|Date(s):||original site (September 2000-December 2000), new site (January 2001- sometime in 2004)|
|URL:||Archived website 2001-2004 & Archived website 2004-2005|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Writers University was an online resource website that offered centralized discussions of fan fiction. In addition to IRC chat, there was a forum/message board and mailing lists along with featured articles and essays about media fandom. It was the precursor to Fan History Wiki and a lot of information was copied from discussions on the FCA-L mailing list but the essays were mostly written by Laura Hale.
Some of the mailing lists listed on the websites front page in 2001: wuannounce (general announcements), wugeography (find out about conventions), Over 20 Club (For the mature discussion of all things fan fiction.), Slashers-Unite ( Slash discussion list about handling flames) and sfsters (Science fiction discussion list for teens and college students).
Origins of the SiteFrom the front page:
On the About Page the site goes into greater detail about its origins:Have you ever wondered about the history of fan fiction? Have you run across a post about fan fiction and wondered what half the terms meant? Are you looking for a beta reader? Need ideas for stories?
Fan fiction is written by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Fan fiction is read by millions. With the advent of the internet and its permeation deeper into our society, it is no longer something locked into paper zines. Fan fiction is something with a history and culture all its own. Fan fiction is about writing and kinship with people. It's a method of connecting to others who share your interests through writing.Writers University seeks to help people connect through fan fiction. Writers University seeks to inform people about fan fiction."
"Writers University was founded in September of 2000. It was orginally housed at FanFiction.Net but because of personality conflicts, went looking for a new home in early January of 2001. It was down till about February 11 when parts of the site went up at its new location http://writersu.s5.com/ with a new layout and new look. It has yet to have all its original contnet (sic) put back up. Writers University came into being after repreated (sic) posting by Michela Ecks to the FanFiction.Net forums and mailing lists with such useful information as the history of fan fiction and a dictionary of fan fiction terms. This was augmented by "The Over 20 Club." Steven Savage and Xing Li asked Michela to create a site for fanfiction.net for that sort of information to help lend credibility to the site(FanFiction.Net)." To read the full history go here.
In 2001, the site was organized in the following areas:
- Department of Communications - Connect with other writers and readers of fan fiction. Discuss various aspects of fan fiction including flames and how to give feedback. Issues fan fiction challenges. This section also hosted articles by "Over 20 Club Readers". The Over 20 Club "was started about 6 months back on fanfiction.net and has since found a permanent home with Writers University. The Over 20 Club was started to allow for targetted (sic) intellectual discussion of fan fiction and issues that pertain to fan fiction. On a semi regular basis, question sets are posted and web site visitors are highly encouraged to post answers to those questions." The site also hosted the "Flame Hall of Shame" articles which offered essays such as:
- Department of English - Find a beta, learn how to critique and beta read, recommend a story, get grammar advice, find ways of working past writers block, use the fan fiction dictionary to find out what those words in fandom mean.
- Department of Foreign Languages - Use one of Writers University's languages to learn basic words from several languages to include in your stories or to figure out what an author was saying.
- Department of Geography - Find convention listings, read convention reports, get the skinny on attending conventions, find some one to go to a convention with.
- Department of History - Read about the history of fan fiction and one of the most notorious figures to emerge from fan fiction: Mary Sue.
- Department of Law - Learn about the legal issues surrounding fan fiction. Catch up on netiquette as it pertains to fan fiction. Articles and essays:
- Michela's Guide to Author & Media Fan Fiction Policy
- Michela's Fan Fiction Legal FAQ
- Fan Fiction, Books, Copyright and Ethics by Michela Ecks
- Anne Rice and fanfic hypocrisy by Static-Pulse
- Fan Fiction: Plagiarism or Tribute? by Lonely Gamine
- Valdron's take on the legality of fan fiction
- Plagiarism is Theft! Plagiarism is Wrong! by Michela Ecks
- An Exploration of Legal Concerns in Regards to Fan Fiction [DRAFT] by Michela Ecks
- The Quick and Dirty Guide to Avoid Plagiarism in Fan Fiction by bleh
- Legality of Depicting Minors in Sexual Acts Portrayed in Text (Fan Fiction) by Writers University
- The Job of the Reader
- Writers University's Harry Potter Warner Brothers Slash Position
- Department of Philosophy - Read academic papers that explore various aspects of fandom and fan fiction. Articles and essays include:
- Does the media’s feminist interpretation of Ally McBeal mesh with the fan interpretation of Ally McBeal based on fan fiction? -- Michela Ecks
- KJ: Mamma, Mistress, Fearless Leader or Face in the Crowd? Let the Fan Decide... -- Michela Ecks
- Filling in the Gaps: Fans and Fan Fiction on the Internet -- Sue Hazlett
- In Defense of Slash -- AC
- Department of Science - Hone your research skills. Learn why research is important to the writing of fan fiction. Find sites to help you research for your next fan fiction.
- Extracurricular Activities - Filk, the Student Paper, The Moda Moo Fan Club, Posting Codes and more.
- Student Services - Press information, sign the Writers University Guest Book, learn how this information is applicable to the teaching of language arts in the class room, links to other sites, search Writers University and more.
- Writers University Staff - Meet the staff of Writers University and the people who have contributed to making this site. Learn how you can contribute to Writers University by joining the staff. All open positions are listed.
Laura Hale and the Split
Laura Hale and Writers University left fanfiction.net in January 2001 on bad terms, with Hale posting a long farewell letter to various ff.net forums detailing her reasons for leaving, including repeated mentions of the fact that she felt she had been lied to and that some of the people she'd been involved with had proved untrustworthy. 
Reactions and ReviewsWriters University was regarded by some fans as a valuable resource:
Other fans had issues with inaccuracies on the site, however. Discussing the article on Mary Sue Whipple, Alice Karvonen Allonway (MSW's creator), said:According to their own mandate, "Writer's University seeks to help people connect through fan fiction," and I'd say they do a tremendous job of it, too. This site is huge, contains dozens of resources anyone who writes or reads fanfic would benefit from reading, and (always a major personal interest for yours truly) is set out in a user-friendly format with solid links and navigation. I especially recommend their section on Mary Sues.
Telling people how she was born is extremely cool (especially 'cause, y'know, my name has to be plastered all over the story). Telling people lies and damned lies is a bad thing, especially when you know the truth of the matter. Here, I refer to the Writer's University website, wherein a false history of MSW simple beginnings is given (and her creation story is not one I'm shy about—I give it any time anyone asks about Mary Sue in my hearing).