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Published:
2020-10-26 11:22:20 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Laure, who volunteers in the Translation Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I'm one of the volunteers managing the Translation Committee, and I'm also a French translator! So I get to participate in the organisational and administrative side of things, and I still translate or proofread documents sometimes.

Although many people think that Translation works on fanfic, we don’t translate them (it would be nice but there are so. many. of them!). What we work on is a lot of the information and news content that’s produced by the OTW and its projects — like the FAQs, news posts, and some of the homepages. We’re trying to make it all as accessible as possible to fans who don’t speak English!

At the moment there are more than 250 translators for 45 languages, and it’s been amazing to get to work and chat with people from so many different cultures.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

It really depends on the week, it can vary a lot! We have plenty of different types of tasks, some can be done individually, some require group work, and some are even cross-committee efforts. Most of the time we each decide what we work on, it’s quite flexible, but it also requires a lot of self-determination. That part is difficult for me, so teaming up with colleagues and having their support has helped a lot.

For example, I can have a quiet week where I attend our monthly committee meeting, take minutes for it if it’s my turn to do so, and then change our internal documentation if decisions have been taken. Or I can have a very busy week, with several new documents to prepare for translation; discussing with my colleagues to decide which teams we need to recruit for; taking notes for the annual interviews we hold with almost all our translators; and then beta an urgent translation. And that's to cite only a few things that can happen!

We also have the on-call week, which all the Translation managers do on rotation. It means that every two months or so, I’m the one in charge of replying to emails; assigning documents to translate or beta; helping translators if they have any issues; or other kinds of tasks. I love this part of my role because it’s when I get to interact with other volunteers the most.

It can all get very busy when we have special events going on, like the membership drive, the elections, recruitments or when we organise individual check-ins with the translators -- which I also enjoy a lot. I’m not here only for the chatting I promise!

What made you decide to volunteer?

It happened a bit by chance, to be honest. I'd been reading fics on AO3 for years, but I never really had the time and energy to check what happened behind the scenes. Then last year I saw on the homepage that French translators were needed, and I happened to have time at that moment, so I applied!

I thought it was a good opportunity to give back to AO3 for all the time I spent on the site. I also wanted to translate again. I studied translation but it didn’t become my day job, so it’s really nice to use this skill in a fandom context.

Then another Frenchie encouraged me to apply for the manager role, and the more I learn about how the OTW works, the more I want to discover. It’s a far bigger machine than I imagined, it’s really interesting to see how complex it is.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

The biggest challenge has been letting go of my bad reflexes from previous jobs. I’ve worked in companies that relied a lot on punishing and guilting employees for mistakes, and it really leaves a lasting impression. It’s also really bad management in my opinion! Guilt doesn’t work as a lasting motivation (and is also bad for your health, don’t do this at home).

So when I arrived in the Translation Committee and I found kind management I was very wary, and it took me some time to de-stress and trust that I wouldn’t be punished for the smallest mistake. It’s human to make mistakes, and when that happens we try to see what went wrong in the process, and how we can help so that it doesn’t happen again. And now that I’m also a volunteer manager, I’m striving to keep that up.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Mostly reading! The amount of reading material on AO3 always blows my mind. I could spend all my time reading (I wish) and never run out of good stories to discover. I’m amazed and very grateful for writers who share their works. And the same for fanart and any fanworks actually, I’m not shutting any enjoyable doors.

Also about that, lately I've had the motivation to start writing again. I haven’t in ages so it’s tough to get it rolling again. I’m going to participate in a mini bang soon to get some motivation!

I also started translating a fanfic from English into French, as I’m hoping to get more French friends to read it. It’s easy to forget that everyone doesn’t read and/or speak English when we’re so often chatting in this language. Translation is still a great and necessary accessibility tool, especially if it’s for accessing Transformers fanfics!


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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DoyleCordy banner

DoyleCordy, an Angel (the Series) fanfiction archive focusing on the Cordelia/Doyle ship, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Following the closure of Yahoo Groups, the DoyleCordy mods were committed to preserving the history of fandom through the small portion of the archive they were able to save.

Open Doors will be working with Heather to import DoyleCordy into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own.

We will begin importing works from DoyleCordy to the AO3 after October.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on DoyleCordy?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your DoyleCordy pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your DoyleCordy account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the DoyleCordy mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of DoyleCordy on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve DoyleCordy!

- The Open Doors team and Heather

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Published:
2020-10-13 21:46:03 -0400
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'OTW RECRUITMENT'

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • News Translation Volunteers - closing 21 October 2020 at 23:59 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

News Translation Volunteers

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers of native or near-native fluency in their target languages, who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Afrikaans, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Portuguese-PT, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Welsh —but help with other languages would be much appreciated.

(Please note that our Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese-BR, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due 21 October 2020

 

Apply at the volunteering page!

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The bi-annual membership drive of the Organization for Transformative Works is over and we are delighted to say that while we didn't reach our goal of 5,000 new members, we registered a total of 2,660 memberships across 69 countries, bringing our fundraising total for the period to $89,688.51. Thank you so much!

We are so glad that so many of you have taken this opportunity to formalize your support for the OTW. The OTW is a nonprofit organization and we depend on the creative, financial and logistical contributions of fans around the world. As detailed in our recent budget post, the generosity of our members supports our archival, legal, academic, and technological work and helps us to continue to serve our mission of preserving fanworks and fan culture. Thank you!

And if you haven’t yet registered your membership, don’t worry! The OTW accepts both members and donations all year round.

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The Organization for Transformative Works was conceived, built by, and designed for the people who use our services. That’s what makes us unique! Whether it’s the lawyers, system administrators, and other volunteers who keep our projects running; the donors whose generosity ensures our financial health; or the writers, artists, and other contributors whose hard work populates Fanlore, Transformative Works and Cultures, and the Archive of Our Own, none of what we do would be possible without the time, love, and dedication of individual fans.

We are stronger together than we are apart. That’s why today we are asking you to consider either becoming a member of the OTW or, if you’ve already joined us, renewing your membership. Membership requires a donation of just US$10 and lasts for a full calendar year.

When you become a member, you will become eligible to vote in the elections for the OTW Board of Directors, which are held annually in August. You will also receive a social media icon which you can use on your AO3 profile or other social media platforms to let everybody know that you’re part of the OTW!

This year, we’ve also introduced a new benefit for recurring members. If you’ve made membership donations for each of the last three, five, or ten years, you are now eligible to receive exclusive thank-you gifts! Three-year members can claim a bookmark (to be used in all the fic you have printed for offline enjoyment, of course). Five-year members are eligible to receive a sticker to display on laptops, lockers, or anywhere else of their choosing. And our valued ten-year members will have access to an OTW fridge magnet. The designs for all of these premiums will be revealed towards the end of this year and are exclusive to long-standing OTW members.

Whatever the nature of your support for the OTW, it is thanks to you that we’ve been able to develop and thrive over the last thirteen years. We appreciate every contribution that our users make; and we hope that by joining us as members this year, you’ll be able to strengthen your connection to our work.

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Organization for Transformative Works: 2020 Budget Update

During 2020, the OTW Finance team has continued to review the organization's financial transactions for accuracy and completeness. Additional tasks have included paying the bills, completing the audit of the 2019 financials, and ensuring that standard accounting procedures were met.

In the meantime, the team has also been diligently working on the update to the 2020 budget, and are proud to present it here! (access the 2020 budget spreadsheet for more detailed information):

2020 Expenses

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 68.2%. Open Doors: 0.2%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 0.3%. Fanlore: 2.4%. Legal Advocacy: 0.4%. Con Outreach: 0.1%. Admin: 9.3%. Fundraising: 19.1%.

Archive of Our Own (AO3)

$76,703.46 spent; $306,623.55 left

  • US$76,703.46 spent so far out of US$383,327.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • 68.2% of the OTW's expenses go toward maintaining AO3. This includes the bulk of our server expenses—both new purchases and ongoing colocation and maintenance—website performance monitoring tools, and various systems-related licenses, as well as costs highlighted below (access all program expenses).
  • This year, US$18,000 in contractor costs have been spent on separating AO3 administrative roles in the background to make volunteer work more efficient. Other budgeted AO3 expenses include an additional US$100,000.00 in contractor costs for work on moving AO3 collection searching to Elasticsearch and upgrading to Rails 6.
  • Additionally, AO3 expenses include the purchase of frontend servers, database servers, and VM servers for roughly US$147,000.00. The new database servers will expand the ability of our infrastructure to store works for AO3 and also increase the number of pages served to users. The old servers will be repurposed as application servers, which generate site pages.
  • Also planned is the installation of a third server rack later in the year to give AO3 (and OTW websites) more power capacity and reduce the impact of server failures. Adding this rack will involve setup costs of roughly US$8,000.00, and will increase our monthly server costs by US$2,200.00
  • Other budgeted costs include US$33,000.00 for a Systems contractor, who will do some work for various OTW projects, including AO3.

Fanlore

$2,527.97 spent; $11,131.60 left

  • US$2,527.97 spent so far out of US$13,659.57 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Fanlore expenses are mostly its allocation of server purchases, maintenance, and colocation costs, in addition to Fanlore's web domain renewals (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures

$331.00 spent; $1,500.00 left

  • US$331.00 spent so far out of US$1,831.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures' expenses are the journal's website hosting, and publishing and storage fees (access all program expenses).

Open Doors

$364.01 spent; $563.77 left

  • US$364.01 spent so far out of US$927.78 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Open Doors' expenses consist of hosting, backup, and domain costs for imported fanwork archives (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

$0.00 spent; $2,500.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$2,500.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Legal's budgeted expenses consist of filing fees (access all program expenses).

Con Outreach

$0.00 spent; $500.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$500.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Budgeted expenses include US$100.00 for printing flyers and US$400.00 for other convention outreach activities on behalf of the OTW (access all program expenses).

Fundraising

$44,771.92 spent; $62,476.28 left

  • US$44,771.92 spent so far out of US$107,248.20 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • Our fundraising expenses consist of transaction fees charged by our third-party payment processors for each donation, thank-you gift purchases and shipping, and the tools used to host the OTW's membership database and track communications with current and potential donors (access fundraising expenses).

Administration

$10,475.36 spent; $41,928.78 left

  • US$10,475.36 spent so far out of US$52,404.14 total this year, as of July 31, 2020.
  • The OTW’s administrative expenses include hosting for our website, trademarks, domains, insurance, tax filing, and annual financial statement audits, as well as communication and accounting tools (access all admin expenses).

2020 Revenue

OTW revenue: April drive donations: 60.8%. October drive donations: 9.9%. Non-drive donations: 24.5%. Donations from matching programs: 4.0%. Interest income: <0.1%. Royalties: 0.1%. Other Income: <0.1%. Restricted donations: 0.7%.

  • The OTW is entirely supported by your donations—thank you for your generosity!
  • We receive most of our donations each year in the April and October fundraising drives, which together should account for about 71% of our income in 2020. We also receive donations via employer matching programs, royalties, Amazon Smile, and PayPal Giving Fund, which administers donations from programs like Humble Bundle and eBay for Charity. If you'd like to support us while making purchases on those websites, please select the Organization for Transformative Works as your charity of choice!
  • Given your generosity in the past several drives, we are planning to transfer an additional US$150,000 into our reserves, to be kept in store for a rainy day. Thanks to this, we are exploring alternative revenue sources to supplement your donations. We have made progress in a search for a suitable investment method and investment specialist for a small nonprofit organization like the OTW; we aim to fully set up a low-risk, conservative investment portfolio by the end of 2021.
  • Your generosity during the April 2020 drive especially has left the OTW with the ability to begin planning for the fiscal feasibility of large scale projects. We look forward to sharing these with you once we figure out the legal and practical logistics!
  • We also received our first restricted donation: US$5,161.62 from HP Education Fanon, Inc., a fellow 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting the benefits of reading that sadly ceased operations in 2018. The donation will go toward supporting Francesca Coppa's book on the history of fan vidding for the University of Michigan Press, which is currently in production. The money will be used to pay for the University of Michigan to host the fanvids referenced in the book, as well as assist in making the book free for everyone to read and use.
  • US$665,975.09 received so far (as of July 31, 2020) and US$754,362.62 total projected to be received by the end of the year.

$665,975.09 donated; $88,387.53 left

Got questions?

If you have any questions about the budget or the OTW's finances, please contact the Finance committee. We will also be hosting an open chat to answer any questions you may have. This chat will take place in our public chatroom on October 10 at 8pm UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

To download the OTW's 2020 budget update in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.

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Published:
2020-10-05 12:35:26 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. THREE ARCHIVE IMPORTS COMPLETED!

The Open Doors project is delighted to announce the completion of three online archive imports to the AO3 during the month of September! Check out the AO3 collections for Least Expected, Obidala Network, and TER/MA to see all of the newly imported works. Special thanks to Tag Wrangling with their assistance manually importing Least Expected! The Open Doors Committee is already hard at work on more upcoming imports and hopes to complete more imports in the near future.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design, & Technology has been hard at work behind the scenes working on several improvements to the AO3. In addition on getting the Archive updated to Rails 5.2, AD&T contractors have started work on moving collection browsing and filtering to Elasticsearch, which will allow users to search for collections that contain bookmarks -- not just works -- in the fandoms of their choosing.

Support received 1200 tickets in August, the lowest since last October, while at the time of this writing Policy & Abuse had received over 1100 tickets in September. Meanwhile, Tag Wrangling wrangled more than 420,000 tags in August -- the highest number in any single month in the Archive's history!

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

TWC released its September 2020 issue (No. 34, a general issue) on time! Their March 2021 issue is in production, and they are accepting submissions on a rolling basis for their September 2021 issue.

Fanlore hosted its annual Stub September challenge, which was a great success. Thanks to everyone who took part!

Communications completed the OTW Annual Reports for 2018 and 2019, with thanks to the Board of Directors for their assistance. The documents were advertised on social media alongside an OTW 2019 By The Numbers infographic which offered up a summary of 2019 activity. Meanwhile, Communications also celebrated the OTW's 13th anniversary with a news post. Thanks to our readers for all the celebratory messages!

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 24 August to 23 September, Volunteers & Recruiting received 118 new requests, and completed 108, leaving us with 26 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 23 September the OTW has 920 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Alex Tischer, Jess White, Kati Eggert
New Committee Chairs: Arly Guevara (Strategic Planning), Cyn (Volunteers & Recruiting)
New Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer, AuctoremSceleris, Yrindor (Open Doors) and 1 other Open Doors Staffer
New Fanlore Volunteers: Solovei
New Translation Volunteers: Midorime

Departing Committee Chairs: Elliot Oberholtzer (Strategic Planning)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 AO3 Documentation staffer, Elliot Oberholtzer (Strategic Planning), Xiuzhe (Support), Luin (Elections)
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 1 Staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2 Volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 1 Volunteer

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.

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Published:
2020-09-23 10:56:35 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with memorizingthedigitsofpi, who volunteers for Fanlore.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I'm a volunteer with Fanlore, which is a wiki all about fandom and fandom history. It's a place where the people who are involved in fandom can chronicle our stories about ourselves and our works. As a wiki, it's open for editing and there's a Plural Point of View policy that encourages documentation of all sides of any particular issue. Fandom is a diverse place full of diverse people and opinions, and it's important that we have a record that allows all of those points of view to have space.

I'm one of the graphics designers on the team, and in that role I create banners for social media posts and badges for events like Stub September. I'm also involved in conversations around how we can reach out to our fellow fans to encourage them to contribute to the wiki, as well as conversations about the wiki itself.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

How busy I am varies week to week, because I'll have more on my plate in the run up to an event. Typically, we have a bi-weekly meeting on Saturdays where we discuss what work needs to be done and who will do it. I'll draft however many graphics I've taken on and share them out with the group of other designers and the social media team, and they'll give me feedback. I'll make any edits and we'll go back and forth a bit sometimes. Then I'll wait for the post to go live and get a big grin on my face when I see my work posted for everyone to see.

Throughout the week, I'll read the conversations happening back and forth amongst the other Fanlore volunteers and if I have questions or suggestions I'll join in. Otherwise, I'm just keeping up to date on what's going on.

I'm also new to wiki editing, so when I can I practice formatting by working on my Fanlore user page or editing parts of the larger wiki.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I've been in and out of fandom spaces for the last 20 years or so. Sometimes I just lurk and read all the fic and look at all the art, etc. Sometimes I find a canon that I just can't get out of my head and I end up creating fics and art of my own.

I was slowly leaving my most recent active fandom creator role because I was falling out of love with canon. But I was still in love with the fandom I was in because the people were so wonderful. In trying to find ways to stay in fandom without being a creator, I started up a tumblr blog called ao3commentoftheday. That's what got me interested in being more involved in fandom as a whole instead of just for one particular show or book at a time.

I realized that I loved the people in fandom and the things we do, and I wanted to be involved in helping fandom happen. In my opinion, OTW is the best place for that.

Is there anything in particular you've worked on that you found challenging or memorable?

This year, I was involved in the process of creating Fanlore's new logo! My design wasn't the one that was picked, but I'm so happy with the one that was chosen. It was an amazing experience getting to try my hand at designing one and seeing all of the other ideas from the rest of the team. I've also never gotten feedback from a group that big before or on a number of designs that large, so the logistics of figuring it out were also a learning experience.

I got to be a part of fandom history, and I can't think of anything more memorable than that!

What fannish things do you like to do?

I write fic -- mostly smut and comedy but with other things thrown in there too. I'm not posting very much lately, but I'm still writing almost every day. These days, I'm writing more RP style -- co-creating fic-like roleplaying threads with my fandom bestie. We aren't posting them anywhere, but we're having a lot of fun.

I also create fanart. In my most recent fandom, I learned how to do photo manipulations, but I also do text-based graphics, edits, and banners. I like to create them for both myself and for other people in my fandom. I've recorded a few podfic and made a few fanvids, and I'd like to do more of both someday. At one point, I co-ran a fic rec blog on tumblr, too.

These days, most of my fannish time outside of the OTW is spent running the ao3commentoftheday blog on tumblr. I do my best to answer questions about writing, fandom, AO3 and the OTW in an unofficial capacity. I first fell in love with Fanlore because it was (and is!) a major reference I use when people ask questions about fandom tropes and terms. It's definitely a passion project for me, and one I'm so glad I stumbled into. I've learned more about my fellow fans and other fandoms in the last few years than I ever would have otherwise.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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