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Published:
2018-01-19 11:36:40 -0500
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. As part of our participation in Copyright Week, today's post is with Betsy Rosenblatt, who volunteers as Chair of our Legal Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As chair of the Legal Committee, I have a dual role. Part of my work focuses on legal advocacy, education, and other interactions with the outside world. I help guide the advocacy and education missions of the organization by setting advocacy priorities, writing governmental submissions and informational posts, answering fan questions about law & fanworks, coordinating with allies, responding when the OTW’s projects face legal challenge, and being a representative of the organization in advocacy settings, academic settings, and fandom settings.

The other part focuses on internal work within the OTW -— helping other committees with legal questions and advising the organization on internal legal matters, much the way a legal department of a company would advise the company.

I don’t do any of these things alone, of course -— the legal team is full of wonderful, smart, hard-working experts and we work closely together on each of these tasks.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical week! Most weeks involve answering fan queries, responding to questions from other OTW committees, and monitoring legal developments. I also participate in frequent phone conferences with allied organizations to talk about current legal issues and projects.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of variation! Sometimes we’re researching and drafting submissions to governmental organizations or preparing for hearings; sometimes we’re helping review contracts and terms of service; sometimes we’re writing about developments in the law; sometimes we’re doing legal research to help the OTW make legal decisions. We’re always dealing with new things along with our steady maintenance work.

What would the world look like if there was no longer any need for the OTW's Legal Advocacy project?

Utopia? Actually, I’m not sure that such a world could exist. Although there are lots of specific challenges that we face now around the world, the OTW’s legal advocacy project isn’t only about fixing particular problems—it’s about building and maintaining a delicate balance in a dynamic world. As technologies for creation and distribution of media and fanworks continue to grow and change, there will always be new challenges for fans.

I would love to see a world in which noncommercial fanwork creation and distribution were protected from legal challenge and exploitation, and fanworks were readily available to all -— that’s the sort of world we’re working toward —- but law and society are constantly changing each other, so legal advocacy for important causes will always be necessary.

What's the most rewarding thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Feeling like I -— and more importantly, fans -— have a voice in law and policy.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I’m an old-school Sherlockian, which means I am involved with (pre-Internet, oh my!) organizations like the Baker Street Irregulars and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. I attend Sherlockian events and write about the Sherlock Holmes canon in the style of the "Great Game."

I also blog about TV. And I go to cons -— I love speaking on panels, working at booths, and walking the floor at San Diego Comic Con. And really, I’ve so integrated fandom into my life as a professor and scholar that it seems like most of what I do is just a little bit fannish!


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Artifact Storage Room 3 banner

Artifact Storage Room 3, a Sentinel fanfiction and fanart archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

For a variety of reasons, the Artifact Storage Room 3 Sentinel Fanfiction Archive will be closing its door for the last time. Open Doors will be working with Elaine and Mab to import Artifact Storage Room 3 into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fanfiction and fanart currently in the Artifact Storage Room 3 will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Artifact Storage Room 3 to the AO3 after February.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Artifact Storage Room 3?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Open Doors will then set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Artifact Storage Room 3 pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Artifact Storage Room 3 account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Artifact Storage Room 3 mods to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Artifact Storage Room 3 on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Artifact Storage Room 3! The moderators would also like to thank those of you who have supported Artifact Storage Room 3 with your fanfic and wish you well for the future.

- The Open Doors team, Elaine and Mab

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International Fanworks Day

International Fanworks Day is February 15, 2018. The OTW is making plans to celebrate, but we also want to know what you will be doing!

What is International Fanworks Day?

A day to promote fan creativity in all of its forms, all over the world. In text, image, audio, or multimedia, whatever their nation or language of origin, we use fanworks to express love for our fandoms and forge our own communities and traditions. On International Fanworks Day (IFD), we want fans everywhere to show how important fanworks are to them.

Tell Us What Fanworks Mean to You

We will be announcing OTW-sponsored activities next month, but in the meantime we'd like to hear your plans for celebrating. We'd also like you to tell us what fanworks mean to you. Do one of the following by January 31:

  • Hashtag your thoughts with #WhatFanworksMeantoMe on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, and add a hashtag for your country if you like!
  • Send longer essays (up to 350 words) to Communications through our contact form

We will be selecting up to six submissions for publication on OTW News on February 5 as part of our lead-up to International Fanworks Day. When submitting, please include the following:

  1. How you would like your name/pseudonym listed
  2. What country you call home

Submissions are welcome in all languages, so start sharing your fanworks love!


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2018-01-10 12:34:55 -0500
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OTW Recruitment banner by Erin

Do you like organising and working in teams? Or do you have an interest in new media and networking? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting for Tag Wranglers, Volunteer Managers and Media Outreach personnel!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Committee Staff - Media Outreach Staffers
  • Tag Wrangling Committee Volunteers
  • Translation Committee Staff - Volunteer Managers

All roles will close on the 17th of January. We have included more information on each role below.

Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our e-mail address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.


Communications Committee Staff - Media Outreach Staffers

Do you have an interest in new media and a knack for networking? Communications is looking for a media outreach staffer!

Communications staffers are responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW.

The Media Outreach group is responsible for various tasks and projects related to public relations and publicity. Experience with public relations is ideal but not required.

Applications are due 17th of January 2018


Tag Wrangling volunteers

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need.

Applications are due 17th of January 2018


Translation Committee Staff - Volunteer Managers

Do you enjoy teamwork, organizing, writing documentation and working with people? if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We're currently looking for Translation Committee Volunteer Managers. Translation committee volunteer managers coordinate localization efforts across the OTW: the translation of site pages, news posts, Archive FAQs, AO3 Support tickets, and any inquiry that reaches a committee in languages they can’t translate themselves.

While translators do the actual text translation and editing, volunteer managers help them by keeping track of priorities, deadlines and pending tasks; assigning work; talking and working with other committees to arrange tools for the translators; uploading translated documents; writing training and procedures documentation; and many other tasks involved in managing a wide, diverse and very active volunteer pool.

Applications are due 17th of January 2018


Apply at the volunteering page!

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TER/MA header

TER/MA, an X-Files slash fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

TER/MA, short for Truly Erotic Ratboy / Mulder Association, was a popular early archive for fanfiction for the slash pairing of Mulder/Krycek. It's moving to the Archive of Our Own so that it can be available to the widest possible audience for the longest possible time, no longer reliant solely on one person to maintain the server and archive website.

Open Doors will be working with the moderator, alice ttlg, to import TER/MA into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own.

We will begin importing works from TER/MA to the AO3 after January.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on TER/MA?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your TER/MA pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your TER/MA account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the TER/MA mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of TER/MA on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve TER/MA!

- The Open Doors team and alice ttlg

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As people get ready to celebrate the end of 2017 in one way or another, we'd like to thank our users for their patience and supportive comments as we navigated downtimes, spam problems, and bumpy infrastructure upgrades together. We accomplished a lot of what we had hoped to tackle this year, and added a lot more to the to-do list for next year. Thanks for sticking with us!

As you might know, we've had to disable invite requests for existing users (due to abuse by spammers) and decrease the number of invites we automatically send out from our queue (ditto). As a result, people have had to wait to create an AO3 account for longer than we'd like. So, for the holidays, we're giving 1 shareable invite to every existing account that:

  • currently doesn't have any invites, and
  • is older than half a year, and
  • has left at least 10 comments, or posted at least 1 work

(Sorry, we had to ensure we don't accidentally let the spammers invite all their spammer friends, so some restrictions apply.)

Check out our FAQ (available in a whole lot of languages) to read up on how to send an invite. You can either email the invite code, or copy-paste the code to share it with people through other means. In that case, our FAQ contains some information on how to use an invite code to create an account.

Happy gifting!

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All Things Rat header

All Things Rat, an archive focused on the X-Files character Alex Krycek, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

All Things Rat is an archive which includes fanfiction about Alex Krycek, a character from the X-FIles. The fanfiction on All Things Rat is moving to AO3 so that it can be available to the widest possible audience for the longest possible time, no longer reliant solely on one person to maintain the server and archive website.

Open Doors will be working with the moderator, alice ttlg, to import the fanfiction on All Things Rat into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. We will begin importing works from All Things Rat to the AO3 after January.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on All Things Rat?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your All Things Rat pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your All Things Rat account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the All Things Rat mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of All Things Rat on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve All Things Rat!

- The Open Doors team and alice ttlg

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Published:
2017-12-15 11:33:43 -0500
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Mandy Gooch, who volunteers for the Strategic Planning Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As a Strategic Planning (SP) committee member, I am involved in helping to grow and develop the OTW as an organization through implementation of its strategic planning goals. We do this work so that the OTW can keep focused on particular things we want to have happen in the future, and so that we'll have the guidelines and tools we need to help that happen.

Some of the ways we'll do this is to make sure volunteers understand their roles and how to do them, to make sure our board and the leaders of our committees can hand their roles on to others when they need to change their positions or move on, and to make it as easy and clear as possible to do the different tasks that the OTW, as a non-profit, needs to do to be accountable to its users and supporters. My committee doesn't come up with these plans so much as it helps all the different parts of the OTW come up with them. We help them decide what's truly important for both their committee and the OTW as a whole, and then help make sure that progress is getting made by all parts of the organization since some groups are farther along in some details than others. Because Strategic Planning's mission is about the future, we work most closely with the Board and the chairs of the OTW committees who will guide us there, and help them think about what's coming when they're usually busy dealing with today's problems.

I am also a Tag Wrangling volunteer, which is where I get to dabble in the fandom side of things a bit more. It's a lot of fun and is a way that I can be more connected to fandom without actually creating fanworks. It's also a really great way to find new authors in AO3, which is fantastic on the one hand...and also dangerous on the other since my To Read list keeps growing and growing!

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I typically put in a few hours each week for Strategic Planning -- between 3 to 5 hours depending on what is happening in the committee. I usually meet for two hours each week with everyone in the committee to keep up-to-date on our current projects and discuss future goals. Right now SP Staffers are very involved in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. This involves at least two SP committee members signing up to be implementation monitors during a month; we call ourselves ImpMons (yep, just like the Digimon). As an ImpMon I am usually communicating with other committees about upcoming goals, tracking their progress, assisting committees in understanding a goal or meeting a deadline, and updating Board about the OTW's overall progress. ImpMons also host Open Office Hours for our staff/volunteers to attend each month in our internal chat channel. It is a great way for committees to learn more about upcoming or current goals and to get feedback.

Outside of ImpMon duties, my week may include meetings for projects the Strategic Planning committee might be working on -- we have to meet the goals of the Strategic Plan, too, so we work on our committee's goals at the same time as monitoring implementation. It might sound like a lot of meetings, but honestly it flies by since the work is rewarding and my other Strategic Planning staff are so much fun to work with on projects!

I also try to fit in a few hours each week for wrangling tags in my fandoms and working on a wrangling project for MCU.

January will mark the one-year anniversary of the Strategic Plan. What will that mean for the OTW?

I think it means we've hit a great milestone and made some real strides into completing our Strategic Plan. I'm so excited to see our one year mark coming up! The OTW is moving forward and growing even stronger as an organization and this is thanks to all of the hard work every committee has put into completing their goals.

I honestly have to say that when I first started in the Strategic Planning committee about 2.5 years ago, I was pretty intimidated when thinking about the implementation process for this plan. However, that was newbie!me being nervous. Working with everyone on this has been a great adventure and I've learned so much about strategic planning, volunteering, and working in an international organization. Everyone here is so dedicated and passionate about what they do in the OTW and it is really inspiring to see that level of commitment! Personally, I think reaching one year has been a great time to reflect on where we were, where we are, and where we are going. I am very glad I can take part in all of this.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Meeting new people and learning more about what everyone does in the OTW. It takes me a little while to open up in a group and I think volunteering for the OTW has really helped me grow in that area. I've made some great friends in my time here. It's also really interesting to learn about each committee and how they contribute to the organization. Strategic Planning has a very different process compared to, say, Tag Wrangling or Systems. Every committee contributes a lot to the functionality of the OTW and understanding how everyone works together has not only been important as an SP volunteer, but also as someone who appreciates and strives for collaboration.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I read a lot of fanfiction in my spare time and years ago I used to write a little here and there. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or motivation to write fanfiction right now, so I consume a lot to make up for it. I also enjoy conventions and cosplay. Creating costumes has been a passion since I was a kid and I really enjoy making a costume and interacting with other fans at conventions.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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