weekly/monthly program series


transformative poster

Title: The Power of Transformative Works

Material List:

  • notebook
  • loose paper
  • pencils
  • pens
  • laptop
  • whatever you feel is your preferred medium for writing

Suggested Reading: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Brief Description: This is an ongoing workshop aimed at teaching teenagers (15-18, or, high school aged) about fanworks (mostly fanfiction, but fanart, fanmixes, and other forms of fanworks will be mentioned) as a way to both practice their writing skills and as a way to create and open the door for more representation or options in storytelling.

Program Plan: Eight weeks of two-hour sessions (more weeks will be added according to student interest and librarian availability).  Each session will be devoted to a different aspect of creating fanworks, outlined below.  The instructors will address different topics related to fanworks each week and offer basic writing lessons as needed, as well as giving kids a place to express themselves in a way they otherwise may not be able to.

Topics Include:

  • Character development
  • Exploring relationships between characters
    • Romantic relationships, friendships, etcetera that are not canonical but could be
    • Romantic relationships, friendships, etcetera that are canonical but deserve to be explored further
    • Interpreting a canonical relationship in a non-canonical way (i.e. writing characters who are friends as being in a romantic relationship)
    • Negative relationships and their effect on characters
  • Writing characters in historical alternate universes
    • Classical (Greco-Roman, feudal Japan, etcetera)
    • Medieval/pseudo-medieval fantasy settings
    • Western/Edwardian/Victorian/etcetera
    • Wartime (WWI, WWII, etcetera)
  • Writing characters in other popular types of alternate universes
    • Urban fantasy (such as writing characters into the universes of Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etcetera)
    • Mundane (i.e. no magic, usually modern, “real life” settings)
    • Apocalypse (such as writing characters into the universes of The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games, etcetera)
    • High school/university (writing adult characters younger)
  • Representation
    • Genderswapping characters (writing canonically cis men as cis or trans women, writing canonically cis women as cis or trans men, writing cis characters as trans or genderqueer, etcetera)
    • Queering characters (writing characters who are canonically portrayed as or assumed to be heterosexual as falling on the LGBTQIA spectrum and being in relationships accordingly)
    • Raceswapping characters (writing a character who is portrayed white in popular media, like Hermione Granger or Katniss Everdeen, as POC)
    • Writing stories that focus on a character’s either canonical or intuited either physical or mental disability
    • Focusing on “minority” characters from a work who are not the focus of the work but are the focus of one’s fanwork
  • Adapting one medium into another (i.e. writing a story based on a television program, writing a musical based on a book)
  • Canonical adaptations: the good and the bad (discussing the merits of various book-to-screen, screen-to-stage, etcetera adaptations)
  • Canonical fanwork, or: from Jane Eyre to 50 Shades of Gray (discussing works of fiction that began as fanfiction themselves)
  • “My Immortal,” or: The Dreaded Mary Sue (discussing the do’s and don’t’s of original characters in canonically established universes)
  • Multimedia representations
    • Art
    • Digital collages and Pinterest-style inspiration boards
    • Fanmixes (mix tapes compiled to either reflect the character or represent what they might listen to)
    • Original music based on works (i.e. wizard rock)


  • 6:00 pm. Greetings, etcetera.
  • 6:10 pm. Discuss the instructor’s topic(s) for the week.  Instructor can use examples from fanfiction (for example, the week on original characters will include excerpts from “My Immortal,” the infamous Harry Potter fanfic of the same name, as well as viewings of the metafictional webseries based on the same) and students can suggest and share examples as well, either as positives or negatives.  The above pieces of Suggested Reading will be utilized, as will others that the instructor deems appropriate.
  • 7:00 pm. (approximately). Transition into a period for sharing student work.  Sharing will be volunteer-only, with students reading aloud from their work if they choose to (or having their friends read aloud if they do not feel comfortable but want to share).  Constructive criticism will be offered by instructor and students after each reading.
  • 7:50 pm. Begin winding down the discussion.
  • 8:00 pm. Say goodbye for the week, encouraging students to work on integrating the lesson(s) into their work for next time.

Marketing: The focus will be on academic and social youth outreach.

  • Posters in the library and in local high schools.
  • Outreach to English teachers, drama teachers, and staff leaders of theatre, literature, social justice, and LGBTQA clubs.
  • A Facebook event.
  • Marketing on the library website and Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest pages.


  • $200 for printing/copying (posters and bookmarks).
  • $200 for snacks.
  • Student fundraising as needed for licensed materials, outside speakers, etcetera.

Other Considerations:

  • One to two librarians/volunteers should be sufficient to run the program
  • Drop-in potential, registration ongoing
  • Plan for about 10 kids, with the option of moving to a bigger room if the crowd grows substantially
  • Parental permission slips not required but parental guidance sheets available
  • The meeting room will need to be equipped with either a board or projector to write on
  • The instructors should be prepared for students to be interested in varied levels of participation and should be committed to providing a safe and private environment for student writers
  • Not every teen is going to have the same level of or type of output every week, and that’s perfectly fine

Program Evaluation: Google surveys will be available and printed surveys will be give.

  • A series of ratings questions (1-5) will be presented.
    • Did the program meet your expectations?
    • Was the instructor helpful?
    • Did you learn things from the program?
    • Would you recommend this program to a friend?
    • etcetera
  • Open-ended questions will be presented.
    • What was your favorite part of the program?
    • What was your least favorite part of the program?
    • What would you like to add to the program?
    • How could the program have been more inclusive?
    • etcetera

Goals: To help teen writers improve and have a chance to collaborate with each other or at the very least share with each other.  The fanwork-oriented nature of the workshops will also give students an opportunity to share theories and practice writing stories that may be considered too “edgy” or “unserious,” etcetera, for traditional school settings.

transformative bookmark


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s