OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Catherine Coker

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Cait Coker is a genre historian with a background in fan history, women’s writing and publishing, and print history. Her essays have appeared in The Journal of Fandom Studies and The Seventeenth Century, among others. Today, Catherine talks about the issues raised in her Transformative Works and Cultures article titled “The margins of print? Fan fiction as book history.”

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I was a teenager back in the 1990s when the Internet was becoming more widely available, and I came across a book on sale at Walmart (I was a kid in a small town, what can I say?) called Net Trek, which was a guide to Star Trek sites and listservs online….with a whole chapter dedicated to fan fiction (and even a little bit about K/S slash!). A few months later I got my first computer (and the Internet) and immediately started looking for fan fiction for all of my favorite shows, and soon after started writing stories myself. It was all downhill from there!

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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.
  5. (more…)