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Membership Drive: Organization for Transformative Works: October 15-17, 2021

The Organization for Transformative Works’s October membership drive is over, and we’re delighted to say that we raised a total of US$195,009.65, far outstripping our goal of US$40,000. This was made possible by the generosity of 6700 donors from 77 countries worldwide, of whom 4786 chose to begin or renew OTW membership. We are so grateful, as always, for our global community. Thank you! Your support enables us to continue working in service of our mission: to further the interests of the fans we represent by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in all its many forms.

We would also like to thank the volunteers whose service made this drive run so smoothly, and all of the users who posted, tweeted, and talked about the drive to their friends and acquaintances. Your help is invaluable in helping us to achieve our goals. We appreciate you all so much!

Finally, if you haven’t yet had time to make a contribution, don’t worry! We accept donations all year round. OTW membership, which is available to those making donations of US$10 and above, lasts for a full year from the date of the most recent US$10 donation; so anybody donating now will be eligible to vote in next year’s election for the OTW Board of Directors. The thank-you gifts we offer for donations of US$40 or above are also available on an ongoing basis. It’s always a good time to give!


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Membership Drive: Organization for Transformative Works, October 15 - 17, 2021

The Organization for Transformative Works is a labor of love. It was created by fans, for fans. We are a nonprofit organization, and we rely 100% on donations: the donation of time from our volunteers, and the donation of funds from the community we serve. Today marks the beginning of our biannual membership drive, when we ask that those of you who are able to do so consider making a financial contribution to support our work. You can read about how we spend your money in our budget.

Your donations to the OTW support our work across all our projects: from the Archive of Our Own to Fanlore; from our academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures, to our fanworks rescue project Open Doors and our Legal committee’s advocacy for transformative works worldwide. Donors also benefit more directly. With any one-time donation of US$10 or more, you can choose to take up an annual membership of the OTW, giving you the right to vote for our Board of Directors in the election that we hold in August every year.

Members also receive a digital icon which can be used on your AO3 or on social media profiles; and those who have maintained OTW membership for three, five, or ten years are eligible for exclusive commemorative gifts. Find out more about membership and voting here.

Those making donations of US$40 or above are able to select from a number of thank-you gifts. New this year are an OTW tumbler in limited-edition white, and a brand-new sticker set. If you can’t afford to make a donation of this size, don’t worry: we’ve got you. You can opt to set up a recurring donation at a level that suits you and let our Development and Membership team know which premium you’d like to save up for. Once your donations hit the eligible level, they will dispatch your gift.

The Organization for Transformative Works is a registered non-profit in the US, and donors in this country may be able to take advantage of matched giving schemes from their employer. Please consider speaking to your workplace to find out whether this is a possibility for you!

If you aren’t able to make a donation this time, please consider sharing this post with others, and know that we appreciate your support however you are able to give it. Thank you for your money, your time, and your love. We wouldn’t be here without it!


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2021 Budget: Organization for Transformative Works

During 2021, the OTW Finance team has continued its work of ensuring that the organization's bills are paid, tax returns filed, and standard accounting procedures met. Preparation for the 2020 audit of financial statements continues!

Meanwhile, the team has also been diligently working on the 2021 budget update and are happy to present it here (access the 2021 budget spreadsheet for more detailed information):

2021 Expenses

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 62.1%. Open Doors: 0.3%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 0.5%. Fanlore: 2.9%. Legal Advocacy: 0.7%. Grant - Vidding Book: 0.2% Admin: 16.2%. Fundraising: 17.1%.

Archive of Our Own (AO3)

US$125,025.02 spent; US$102,050.46 left

  • US$125,025.02 spent so far out of US$227,075.48 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • 62.1% of the OTW's expenses go towards maintaining the 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's projected AO3 expenses include a planned US$100,000.00 for an expansion of server capacity to handle expected site traffic growth through the year.

Open Doors

US$450.48 spent; US$710.37 left

  • US$450.48 spent so far out of US$1,160.85 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • Open Doors' expenses consist of hosting, backup, and domain costs for imported fanwork archives (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures

US$339.00 spent; US$1,500.00 left

  • US$339.00 spent so far out of US$1,839.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures' expenses are the journal's website hosting, publishing, and storage fees (access all program expenses).


US$5,527.77 spent; US$5,169.81 left

  • US$5,527.77 spent so far out of US$10,697.58 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • Fanlore's expenses are its share of allocated server hardware, maintenance and colocation costs (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

US$0.00 spent; US$2,500.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$2,500.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • Legal's expenses consist of filing fees for various activities, including OTW trademarks (access all program expenses).

Grant for F. Coppa book on the History of Fanvidding

US$0.00 spent; US$598.32 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$598.32 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • The money for this grant comes from a donation made to the OTW in 2020 for the specific purpose of covering costs related to the production of Francesca Coppa's book on the history of fanvidding. The University of Michigan will publish the book and host the fanvids, as well as make it accessible for free online for everyone to read and use.
  • Budgeted expenses are for additional proofreading and publication (access all program expenses).


US$31,423.46 spent; US$31,224.00 left

  • US$31,423.46 spent so far out of US$62,647.46 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • 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 donors and potential donors (access fundraising expenses).


US$12,448.35 spent; US$46,816.06 left

  • US$12,448.35 spent so far out of US$59,264.41 total this year, as of July 31, 2021.
  • The OTW’s administrative expenses include hosting for our website, domains, insurance, tax filing, and annual financial statement audits, as well as communication, management, and accounting tools (access all admin expenses).

2021 Revenue

OTW revenue: April drive donations: 49.7%. October drive donations: 7.4%. Non-drive donations: 34.9%. Donations from matching programs: 7.9%. Interest income: <0.1%. Royalties: <0.1%. Other Income:

  • The OTW is entirely supported by your donations—thank you for your generosity!
  • We receive a significant portion of our donations each year in the April and October fundraising drives, which together should account for about 57% of our income in 2021. 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!
  • Thanks to your generosity in previous years, we have a healthy amount of money in our reserves, which we can use to pay for larger than usual purchases. As mentioned previously, we plan to continue to upgrade the capacity of the Archive's servers, which will significantly increase server equipment and server hosting expenses in the coming years. The growth of the Archive and other projects of the OTW also requires more administrative support, further increasing expenses.
  • US$482,542.83 received so far (as of July 31, 2021) and US$542,972.85 projected to be received by the end of the year.

US$482,542.83 donated; US$60,430.02 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 16 at 8pm UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

Thanks for joining the chat!

To download the OTW's 2021 budget update in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.


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2021-10-10 16:15:19 UTC

Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works


From September 13 to September 26, Fanlore hosted its annual Stub September challenge, a two-week challenge in which editors create and expand short articles ("stubs") on Fanlore. 236 new pages were created, and 3,422 edits were carried out!

Fanlore also carried out a comprehensive update of Fanlore's Wish List page, which included cleaning up outdated requests, adding links to new editor tutorials, and creating a new section for pages that need more international scope. Finally, Fanlore's social and graphics teams worked hard at preparing posts for an anime and manga themed month in October, or Fanimangalore, ongoing now.


Open Doors completed a whopping four archive imports in September! Be sure to check out the AO3 collections for The Tom Paris Dorm, Octaves of the Heart: Sublime Archives, I Will Remember You Marathon Archive (2005-2009), and The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive.

At the time of this writing, Policy & Abuse was on track to receive around 2,200 tickets in September. Meanwhile, Support is keeping consistently busy, with around 1,200 tickets a month, and now has 50 regular volunteers working on tickets! Roughly 15% of those Support tickets are in one of the non-English languages they support, with thanks to Translation for their assistance translating those tickets. Support recently took on some of Policy & Abuse's workload as well.

In August, Tag Wrangling wrangled more than 440,000 tags--almost a thousand tags per wrangler!


The Board of Directors hosted a public meeting on September 29 on Discord to welcome their new directors and elect the next set of officers for the coming year. The Board appointed Antonius Melisse to fill the vacancy left by director Kati Eggert and welcomed him, E. Anna Szegedi, and Kari Dayton to the Board. They also elected Antonius Melisse as this term's Board President, Alex Tischer as Secretary, and Finance chair Yuechiang Luo to continue her position as Treasurer.

TWC published Transformative Works and Cultures No. 36, a general issue, on time on September 15. They are pleased to announce that a new editor team comprising Poe Johnson and Mel Stanfill will be replacing current editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson over the course of the next year.

In September, Communications was pleased to announce the OTW's 14th anniversary. Finally, kudos to Translation, who dealt with 560 regular tasks and 119 time-sensitive tasks in September!


From 23 August to 24 September, Volunteers & Recruiting received 92 new requests, and completed 87, leaving us with 30 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 September 2021, the OTW has 1034 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Antonius Melisse, E. Anna Szegedi, Kari Dayton
New Committee Chairs: disjointed (Elections), Nrandom (Development & Membership)
New Committee Staff: Diana-Fortyseven, Feanaria_, Hypatia, Kory, Principal of the Thing, Sarah Rose, Venhedish and 3 other Policy & Abuse staffers, 2 TWC

Departing Directors: Kati Eggert
Departing Committee Staff: Morgan Drake (Tag Wrangling), Jess White and 1 other Policy & Abuse staffer, Aque and 2 others Support staffers, 1 AO3 Documentation staffer, and 2 Elections staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ashsmash, Morgan Drake, & 6 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Brina Recelj, SilenceoftheSolitude and 2 other volunteers

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

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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Of Elves and Men: A world of intrigue and romance.

Of Elves and Men, a multifandom fanfiction archive with a strong emphasis on The Lord of the Rings and The Lord of the Rings RPF, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

As activity on the site has dwindled, the moderator, Alexcat, feels Of Elves and Men will be best preserved by moving it to AO3. Alexcat would like to preserve the work of the writers who were part of Of Elves and Men, and as a long lasting website, feels the site has much to preserve. Of Elves and Men was an important Tolkien site for many years and many of its works exist nowhere else.

The purpose of the Open Doors Committee’s Online Archive Rescue Project is to assist moderators of archives to incorporate the fanworks from those archives into the Archive of Our Own. Open Doors works with moderators to import their archives when the moderators lack the funds, time, or other resources to continue to maintain their archives independently. It is extremely important to Open Doors that we work in collaboration with moderators who want to import their archives and that we fully credit creators, giving them as much control as possible over their fanworks. Open Doors will be working with Alexcat to import Of Elves and Men into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually links to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3, which can be searched and filtered in order to locate individual imported works.

We will begin importing works from Of Elves and Men to the AO3 after October.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Of Elves and Men?

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.

Please contact Open Doors with your Of Elves and Men 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 Of Elves and Men 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 Of Elves and Men 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, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Of Elves and Men 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 Of Elves and Men!

- The Open Doors team and Alexcat


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2021-09-23 01:01:45 UTC

OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Do you have strong non-fiction or technical writing skills? Do you like working in a team environment, making sure that essential tasks are done? Do you have experience working in Public Relations? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • Elections Communication Specialist - closing 29 September 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Elections Public Relations Specialist - closing 29 September 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Elections Team Coordinator - closing 29 September 2021 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.

Elections Communication Specialist

Do you have strong non-fiction or technical writing skills? Are you interested in writing and editing public newsposts? Then come join the Elections team!

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections; we ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. We are currently looking for Communications Specialists to act as the lead writers and editors of the committee. They are responsible for the quality of public news posts and large announcements, as well as editing internal documentation.

Applications are due September 29, 2021

Elections Public Relations Specialist

Do you have experience working in Public Relations? Do you want to help the OTW by improving awareness and understanding of the annual Board election process? Then come join the Elections team!

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections; we ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. We are currently looking for Public Relations Specialists to help us promote the annual election and improve understanding of the Elections Committee's work.

Applications are due September 29, 2021

Elections Team Coordinator

Are you a highly organized person? Do you like working in a team environment, making sure that essential tasks are done? Then come join the Elections team!

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections; we ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. We are currently looking for Team Coordinators to maintain our internal documentation and keep the team organized. Applicants must have strong organizational and administrative skills.

Applications are due September 29, 2021

Apply at the volunteering page!


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2021-09-19 16:46:25 UTC

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 Cyn, who volunteers as a co-chair for our Volunteers & Recruiting Committee.

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

I currently wear three hats: Translation Staff, Volunteers & Recruiting (VolCom) Staff and being one of VolCom’s co-chairs. I’m also a former Tag Wrangler, Open Doors Staffer, and Support Staffer.

VolCom staff ensure all volunteers have access to the necessary tools and resources needed to complete their work efficiently and effectively. We also process any volunteer onboardings (adding tools as needed) and volunteer departures (ensuring all tools are removed). One of our key responsibilities is to work with chairs of other committees to facilitate the administrative aspects of our monthly recruitment so that all roles in our organization are appropriately staffed. Since the OTW runs on the energy of volunteers who have decided to give their time and resources to it, I consider VolCom to be a key part of ensuring the OTW continues to operate smoothly. VolCom also works on long-term projects that affect the organization as a whole, such as the implementation of new tools, auditing tool access or developing a chair training plan that covers OTW-specific skills as well as more general leadership and management skills.

As one of VolCom’s co-chairs, I supervise staff to make sure everyone has tasks to work on, recruit and train newbies, ensure goals and tasks listed in our committee’s roadmap are being worked on, ensure documentation of our processes and projects is up to date and help other chairs with resolving Code of Conduct violations.

The Translation Committee helps coordinate the OTW’s efforts across the organization to translate site pages, news posts, AO3 FAQs, and more. In my role as a Translation staffer, I am mostly involved with volunteer management which includes such things as assigning tasks to translators, running interviews and training chats, and handling any hiatus requests. I also help other committees if they need something translated, such as helping Policy & Abuse and Support with getting any tickets they may need to be translated that they can’t translate themselves.

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

Every week in VolCom is different so I may work on any of the following:

  1. Welcoming and adding access to tools for new volunteers or removing a volunteer’s tool access if they are leaving the OTW.
  2. Updating our internal volunteer database of who is starting or returning from a hiatus.
  3. If a volunteer requests a name and/or email change, updating our internal volunteer database and any tools the volunteer has access to.
  4. Processing requests to give a volunteer access to a tool.
  5. Responding to general volunteering queries.
  6. Working on one of our long-term projects.
  7. If VolCom recently recruited new volunteers, I might spend some time during the week following up with them about their progress and/or walking them through our different tasks.

One of the more regular tasks I work on is processing requests for recruitment. If recruitment is 1-2 weeks away, I’ll deliver feedback to chairs on their recruitment documentation and training plan, set up the website application form, make the advertising post to give to Communications to send out when recruitment begins, and document which role is being recruited for our internal volunteer database. If we’re in the middle of recruitment I’ll organize the applications we received and, once recruitment is over, send the apps to committee chairs.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I see my volunteering as my way to give back to fandom since I’m a huge reader but not much of a writer. Although I’ve been reading fanfic for many years, I didn’t really stop to consider who ran the Archive of Our Own until one day when I happened to see the post looking for volunteers to join the Tag Wrangling Committee. That got me curious about who ran the Archive so I read more about the OTW and its projects. I loved that it was a non-profit organization run by and for fans so I decided to apply.

After joining the OTW as a wrangler, I was able to learn even more about the OTW’s projects and what goes on internally to keep everything running. I joined the Open Doors Committee to help save at-risk archives before learning more about VolCom from another volunteer who was on both the Open Doors and VolCom Committees. I thought the type of tasks VolCom did were the types of things I really enjoyed doing in my day job, so when I was asked if I was interested in joining I said yes and here we are!

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

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had are the projects VolCom works on. Our projects can require a lot of time, research, and prior knowledge in related fields, and sometimes it's not clear until we’re in the middle of a project what needs to get done or what pathway to follow to carry a project out.

Another challenge I have is balancing my workload and communicating with VolCom staffers during busy periods. My day jobs have taken up a lot of time this year, so I’ve had to work on rebalancing real life and my volunteer commitments. Luckily one of my jobs is flexible and I usually have time to answer questions from VolCom staff or other volunteers during work hours. If I don’t have time during the day, then I work on volunteering when I should be sleeping (who needs sleep?).

What fannish things do you like to do?

Other than volunteering, I love to read fanfic, listen to podfics or watch fanvids. I’ve been reading fanfic since the very early 2000s when I started reading Sailor Moon fanfic on A Sailor Moon Romance. I then moved to looking for more fics and realized there were a lot more fandoms with fics I could read. I eventually wandered my way over to AO3 and I’ve been reading in many different fandoms ever since. I’m currently reading fics in 9-1-1, MCU, The Witcher, and Yuri on Ice with many more to come I’m sure.

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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Spotlight on Support

In order to better balance the workloads of our Support and Policy & Abuse committees, we are making some changes to who is responsible for which kinds of requests.

Policy & Abuse will continue to address Terms of Service violations, and Support will continue to answer questions on how to use the site and address bug reports, as always. But there are some cases which Policy & Abuse have previously been handling, and which will now be handled by Support. These are:

  • Loss of access to an account (for example, if you no longer remember or have access to the email address you used to set up your account in order to receive a password reset)
  • Questions and problems concerning orphaned works
  • Works labeled with an incorrect language

If you need to report one of these issues, please contact Support. If you direct a report of any kind to the wrong department, it's okay! We'll either transfer the report directly, or ask you to resubmit it to the correct team.

We hope these changes will be helpful by allowing our Policy & Abuse team members to devote more of their time and energy to other issues!

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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