Celebrating OTW's 10 Years of History

25 Things to Know About the OTW

Many of you may be new to the OTW while a few of you have been following our progress since we launched in 2007. Either way, we hope there are things you’ve been discovering about us this month. As our next big anniversary won’t be for a while though, here are 25 things about our organization you can find out right now!

  1. Our Legal Advocacy team was the first OTW project to launch as they worked on incorporating us as a non-profit in 2007. The OTW’s website went live and the first OTW newsletter was posted on December 11, 2007.
  2. One of the OTW’s first donations came in August 2007 from Cory Doctorow, who wrote that December: “This is such a good idea. When Naomi [Novik, OTW co-founder] described it at the WorldCon at a panel that we were on together, I wrote her a check on the spot for $500 to fund the org. I hope she cashes it now that they’ve formally announced.”
  3. Our volunteer records go back to 2007. We have 6 volunteers who have been working with the OTW since then.
  4. Our first membership drive was held from March 1-18, 2008. We raised $11,142 from 396 donations. The drive was announced with LOLcats.
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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Naomi Novik 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.

As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we have a special retrospective Five Things this month. Today’s post is with Naomi Novik, one of the founders of the OTW, a past board member, and a current staffer with the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee. The following is an interview transcript which has been edited for length and clarity.

What was the first year of the OTW like? What do you remember most from it?

I don’t remember the high points as well, I find that over time what I remember are the problems. In the beginning there was a lot of work we had to do to reassure people about what we were trying to do, such as that they weren’t going to get into [legal] trouble, that there would be ways to give people control over their stories. The other piece that first year is that some people expected to see something 5 minutes after we formed! You know, where is the Archive? But it all takes time, there were a lot of growing pains you have when you’re putting things together from scratch that the OTW has been left with. But my philosophy is to do the thing if you have the momentum, and it’s better to have done something that was not perfect than to not have anything done at all.

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This Week in Fandom banner by Olivia Riley

This Week in Fandom, Volume 62

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, kudos to the stars and fans of CW shows, especially Supernatural, for raising over US$300,000 for victims of hurricane Harvey. Great work!


The biggest fandom event of the week–possibly of the year–is one many people never thought would happen. The author of the infamous Harry Potter fanfic My Immortal has been revealed. A couple weeks ago, there was a scandal involving a book called Handbook for Mortals appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. Some fans found the book to be so poorly written that they compared it to My Immortal, and things just kind of escalated from there.

There’s a very thorough account of what happened in a pair of articles by BuzzFeed: Article 1, and Article 2.

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