Readers and movie goers have had a lot to say about 50 Shades of Grey: some love it, others would rather eat the book than be forced to read it. But however consumers feel about the content, the story line, and the misrepresentation of the BDSM lifestyle, there is no question that 50 Shades was a game changer. Besides bringing erotica into the mainstream and opening the door for a wealth of talented authors to reach broader audiences, the book also generated buzz about the viability of fan fiction as a genre, since it started life as a twisted Edward/Bella Twilight revamp.
Fan fiction has come into its own, largely thanks to online communities like Wattpad and the Kindle Worlds platform from Amazon that allows authors to publish and monetize on their fanfic works. Now, a collaborative writing app from BoomWriter Media that got its launch in schools has shifted into building a growing community of writers that gives them the chance to be seen by rights’ holders with the purpose of generating new story lines.
Skrawl, which is already in place in more than 20,000 schools in 60 countries and has been responsible for more than 2 million writing contests, allows story collaboration based on engagement and a points system. One user will post a story, then others will add their own sections to it; the sections are then voted on, and the winning section gets added to the story. The process then repeats itself, resulting in a complete story that has had tremendous reader support and vetting of the concepts and content.
Skrawl announced two partnerships today with the Hollywood community with a new goal in mind, to allow rights’ holders for some of these popular fan fiction worlds to weed through the posted stories in search of new story lines and talented writers. Much like publishers like Simon & Schuster have offered book deals to Wattpad authors, Skrawl’s community seeks to invite the film industry into the minds of its users. BoomWriter Media has teamed up with child actor/attorney Jeff Cohen and actress and fan fiction “maven” Trisha Hershberger to bring this about.
“We have a specific target on fan fiction,” explained Chris Twyman, CEO, “and we’ve been working with Jeff out of Los Angeles, which is kind of the hub of the entertainment world, to see if we can spread our wings in that space.”
“I think it’s gotten a really good response,” added Cohen. “I think celebrities are always looking for a great way to interact with their fans, and Skrawl provides a fantastic and unique platform to do so. Fan fiction generally is about camaraderie, and fans of various genre or entertainment property sharing their experience, and this takes that to the next level.”
Cohen, known for his portrayal of “Chunk” in the Steven Spielberg production Goonies, added, ““Skrawl is the future for creative interaction between celebrities and fans. I can’t wait for the first Boomwriter Media movie production.”