Well hello again, Y/N! I wasn’t planning two back-to-back fanfiction posts, but it’s not just every day that one of the biggest fanfiction community organizations WINS A HUGO AWARD. That’s right–Archive of Our Own, known commonly as AO3, received a Hugo for Best Related Work of 2019. As AO3’s official writeup on the event notes, this is a triumph not just for the hard-working creators of this awesome venue and resource, but for all of those who have contributed through time, donations, and reading or writing fanfiction that makes the site so remarkable.
I have to say, I kinda shrieked like a pterodactyl (at least the kind in movies) when I saw the news. My excitement mirrors the thousands? millions? (don’t make me number) of fans whose lives are richer because of fanfiction and the communities it builds. While source material is exactly that–and the property of its creators–writers taking their feels to the page to let us exist for just a little while longer in our happy places do so much to enrich the fandom experience. People can band together to (at times) be a powerful force for good, and fandom is no different than any other set of communities in this respect. Some of my first real experiences with truly inclusive writing were pieces by fanfic writers who wanted to see themselves in the worlds they loved. Inclusivity and tolerance in communities still have *so* far to go, but it’s a start. Recognizing Archive of Our Own, the writers who work to create content, and the readers who engage and encourage is a huge win for the fanfic community and fandom generally.
Now, more than ever, the world needs dreamers. We need spaces where we can revel in what brings us joy, and we need to remember that joy is allowed to begin with. That we are not just allowed, but supposed to have fun sometimes. And what better place to squee than in fanfic communities? Fun does not need to be legitimized, and fanfiction is not going anywhere but stamping a big old Hugo on an organization and hub of communities that does so much good in many of our lives feels important. It feels like on some level, the world is recognizing the importance of such communities. That on some level, we are all working together to make our lives better through positive fandom experiences.
Pardon me if I got a little sentimental there. /wipes away tear of glee/
I’ll draw this love letter to AO3 and fanfiction generally to a close by saying again, CONGRATULATIONS, AO3! Congratulations to all who work so hard to make the site thrive, and thank you for making the world a brighter place–you truly are rad.