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Synonyms: Gift Fics
See also: Fic Commission, Gift Economy, Gift Exchange
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Sending fanworks as gifts is a fannish way of bonding or expressing group identity.

These gifts can be an informal exchange between two fans, or part of a gift exchange as a more organized activity.

Betas are often gifted the story they have betaed as a thank you for their work and support.

On Archive of Our Own

On the AO3, artists and writers can gift their works while making new posts to the archive. [1] If the recipient accepts the gift, their name will be displayed on the work, right under the byline. It is possible to gift a work to several recipients. Both registered and unregistered users of the archive can be given gifts, but only registered giftees will be notified that they have been selected as recipients of a work.

Although many fans are using gifts as a tool for bonding, there have been instances where the gift option was abused as a means to harass people by sending them hateful gift fics. [2]

Fan Comments


I *like* writing stories "on demand". For me, it's a "craft" thing--as long as I'm not asked to make the characters so far outside what I know them to be, then it's just a matter of nudging them down this clearly defined path. If that path was defined by someone else, then it's doubly fun, first because it's a challenge for me, and second because I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from writing a story I *know*, at the onset, at least one person is going to ADORE. (I let the person(s) edit the story too, afterward, so it can be honed to meet their wants and desires as exactly as possible.) Having said all that, let me make it clear that I've only done this three or so times... :-)

I know that one of the stories (I wrote it for [J]) I'm quite fond of, but not because I like the actual *story*. It's a Tris/Alex, and it was *really* cool for me to realize I could write the characters well enough to pass a "true fan's" muster. It was also fun (from the craft/experiment point of view) to really wrap my head around the things [J] finds sexiest and most emotionally moving, and be able to express those things in an effective way.

Would *I* ever read the story for pleasure? No. Am I proud of it? Yes. Does that make any sense? [3]


  1. ^ It's also possible to add a giftee by editing an already posted work.
  2. ^ see also AO3 & Censorship
  3. ^ from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously with permission (4 Mar 1996)