Jane Austen 101: Fan Fiction Web Sites

Jane Austen Fan Club

Today, there are literally 100’s of Jane Austen prequels, sequels, re-tellings, re-imaginings and inspired by published books. Prior to 1995, there were just a few dozen in print. Why the explosion? Blame it on the incredible popularity of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series and the availability in our own homes of the Internet. The time and temperament were ripe for Jane Austen mania to sweep in and motivate budding authors to write stories inspired by our witty muse of the modern novel, Jane Austen.

Wondering what Jane Austen fan fiction or JAFF is? Generally, they are fictional stories written by fans of a movie, TV series or book that are either published on the Internet or are developed into a novel in a printed or digital book. If they are on the Internet they are published at fan fiction web sites (JAFF, or Jane Austen Fan Fiction web sites) by chapter installments. Readers can add comments as the story progresses and the writer can continue the story until they choose to end it.

There are generally two levels of engagement for authors of fan fiction: pleasure writers or aspiring novelist. Sometimes they are one-in-the same as budding writers discover that others greatly enjoy their stories and then choose to self-publish as a novel, or submit their story to a publisher for publication. Granted that the road to traditional publication can be quite long and arduous for an aspiring novelist, they can continue to write and publish fan fiction on the Internet to develop their readership. I have also seen some published authors post stories for feedback, or for their online fans. OK, this is getting complicated. An author writes fan fiction of their favorite author and then writes fan fiction of the fan fiction for their fans. Oh my!

Many of our popular Austenesque authors got their start at fan fiction web sites. Off the top of my head I can think of Abigail Reynolds of the Pride and Prejudice Variations series, Pamela Aidan of the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman series, Marsha Altman of the Darcys and Bingleys series and Sharon Lathan of the Darcy Saga series, to name a few. Lately, I have noticed that more and more Jane Austen fan fiction writers are moving from Internet fan boards to the self-publishing medium. This is encouragement enough to opine that the fan fiction boards are producing quality work with great potential.

If you would like to check out current stories by Jane Austen fan fiction authors, I highly recommend these web sites.

Jane Austen Fan Fiction Internet Sites:

Further reading on Jane Austen fan fiction and sequels:

Illustration “The Two Camps of Jane Austen Devotees” by Carl Rose, 1949, New York Times

© 2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

7 thoughts on “Jane Austen 101: Fan Fiction Web Sites

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  1. interestingly enough the fanfiction boards are why I have trouble spending money on published fanfiction… One of the earliest to get published (I forget who now even because this was like 6 years ago maybe?) was a work of fanfiction I had read online a few years before and thought was one of the worst of the long fanfics. After I saw that I decided I wasn’t going to spend good money on the published stuff when I could read just as good (or better) stuff for free online.

    And my decision will hold I think…. well at least until Lise at DWG ever gets anything published =D I’d pay good money for more crazy stories about Colonel Fitzwilliam and Caroline Bingley, LOL (I swear I would have never have even thought to ship those two, but as they become in Lise’s stories, they’re the greatest most hilarious fantastic couple ever!)


  2. I am an unabashed fanny fic reader! I have always enjoyed the different angles that these writers seem to put our favorite characters in. The fandom holds a treasure trove of talent. Of course there are those writers who never expect to …get published and see it as just a writing excercise and opportunity to work on their skills. And its free to us on-line readers.

    What bugs me though about some published fanfiction is when the writing remains mediocre and for the most part uneditted –never graduating to the level a book should be when it hits the paying market– and yet is still out there for the unsuspecting masses to then buy. Thats some. Not all. Just puts a bee in my bonnet!

    Great article LaurelAnn!


  3. Even though I wrote and published a sequel to P&P, I didn’t get my start on fanfic sites. I didn’t even really know they existed until now! Shows how slow I am. I’d been reading many of the sequels, and I thought, gee, I’d like to try that, but I want to write something a bit different, but will anyone read it? Everything seemed to focus on Lizzie and Darcy, and while great characters, there’s so much more to Austen. Now that I’m perusing the fanfic sites, it’s nice to see that there are lots of Austen fans who want to read and write stories about different characters and her other works.

    Thanks for the list, Laurel Ann. I’ll have to check them out!


  4. There is a fairly new site http://www.bloomandquill.com started by some from AHA. I post at AHA and fanfiction.net. I have made friends on both sites, but on fanfiction.net, many of the readers are younger. I receive reviews from a girl in England who writes entirely in text speak. I’ve had to e-mail her a couple of times to ask her to explain her review. Love it!


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