Fan fiction as a literary practice, or literary genre, has grown exponentially since the widespread of the Internet. Fan fiction is defined as literary spin off of culture texts wrote by fans to accompany their favorite TV shows, books, movies, or games. The article tries to characterize fan fiction in correspondence to its unique background combining both audiovisual and literary practices. It tries to decide whether fan fiction is a contemporary literary practice or is it a continuation of a much larger historical process. Additionally, the article looks at fan fiction from Barthes’s perspective, that makes fan fiction an evidence of his theory that texts are constantly re-read. John Fiske’s culture economy explains further why fans mostly work on texts coming from popular culture. The article also aims to place the fan fiction phenomenon in the area of culture studies’ interests. And that is why fan fictions are compared to fan videos, two different types of fannish practice that are sometimes examined as belonging to the same category. Fan fiction has rooted deeply into fans’ lives, and thus has developed a certain system of distribution and editorship. Before the age of the Internet they had been printed in zines and circled only among people that knew each other, nowadays such stories are published in the Internet. The lack of pre-print editing had created a system of beta-readers who check the written texts. The initial secrecy of fan fiction circulation was based on the fear of legal persecution, thus the history of legal struggles and authors’ stances is also addressed.