Fan-fiction is for fun. Many people enjoy writing fan-fiction. These people have fallen in love with a story or series and do not want it to end when they’ve turned the last page of the last chapter. I think fan-fiction is a great way for fan groups to share their passion with each other.
However I do not feel that fan fiction is something that should be published as original work.Because it is not original. Fan fiction writers have taken a story, that has already been developed with plot and character arcs and have simply changed certain things that they wanted to happen.
As a writer I imagine it is flattering to go online and find groups of people who love your story so much that they are keeping it alive with their own spin offs. As a writer myself I know what it takes to write an original work. For someone to come along and take that story and simply change it and pass it off as their own. This is presumptuous. You are must think that you are a better writer or editor than someone who has published a bestseller at a publishing house with a team of professional editors.
It can also be frustrating to sit in a Writing Workshop class listening to someone read their Pokemon fan-fiction. I am not part of that fan group so I struggled to follow her story. Afterwards I discovered the only change that she had made was to give a secondary character a girl friend.
I understand your passion for that particular story and your desire to share that. I have this passion myself that I have expressed through different outlets. It feels good to share that obsession with people who also feel it. I think it would be beneficial to share it with like minded people. Not with a group who may or may not be able to follow along.
I do think there are many benefits for writers to copy their favorite writers as a learning technique. It allows them to practice skills until their own voice breaks through. Once their own style emerges they often find they are writing original material. I know that this post will not make me many friends but I will always share my honest opinion.