Celebrating the OTW’s 15th Anniversary

Today, the Organization for Transformative Works turns 15!

Since its foundation in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works has strived to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan culture, and it’s been an honor to do so through all of our projects for these last 15 years. Some of our major milestones over the last four years are shown below. For a look at more from our earlier days, visit the freshly-updated infographics on our website.

An infographic titled “A Brief History of the Organization for Transformative Works: Arrival Phase.” Under 2019 are the following milestones: In May, Open Doors completes its 50th archive import. In August, AO3 wins the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work. In October, Open Doors launches the Yahoo Group Rescue Project. In November, Fanlore reaches 50,000 published pages. Under 2020 are the following milestones: In January, the OTW celebrates the end of its first ever strategic plan. In December, AO3 reaches seven million posted works. Under 2021 are the following milestones: In January, Fanlore reaches one million edits. In March, TWC releases its 35th issue. In August, AO3 reaches four million registered users. In October, Open Doors completes its 75th archive import. Under 2022 are the following milestones: In March, AO3 reaches nine million posted works. In May, AO3 canonizes its 50,000th fandom tag. In August, Open Doors launches the AO3 Fanzine Scan Hosting Project.

We’re incredibly grateful to all of the fans, volunteers, and OTW members who have brought our projects to life and made this work possible. We look forward to continuing our mission in the years to come, and we hope you’ll follow us as we do so! You can track updates to our projects through our news posts, project websites, and social media channels.

In the meantime, we’d like to invite you to join us this month in celebrating our 15th anniversary! Here’s how you can get involved and have the chance to win some OTW swag:

Trivia Game

Answer questions about our organization’s history for a chance to win OTW goodies! Here’s how it works:

  1. Starting today, we’ll post a new trivia question about the OTW on Twitter each day for the next 15 days. To find the answers, you’ll need to explore the OTW’s project and news pages. We hope you’ll learn a little more about the OTW and how it works along the way!
  2. By 15:00 UTC on September 21 (what time is that for me?), please submit all 15 of your answers to our Communications Committee. (Put “OTW Trivia” in the subject line of your message.)
  3. Let us know in that message what name or pseudonym you’d prefer we use when we announce the winners.

Please do NOT post your answers publicly.

We’ll randomly select 10 winners from the list of people who correctly answer all 15 questions. If we do not receive enough correct responses to qualify for the prizes, we will include entries with 14 correct answers, or 13 correct answers, etc. until we have 10 winners.

Winners will be notified by email and have 72 hours to provide us with a mailing address for us to send their prize to. We will ship internationally, so everyone can participate. But if we do not hear back from you within that 3 day time frame, we will be randomly choosing another winner in your place. (Please check your spam folders!)

Check our Twitter account later today for the first question. Happy hunting!

Fanworks Challenge

If you’re a creator, you have another chance to win by joining us in creating 15-themed fanworks for the next 15 days! This can include any of the following:

  • 15-sentence fics
  • 15-minute fanart
  • 15-minute (or less) podfics
  • 15-item fanmixes
  • 15-second fanvids

Tag your fanworks OTW15 | OTW 15th Anniversary Fanwork Challenge on AO3 or #OTW15 on social media, and we just might feature one of them on our social media accounts! We will be reblogging, retweeting, and reccing a selection of 15th anniversary fanworks for the next 15 days. We’ll also randomly select 5 fanworks posted to AO3 using the tag OTW15 | OTW 15th Anniversary Fanwork Challenge to receive prizes! If you do not want to be considered for a prize, please say so in the author’s notes of your work on AO3.

Fanlore Stub September Challenge

Fanlore’s annual Stub September challenge runs September 12-25, and in honor of the OTW’s 15th anniversary, this year’s theme is birthday/anniversary celebrations! Anyone is welcome to create a Fanlore account and help create or edit “stubs” – empty or short Fanlore articles – to win merit badges that you can show on your Fanlore user page or anywhere else. If you have any questions about how to get started as an editor or want to chat with fellow editors during the challenge, check out the official Fanlore Discord server.

News Posts

Get ready for some special interviews in our Five Things and Guest Post series! This month, we’ll be interviewing OTW cofounder Francesca Coppa, as well as Professor of Film & Media Studies and slash fandom acafan Constance Penley. In these news posts, you’ll learn more about studies of women in fandom and the early days of the OTW.

Your participation in the OTW has shaped it at every stage of its 15-year journey, and we hope that you feel the same pride and excitement that we do in reaching this milestone. Please take the time to get involved with our celebrations and – to all of our participants – good luck!


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