Where I stand on fan fiction and fan art (and plagiarism)

Just a very, very quick PSA (this was so upsetting that I actually had to take a break from edits on Date Knight, because I really wanted to make it clear):

I love fan fiction of my work. It is AWESOME that someone loves my story enough to want to take their own time to write about it. I also love (LOVE, LOVE!!!) fan art of my work. Fans have sent me both, and every single time, I’m so happy to see the connection that my stories have made with someone. Please always show me something fan-made related to my work! I’ll love it and praise it and it will make me very happy. 🙂

What is NOT OKAY (never, ever, EVER okay) is taking my work, copy and pasting it word for word and changing names, and then passing that work off as your own. This is called plagiarism, and it doesn’t matter if you’re making money off of it or not–claiming someone else’s work as your own, with names changed, is still wrong. A fan just emailed me that another fan had taken one of my novels, changed the names, and put it on a fan fiction site under a specific fandom. This is not okay.

I repeat–I love and support fan fiction of my own writing and ANY fan works that a fan took the time to create about my worlds and characters, using their OWN imagination. I am humbled and so happy that you love my worlds enough to do that. But it is NOT okay to take my work and say it’s yours.

I’ve contacted the fan fiction site to have the story removed, but in case that fan is reading this–please don’t do that. I work so, so hard on my stories, and I appreciate that you love them enough that you envisioned the characters in another fandom–but my writing is my livelihood, my brain children and my life. It is not okay to take it and pass it off as your own–it’s stealing. I hope everyone understands. ♥


About Bridget Essex

Author of lesbian romances; madly in love with my wife, author Natalie Vivien.
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