I’ve only now discovered that Lev Grossman – author of such works as The Magicians and The Magician King – reads fanfiction. Not only that, he recommended Archive of Our Own (also known as AO3) in his official capacity as a writer-type person for Time Magazine. Mostly I’m astonished because I’m peripherally involved in AO3 and I’m always surprised when I discover fannish kinship with an artist I like. I feel like when I found out Neil Gaiman also reads Gunnerkrigg Court.
Still, dear Lev does have a point that fanfiction is an important and unheralded literary movement. I wonder if he also writes fanfiction? I know N.K. Jemisin does. To be honest, I only discovered her professional output through her fanfiction when I started looking for other stuff she’d written. And I know of one English professor who writes Star Trek novels to pay the bills. Well, barring a drastic reorganization of the copyright system I don’t suppose anyone will ever discover the fanfiction that professional writers have produced. Oh, well.