom.’ I have kind of always known this – I like to read books with my kid, build crazy towers with Legos, and snuggle. Definitely snuggle. But I’m not one of those moms who runs up the slide or squeezes through tunnels built for seven-year-olds with significantly more cartilage than I have. I have a boy, though, which means that I spend most of my weekend doing just that.

Despite my general dislike for the heat of the Southern California sun on the plastic slide, or the feel of sand in my adorable shoes, back in May I fell in love with our local park because, one Saturday morning, I overheard two Moms watching their kids play while talking about Twilight fanfiction.

I kept my distance, eavesdropping (completely obviously, no doubt). I am 5’11” – without my heels, mind you – and not easy to miss, especially on a Saturday morning at a gigantic, empty park where I have no business standing five feet away from two women I don’t know. But they kept talking, and after several minutes I surmised that they were talking about The Submissive by tara sue me.

I had never seen these women before but, aside from the TwiFic convo, I knew they were all right because they didn’t look like they lived down street and behind the Hellmouth that barred entrance to The Real Housewives of
"Fanfiction is a tribute to the strength of the characters and the intrigue of the universe an author has created. It is an art form in itself that serves to perpetuate the popularity of a book or movie and I so excited to have the opportunity to share our little corner of the fandom with the world via this major media event. I hope it helps bring attention to how amazing our community's creative efforts are and our role in perpetuating the franchise."

- Psymom
Orange County (I kid not). I didn’t approach them, I just smiled to myself, relishing the fact that anyone you see – at the park, at the airport (yep, had that happen), or at work (yep, had that happen too) – may also read TwiFic.

The community of TwiFic fans is everywhere. I had an old friend from high school review my story. That was a surreal fucking moment. My best girlfriends – two of whom I love enough to remind them that they are uber-intellectual snobs – actually bought the series so they could know what I’m spending all my time doing now that I no longer email them daily. I have made friends in this community that feel more real than some of the people I see every day at work.

TwiFic ‘s appeal is unbelievably broad. It shows us alternative lifestyles, slash pairings, and emotional confessions that only seem possible in fiction yet somehow trigger us to be more open in our own relationships. It shows us how a personality trait of a loved one can be at once adorable and maddening. It opens our eyes to the generally invisible young and homeless, teaches us a thing or two about ice cream, and makes us grateful for the nights we can fall asleep easily. It makes us think of all the ways we can abandon someone, be forgiving, be possessive without jealousy, and trust when something feels fated.

Who knows what it is about these stories and characters that made us seek out more after the series ended? I’m taking a wild guess that at least 50% of us wanted to gouge our eyes out with a spooned Slurpee straw at
"Writing fan fiction is the last thing I ever saw myself doing, not because I had any preconceived notions about it, but because I simply didn't know of it. The day I discovered Twilighted changed my life; it filled a void where the books left off and let me experience characters I had grown to love, in a way I never imagined. As a first time author, it has allowed me to cultivate a talent I never knew I possessed, interact with people around the globe I would never otherwise have met, and presented me with opportunities I never knew existed."

the fade to black and came running to fanfiction to get a taste of something other than Edward fulfilling all of his own monster fears and mauling his wife on their wedding night.

Or maybe that’s just a personal pet peeve.

In any case, we’re here, we’re writing, we’re all obsessed, and safe in that admission with each other. In just a few short months, I’ve come to love this community – all its creativity, all its variety, all its sass. Maybe not the drama, but I’m coming to realize that can’t be helped. It’s that love for this community that made me push – hard – for a Twilight fanfiction panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this year.

I’ll leave the history of the Comic-Con to the official website or the thousands of articles, blogs, and websites devoted to it. I do know enough about the SDCC to know that people positively clamor to get in. The fact that we have a room for our panel (technically it’s a “Fan Group”) is just the fucking coolest thing I can imagine. If you are coming and have never been, or if you are simply curious about Comic-Con, let me assure you that everything you have heard is true:

     - You will see someone dressed as a Storm Trooper.

     - You will see someone who thinks they are really a vampire (and you will be pretty sure that you do not want them to bite you).

     - The lines are hideous and the food is overpriced.

     - And, yes, there really is a rule about costumes with weapons. And, yes, it really is almost a page of bullet-pointed things to consider when wearing said costume to the convention.

You will also see 125,000 of the happiest and most excited people all in one place sharing their love for any and all geekdoms. There’s something so fucking real and earnest about the fact that “dressed up” means a
"Having an event such as Comic Con, recognizing the Fanfiction community is astounding. I hope that with this year being its first incarnation they see how expressive, passionate and outstanding the group is and allow us to create an even more memorable experience next year."

button down Superman shirt rather than the wrinkled tee – it just makes my chest clench in happiness.

This year our TwiFic Fan Group is starting small. In my head, next year we get Hall H (I kid, I kid), but first we have to demonstrate that there is an audience, an interest, and a sane community that wants to come together.

The group will take questions, discus trends in TwiFic, and meet the fans of their stories. It will be casual and – although I may not get my Bob Barker mic after all – I will be moderating to ensure that we use the hour wisely and pack as much in as we can (stop snickering, pervs).

The 2009 Fangroup includes:
  • tby789 (The Office, Twigasm podcast)
  • Angel/EZRocksAngel (Creature of Habit)
  • AngstGoddess003 (Wide Awake, TLYDF and, of course, listed after Angel because I learn fast and those two are not to be separated upon penalty of death)
  • Ninapolitan (The Wingman, Head Bitch in Charge at the Perv Pack Smut Shack, Twigasm)
  • Manyafandom (The Arrangement, and Perv Pack Member)
  • Bella C’ella Luna (Anticipation and Good & Evil)
  • americnxidiot (Cascade & Cyanide)
  • Bethaboo (Turning Dust into Gold, Going for the Gold)
  • Psymom (founder of Twilighted, author of Stranger than Fiction).
(I know. That list is fucking unbelievable.)

Of course, there were far more authors that I wanted to invite, and it killed me to have to limit it. Honestly, I was raised by hippies: I hate any form of exclusion, even if only by default. This type of group is impossible to build to please everyone because it would be 5,000 writers strong before everyone’s must-have authors were included. All of mine aren’t even in there, not even close. This is a testament to the range and depth of the community and yet another thing that makes me proud to be involved. After my initial probe emails were sent and I received two “no”’s (heart attack), the panel literally filled in less than 48 hours, much to my slack-jawed, shrieking, fangirling surprise. I had no idea how big this would be outside of my world where Comic-Con looms large.

Needless to say, I was blown away and humbled. I’m totally fucking excited.

How the FF Panel Was Created

For some background on how this came about,
“When Lola first PMed me and said she was trying to put together a Twilight fanfiction panel for Comic Con, I didn't know if it was even legit it or not. Honestly, it seemed a bit too good to be true. My friend Angel even messaged me and asked me if I thought it was real. I told her that it was a great idea if it was, and hey, if it wasn't, then that was one creative spammer.

The more I've thought about the panel in the last few weeks, the more convinced I am that we need something like this, some legitimate way to educate the public that fanfiction is more than just Mary Sues having badly written smut. The fellow ladies on the panel with me are brilliant writers, and I am honored that I'll be able to share a stage with them as we talk about our work. A year ago, when I first became involved in the Twilight fandom, I never would have thought an event like this was even possible, nevermind that I'd be asked to join. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm so excited to participate.”

I read the Twilight series in December of 2008 and started reading TwiFic in January of this year. So, yes, I am new to this. I am pathetically earnest in real life, and here, too, I am a shameless newbie: shiny, green, happy to meet everyone and still shocked that anyone reads a word I write.

So when I was told that this panel was put in the SDCC schedule, my first reaction (as is often the case with me) was absolute elation and Tigger-bouncing. My second reaction (as is also often the case with me) was holyfuckingshit what did I get myself into?

I had been involved in TwiFic for only four months. Do I know this community at all?

How do I go about asking people to be involved?

What kind of range do we want – all over the map, or within a certain genre?

I quickly asked the readers on my thread to list their favorite authors. I looked around for people who were involved in blogs and contests. I tried to look not just for review count, but for interesting stories, and authors writing a mixture of canon, AU, and AH.

But, the truth is that as the responsible party and moderator, I want this to be a success so I ultimately went with what I know. I asked people whose stories I had read, whose activities I had followed, and who had helped suck me into the TwiFic universe.

I decided to build a panel with authors of M-rated stories for a variety of reasons; the primary reason was that we have a limited amount of time, and I want to encourage discussion among authors as much as possible. This seemed to be easiest with authors who all embrace mature, if varied, themes. If you love the composition of the Fan Group, I’m glad. If you think I should have altered the theme a bit, please, let me have it. Hopefully we’ll do this for years to come and we can try something different every year.

So here are the details:

The Fan Group is
Saturday at 10-11am in room 24A
. This room seats 100 people. Depending on your experience in classrooms and/or lecture halls, this either sounds like very many seats or very few seats. To me, it sounds like very few given the possible
"I'm two parts excited, three parts terrified, five parts grateful, and ten parts if-you-touch-me-or-point-me-out-I-will-be-forced-to-cut-a-mofo. Honestly, I have been beyond blessed by the fandom. With every wank or fail that comes my way, even more win comes with it. It's worth it and I'm very excited to participate in such a humbling and totally undeserved event created for the sake of propelling our very worthy cause. This fandom is so full of wonderful and talented and sweet, intelligent people that I cannot wait to meet. I lubbies you all!

But seriously.

No hugging, mkay?"

- AngstGoddess003
turn-out (although I have no idea how many people are coming). Having said that, I think it is the perfect size for us this year. My hope is that it feels like a bunch of like-minded folks sitting around a room talking about something we all spend more time thinking about than we’d ever let on outside that room or on our computers.

Please note this from the ComicCon website:
“All event and program rooms have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though a badge is needed to get into all events, it does not guarantee access to any event if the venue has reached its capacity limit. Rooms are not cleared between events. If an event or program interests you, we recommend you get there early.”

There is no one in the room before us on Saturday. Having said that, 100 seats fill quickly. We hope everyone who really wants to come gets to be there.

If you plan on coming, please bring questions or thoughts on the stories, the authors, and the TwiFic world in general. After it’s all over, please send me feedback to let me know what you thought, what worked, and what didn’t. I truly hope that we can do this for years to come, and want everyone to feel ownership over the event.

We can hardly wait; we are, after all, just a reverberating circuit of shrieking fans, more excited to meet other authors than we can possibly articulate. Even if you can’t meet us there this year, we plan to take the entire community with us in spirit and represent the fandom with the appropriate mixture of credible writing and inappropriate joking. Do you trust us?



And now, a letter from our resident Robsessed grumpykins:

Dear Rob FanGirls,

Yes, you. You know who you are. The ones that scream and screech when someone says Rob or Edward or Robward. You. I have some words for you.

Stop screaming, chasing, yelling or harassing him in any way, shape or form.

I’m serious.

See FanGirls, you are young and do not realize the damage you are doing. I know you think this is the best way for you to lure him to you. To distinguish yourself from the others - that by shrieking his name really, REALLY loudly he will see you, look in your eyes and declare you the love of his life. Right? This is the plan?

Or maybe it’s the fact that once you see him in person you completely lose all sense of yourself and become an idiot. I believe this. My BFF did this last week at the TwiTour in Atlanta when Peter F walked past us to go to the bathroom. She went from normal woman to complete and utter FanGirl in mere seconds.

What did I do? I laughed at her so hard that I almost died. I did. I almost died. Well, after I stopped swooning over his gorgeous self. Because really, he is more beautiful in person than you could ever imagine.

So back to the damage. Do you know Johnny Depp? Sure you do. Pirates, Willy Wonka? Sadly I am older than most of you and I remember him when he was Rob’s age. Maybe younger. He was famous. And young, and had crazy awesome hair and pouty perfect lips. He smoked and was elusive and played guitar. He was amazing. Then you know what happened? He turned wild, hooking up with leading ladies, and only worked on artsy films. Then he wised up, ran to France and married some model but only after hiding out for a few years in an effort to escape the FanGirls.

Yes, the screaming, hysterical FanGirls turned him French. And you know what else? I bet you that model didn’t scream in his face the minute she met him. Yeah she probably had an inner squee but kept it all on the down low, and THAT is how she snagged JD.

So, ladies and girls, we are going to ComicCon next week. Please let’s remember that we all love Rob. We all want to hear his beautiful voice. What I don’t want to hear is YOUR voice screeching in my ear. Because look. IF we get in to see the panel, IF we are blessed to breathe the same air as Rob I REALLY want to be able to hear what he says. I do. I want to hear every single word that comes out of that angel’s mouth and pray that he drops the F-bomb so I can replay it in my head over and over again.

Soooo, please, please, please do me a favor. Scream while you’re in line. Scream after it’s over. Scream into your pillow at the hotel later with your friends. But don’t do it in the auditorium. PLEASE!? Because first of all he has made it very clear that it scares him - he doesn’t like it. And I swear he is one shriek from hopping on a plane and moving to Thailand where he will get involved with harder drugs and stop bathing entirely and shave his head and then become a monk and never be in a movie again and one day I will turn on VH-1 and it will be “Where are they now?” and he will just not be anywhere good. And it will be your fault.



  1. I wish the panel all of the best and I think it is amazing Twilight FF is being represented. I hope you get a great response. I look forward to hearing all about it (you hear me ladies? I expect blog entries, picture threads, inside stories, the whole nine!)

    I think the letter to Robcrazedfangirls is dead on. I never really have understood why people don't READ the interviews in the mags they buy by the truckload. The screaming crazy fangirls scare him, he thinks he is going to be shanked by one some day. So why would you want to scare the man you admire?

    And if you go to other panels, I want to hear about that too, esp with photos of anyone from the cast of Lost, Bones, Dexter, Supernatural, Heroes or any of the other shows I love with fuckhot men in them that I can't think of right now.

  2. ooo mozzer. i am hoping to go to dexeter lost and bones. sigh. david boreanaz.

  3. Amen to that Angel. I agree that the crazy screaming fans are libel to ruin it for all of us. THAT has got to get old so quickly. I hope everyone controls themselves out there and Rob can enjoy the panel and you all can hear his beautiful voice! Have tons of fun and remember all YOUR fans back here at home while you ogle our Rob!!!

  4. ha ha ha, wonderful "tutorial" to all the fangirls out there!

    I think the panel sounds like a wonderfully fun and interesting event. To all who get to go, have a great time!

    I was wondering if there would be any audio recording done of the panel discussion? (unless ComiCon has rules against such a thing?) It would be really fun if the rest of the community not at ComiCon could have access to listen to it later.


  5. "Yes, the screaming, hysterical FanGirls turned him French."

    Bwahahahahah!!! And really, I can hardly think of a worse fate, kwim?

    Oh, this whole post was just perfect to the very last letter. Except you scared me a lot with that VH-1 analogy, because I can so see that happening.

  6. Good luck panelists. I wish I could be there...maybe next year.

    Angel, the gates of hell screaming...I couldn't agree more, and I too remember the beautiful JD when he was Rob's age.


  7. I can't wait to hear ALL about it. I wish I could be there, but you know life. I would have liked to have seen tara on the panel, considering how much "The Submissive" has impacted fanfic. Good luck!

  8. Hi, I am 95% going to the panel. But before I can 100% go, I need to know if the tickets are free? do you just walk right the fuck into your guys' panel and thats it? do you have to wait in line? I would love it if one of you gals gave me all the info to that, so i can go! :) thank you, and send it to my email please.


  9. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (untill they fall off) for this lost battle ... I do wish this disgusting hype was over :(

    everybody going to Comic - have fun :))))))

  10. awww if that was for me? thanks. if it was for Lola. i will tell you thanks too.

    sigh. poor rob. i feel for him.

    screamers go away.

  11. Angel, I'm giggling my head off here. Thank you!

    The Johnny Depp example is so appropriate. I swear, you can see the panic in Rob's eyes now. The whole, "the only way I can cope with this is if they stuff me so full of cocaine, I believe it is kinda cool." He's on the brink. I hope your words help to restain the fangirls.

    I hear Taylor will be there. Maybe they can go crazy on him instead? He doesn't have that look yet, he can take it.

  12. Wow! That was an amazing note, Angel. If only they would listen. Sadly, I do not think they will. Poor guy, I just want to give him a hug and hide him away for a while just to give him a break. Here's hoping we don't have to go through Rob withdrawals like we did with Johnny Depp, that was a dark, dark time...

  13. I listened to the videos of the New Moon Comic Con panel and unfortunately a lot of the screamers were there! Many standing next to whomever was recording. And not just Robcrazedfangirls but Taylorcrazedfangirls too. OMG!!!!!

    :) Poor guys...


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