Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

January 2020 Newsletter, Volume 142

I. INTERNATIONAL FANWORKS DAY

This coming February 15 will be our sixth annual celebration of International Fanworks Day! International Fanworks Day, or IFD, was first celebrated in 2015 to honor the anniversary of AO3 passing the 1 million fanworks milestone. We’re very excited to continue this tradition by celebrating the fanworks that we spotlight, share, and advocate for.

Communications announced the upcoming holiday with an IFDrabble/IFDrawble challenge: Characters react to discovering fanworks they are in. Translation has been hard at work translating this and upcoming posts about IFD into a whopping 29 languages. Meanwhile, Fanlore is preparing to launch their IFD Fanlore Challenge in conjunction with IFD as their first event of the year. Stay tuned for more information about IFD festivities coming soon!

Read More

Celebrate the End of our Three-Year Strategic Plan

Celebrate the End of our Three-Year Strategic Plan!

In January of 2017, the OTW embarked on its first-ever strategic plan. The purpose of a strategic plan is to guide the overall direction of the organization: to define what we want to achieve and how we want to pursue it. A strategic plan is a staple of nonprofits and for-profit businesses alike, and for the OTW it was especially important as we moved from being a small start-up to a growing organization with a lot of moving parts and a Hugo Award-winning project.

We have now made it three full years, working really hard to make this strategic plan a success. As we close out this plan and look forward to the future, we would like to share with you some highlights of what this strategic plan has helped the OTW accomplish.

What did the OTW’s first Strategic Plan do for the organization?

For individual committees:

All (or almost all) OTW committees now know and have documented:

  • What the committee’s role is within the organization (purview statements)
  • What the expectations are for their chair, and how to train a new chair (chair/lead position descriptions and training plans)
  • How to get and train new staff (recruitment plans)
  • How to figure out and communicate how much money they need per year (budgets)
  • What their goals are for the near future and how they intend to accomplish them (roadmaps)
  • What the regular, ongoing work of their committee is and how to accomplish it (internal wiki pages)

For the Board:

The strategic plan has supported the Board in:

  • Clarifying the duties of a Board member and Board Officer (purview and roles documentation)
  • Laying out how to introduce new Board members to the information they need (Board training plan)
  • Discussing the future of the OTW’s leadership structure, and creating some proposals for how to improve it (Research governance options and new operations model plan)

For the whole organization:

The strategic plan has supported the OTW as a whole in creating:

  • Annual budgets
  • Clear financial policies that are in line with best practices for nonprofits
  • Goals for how much money we should have in reserve, and what we want our fundraising drives to accomplish
  • A process that our projects can use to set goals for the future and document their accomplishments
  • A report on volunteer opinions on OTW-wide meetups, currently under discussion by the Board

Thank You!

OTW volunteers all worked together on these goals, and our work is made possible by the donations and support of our members and users.

A big thank you to all OTW volunteers and stakeholders!

This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 133

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we get started, did you see io9‘s interview with The Witcher creator Andrzej Sapkowski? It’s chock-full of entertaining content, perhaps the most relatable of which is Sapkowski’s acknowledgment that he wasn’t very involved in the development of the Netflix show because ‘I do not like working too hard or too long’. We feel you, buddy. Did you enjoy the interview? Let us know in the comments!


And now: those based in the UK, as is your friendly OTW comms blogger, may feel that they’ve heard quite enough about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to leave the royal family. On the other hand, there’s a fandom perspective on everything. That’s the tack which journalist Eleanor Peake took this week in an article for the New Statesman, which explores the ways that Meghan and Harry’s departure from the British royal family has impacted “royal-watchers” online. Peake interviews Reese, who runs a royal family podcast, explores fan communities on Tumblr and Facebook, and begins to ask some interesting questions about the relationship between celebrity fandom and what’s essentially RPF. The article also notes that responses to Meghan (both before and after the announcement of the split) are often underpinned by ‘racist’ commentary that takes a toll on black and mixed-race fans. ‘We’ve just been telling each other to take breaks and protect our mental health,’ Reese says. Read More