Fan Fiction Friday: 8 Femslash Writers You Need to Know

When I sent out a call for femslash fan fiction writers who wanted to be profiled in this column, I hoped I’d get at least ten responses. In one week, I got over 300! I’ve spent a significant amount of time over the last few days reading through everyone’s responses. Laughing. Crying. Cheering. Nodding my head in agreement. So, I’ve decided I’m going to make this a regular thing. Below are eight insightful profiles you’re going to love to read. And in a couple of weeks, we’ll do it again!


 

Sydney563 (Lost Girl)

 

How did you discover femslash fan fiction?

I have always dabbled in writing from as young as I can remember. I used to write my own Batman stories after Batman Forever came out. I wanted to write a Batgirl character that had a thing for Nicole Kidman‘s character. Then as I grew up, I discovered lesbian fiction on other sites and stumbled across a X-Files fan fiction where Scully was paired with an original female character and it lit up my senses and mind. So I tried writing my own crazy life experiences into femslash situations as I struggled with coming to terms with my own sexuality. Then I moved on to try to write something I and my other gay friends would like to read, since there is very little decent lesbian or gay fiction out there. Then recently, Lost Girl and the relationship of Bo and Lauren sucked me in and drew me to fanfiction.net and well, the rest is fanfiction history!

Why did you decide to get actively involved in writing femslash fan fiction?

I had finished the second season of Lost Girl on Netflix and thought a bunch of what if’s about Bo and Lauren. What if they met and it wasn’t under the confines of Lauren being an indentured servant to the fae. So I started throwing together my first fanfiction for Lost Girl, “Stranger in Room Four” and threw it up on fanfiction.net to make it easier for a few of my friends who were Lost Girl fans to read it. Then I couldn’t stop writing after getting a handful of positive reviews. Plus, I just really enjoyed exploring the characters and taking them in a more femslash centric storyline instead of the love triangles presented on the show.

What about Bo and Lauren makes them your muse?

I think it’s the instant attraction they had on the show, the way that Bo is only truly herself with Lauren. That Lauren is the one you can clearly see in the show that has Bo’s entire heart and the one Bo can’t ever give up no matter how hard she tries. And they both fight so hard for each other to prove the love they have. It’s a love story that I think most of us would love to have without the weird fae business and the world always on the verge of ending each season.

How have you seen femslash fandom change since you’ve been involved in it?

I have. It’s expanded. I see more and more people just writing about femslash couples and feeling free to express themselves through the written wor,  knowing that they have a small community of readers that will accept them, cheer them on and create small little fandoms for those authors. I have received messages from some of my readers in recent months thanking me for making them feel confident in being who they are and writing stories that feel so real that they now have hope they will find their Bo or Lauren and not care what the world thinks about it. As long as they can love freely and be loved in return. That’s a huge difference from when I started and people were just shouting, “Yay Doccubus!” or asking for more Doccubus smut. I feel femslash fanfiction gives many an outlet to figure things out and know they aren’t alone.

“I tried writing my own crazy life experiences into femslash situations as I struggled with coming to terms with my own sexuality.”

Do you feel like Lost Girl’s creators respond to femslash fandom in a visible way, on-screen?

I think so yes, even more so now. I see the changes everywhere now. I watch The 100 and am so happy to see a bisexual character moving towards a femslash situation. I think Lost Girl really blew the door open in this regard. Giving the world a femslash relationship that never drew direct attention to it being two woman kissing and making love, just defining it as two people who love each other and no one around them gives them crap other than wishing it was them in Lauren’s spot.

What’s your favorite fan fiction you’ve written? 

I think my favorite completed one to date is “Redemptio Animae.” It was the most complex, longest and the first time I really changed up my style of writing and played with multiple point of views. It took me a year to write and it’s a massive accomplishment, since I rarely finish the laundry let alone write a book.

Has writing fanfic changed your life?

It has. I have met some greet new friends through the Lost Girl community, I have gained confidence in my writing, in who I am and I literally write everyday now. I used to only write out of necessity, grocery lists, greeting cards and work reports. Now I am constantly thinking of new stories to write, working on improving my writing and I am actually in the process of striking out in the world of lesbian fiction and e-publishing some original works. Fanfiction has overall been an incredible positive experience and I love the impact on my life and that I can give back to people in a positive way. Give them a moment of escapism in my silly works of literature and give them a little bit of hope and entertainment.


 

Orange aka OYG (Glee)

How did you discover femslash fan fiction?

I found out about femslash from a friend who was already deeply rooted in the Glee fandom. I knew about fan fiction just from pop culture and the internet and Tumblr, but I didn’t really look into it until a friend urged me to read a few stories she really liked that were focused on Brittana. I was particularly bummed about “The Break Up” and out of work for a spell, and I decided to check it out and see if it was worthwhile.

Why did you decide to get actively involved in writing femslash fan fiction?

I lurked for years in the background, reading and enjoying certain authors and stories. Finding new fic to enjoy, and sharing it with my fandom friend. And I had an idea come to me one night. I’ve always been a writer and always dabbled in my own fiction musings. The idea I had seemed different than any of the fic I’d read and I just started writing them for my amusement, for exercises, for relaxation. I made a promise to myself that if I was gonna do it, I was gonna do it. I worked and had a bunch of chapters saved up. I wanted to be someone who would publish semi-regularly, and once I started writing, I got more and more ideas for chapters. Finally, I got up the nerve to just publish it and do it. At first, it was for my own pleasure again, but after a while, people caught on and it grew and I kept publishing. I haven’t looked back.

What about Brittana and Santana makes them your muse?

Brittana was the couple that I really latched on to as a young 20-something coming to terms with my own identity. I was away from home, I was already invested in Glee and I already loved the quirky blonde Cheerio, and then all of a sudden, Santana had this amazing storyline and I got so, so invested. I’ve shipped femslash before, but never to that extent. Something about Santana’s journey and Britt’s journey just struck a chord with me. I liked the light and dark of them, the push/pull. I also identify very strongly with Santana’s personality. I find them both easy to write, Santana a lot from my own personality, Britt from how I’d want to be loved.

“I can’t really form words for the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from publishing and sharing my words with people, seeing how they react. It’s been an amazing ride.”

Do you feel like Glee‘s creators respond to femslash fandom in a visible way, on-screen?

I think more show creators are more aware in general of fandoms due to social media. Femslash or not, fan fiction or not, I feel as though many shows reach out or provide Easter egg clues to savvy viewers. There have been some tongue-in-cheek moments I’ve noticed. Some queerbaiting, but I feel as though this sort of crazy mess we live in is changing how showrunners and writers view things.

Do you still care what happens on-screen, even though you’re writing your own stories about Brittany and Santana?

I do. These are characters I love and I’d like to see what happens. I am strangely loyal in that sense. Fan fiction is the way to fix what the writers can’t or won’t.

What’s your favorite fan fiction you’ve written? 

My favorite piece that I’ve written is “Heaven Can’t Help Me Now (Wildest Dreams).” It just kind of came out of nowhere. I was driving home from work listening to [Taylor Swift’s] 1989 for the first time and this song just. hit me. And I could see the scenes play out in my head and I had to write it. And I did. It was the easiest piece I’ve written. It kind of oozed out of me and I didn’t have to think about it. And it was so different from what I’d been working on with my main piece, “Vignettes,” that I just love it. It’s also the one that got a lot of hits.

Has writing fanfic changed your life?

Publishing fan fictions has changed my life in a lot of ways. It has brought me full force into this wonderful fandom. It has brought some amazing, intelligent, and creative people into my life. It’s given me a group of people who just get it. And it’s given me some amazing friends. Some really valued, best kind of friends. I am thankful every day. It gave me more confidence as well, it’s allowed me to hone my craft more, it’s given me someone I can bounce ideas off of and help work through writer’s block with. I can’t really form words for the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from publishing and sharing my words with people, seeing how they react. It’s been an amazing ride. I’m so, so happy I decided to bite the bullet and publish that fateful day.

 


 

Care (Carmilla, Pitch Perfect, Lizzie Bennet Diaries)

 

How did you discover femslash fan fiction?

I’ve been active in fandom for a long time, and femslash was just a side of that. I didn’t explore it much when I was first starting out, but I think I really came face-to-face with it when I was into Harry Potter. It wasn’t anything specific — I think I just noticed that there were people who shipped Ginny and Hermione instead of either of them with boys.

Why did you decide to get actively involved in writing femslash fan fiction?

I’ve been writing fic on and off since I was about 11 or 12. And I knew I was for sure queer sometime in late high school, early college. It made sense that during that time I came across some femslash ships I’d write for. But I didn’t start intensely writing a lot of femslash until, actually, Pitch Perfect. And while I love the source material, it was the fandom that I ended up really liking. I met really great people, and that helped me write more.

Also, as time goes on, I lose more and more patience with men. I just don’t care anymore, so what I end up caring about are compelling relationships between women.

Which pairings do you write about?

All sorts. I write multi-fandom stuff. Mostly these days I’m interested in Carmilla/Laura (Carmilla) and Beca/Chloe (Pitch Perfect). I’m not truly obsessed with one particular ship at the moment. The last thing I wrote was a Lizzie Bennet Diaries fic, featuring Lydia and Gigi.

“Also, as time goes on, I lose more and more patience with men. I just don’t care anymore, so what I end up caring about are compelling relationships between women.”

How have you seen femslash fandom change since you’ve been involved in it?

Well, fandom itself has changed a lot. I think in the past, femslash was a little harder to find, in pockets on the internet, in specific Livejournal communities. Tumblr has made it more accessible, to varying audiences. I feel like femslash is becoming more and more visible and vocal, and that’s great. I think the audience has always been there, but access and material were limited. We’re getting more and more stuff all the time — and creators are starting to treat queer female relationships with more respect, instead of just a bisexual fling during sweeps. Look at how wildly popular Carmilla was. Tumblr loved that, and it was easy to find that community of people who loved it as much as you.

Do you feel like show creators respond to femslash fandom in a visible way, on-screen?

Uh. Well. I have a lot of bones to pick with creators regarding the fourth wall and fandom in general, but I suppose that’s not the question at hand. I mean, honestly, I’m not sure I can answer this with any degree of certainty. Show creators are certainly aware of the fandom, but I think it’s rare that they actually go in that direction.

Who knows. Korra and Asami happened. Doors are opening.

Do you still care about what’s happening on-screen, or does fan fiction fills your needs?

 Yes and no. When you’re in femslash, you’re used to ignoring canon, because it usually screws you over — or it’s just subtext. While it’s nice to get stuff thrown in my direction, I don’t wait around for what is, most of the time, scraps of queerbaiting. I can create my own canon, and a lot of times that’s more fun. But it’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the source material or that it’s not important to me. I’m kind of dreading Pitch Perfect 2 because it’s going to destroy three years of headcanon (am dreading and also am excited for; very paradoxical).

It is, however, really nice to consume media that does actually cater to your interests. I, like many many others, liked Carmilla so much because it’s so explicitly and unapologetically queer. That was really, really nice.

I’d love to see more queer female relationships of color though. I feel like we’re getting a lot of great femslash relationships, but pretty much everyone is white.

What’s your favorite fan fiction you’ve written? 

I’m probably best known for writing “The Sun Don’t Set If We Keep Heading West,” which is a Carmilla roadtrip fic. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s definitely my most popular. And it was fun to write. It was at a time when there wasn’t a lot of fic yet for the fandom, and I felt like there was a lot of room for me to explore.

Has writing fan fiction changed your life?

I suppose it has, but I never think of it in that way. Fan fiction has been a part of my life for so long that I don’t know what my life looks like without it. I know that’s a dramatic thing to say about what are essentially short stories about fictional people kissing, but it’s true. I’ve been reading and writing it since I was a kid. I know so many wonderful people because of it. I consume media differently because of it. I read so much great writing because of it. It’s almost strange to me that there are people who don’t access that. That they can love media and think, “Oh, this is awesome” and leave it at that. I almost always want to know more.

Fic can be smart, subversive, innovative, and beautiful. That gets glossed over a lot [when mainstream sites showcase bizarre, niche fics]. There are definitely things in fic I find super, super weird, but it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. Most of it is honestly not as weird as the mainstream media makes it out to be. I’m happy I get to be a part of such a creative subculture — mostly.


 

kloperslegend (Carmilla, Warehouse 13, Once Upon a Time, Defiance)

 

How did you discover femslash fan fiction?

I found out about fan fiction when I was fresh out of junior high, and commenced reading absolutely every poorly-written Bellice (Belle and Alice from Twilight) fic there ever was on fanfiction.net. It started off as a slow interest, but eventually I found AO3 and dabbled a bit in Livejournal, which led me to the good stuff (by which time I had left my Twilight fancy faarrrr behind).

That said, it might also have been after I watched Imagine Me and You as a wee baby lesbian. I didn’t have enough of the story; I didn’t have enough lesbian stories. I wanted more of Luce and Rachel, and I remember pressing my Googling skills to max to find some.

Why did you decide to get actively involved in writing femslash fan fiction?

I became actively involved in writing fic because the stories in my head weren’t the ones playing out on0screen, and weren’t the ones other fic writers were writing.

Which pairings do you write about?

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed writing Hollstein (Laura and Carmilla from the web series Carmilla) but truly I ship Hollenstein (Danny, Laura, and Carmilla together), which is new for me. I don’t normally ship — or write, for that matter— tripods. I’m working on a very long fic right now that I’ve been chipping away at, though. I’ll probably post when it’s complete.

I also have written Bering and Wells (Warehouse 13), some Swan Queen (Regina and Emmy from Once Upon a Time), some Whiterose (Kenya and Stahma from Defiance). Waaaaay back in the day I wrote Farscape fic between Pau Zotoh Zhaan and an original character of mine; though I must say, it was so terribly written I deleted it long ago. I also write a couple heterosexual ships, but not often.

“Seeing your situation, or situations similar to yours, portrayed on screen positively helps validate your experience. It’s soothing. It’s victorious. It feels righteous.”

What about those couples makes them your muse?

I’m really into couples that struggle with some sort of power dynamic; couples that are just as likely to kill each other as they are to fuck. I’m not entirely sure why.

For Hollstein, I am really fascinated with the dynamic of forgiveness between them. Forgiveness, and this sort of silent reliance. Hollenstein, naturally, is all about balance and coming to the realization that one can love multiple things for multiple reasons.

Bering and Wells I like because both characters are learning to trust themselves. Both women are very critical of themselves and their successes, and simultaneously committed to helping the other thrive. Also, perhaps, I am fond of the parallels between Bering and Wells and my own relationship (though I’m not a world-famous author/artificer, I have an intense background in both science and creative writing and mirror many of Helena’s convictions. My partner is really deep into political science and much less of an, uh, ‘endless wonder’ sort of gal).

Swan Queen has the dangerous dynamic of a tango, and it makes my blood absolutely burn. Who wouldn’t want to write that?

Whiterose is danger, danger, danger, and besides (spoiler alert!) its unfortunate canonical brevity, I find a real tenderness in these two very dangerous women reaching out for each other. Now, whether that’s a farce…? [Editor’s note: It’s not a farce! I believe!] That’s prime fic territory. (Also — and this is perhaps a bit of hubris on my part — I was one of the shippers who suggested ‘Whiterose’ as the ship name in the first place. Thus, it holds a dear place in my heart).

How have you seen femslash fandom change since you’ve been involved in it?

Fan fiction communities have gained some serious clout since I started reading. The powers that be may not directly answer to us, but they are listening and occasionally catering. Unfortunately this “catering” often comes in the form of queerbaiting. But there are more shows that are offering canonical queer relationships and endeavoring to interact with the fans in regards to these relationships in a positive, visible way. Orphan Black and Lost Girl, and Carmilla are the three I think of most readily.

I also feel that because of the visibility of the creators and actors, younger shippers and fandom-goers are being a bit more reckless and a bit more disrespectful. When I first began participating in fandom, I would have never dreamed of contacting anyone involved with the actual creation at all. There was a very distinct line between a creation and its fandom. Now, with really open casts like those of Carmilla, we’re having to re-evaluate those lines. I don’t think it’s entirely bad or entirely good, but it’s a new challenge for femslash (and other fandom) communities. Ultimately it comes down to maintaining the respect and distance that both parties need to be (and feel) safe. Fandoms need a sort of “fandom agency” to ensure that their creations are belittled or shit on, and creators and actors need that distance to ensure against harassment. I’m not sure younger fans really understand that.

Do you feel like show creators respond to femslash fandom in a visible way, on-screen?

I think creators are responding to femslash fandom on screen not because they want to make our communities happy, but because they are recognizing a profitable niche market. Femslashers are passionate, vibrant, and will most certainly put their money where their mouth is. Don’t have official merch? We’ll make some ourselves, and the powers that be know that. So, now they’re creating new media with a new focus. It’s slow, but it’s happening.

On the other side of the coin, I think some creators are responding to femslash fandom very negatively. I often wonder if the ending of Warehouse 13 would have been different if the fandom hadn’t pushed so hard for Bering and Wells. Just look at the numbers on AO3 — I know, right now, without even looking, that over half of the fic for Warehouse 13 is Bering and Wells. This femslash ship completely dominated the show. The actresses even supported it vocally! But if Bering and Wells had been the writer’s idea, the producer’s idea, would it have happened? I don’t know. But I think some shows respond to femslash by throwing more men at their female characters, even if it invalidates multiple established characteristics of both the male and female characters *cough*OnceUponATime*cough.*

Do you still care about what’s happening on-screen, or does fan fiction fills your needs?

It’s been shown over and over again that representation matters. Yes, fan fiction fills my needs, but do you remember how everyone celebrated when Hollstein officially became canon? I think Tumblr fucking broke. I was crying. I was at work because I couldn’t leave, but some co-workers and I watched the final ep anyway and we all went absolutely apeshit.

I think that representation in media is so vital because in a way, it jumps privilege lines. A lot of people creating media nowadays are at the whim of large corporations run by cis white men completely out of touch with the experiences of the world’s minorities. Media that crosses represents minority experiences positively reaches across those borders and says, “Your experience is valid.” Is that what they intend to say? Probably not. They’re probably targeting a niche market of people. But is that what a questioning young teenager going to think? Seeing your situation, or situations similar to yours, portrayed on screen positively helps validate your experience. It’s soothing. It’s victorious. It feels righteous.

What’s your favorite fan fiction you’ve written? 

My favorite fic that I’ve posted that I’ve written is called “Seconds,” and it’s a little over two years old now. It’s Bering and Wells. I’ve read so many fics where they realize their feelings for each other so suddenly, but I wanted something that was a bit smoother, a bit more elegant. I think I’ll probably re-write it in the future (even now I see things I’d like to change).

My favorite fic I haven’t posted is also Bering and Wells — it’s not complete, planned to be novel-length, and toys with some of the concepts in Plato’s symposium. I’m also writing a Laurell K Hamilton AU that, I must say, is quite thrilling!

Has writing fan fiction changed your life?

Writing fan fiction helped me realize the passion I have for editing. I write, yes, but my true skill lays in taking someone’s work, and helping them develop it into something they completely adore. Whatever I do, wherever I go in my life, I’m going to keep writing and editing in my life, likely through fan communities, if not professionally.

Writing fan fiction was also my first exposure to women in queer relationships portrayed positively. As someone from a more conservative state, this was absolutely influential in my my developing awareness of queer culture and queer relationships.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 978 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. There were nine muses in ancient Greece and there should be nine femslash writers honored in this article.

    Arcadia Arden is the ruling writer of Rizzoli & Isles fic. She has 26 stories on fanfiction.net, all well worth reading.

  2. This is so cool!! I actually love all of Care’s stories. And I’ve been looking for new writers, as my current favs are all busy doing life atm. Also, it’s so funny to think how much of someone’s work I can read, all the hours, but never actually heard them speak through their own voice. This is the coolest, yes, yes, yes.

  3. I am so very ready for this to become a regular feature within a regular feature. I love that this entire column has opened me up to so many new authors and works–I’d read fanfic before this, of course, every now and then since my freshman year of high school. Occasionally it’d be femslash, but mostly I was terrified of reading anything smutty that hadn’t come to me specifically recommended, because I was afraid of social stigma and also sex. But now I read femslash all the time! And Fanfiction Friday has most definitely helped with that. I always look forward to it.

  4. I’m going to read the article (and do some,uh, research regarding the authors’ works) later.
    I just wanted to drop a brief kudos for the excellent artwork chosen to illustrate this article.
    Consider me heart eyed.

  5. I’m gonna cry. I read Allaine’s Kigo fic in high school twice over. I’ve always wanted to be able to make characters face their emotions like Shego and Kim had to face theirs in that series (not just romantic, either). The actions scenes weren’t skimped on, either, they were so plush.

    Hold on let me get a link.

    Here it is. Content Warnings: body image issues, mentions and mild descriptions of torture, ptsd

    And when Shego has to face dealing with the Possibles, I had so many feels about her knowing where she didn’t fit in, again that is what made this fic so good. People had feelings and they had to cry about them and compromise and it was so hard but they did it.

  6. This was a great article, illuminating to read, and gave me some things to look up. One little quibble, though: there were times when the writers in their responses referred to what were obviously ‘ships and shows without naming them in any other way than their fandom ‘ship name, which doesn’t really help me find a new fandom and a new pairing to love. It would be great if the editor put an explanation in brackets as to what show is being referred to when someone uses a name like “Hollstein”, for example.

    Otherwise, really fun and interesting read.

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