OTW Signal, August 2023

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

Recently there have been questions circulating about fanwork creation and whether it impacts strike efforts by the Writer’s Guild of America. OTW Legal found the discussion in some articles to be well done and echoing their own advice. They added:

Union members and those who hope to be union members must avoid promoting projects from struck companies—that is, companies that are members of the AMPTP. (Promoting projects from other companies, like comics, is completely fine; actors and writers will be at San Diego Comic Con promoting their comics projects, but no one will be there promoting projects from struck companies; and actors and writers who would usually attend the con as fans are instead going to be at home doing shifts on the picket lines, which is expected of them.)

If they aren’t union members and don’t hope to be, there is no reason to avoid cosplay or creating fanworks, but they can support the strike by incorporating pro-strike/pro-union messages into their fanworks and cosplays.


Syosset Public Library’s Turn The Page Podcast interviewed OTW volunteer Claudia Rebaza about fanfiction and OTW projects. Finding out about everything the OTW does surprised the hosts.

First of all, that we’re still around 15 years later is not a small thing…when you’re talking about an all-donor, all-volunteer organization. And we have like over 900 volunteers that work for us…and we have people who are in every timezone across the globe who are volunteers for us…so we’re also this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week organization. The Archive is well known because it’s our largest site and it was also…the initial project conceived of…but the other projects do a lot. (23:00)

Claudia discussed the significance of Fanlore’s focus compared to that of most fandom wikis, including its glossary. “So if you run across a term you’ve never heard of before, you go to Fanlore and look it up. Or hopefully, you go to Fanlore and add a definition if it’s not already there.”

One of the hosts later mentioned becoming distracted by all the fascinating entries at Fanlore. “I both love and hate you for talking about the glossary. I’ve just been going through the tropes…It’s very helpful, listeners it is very lengthy, and you will now know everything.”

OTW Tips

Want to help the OTW without having to volunteer? Fanlore is always in need of new editors to contribute their fandom knowledge. It’s a great way to participate in the organization’s efforts to preserve fannish history and is open to everyone!

Wiki editing can seem a bit daunting at first but, thanks to our visual editor, you don’t have to learn any complex editing syntax. It’s as easy as editing a Word document! If you’re not sure where to start, visit our new visitor portal to get many helpful tips and documentation on how the site works.

If you’re struggling or need some advice, you can visit our FAQ or join our Discord server where experienced editors will be happy to answer any question you might have.


We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or news story you think we should know about, send us a link. We are looking for content in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in an OTW post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Signal
  1. AA commented:

    Will OTW Legal be making any posts about KOSA and its potential negative impact on fanwork and the AO3, at any point in the future?

  2. e commented:

    nope

  3. Lola commented:

    Will OTW be commenting on #stopOTWracism?