What We Believe

Our Mission

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate.

The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue our mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom.

Our Vision

We envision a future in which all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative and are accepted as a legitimate creative activity. We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation and legal challenge. We preserve our fannish economy, values, and creative expression by protecting and nurturing our fellow fans, our work, our commentary, our history, and our identity while providing the broadest possible access to fannish activity for all fans.

Our Values

  1. We value transformative fanworks and the innovative communities from which they have arisen, including media, real person fiction, anime, comics, music, and vidding.
  2. We value our identity as a predominantly female community with a rich history of creativity and commentary.
  3. We value our volunteer-based infrastructure and the fannish gift economy that recognizes and celebrates worth in myriad and diverse activities.
  4. We value making fannish activities as accessible as possible to all those who wish to participate.
  5. We value infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We value all fans engaged in transformative work: fans of any race, gender, culture, sexual identity, or ability. We value the unhindered cross-pollination and exchange of fannish ideas and cultures while seeking to avoid the homogenization or centralization of fandom.

Our Goals

During our first seven years, the OTW has laid the groundwork for a vibrant and creative organization by:

  • Establishing the OTW as an IRS-recognized nonprofit organization.
  • Creating infrastructure for OTW by establishing a board and creating committees, soliciting membership and donations, forming alliances, and holding elections.
  • Encouraging community interaction and input via the OTW’s Web site and across the online and offline spaces where fans congregate.
  • Designing, programming, and launching the Archive of Our Own, a Web archive to host transformative fanworks.
  • Exploring ways to make fanworks as accessible as possible.
  • Establishing a legal advocacy project and forming alliances to defend fanworks from legal challenge.
  • Creating a fan wiki to preserve the history of transformative fanworks and the fandoms from which they have arisen.
  • Establishing a refereed academic journal to promote scholarship on fanworks and fan practices.
  • Developing a long-term plan for the organization.
  • Undertaking additional projects relevant to transformative fandom, such as the preservation of fan history and fanworks, building and maintaining infrastructure for use by fans, and sponsoring academic scholarship on fandom.