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Why Everybody Needs to Read Fanfiction

Isabel Berry

Co-A&E Editor

For those that read fanfiction, they know that talking about their reading habits in public will earn them a sideways glance or a questioning look. Fanfiction has a certain stigma around it, and after interviewing a few students, this reporter learned a little more about why that is. For those that may not know the specifics, works of fanfiction are stories that include characters of a TV series, movies, books, etc. that are written by fans. Stories can range from light-hearted fluff to more explicit themes. The more explicit stories are what have caused such a negative stigma around fanfiction itself. 

After being asked if they knew what fanfiction was and if they would read fanfiction in a fandom they enjoy, Junior Skylar Shaffer replied, “I do know what fanfiction is and I used to read it if a friend would send me one. I think it would be more appealing if it was clear it wasn’t inappropriate, because I personally would rather not read text like that.” In order to address the latter half of Skylar’s statement, this reporter did some research. 

The two most popular fanfiction websites are Archive of Our Own and They both are home to thousands of works of fanfiction and have millions of users. Archive of Our Own, commonly known as AO3, has over 2,257,000 users and over 5,552,000 works. has over 12,000,000 users and stories in over 40 languages. Archive of Our Own was created by fans in October of 2008 and is a non-profit, noncommercial archive for ‘transformative fanworks’. was actually created before AO3 in October of 1998, but Archive of Our Own soon passed it up in popularity ratings most likely because of its greater range in filters. 

On both sites there are ratings for the different types of content in each fandom. On the different ratings include K, K+, T, M, and MA. K is for audiences of 5 years of age or older, K+ is 9 and older, T is 13 and older, and M is for audiences 16 and older. MA is meant for audiences 18 and older, and is strictly forbidden on Meaning that any work marked with MA is to be promptly removed from the site. There is a system in place for readers to report work if they do not have the proper rating, which is also utilized on AO3.

Archive of Our Own utilizes four ratings for their content, general audiences, teen and up, mature, and explicit: only suitable for adults. Archive of Our Own also has warnings that authors can put in place in order to inform readers that their content includes graphic depictions of violence, death, or that it includes explicit themes. Also, any story marked with explicit content has a secondary window that informs the reader that by clicking this work they may view adult content, and it informs them that by clicking ‘proceed’ they agree to view such content. 

So on AO3 and, content is clearly sectioned under the different ratings and by utilizing the filter options, readers can find what they want to read and avoid what they do not. Some of the most popular fandoms on AO3 and include Harry Potter, Naruto, Marvel, and Supernatural. In an interview with Sophomore Deacon Sweeting about the fanfiction stigma, he stated, “Fanfiction is seen as dirty, I don’t think that it can ever really be helped to be honest. I just think that there’s always been a stigma around it and there always will be.” So in order to attack the status quo, this reporter asked what people could do to make fanfiction more appealing to the general public and what people could do to show others that fanfiction can be good. There were many conflicting responses on what could be done, but Senior Terra O’Rourke put a positive spin on what many find appalling, “Maybe fanfiction sites can have filters so that you can choose what fandoms you like and they could have a rating system with the stories listed by what’s most liked. Think of it like this, it’s fun for some people and it’s good that some kids are writing creatively and expressing themselves. We shouldn’t bash on anyone who just genuinely enjoys it and promotes it for fun.” 

Fanfiction is an easy way for people to creatively write stories about their favorite characters and share them with the public. Instead of shying away from fanfiction because of the societal disgrace associated with it, everyone should be pulling up AO3 or to find something to enjoy. Many forms of entertainment are considered entertaining because they allow for an escape from the real world into a story of beloved characters. Fanfiction allows young authors to take their favorite characters and give them the stories that they wish to escape to. So instead of brushing off their works as distasteful, everyone should be whipping out their phones in order to find some fanfiction that allows them to truly escape and enjoy the wonders of reading a great story. 


Photo Credit: Keep Calm Posters

Mr. Seibel Named Maryland Assistant Principal of the Year!

By: Laura Mosier

In-Depth Editor

John Seibel, Hammond’s 9th Grade Administrator, was awarded with the Maryland Assistant Principal of the Year for the 2017-2018 school year. The Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals Executive Director Scott Pfeifer held the formal celebration in honor of John Seibel. There was also a celebration at Hammond after school on October 3rd that was attended by former Hammond Principal Marcy Leonard.

Kill Me 2.0

Mr. Seibel has worked at Hammond for seven years, and he loves working with all the people that are a part of our Hammond community.“[The] School is awesome, [the] committee is awesome, [and there are] great kids. It’s a place where kids appreciate what you do for them and you want to do more for kids.” He genuinely enjoys his job and wants to help the students and staff. He works overtime to make sure everyone’s needs are met, and his hard work is appreciated and rewarded.

  Many students have directly benefited from the efforts of Mr. Seibel. Senior Sara Swanson, has known Mr. Seibel throughout all of her time at Hammond. She said, “He genuinely cares about each and every student in the school… He will always say hello in the hallway and ask how your day is going.” Sara is not the only student that thinks Mr. Seibel is an irreplaceable part of the school.

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Hammond’s Cross Country Runs Strong Through the Season

By: Claire O’Rourke and Carlos O’Ryan
Staff Writers

Hammond’s Cross Country Runs Strong Through the Season

Hammond’s very own Cross Country team has been having a fantastic season! Over the course of the fall, the runners have all improved their times and ran strong, setting


 personal records in their latest meet, and taking races against other teams throughout their season.

Coach Kosisky offered kind words and optimism on the season that unfolded under his first year of coaching. “ [The] season has been great overall. There’s definitely room for improvement, but in terms of the kids improving over the course of the season, they absolutely have.” Continue reading

How Hammond High’s Student-Athletes Have Prepared for Recruitment in College Athletics

By: Taylor Liguori
Staff Writer

The process of recruitment for a student-athlete is more than one would expect and is a rather tedious multi-step process. For each athlete, the process may vary a littlebit, but in the end there is a similar way that everyone goes about it. Seniors Tyler Walters and Mathias O’Neil had a similar experience to one another in the recruitment process with Senior Imani Reid’s varying in slight ways.

O’Neil’s process began in spring of his freshman year when he decided to become serious about recruitment and playing in college. “I started by putting together game film and I emailed the coaches the film with my team, some of my stats and my GPA.” The way that O’Neil went about this is much like most athletes do. The “unwritten” written rule of getting coaches attention is to email them like an annoying little bug and send them as many videos and emails as possible of game film and good plays.

Marriotts Ridge vs Hammond - Varsity

Senior, Mathias O’Neil playing soccer for Hammond’s Varsity team.

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New Coach, New Experience: Girl’s Soccer Face Positive Changes with Coach Mo

By: Tori Vander Putten
Staff Writer

Last May, Mr. Lerner informed the girls Varsity soccer team that Hammond English teacher Ms. Motaung would be taking over as coach in the following year. She has 20 years of playing experience and 12 years of coaching experience under her belt. When returning players heard about this change, they were nervous but excited. Sophomore Ana Coman commented on this transition, “I was interested because we were going to get new experiences and try to build our team differently than we did last year.”

Due to last year’s record and the fact that this is Ms. Motaung’s second year at Hammond she described her feelings as “nervicited.” Ms. Motaung was passionate about the sport, but concerned about striking a balance with teaching. “I thought it was going to be a lot with teaching and coaching, which I’ve never done before, but I was actually really excited to get back into soccer. And I wanted to help build the program here.” Although it has only been about a month and a half the team has improved since walking in on the first day of tryouts. The team defeated Meade 1-0 and lost to Atholton 1-9 which is an improvement from their 0-10 loss last year.


Pictured is Hammond’s Girls Varsity Soccer Team

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Hammond Volleyball to Host “Blue Game” Oct. 2nd, 2018.

By: Claire O’Rourke
Staff Writer

Hammond Volleyball trades the Pink game for the Blue game this year, hosting Glenelg in the Hammond gymnasium on October 2nd, 2018, hoping to raise money and awareness for juvenile diabetes.

The Blue Game is close to many of the players’ and their families hearts, especially sophomore Lexi Wise, jersey numbers 14/34 on the Junior Varsity team, who has type 1 diabetes. She is appreciative of the change she hopes will bring more awareness to what she believes to be a forgotten disease.


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