Comment on Are you Canadian? OTW Legal Wants Your Stories!

  1. I am a Canadian woman (born and raised in Alberta) who has been involved with fandom in some way shape or form since I was 12 years old. I have been writing nearly as long. Being part of fandom - I always had non-canon pairings that wouldn't be in the 'legal' stories that were published (which always disappointed me) - fan fiction gave those interests wings. I was always good at English and I give some of the credit for that to fandom - our local Star Trek fan club had a newsletter that I was editor of. I was writing Spock / Christine fan fiction long before I got any good at it. I wrote Colbys (the Dynasty spin off) fan fiction on full scap paper long hand that was then shared amongst all my friends. I was so good at English - that my English teacher in Grades 10 and 11 let me be his TA for English class - and I was allowed to create the tests, lesson plans and a lot of other great experiences.

    Years later, I was involved with the Voyager Virtual Season project (http://vv8.jetc.org/). One of the few 'corrective' season story arches to finish their objective (in fact we extended it from one season of 23 episodes to two of approximately 50). I was the lone 'executive' (MaquisKat) that brought that project to a close, wrangling other fan fiction writers and ensuring that episodes went out on time. It was translated into multiple different languages and we had writers from all over the world - US, UK, Canada and even one in Israel. We were so popular Paramount was watching us to ensure that we didn't breach any of the rules (like making money). I learned a lot about organizing, managing people and running a large project there - which are skills I use in my real life job today.

    I've made friends that have lasted a lifetime in fandom and through writing fan fiction. People like Jen Wallace who I keep meeting fandom to fandom (and writing together) - we met through Voyager and have made our way through Buffy, House and finally (so far) Major Crimes. As well as new ones for an old fandom, Doctor Who, where in some circles I am considered to be the person to keep Sarah Jane Smith alive, after the passing of Elisabeth Sladen, with my series extending SJA fan fiction.

    Finally, as a mum - my youngest child has tread down the path of fan fiction as well. Moving generation to generation - but she's taking it a step further - wanting to branch off into animation, teaching herself to draw and working to fulfill her dreams - all because of being allowed to fall in love with other people's characters and create with them.

    I am so proud of the fact that Canada has the UGC exception to copyright infringement and the expansions to fair dealing. Corporations who complain about fans 'infringing' on their rights to characters and such need to remember that in the 'old days' bards shared stories, everyone profited and those stories became the legends of today - like Robin Hood and King Arthur. If it weren't for the fan's devotion to Star Trek, it would have died so very long ago when Paramount did nothing to nourish it's premier property. We aren't infringing, we're celebrating the characters in the stories they create that we love.

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