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Screenshot of homepage on January 18, 2016
Type of site
Fan fiction archive
OwnerXing Li
Created byXing Li
LaunchedOctober 15, 1998; 25 years ago (1998-10-15)
Current statusActive

FanFiction.Net (often abbreviated as FF.net or FFN) is an automated fan fiction archive site. It was first launched in 1998 by software designer Xing Li, and currently has over 12 million registered users.[1]

The site is split into main categories: Anime/Manga, Books, Cartoons, Games, Comics, Movies, Plays/Musicals, TV shows, Crossover, and Miscellaneous. Users who complete the free registration process can submit their fan fiction, maintain a user profile, review other stories, apply for a beta reader position, contact each other via private messages, and maintain a list of favorite stories and authors. There are centralized communities and forums. In lieu of signing up with a new account, the website allows users to use their Google, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. The site also owns a Twitter account called FictionPress where users of the website are updated on changes and improvements made.

FanFiction.Net experienced a temporary shutdown for two days in July 2024 due to a policy update regarding explicit content and depictions of child abuse.[2]


Xing Li, a software developer from Alhambra, California, created FanFiction.Net in 1998.[3] Initially made by Xing Li as a school project, the site was created as a not-for-profit repository for fan-created stories that revolved around characters from popular literature, films, television, anime, and video games.[4] Unlike other fan fiction sites, FanFiction.Net allowed stories about any characters rather than revolving around a specific set of characters.[clarification needed] Registration was open to all people who claimed to be over 18, and by 2002 over 118,000 people were registered. (The age limit has since been moved down to 13.) At that time, one-third of the registrants self-identified as 18 or younger, and 80% were female.[citation needed]

Site content[edit]

The stories published to the site can be about new and old existing works. By 2001, almost 100,000 stories were posted on the website. Steven Savage, a programmer who wrote a column for FanFiction.Net, described it as "the adult version of when kids play at being TV characters" and that the content posted on the website serves as examples for "when people really care about something".[5] FanFiction.Net has since become the largest online repository for fan-created works.[6][7]

Story publishing[edit]

FanFiction.Net has nine categories for various fandoms: Anime/Manga, Books, Cartoons, Comics, Games, Miscellaneous, Movies, Plays/Musicals, and TV shows. Stories on the site can be published as either "Fanfiction" with only one assigned sub-category, or as a "Crossover" with only two sub-categories. Excluding crossovers and as of July 2023, the top fandoms on the site are Harry Potter, Naruto, and Twilight.[8]

Writers may upload their stories to the site and must assign them a sub-category, language, and content rating. FanFiction.Net uses the content rating system from FictionRatings.com. This system contains the ratings of K, K+, T, M and MA. The MA rating and explicit violent and/or sexual themes are forbidden.[9] The ratings are no longer done on the MPAA system, due to cease-and-desist demands from the Motion Picture Association of America in 2005.[10] A list of explanations for the rating system currently employed is available from the drop-down rating menu in each of the individual archives on the site.[11] The MA (18+) rating is not permitted on this site.[12] A short K-rated summary is also required for a story to be published. While not required, the website recommends authors upload a cover image to their story.

Reader feedback[edit]

Readers can interact with the FanFiction.Net content in various ways. If the reader likes a story and/or its author, they can favorite both the story and its author.[13] Favorites are similar to likes, hearts or Archive of Our Own's kudos. Favorite stories and authors are displayed on a user's public profile page at the very bottom. A reader can also follow a story and/or its author. When a reader follows a story, they receive email notifications whenever that story is updated. When a reader follows an author, they receive email updates whenever the author updates any of their stories or publishes a new one.[13] Readers can also leave reviews after reading stories, most of which were positive as of 2001.[14] While reviews can be left by those without accounts, it is an option for all writers on the site to moderate "anonymous reviews", made by those who are not signed into an account. Reviews left by signed-in users cannot be moderated or disabled. FanFiction.Net does not operate a screening or editorial board.[15]

Long fan fiction works[edit]

FanFiction.Net also hosts one of the longest works of fiction ever written. The Subspace Emissary's Worlds Conquest, a Super Smash Bros. fan fiction written by FanFiction.Net user AuraChannelerChris, gained media attention for its length of over four million words at the time of notice, more than three times as long as In Search of Lost Time written by Marcel Proust, and is still being written.[16][17] While the longest fan fiction on the site is The Loud House: Revamped, an crossover fan fiction of The Loud House which has been over 16,750,000 words long since around 2020. However, the exact current word count of The Loud House: Revamped at the end is unknown as it surpassed the word count limit of the site of 16,777,215 words.[18]

Disallowed fan fiction[edit]

Copyright and trademark issues[edit]

FanFiction.Net instituted several policy changes as it grew in size and popularity.[19] These policies frequently led to the deletion of fan fiction based on the copyrighted works of certain published authors or containing specifically targeted content.

Since the site's founding, several professional authors and producers have asked that stories based on their copyrighted or trademarked works be removed, including Anne Rice,[7] P. N. Elrod, Archie Comics, Dennis L. McKiernan, Irene Radford, J.R. Ward, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nora Roberts, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Robin McKinley, and Terry Goodkind.[20]

In addition, stories based on real-life celebrities were disallowed around 2003. Fan fiction based on professional wrestling, however, is still allowed, being the number one fandom in the "Miscellaneous" category.[20]

NC-17 ratings[edit]

On September 12, 2002, FanFiction.Net banned material that was rated NC-17, and removed it on October 12, 2002.[21] This was done because of a high volume of complaints related to certain adult stories.[21] Prior to the new policy, the site would use a pop-up to prompt readers to say whether they were over 17 or not, but since then, the site has relied on its users to report stories that are inappropriately rated. Some NC-17 material was moved to Adult-FanFiction.org (previously AdultFanFiction.Net), a similar site which was created to serve the adults who write R and NC-17 rated fan fiction.[citation needed] Story titles and summaries must be rated K.[20]

CYOA (choose-your-own-adventure) or reader-insertion fiction[edit]

Choose-your-own-adventure and reader-insertion fanfiction have both been banned since 2005, and the site removed all material that had the potential of inserting the reader into a fanfiction. Under the heading of "Entries not allowed", item #5 says: "Any form of interactive entry: choose your adventure, second person/you based, Q&As, etc."[20][further explanation needed]


In 2005, FanFiction.Net banned songfics which contain copyrighted lyrics. Public domain lyrics (such as those to "Amazing Grace") or lyrics written by the author of the fan fiction are allowed.[citation needed]


Until April 21, 2002, in addition to fiction stories based on existing characters, the site had a section devoted to lists, generally humor-related, for example "20 Ways to Dump Your Girlfriend".[citation needed]


At first, FanFiction.Net's server was accessible mainly only in the West; and worked poorly, if at all, in other parts of the world. In late 2006, announcements were made of special web links designed for Europe and Asia. These were supposed to give other areas of the world a significant boost in server speed on the website. In 2007, all three web links were combined under one worldwide link. In an announcement on the home page, it was stated that the site would go global that year.[citation needed] As of October 2023, 44% of FanFiction.net users are from the United States of America with the second highest traffic area being the United Kingdom with approximately 6% of the users.[22]

According to Hitwise, as of August 2007 FanFiction.Net comprised 34.7% of all traffic directed to sites in the Entertainment, Books and Writing category. For the week ending August 25, 2007, the site was ranked 159 out of over 1 million websites in terms of hits.[23]


FanFiction.Net text-only content can be deleted at any time by either the author of the story or the site administration. Because of this there are projects to archive works. These include the ff2ebook project, fichub, and an independent projects on Archive.org.[citation needed]


Type of site
Fiction archive
OwnerXing Li
Created byXing Li
Current statusOnline

FanFiction.Net's sister site, FictionPress.com, contains over 1 million original stories, poems, and plays. The site has a similar format and rules to FanFiction.Net, except that no fan fiction is allowed. Currently, there are more poems than prose.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DuPont, Ember (June 1, 2023). "Fanfiction: What is it and How it Impacts You". The Skyline Post. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  2. ^ https://x.com/FictionPress/status/1812241025928409122
  3. ^ Weeks, Linton (February 1, 2004). "iT was a dark+stormy Nite . . ". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  4. ^ Grover, Jacob (September 15, 2003). "Fanfiction is funfiction". The Signpost. Ogden, Utah: Weber State University. p. 4. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Berman, A.A. (March 20, 2001). "Fans write own stories on Internet". The Arizona Republic. Gannett. p. 51. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  6. ^ Aragon, Cecilia (December 27, 2019). "What I learned from studying billions of words of online fan fiction". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Pauli, Michelle (December 4, 2002). "Fan fiction". The Guardian. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  8. ^ Navlakha, Meera (July 11, 2023). "Here's where to get your fanfiction fix while AO3 is down". Mashable. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  9. ^ "Guidelines". FanFiction.Net. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  10. ^ O'Connell, Pamela Licalzi (April 18, 2005). "Please Don't Call It a G-Rated Dispute". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Fiction Ratings". Fiction Ratings. Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  12. ^ "Terms of Service". FanFiction.Net. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  13. ^ a b missemeraldslytherin, (username). "Following and Favoriting". Fanfiction.Net. FictionPress. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  14. ^ Berman, A.S. "Lame TV season? Write your own episodes online." USA Today. August 20, 2001. Retrieved on May 19, 2011.
  15. ^ Buechner, Maryanne Murray (March 4, 2002), "Pop Fiction", Time, archived from the original on February 18, 2007, retrieved January 7, 2008
  16. ^ Romano, Aja (July 24, 2013). "Proust is no match for these two fanfics". The Daily Dot. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  17. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (August 2, 2013). "Meet The College Junior Behind The Longest Fan Fiction Ever". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "fanfiction.net". May 6, 2021.
  19. ^ "Privacy Policy". FanFiction.Net. March 5, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c d "Content Guidelines". FanFiction.Net. November 20, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "FanFiction.net home page as of September 29, 2002". FanFiction.net. Archived from the original on September 29, 2002.
  22. ^ "Fanfiction.net". similarweb. September 2023. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  23. ^ Tancer, Bill (August 30, 2007), "Life after Potter, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke", Time, archived from the original on September 1, 2007, retrieved January 7, 2008
  24. ^ "FictionPress.com".

External links[edit]