Textual Extenders

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Title: Textual Extenders: An Exploratory Survey into a Slash Community
Commentator: Sasha Book
Date(s): 2003
Medium: online
Fandom: meta, slash, Lord of the Rings
External Links: online here
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Textual Extenders is a research study by Sasha Book about the slash community. It is subtitled: "An Exploratory Survey into a Slash Community" and was published in 2003 at The Journal of Slash Research hosted at the Library of Moria. The article was based on a survey carried out at the Library of Moria, a Lord of the Rings slash archive, in February–March 2003.

It was cited in Jae's essay Young, Female, Single…? A Study of Demographics and Writing-/Reading-Habits of Fanfiction Writers and Readers.


"The aims of this study were as follows:

  • To personally get a general understanding of a slash community
  • To give information back to the slash community
  • To identify some areas for more focused study

Textual Poachers vs Textual Extenders

‘Textual poachers’ is a term that has been applied to fan writers and is the title of the book by Henry Jenkins on media fans. This implies that something is stolen, that it is taken away and claimed as one’s own. However, slash writers and general fan fiction writers are careful to credit the original characters and setting to the appropriate authors. Jenkins (1992) also comments that the nature of fan fiction writing is not the mere reproduction of the original work. He states:

"...fan writers do not so much reproduce the primary text, as they rework and rewrite it, repairing or dismissing unsatisfying aspects, developing interests not sufficiently explored."

Perhaps a more positive description of fan fiction writers would be ‘textual extenders.’ In some cases, much of the created story is not from the original work. In this sense the original work is being extended and something new is being created rather than poached."