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Trivia Nights in The One Direction Fandom

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Written by: Laura cassels art by: jumbiart

During quiet times when the One Direction boys are keeping to themselves, it can be difficult to keep our spirits up. Emily, or @emily_tpwk_fitf as some people on X (formally known as Twitter) know her, is a long-time fan of the boys and does her best to keep, not only herself occupied and positive during quiet spells, but also other fans by planning and hosting fun events for everyone to attend. 

When we asked Emily if she would be willing to do an interview on her experience with being in the fandom, she was shocked to be asked. She seemed to think she was a bit of a small fish in a big pond, but her Trivia Night games, live spaces, and fanfic reaction threads are highly popular and continue to gain more and more traction within the One Direction and solo fandoms. Even without those popular posts and spaces, Emily is an extremely fun person to interact with, and she always makes a point of treating everyone with kindness and positivity. One of Emily’s X (formally known as Twitter) friends, Sunshine Stylinson (@lovelovemelou), very kindly shared with us her feelings on having Emily as a friend, stating: ‘She has this effervescent energy she shares with everyone she comes in contact with. She’s knowledgeable about the fandom, but she doesn’t use that against those who have genuine questions about the boys…In short, she’s quite lovely.’

This is a sentiment shared by Hannah (@boyfriendspark), who shared the following comment with us:

‘Emily is such a wonderful person to have in this fandom. She has such a warm and welc oming attitude. She’s constantly showing how genuinely caring and supportive she is to her friends and the fandom as a whole. Emily never fails to reach out and check in with her moots and make sure everyone is doing okay. She is one of the most genuinely kind and caring people I’ve been lucky enough to meet and become friends with through this fandom. I’m very grateful that our paths have crossed to form a great friendship.’ 

When someone inspires these types of comments, it’s not surprising that they would be highly popular when interacting with other people on social media, and her caring and fun personality is exactly why we were keen to conduct this interview.

Emily got into the One Direction fandom in 2011 when she was in college. Her best friend at the time wanted to show her a video of ‘these guys who were competing on a British singing competition.’ Her friend explained about Harry and Louis’ interactions with each other as she watched the video and found herself ‘doomed from day one.’ Sadly, Emily never got to see One Direction live as she was a starving college student when they were touring, however she wishes, just like most of us do, that she could go back in time and change it. 

Since she wasn’t able to go to the shows, she would watch clips of them online instead. When we asked what her favourite show was, she said the Japan show at the Makuhari Messe during the Take Me Home tour on the 3rd of November, 2013. Here, the boys sang The Story Of My Life acapella and she said it was ‘incredible’ to hear.

She also mentioned a favourite show was seeing Louis live in Irving, Texas, on the 7th of June, 2023, during his USA leg of his Faith InThe Future world tour, stating: ‘he did a gender reveal right in front of my eyes, and it was unique to say the least.’ It certainly was unique, as who could forget the iconic moment? Louis, not realising the balloon came with a pin, proceeded to chase the balloon around the stage, trying to stomp on it, before finally succeeding in bursting it and revealing the gender? If you managed to miss this hysterical moment, then click on the following link to see Louis doing gender reveals the Tommo way!

Louis Tomlinson: Gender reveal. Irving TX: 07.06.2023 (youtube.com

She also adds that her favourite Harry show was the last one for Love On Tour. She states that ‘even though I watched it on a live, it was mind blowing and so special.’ We would need to agree with Emily on this point, as whether you were at the show live or watching at home, it was an emotional and unique final show of the tour. 

Of course, Emily is very well known for her bubbly and fun posts, live spaces, trivia games, and fanfic reaction threads. However, when we asked Emily what it was like to be so active in the fandom, she responded that she’s actually always been shy, stating that ‘I have met some incredible people over the years and they really helped break me out of my shell…they helped me have confidence and want to fully be “me”.’

With Louis going on a break, and the other boys were already rather quiet, Emily had realised that the fandom would need something to help keep their spirits up until new content or the next tour came about, and suggested doing a Trivia Night on a live space one evening. Emily explains further:

Hannah was working on her polls and we were just trying to keep ourselves entertained…I had no idea that people were going to show up like that. I thought it was going to be the 30 people or so that showed up to the spaces my friends and I host. When I sent out the tweet that I was hosting, it gained traction and so many people wanted to come. It had it’s challenges because I had to find the right platform that could host 200 people. I didn’t want anyone excluded from the game, so I had my work cut out for me. It’s a lot of work, it takes me weeks to create the questions, triple check them, manually build the trivia game and promote it. I definitely have help from friends and from those who tune in – I set up an NGL for people to submit questions for the games, and that has cut down on some of the work for sure.’ 

Emily mentioned that, as much as the trivia spaces take a lot of work and time, she doesn’t do it alone. In particular, Tiny (known @tinystringer03 as on X) helps with hosting the spaces and supports Emily as the spaces progress. Tiny also helps create the questions and offers moral support through the more stressful moments of creating such spaces. Good on you Tiny for helping Emily give us such fun an amazing experiences!

When we asked if there were plans for future Trivia Spaces, Emily responded that since the One Direction Trivia Night was so popular, she held a Harry Styles themed Trivia Night in February which was also hugely popular. She plans to hold a Louis Tomlinson Trivia Night before he starts the Latin America leg of his tour in May 2024. Niall Horan Trivia Night will happen before he starts the US leg of his tour in June, leaving Liam and Zayn Trivia nights to happen around summer/fall time. This is certainly a lot of trivia fun to give the fandom something to look forward to when there are gaps in shows and content. Way to go, Emily!

Of course, we had to ask Emily about her highly popular fanfiction reaction threads! As someone who has been in the fandom since nearly the beginning, it was surprising that Emily had managed to avoid diving down the fanfiction rabbit hole. However, she explained that she was worried that if she read content which was based on canon, she might begin to confuse fanfiction situations and events with actual real events which had happened within the fandom. Emily further explains: ‘For that reason, I stayed away from it when I was younger. Now that I’m older, and can compartmentalise, if you will, I was open to trying it.’ 

According to Emily, it was thanks to her veteran friends that she finally began to read fanfiction. She states that her friend would often talk about fanfiction, making references to jokes or plots and had managed to exact a promise from Emily that she would give it a go one day. During Christmas 2023//New Years 2024, she finally began to read fics that her friends had recommended and she says she been ‘hooked’ since, going to enthuse that ‘this fandom has the most incredibly talented people I have ever met – the ability to write these stories is beyond comprehension.’ 

We asked what made her have the idea to react on social media threads when reading the fics, she stated that someone in the fandom had expressed interest in hearing her thoughts as she read Escapade – one of the fandoms most popular and loved stories. Once she began to update the Escapade thread, the post got a lot of engagement, and we were wondering if the attention ever got too much at times. Emily responded that ‘it’s both flattering and too much at times. I am not the kind to have the spotlight on them, and it’s very intimidating. It’s also fun because of how emotionally involved we are as a fandom with our fanfics – we all have our favourites and the ones we wish we could re-read for the first time, so watching people react to my reactions is definitely fun to see.

Although the threads are clearly something fun for everyone to join with, Emily shared that there is always the fear that anti’s might see the popularity of her threads and cause some trouble, but so far this hasn’t happened. She confessed, however, that this is ‘always lurking in the back of my mind.’ Hopefully, Emily’s threads continue to be a positive experience for everyone involved!

Now that it’s been roughly 4 months since Emily started her read and react threads, we just had to know which fanfics so far have been her favourite. Emily said she had a top 3 for long fics and a top 3 for shorter length fics, as follows – 

Long fics Shorter fics

  • Escapade
  • Rogue
  • You Can Hear It In The Silence
  • Sail Away With Me
  • Royal Desires
  • Quiet People Have The Loudest Minds/True Bonds

Emily then went on to explain her longer fic choices – 

‘Escapade needs no explanation – it’s just perfect from start to finish. It’s incredible and I don’t know that anything will ever top it for me. Rogue was my first experience with ABO – it’s heartbreaking, yet brilliant. It made me fall in love with the ABO world, and it’s hard for me not to want to read it over and over again. YCHIITS was painful, but it was so well-written. You felt the emotions they were feeling and wanted it to be better – Imogen is beyond talented and even though her fics hurt terribly, she makes you want to come back for more every time.’

Emily shared that she receives recommendations for fics daily and has a to-be-read list that’s ‘a mile long.’ She’s decided to prioritise the fictions that she most wants to read first and then will take requests once she’s finished those. Next on her list to be read are fan favourites Relief Next To Me, Stranger Than Larry Fanfiction, Tired Tired Sea, and Down The Line. We can’t wait to see how she will react when she reads them!

We next asked if there were any parts of fanfics she’s read so far which were difficult to read or that she perhaps didn’t enjoy. Emily responded that she actually has friends, known fondly as ‘the Management,’ who help her out by suggesting fics they know won’t upset her, as they know what she will enjoy and what she will find challenging. She further clarifies – 

‘I am not a fan of angst. Life is hard enough as it is, so reading about pain and (ultimately) your favourite suffering is difficult for me. I know it moves a story forward, but the serious stuff I stay away from. If a fic breaks me, but puts me back together properly, I am willing to do it, but I can’t read a fic that’s 50% or more of negative, I need more happiness than that. I am a wimp. I don’t like separation – so when they break up or move away from each other, that’s really hard for me to enjoy. I am a sucker for rom-coms, so the more fluff the better. Having OT5 in the fic is a huge plus.’

On the topic of having OT5 in fanfics, we asked Emily which fanfics she felt best depicted the boys. She conceded that there were so many amazing portrayals of the boys within the stories she had read so far, but that her favourites were – 

  • Harry – Escapade
  • Louis – Rogue
  • Zayn – Of Mates And Men
  • Niall – Wild and Unruly
  • Liam – Quiet People Have The Loudest Minds

I’m sure everyone reading this will have their own ideas of which fanfic does the best job of portraying the boys, but we have to agree that Emily picked some amazing fanfictions for her choices. 

Finally, we absolutely couldn’t let the interview end without asking what it was like to actually read the infamous golden glitter scene in Unbelievers after hearing references about it for so long in the fandom? This is a highly popular part of Emily’s Unbelievers reaction thread as many fans of the story waited to see just what she would have to say. Emily responded – 

‘HAHHA! Great question! This scene was already so iconic in my mind – more than anything I was hoping it would live up to the hype. It did! I loved it so much. I may or may not have sent unhinged voice notes to multiple group chats. It was definitely worth the wait. He put his all into that moment for Harry. I loved it so much. Candy shop will not be the same – ever! And what’s so great about doing the fic threads is that people were following me as I was reading, so my tags and timeline were nothing but gold glitter, sheets and “Candy Shop” for days. The fandom made me feel like I hit a major milestone and it was such a fun time!’

We can only agree that it was indeed a major milestone in the fandom, as the golden glitter scene is possibly more famous than the fanfic itself! 

No Stunts Magazine thanks Emily for taking part in this interview and taking the time to answer all of the questions. We look forward to many more fun fanfiction threads and Trivia Spaces in the future. 

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