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One of my favorite things about Fanwork Friday is highlighting all the many super cool things that fans do. I usually focus on visual things like vids or fanart because they’re easy to digest. I haven’t really gone into fanfiction too much, but I plan to do that more. In the meantime, though, I wanted to talk about Podfic.

According to Urban Dictionary: FanFiction that is read aloud and then made available for download. Sometimes the author reads, other times friends or fans of the fic. Great while driving or in meetings! Often popular whilst tread-milling, jogging, etc. Lose pounds to podfic!

A friend of mine, superstitiousme, has always urged me to try podfic but, quite frankly, I’ve never really understood the appeal. At my request, however, she’s generously agreed to educate me and you on the awesomeness of Podfic.

So, take it away, my friend!

***

Leta asked me to write about podfic and why I listen. For those unfamiliar with the term, podfic is an audio recording of a fanfic, also known to some as audiofic. A fan written story that is read aloud by another fan (or by the author themselves) and recorded for other fans to enjoy. podfic has become a major part of fandom for me over the last 5 years. In fact, podfic is my fandom in a lot of ways.

A podfic performer shares their relationship with a fanfic with other fans. Their unique perspective and their passion comes through in the performance and it creates something that I personally find very compelling.

There you are, listening to the story and you can hear the sound of rain, gently falling outside. The performer begins to describe your favorite scene from the story–Merlin and Arthur are having a lie-in on a rainy Sunday morning. Suddenly you hear a text alert, but no it’s not your IPhone; it’s Arthur’s! The lie-in has been interrupted and the performer’s Arthur is pissed but you are smiling like a loon because this performer is ‘nailing it’ on the dialogue and you can really hear him! When this happens to me, it can be a sunny, 120 degrees outside but I’m totally in a London flat with rain-splattered window glass and snuggled boys in bed. Glorious! And all this while I’m doing the dishes!

For me as a listener, podfic can provide me with a totally new perspective on a scene I’ve read silently before, which just adds to my enjoyment of the fic.  I read really fast and as a result I tend to sometimes miss a lot of the little details in fanfic, so when a performance brings out some little nuance I’d previously missed when reading, it’s such a wonderful new depth to the story for me!

Podfic also allows me to keep up with my fanfic obsession when I’m on the go, performers sharing completely new stories with me that I probably wouldn’t have had time to experience without podfic. It makes traffic jams and housework seem like the best parts of my day at times!

So where do you find podfic? The Audiofic Archive contains the most comprehensive archive of podfic online, across all fandoms. In journaling fandom the archive is represented by Amplificaton (or  at LiveJournal). All stories cross-posted to the journal community on LJ or DW are automatically saved to the Audiofic Archive. Amplificathon is also the main hub of the Podfic Fandom in journaling fandom and runs three podfic challenges annually.

Here are just a few of the things happening in Podfic Fandom that excite me:

Amplificathon 2013 – A points-based podfic-creating challenge. So much podfic will be posted for the next six weeks!

Theatripod – Theatripod is a challenge to create multivoice podfics in the style of theatre productions, with a director, auditions, rehearsals, and a final recorded performance with minimal editing. Posting begins April 1, 2013.

Pod_Together (or at Dreamwidth) – An annual collaborative project challenge where authors, readers and artists work in partnership to create fanworks. This challenge has produced some truly amazing fanworks. It also provides fen a place to explore different ways in which writing, performance, sound effects, music and art can be used in storytelling.

PodficBigBang – An annual challenge aiming to increase the number of long podfics available to the fannish community. Posting begins on August 12, 2013.

Pod_Aware – An annual one-week challenge to help fans that have never heard of podfic before find out what it’s all about.

The Podfic Fandom has grown a lot in the last 5 years since I first discovered it, but it’s still one of the most inclusive and just plain fun fandoms I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Even if all you want to do is listen and maybe give the occasional feedback, you are such a valued part of this fandom! If you can’t find much podfic in your fandom or pairing, even better; JOIN US!! Become a performer and share your favorite pairings with us! I promise we do not bite and we’ll LOVE having you here!

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