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2020-02-21 12:27:29 -0500

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 Kristina, who volunteers as co-editor of the OTW's project Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC).

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

Karen Hellekson and I were tasked from the beginning with representing the academic arm of the OTW. We had been discussing the need for an academic fan studies journal around the same time as the first discussions for an archive began, and we started laying the foundations shortly after the OTW was founded. We found an open access platform, defined our policies, picked an editorial board, and put out the first call for papers. We published the first issue of Transformative Works and Cultures a little over a year after in September 2008.

In order to gain and retain our academic credentialing as a journal, we needed the editorial side to be clearly separate from the OTW organization side. Our connection to the OTW is crucial but also fairly specific: our staff are OTW volunteers and we report to the board, but all editorial decisions are made independently by double-blind peer reviewers who are experts in fan studies.

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

We publish one general issue and one or two special issues a year, and essay submissions come in year-round, with rushes of work around deadlines. I am responsible for screening all submissions to see if they adhere to our requirements, and I will reject submissions that do not fit journal guidelines (length, genre, topic). Every other essay gets sent to peer reviewers. I communicate with reviewers and authors until the essay is ready to be accepted and sent to production. So my typical week is writing a lot of emails and fairly regularly reading and reviewing essays. I used to solicit a lot in the early days, and I still joke that I beg, bully, barter, and bribe friends and acquaintances to submit material and/or peer review for TWC.

What were the early days of TWC like?

Exciting and crazy! We started everything from scratch, and it was great but also exhausting. We were learning procedures as we were creating them, and everything was mostly held together with spit and goodwill and a lot of effort, mostly on Karen’s and my part. Neither of us was affiliated with any university, the journal was online only, and we published fan studies research, so to ensure credibility it was really important to publish sound academic research that was professionally edited. In line with OTW’s basic philosophy, it was important that the journal be open access, so that all fans, regardless of affiliation or access, could read the research.

Karen and I were (and to a degree still are) the last line, and that meant that there were a lot of panicked phone calls and picking up slack, especially in the first few years. We have published every issue on time for the past 10 years and over 30 issues! That has meant, however, that Karen is copyediting and coding and proofreading essays the night before we go live, because a volunteer had not done her assignment; or it means I am interrupting my family holidays to email authors on my phone on crappy hotel Wi-Fi.

Today, the journal has a solid reputation and we get a good number of unsolicited submissions. Many of our procedures have been documented, and of course we follow standard academic journal workflow, but so much of what we've done, we’ve learned to do through trial and error. Karen and I are both looking forward to passing our editor batons to new scholars in the next few years.

What is your professional life like outside of your TWC work? Any projects you'd like to talk about?

I am an adjunct professor at my local university, and I’m pretty adamant to be identified as an independent researcher. Just like with OTW and TWC, I think it’s important for fans and fan studies scholars to come together. Karen and I were editors of the volume Fan Fiction and Fan Studies in the Age of the Internet (2006), which I’m proud to say helped create a whole new generation of fan studies scholars, and my own book, Framing Fan Fiction, came out last year.

I was also part of the group that created the first fan studies conference in the United States/North America, the Fan Studies Network: North America, which had its second annual conference at DePaul University in Chicago in October 2019. In what might have been the strangest work I’ve ever done, I became an expert witness in a plagiarism trial centering around Omegaverse tropes.

I try to go to one academic conference a year, mostly to see friends, meet new people in the field, and solicit for TWC, but I happily travel if invited (and supported). This spring I’ll be giving a talk on TWC and OTW with Karen Hellekson and Francesca Coppa at Berkeley, and I’m very excited! Finally, I am writing a new book on Fan Fantasies and the Politics of Desire with my friend (and early TWC volunteer) Alexis Lothian.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I started as a reader (and lurker) in the late 1990s, and fan fiction has remained the center of my fannish interest and my academic work. I used to say that talking about fandom is my fannish thing to do, back when I wrote a lot of meta and helped organize and run things. But after starting TWC (and especially the last three years when I was on the OTW board), that has mostly eaten up all my fannish energies. I still read fanfic and listen to podfic and talk to people one-on-one about stories, but changes in fannish interactions and changes in myself (maybe) have made me be much less public and much less vocal.

I also haven’t really felt like I’m actively part of a fandom since, probably, Stargate Atlantis or maybe Teen Wolf. I still read a lot of fic, but I’m also reading a lot of m/m and other romance. At the moment, I am about all things The Witcher (game, TV show, books, fanfic), but by the time this is published, I may have fallen for something else. Following the phrase of a dear (and now departed) old friend: I am a fannish butterfly!

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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2020-02-19 11:46:19 -0500

As you all know by now, February 15, 2020 was the sixth annual International Fanworks Day, which the OTW marked with a series of challenges and activities for fanworks consumers and creators in the preceding week and on the day itself. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everybody who participated through our social media channels, on our websites or in any other way, and to pick out some highlights of the celebrations. We saw many returning participants and plenty of newcomers to our IFD 2020 activities, and we are grateful and humbled by the growing response this celebration continues to receive.

So, what did we get up to?

Last month, we issued an #IFDrabble challenge with the prompt, ‘characters discovering fanworks about themselves’. We reblogged selected responses across our social media from February 8 - 15, but you can find many more at the tag we created for IFD 2020 on AO3.

Meanwhile, Fanlore celebrated IFD with their third annual Fanlore Challenge, posting daily editing challenges throughout the week leading up to February 15. Visit Fanlore’s IFD 2020 Challenge page to find out more about what they did, and stay up-to-date with Fanlore on their main page if you'd like to contribute to their ongoing editing work.

Next up, we held a Feedback Fest. Posting shortly before IFD, we asked fans to show some love for their favorite fanworks and creators by posting recs, leaving kudos, and droppings comments online. We also asked fans to respond to the question: ‘What’s your favourite fanwork trope?’ You can find the answers, along with a ton of exciting fanworks recs, in the #IFD2020 tag on Twitter and the #IFD2020 tag on Tumblr, too.

And finally, the OTW hosted our now-traditional chatroom games session round-the-clock on February 15. The live 29-hour party saw two new games introduced this year, Circle Stories and Don’t Get Me Started, to join our many existing favorites (find the rules to all of them in our ‘It’s IFD!’ post). Also new this year, AO3 International Fanworks Day is now its very own fandom! Thanks to our moderator Eliot from Policy & Abuse and Tag Wrangling, we have the content created by participants during the Games and Fan Chat available to be viewed under the pseud MODEliot on AO3. We’ve picked out two of the highlights to share with you guys below, and would like to say one final thank you to everybody who returned to hang out with us this year, as well as welcoming those of you who dropped in for the first time. The moderators had a blast and we can’t wait to be back again next year!

Chatroom highlights

From Poetry Round Robin, hosted by Izzy:

The library never really burned down
because all of the works were digitized
Instead the librarian went to town
Where her presence was by all greatly prized

She taught the villagers both small and large
To take their words and make them flower
Do what you please when you’re in charge
Because personal stories have the most power

The people took up keyboards, notebooks, pens
To spread the words of adventure
They shared their stories with their family and friends
And their stories no person could censure

So the digital library filled with poems and prose
With an ending that left readers on their toes.

From Circle Stories, hosted by C. Ryan Smith (find the end of the story on AO3)

That house is haunted, but not for the reason you probably think. Yes, it is haunted by what we call 'teenagers.' But these are not your average teenagers, no sir, they all have special abilities, they mostly use them to mess around though… Special abilities, to be able to transcend into the "spiritual" plane - we did say the house was haunted, didn't we?

These super powered teenagers also liked to help little old ladies cross the street, but invisible so no one knows it's them. They usually interacted with the spirits of little children and animals who left the mortal world too early. Giving them a place in their home, just to 'adopt' them in the end.

Each dia de los muertos there’s a huge line outside so they end up throwing a house party that invites the townspeople to come see their deceased relatives and pets.


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The OTW began receiving reports on Friday, February 14, about apps that are making available fanfic from AO3 without authorization. The first app is Fanfic Pocket Archive Library, which has been available on both the Apple and Google app stores. As far as the OTW can tell, this app provides an interface that allows users to access works on AO3, and it may not actually copy, store, or redistribute any data from AO3. This app has a premium option that allows users to access extra features of the app for a monthly fee; it also hosts ads. At the time of writing, it appears that this app has been removed from the Google Play store but remains available on the App Store.

The second app is actually not just one app, but a collection of them by a company called Woodsign j.d.o.o. The apps are available in the Apple app store. They are called Harry Potter Fan Fiction, P.J. Fan Fiction, K-POP Fan Fiction, Bulletproof Boys Scout / ARMY, 1D Fan Fiction, MCU Fan Fiction, Fantastic Beasts Fan Fiction, Sherlock Homes Fan Fiction, Slashfic, TWD Fan Fiction, and Real Person Fiction. These apps do appear to be redistributing fanworks. They also charge for access to many fanworks. We cannot say for sure that all works contained on these apps are being redistributed without permission, or that all of the works contained on these apps are from AO3, but user concerns and Tumblr discussion suggest that at least some are.

Below are some of the things we have told concerned users in responding to emails. We also highlight some of the steps users can take if they do not want their works on these (or other) apps or sites.

If you have further questions, please ask them here. That will make it easier for us to answer and will let more people benefit from the same information.

Can the OTW/AO3 get my work taken down from these apps?

The OTW does not own the copyright in the fanworks displayed on the Archive. When you post a work on the AO3, you give the Archive the right to display your work - that’s all. And that’s good! It means that when you post fanworks on AO3, you keep your copyrights. For that reason, the OTW cannot issue a copyright notice to apps on behalf of our users. Copyright owners, in this case affected fan authors, must do that for their own works. Although the OTW uses trademark law to ensure that app makers do not mislead users into thinking those apps are official OTW projects, we do not have any legal right to what you share on AO3. For that reason, we cannot get those works removed from other apps or sites.

As a fan author, do I even own the copyright in my fanworks?

Yes! As a fan author, you automatically own the copyright in your original expression. You don’t own any rights in elements of the canon you base your fanworks on, such as characters or settings, but you do own the rights in what you yourself have added to them. That means that people cannot copy and/or sell your fanworks without your permission.

What can I do if I do not want my works displayed on these apps?

Fan authors who find their works being distributed on apps without their permission can request that their works be removed. Most sites have takedown procedures (known as DMCA takedown procedures) that allow copyright owners, including fan authors, to request the removal of their works. Even if these particular apps do not have an official DMCA procedure, copyright owners can always use the contact information listed on the app’s description page to demand that their works be taken down from places they are not authorized. This means you can submit a notice containing the information below and ask the app maker to remove your works. As a matter of copyright law, sites or apps should comply with DMCA takedown notices and demands for removal.

What do I say in a DMCA takedown notice to get my works off an app I do not want them on?

If you want your works removed from one of the apps discussed (or anywhere else!), you can submit the information below in a takedown notice:

  • Your Name and/or Pseudonym as an e-signature
  • Link(s) to the unauthorized works (such as a link to the pdf, mobi, or hosting page) or other information sufficient to allow the site or app to identify the precise unauthorized works you want removed
  • Link(s) to an authorized version of your work (whether on AO3, Tumblr, or somewhere else)
  • An email address of the submitter (include it again even if it’s in the header)
  • This statement: “I have good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”
  • This statement: “The information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”

Finally, both the Google and Apple app stores have procedures for reporting apps that infringe copyright. They can be found at the following links:

App store:

Google Play store:


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2020-02-14 18:08:41 -0500

As you all know by now, February 15 is International Fanworks Day! This year, the OTW will be celebrating with our now-traditional chatroom games marathon. You can find details of all today's activities below, but be sure to check out our previous post for more information on the rest of our #IFD2020 celebrations.

About the IFD games session

The OTW’s Public Discussion chatroom and games is a 29-hour party from 23:30 UTC on 14 February that will go through until 04:00 UTC 16 February. The times listed below are all in UTC, but you can click the link to see the time in your own timezone. OTW staffers will be moderating the room and hosting a series of fandom-themed games for you to participate in! Check out the game descriptions below and click through to our public chatroom to join in the fun. Please note that these chatrooms will all be moderated in English

February 14th

23:30 – Circle Stories — Eliot (Abuse and Tag Wrangling)

February 15th

01:00 – Trivial Pursuit — Kirsten Korona (Board and Communications)

02:45 – That’s Life — Kirsten Korona (Board and Communications)

04:00 – Lyrics Round Robin — Pam Haas (Communications)

05:15 – Don’t Get Me Started — Pam Haas (Communications)

07:00 – Poetry Round Robin — Pokestine (Tag Wrangling)

08:15 – Trivial Pursuit — Pokestine (Tag Wrangling)

10:00 – That’s Life — C. Ryan Smith (Development & Membership)

11:30 – Circle Stories — C. Ryan Smith (Development & Membership)

13:00 – Don’t Get Me Started — Anhaita (Translation)

14:45 – 5 Things — Anhaita (Translation)

16:00 – Trivial Pursuit — Jess Hindes (Communications)

17:15 – That’s Life — Adi (Translation)

19:00 – Don’t Get Me Started — Chrome  (Tag Wrangling)

20:15 – 5 Things — Chrome  (Tag Wrangling)

22:00 – Poetry Round Robin — Izzy (Tag Wrangling and Policy & Abuse)

23:15 – Lyrics Round Robin — Izzy (Tag Wrangling and Policy & Abuse)

February 16th

01:00 — Circle Stories — Haley (Tag Wrangling)

03:00 — Countdown — Pam Haas (Communications)

You can join the chatroom here. To keep things manageable, the max capacity is capped at 50 people at any one time, so if you’re unable to get in for one event, do try another.

Details About the Games

5 Things

How to Play : During this game the host will name a topic and players in the room will call out examples from their favorite fandoms. This will repeat for at least 5 rounds. Be prepared to explain why your answer counts (maybe you’ll recruit someone new to your fandom!)

Don’t Get Me Started

How to Play : Prompts are posted by the moderator, and participants in the chat will type up responses as if they are going off on a rant about the given topic. There are no winners or losers, just ranting in solidarity with fellow fans (but remember to keep it PG!)


How to Play : The host has a list of 7 clues. After they type each clue into the chat room, anyone can guess what the answer is. If no one guesses, the host offers the next clue. The game will continue until someone has guessed the person, place or thing BUT the sooner someone guesses the answer, the more points they will get! After 3 rounds, the person with the most points wins.

Circle Stories

How to Play: The moderator posts a sentence or two to begin the story, and from there, participants take over. The first person to write another sentence or two to follow the last accepted response continues the story. It will be left up to the discretion of the moderator to choose which response to keep if there are multiple responses posted very close together. All the while, the moderator keeps track of the story as it progresses and periodically reposts the whole story for reference. Each responder must wait until at least two responses have been posted and accepted to take a new turn. The circle story goes as long as it needs to.

Lyrics Round Robin

How to Play : During this game, we’ll collectively write FANDOM lyrics to replace those of a familiar song. The host will choose the song and type out an alternate first two lines. Then those in the room will write the next lines until the song is finished.

Poetry Round Robin

How to Play : During this game, we’ll write a FANDOM poem. The host will choose a style (limerick, haiku, sonnet, or ghazal) and post the first line. Then those in the room will write the next lines until the poem is finished.

That’s Life

How to Play :  Participants will first name a character that they know well for each round. Every round will consist of two random questions posted by the moderator. You will then share how the character you chose for that round would answer the questions as if answering from their point of view. For each round, you will name a different character to answer the new questions. There will be roughly 5 minutes for you to come up with answers to each set of questions.

Trivial Pursuit

How to Play : Like most trivia games, the host will ask a question and the first person to answer correctly wins that round. Because we’re online and you’re free to do searches we’re going to add another factor, which is time — you must answer within 3 minutes. But you can call out your answer as soon as you think you know. If you have the correct answer, the host will type your name and award you a point. At the end of the game, whoever has gotten the most points will be named the winner!

We also want to hear from you about other celebrations taking place today. Leave us a comment here to tell us about what your fandom communities are hosting!


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Feedback Fest speech bubble with multilingual feedback phrases

Welcome to the International Fanworks Day Feedback Fest for 2020!

If you are visiting us here at the Organization for Transformative Works then it’s a safe bet that you, like us, love fanworks. This is your chance to celebrate some of your favorites. Here’s what to do:

Leave a comment below recommending at least three fanworks and saying something about why you love them. You might want to tell us the best three fanworks you’ve encountered this past year, or maybe link your recommendations with a theme, a trope or a ship. Or maybe you just want to tell us the first three fanworks that come to mind.

You can also make a recommendation post on social media and link it here, or tag it with #FeedbackFest for people to find. Remember that fan communities, newsletters, archives, and other resources are fanworks too, so there are many possibilities!

If you decide to check out some of the recommendations that you see, then be sure to leave comments, likes, kudos, or other feedback on the fanworks you are visiting so that you can spread the love.

So, let’s get to it. Jump into the comments section with your recommendations and show your favorite creators how much their fanworks mean to you!


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2020-02-10 08:59:20 -0500

In recent releases, our top priority has been to reduce Elasticsearch-related slowness. Along the way, we've fixed an eclectic selection of bugs related to skins, kudos, orphaning, embeds, and internationalization.

A special thank you to our new contributors, bird, Jen Rogers, and Z! Also to derenrich and ticking instant, who spotted two security issues!


  • Coders: Alix R, Ariana, bird, cosette, cyrilcee, derenrich, Elz, Enigel, james_, Jen Rogers, Nerine Luna Cyran, redsummernight, Sarken, Tal Hayon, ticking instant, Z
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, bingeling, cosette, james_, redsummernight, Sarken, ticking instant
  • Testers: C. Ryan Smith, captured_in_lspace, CJ Record, cosette, Frost The Fox, GoldenFalls, Lady Oscar, lydia-theda, MagnusIsMyRock, mumble, Nary, nimadge, james_, Rebecca Sentance, redsummernight, Sarken



  • [AO3-5832] - We added a new error page regarding our Elasticsearch-related slowness. (But our heroic sysadmins did a lot of work to make sure very few people would ever have the opportunity to be on the receiving end of that error!)
  • [AO3-5834] - We've made it so we can adjust the cache expiration in the work and bookmark controllers without a code deploy.
  • [AO3-5823] - To help lighten the load on our servers, we added rate limiting for searches (and pages powered by Elasticsearch, e.g. tag works pages).
  • [AO3-5841] - When we can't figure out the IP address of someone accessing the site, we use the site's internal IP address. Unfortunately, that meant some folks were getting rate limited when they shouldn't have been. We've made sure that won't happen.
  • [AO3-5848] - Rack::Attack -- our rate limiting tool -- does things in a certain order no matter what order the code is in. It's easy to be unaware of that, though, so we reordered our code to convey that to future coders.


  • [AO3-5184] - In certain versions of Safari, it wasn't possible to access the Advanced section of the skins form because the button toggling that section was missing. We've found it and put it back.
  • [AO3-4030] - For tag wranglers using the Reversi skin, some of the information on tag edit pages was unreadable. We've changed the text color to make it readable.
  • [AO3-4241] - In Reversi, it was difficult to read text you entered in the header search box if the box was currently selected. We've made it easier to read by changing the color.
  • [AO3-5796] - We've added two new media query options for skins: (prefers-color-scheme: dark) and (prefers-color-scheme: light). If your device supports it, you can use these options to create skins that are only applied when your device is set to dark or light mode.


  • [AO3-5806] - A long long time ago, we set up the tool our Translation team will be using to translate the Archive into other languages. This configuration no longer worked quite right, so we set it up again.
  • [AO3-5813] - Once we got our translation tool set up, we realized some of our email code needed tweaking to make the emails easier to translate... so we did that tweaking.
  • [AO3-5735] - We now automatically add HTML direction attributes to Arabic and Hebrew news posts, making text correctly flow right to left. Our translators no longer need to set them manually on every single post.


  • [AO3-5046] - If you wanted to orphan all the works by one of your pseuds, but one of those works happened to have more than one of your pseuds on it, one of two un-good things would happen, depending on when you encountered the bug: either you'd get a 500 error, or both of your pseuds would be removed from the work. We've fixed it so it doesn't error and only removes the pseud you specify.
  • [AO3-5854] - Previously, we didn't check that you owned the thing you were orphaning, so if you were clever and bad, you could've conceivably orphaned someone else's works. We check that now, so this should no longer be possible.


  • [AO3-5818] - We previously changed our referrer policy to limit information other sites could get if you followed a link there from a page on the Archive. Unfortunately, this caused some YouTube embeds to stop working, so we had to change the policy to something slightly more permissive. (If you're interested in the specifics, we're now using strict-origin-when-cross-origin instead of the previous same-origin.)
  • [AO3-5853] - It was possible to upload random HTML files to and embed them in works, so we have to specifically whitelist their media player.


  • [AO3-5844] - We added a new column to the kudos table that will allow us to store the user ID (rather than the default pseud ID) of the person who left kudos.
  • [AO3-5850] - We began storing user IDs in the aforementioned column when users leave new kudos.
  • [AO3-4934] - We increased test coverage of the kudos code (it's at 100% now, yay!) and fixed a bug that would occur in the unlikely event you had JavaScript disabled and were trying to leave kudos on a work the creator had deleted.

Buttons and text changes

  • [AO3-4991] - We've made things a bit more consistent by rearranging the buttons on series pages to better match the way buttons are ordered on work pages.
  • [AO3-5624] - Also on the "consistency is good" front, we made the order of the Reply, Delete, and Thread buttons on comments on the homepage match the order of the buttons in the comments section.
  • [AO3-5845] - Sometimes, particularly in Firefox and Chrome, the Twitter share button didn't show up on a work's or bookmark's share modal. We've made it more likely to show up.
  • [AO3-5738] - When you first create an AO3 account, you're taken to a page with some important information. We've updated the text to make that information a bit clearer.
  • [AO3-5113] - The error message you got when entering a different password and password confirmation (e.g. when creating an account) was a bit wrong. We've made it right.


  • [AO3-4194] - On the page for requesting invitations for friends, some of the form fields weren't quite up to accessibility standards. Now they are! (Unfortunately, you'll have to take our word for this: we had to turn off access to this page due to spammers.)
  • [AO3-5773] - If you bookmarked an external work with an ampersand (&) in the title, it would display as &. We've made it appear as a regular old & now.
  • [AO3-5362] - We've tweaked the position of the background image on the left side of the login page so it overlaps a bit less with the text on the right side.
  • [AO3-3847] - If you renamed a series, the old name would stick around on the work header and blurb. Now the new name will show up, as one would reasonably expect it to.
  • [AO3-5233] - When admins searched for users by multiple emails, the number of results would be off if users have emails with different capitalization. We fixed such numbers.

Behind-the-scenes miscellany

  • [AO3-5759] - We've added password protection to our staging site. It's better if search engines cannot see our works in the "Testing" fandom that just repeat the word "test" 500 times.
  • [AO3-5762] - We sped up our tests by only setting up search indexes for tests that use them.
  • [AO3-5817] - Automated tests for emails would fail if the emails included certain characters, e.g. ç. We've fixed it so the tests will pass.
  • [AO3-5838] - We improved automated test coverage of the bookmarks page because our testing volunteers found a bug our tests didn't pick up. (This is why manual testing is important!)
  • [AO3-5839] - We increased test coverage for pseuds.
  • [AO3-5840] - We updated the Rack gem to version 2.0.8.
  • [AO3-5836], [AO3-5847], [AO3-5849] - We shuffled some servers around, so we updated our deploy script to make sure new code goes to the right place.


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International Fanworks Day

The sixth annual International Fanworks Day will take place on February 15, 2020 and the OTW has many activities planned to mark the occasion, including some exciting new events as well as a few old favorites. Whoever you are and wherever you’re logging in from, the OTW cordially invites you to celebrate IFD with us!

Check out the post below to find out what we have on the menu for the days leading up to February 15.

1. IFDrabble: A few weeks ago, we put out a call for drabbles, drawbles and other short fanworks based on the prompt: “characters react to discovering fanworks they are in.” What if Aang and the gaang picked up some fanworks and started comparing who has more fans? Or what if Bucky Barnes got onto AO3 and learned of Steve Rogers’s plan to go back in time without bringing him along?

There is still time to create and post your response to the challenge, using the AO3 tag ‘International Fanworks Day 2020’ so that we can find your works. Vidders, artists, writers, podficcers, and all other creators are invited to contribute. On social media, use the #IFDrabble tag and who knows? We might signal boost your work. We will be reblogging, retweeting and reccing a selection of IFDrabbles from now until IFD.

2. Favorite Fanworks Tropes: This event is for fanworks creators and consumers and your response can be as long or short as you prefer. Here’s what to do: go onto social media or leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite fanworks tropes. Do you love fix-it fics? Soulmarks? Omegaverse or ABO? Maybe you can’t stop reading time-travel plots. Whatever the trope, tell us what it is and why you love it!

If you’re on social media, remember to tag your post with #IFD2020 and OTW social media moderators could signal boost your post on the official accounts.

But that’s not all. Maybe you have a particular fanwork that took this trope and made you fall in love with it. If so, bookmark it now and take a look at the next event below.

3. Feedback Fest: This one’s for the fanworks consumers! Feedback Fest is a chance to show your favorite fanworks some love, and to get some great recommendations from others. We will publish a Feedback Fest post on February 13th, explaining how you can participate and share your recs with others. In the meantime, keep an eye out for your favorite fanworks by bookmarking and saving URLs.

4. Fanlore Challenge: Fanlore is participating in IFD, too! Every day from February 10-16, Fanlore will post different challenges on their Tumblr, their Twitter, their Dreamwidth, and on Fanlore itself for all editors to participate in. How well do you know your fandom? It’s time to show off your knowledge and contribute to the Fanlore wiki!

5. Games and Fan Chat: On the big day itself, February 15th, the OTW will be hosting a chat in a Public Discussion chat room. Join us between 23:00 UTC February 14th (What time is that where I live?) and 04:00 UTC February 16th (What time is that where I live?) for word games, creation challenges, trivia, and the ever-present stream of chat with other fans! Places in the chat room are limited and last year, demand was high, but if you don’t get in the first time then please try again later! The chat room will be moderated in English by OTW volunteers. We will post a detailed games and activities schedule before the day itself.


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2020-02-05 17:02:57 -0500

Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

Are you a digital artist interested in the OTW's work? Are you fluent in a language other than English? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • Communications Graphics Volunteer - closing 12 February 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Translation Volunteer - closing 12 February 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.

Communications Graphics Volunteer

Are you a digital artist interested in the OTW's work? The OTW Communications committee is looking for graphic designers to create digital art for our news posts and other official documents. Communications is the main information distribution team for the OTW. We manage the OTW News blog and related social media accounts, and we assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. If you would like to join the OTW and help bring fandom news to the public, click through to learn more about the role and apply to join as a Communications Volunteer.

Applications are due 12 February 2020

Translation Volunteer

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!

Translation volunteers help make the OTW and its projects accessible to a wider global audience. We work on translating content by the OTW and its projects from English to other languages, such as site pages, news posts, AO3 FAQs and AO3 Support emails. (However, we do not translate fanworks.)

We really need volunteers who speak Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Filipino, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Marathi, Persian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Welsh—but help with other languages would be much appreciated. If you’re interested in starting a team for a language we don’t have yet, you’re very welcome to!

(Please note that our Catalan, Czech, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese-BR, Portuguese-PT, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish 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 12 February 2020

Apply at the volunteering page!

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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