Announcing International Fanworks Day

AO3 logo wearing a party hat amidst confetti with text of '1 Million Celebration'

Now that our milestone weekend has ended, we’re thinking of plans for 2015. Specifically, next February 15th, we’d like to hold an International Fanworks Day.

Why do we need a special day?

Because fanworks are awesome! That’s why fans, the AO3, and many other archives around the web have ended up with hard drives full of fanworks and thousands to millions of users. Lots of people want to create them and even more want to access and save them. And like other communities that celebrate their special traditions, a specific date for celebrating fanworks speaks to their importance in our lives.

Because fanworks are international

Every part of the world creates fanworks, both about their own stories and those which have crossed national and language borders. Fanworks belong to everyone, and a fanworks day would be a great time to have them shared with someone new.

Because fanworks don’t all look the same

Text, audio, multimedia, physical or digital, fanworks exist in all sorts of formats. Whatever time period they were created in, all of them should be discovered by someone who will love them.

Because someone is looking for them

Maybe someone’s new to a fandom and wants to know where the goodies are. Maybe someone’s never seen a fanwork before and wants to learn more about them. Maybe someone’s been away from fandom for a while and wants to know where to go to get caught up. International Fanworks Day is a great opportunity to rec your favorite works to someone new, and to celebrate the reccers and rec communities for the work they do year-round.

Because fanworks are valuable and ought to be preserved

A sad moment for any fan is trying to access a fanwork they’ve enjoyed only to discover it’s suffered a takedown, has gone offline, or has otherwise become unavailable. The OTW wants to put the issue of fanwork preservation out into public discussion, whether it’s to remedy the legal problems fans may suffer when they try to share their work, or by creating safe spaces where fanworks can be housed when they’re at-risk.

So how do we celebrate it?

Any way you want. Fans are the most creative people around and everyone enjoys fanworks for their own reasons. For example:

  • Fan 1 may make it a day of activism, reaching out to legislators or taking part in an organization’s campaign for the public’s right to remix
  • Fan 2 may make it a day of renewal, dusting off a WIP that was put aside when things got busy
  • Fan 3 may make it a day of reflection, writing meta about what fanworks mean to them
  • Fan 4 may make it a day of sharing, posting recs to their favorite works for others
  • Fan 5 may make it a day of traditions, organizing a Fanworks Day challenge
  • So tell us how you’ll plan to celebrate!

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