Is Fanfiction a Legitimate Genre?

Boiled down to its base elements, fanfiction is the ultimate audience participation experience. All of us have imagined ourselves in our favorite fandoms, or imagined our favorite universes with a few narrative tweaks. Fanfiction writers take those daydreams a step further, realizing those universes and sharing them with fellow devotees. They’ve changed the literary and culturally landscape, making terms like shipping a part of the zeitgeist. And while fanfiction has grown in popularity and accessibility, it still doesn’t get a lot of recognition outside of its particular niche fandoms.