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2021-02-27 10:48:47 -0500

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 Koteneko, who volunteers with the Translation Committee.

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

Being a translator for the Ukranian team, I make the OTW and all its projects easier to access for non-English speakers, so that everyone can know about transformative works, their legal status, etc. It encourages people to create fanworks by spreading knowledge about their legitimate nature.

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

What does the word "typical" even mean? XD My daily life makes it nearly impossible to create some stable schedule, but I try to use every bit of my free time efficiently. Sometimes (seldom, but still) I can do translation even on my way to the uni, for example. I'm trying not to miss any deadlines (although I don't always succeed), so mostly I work on tasks either on the same day I receive them or on Fridays and weekends.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I have been a huge fan of fanworks for almost five years now, and it all started from fanfiction. I was really into one particular fandom at that time. I would read tons of fics in it in my second native language, and one day it simply wasn't enough. I've loved English (and studied it as a foreign language) for 13 years, so I thought why not find something in English? That's how I discovered AO3. At first I was just a reader, then I found some works, which were too awesome just to keep for myself, so I decided to share them with someone else by translating them!

I had been involved in fantranslation for about two years, when I saw a post about recruiting volunteers. So I got curious and decided to help make the Archive of Our Own easier for non-English-speaking users (I didn't know much about all the other OTW projects back then). Fun fact: originally I wanted to become a translator for my second native language, but that team was full, so I thought why not try to create a team for my first native language! The more I contemplated this idea, the more I grew to like it, because even though fan culture is popular in my country, it's not very common in my native language. Hopefully, what we are doing in our team will change the situation at least slightly.

Is there anything you've worked on that you found challenging or memorable?

Some documents I've translated were quite challenging due to the complexity of language -- I'm not a big expert on financial terms, for instance. But if I were to talk about one particular example, that would be the translation-specific Cheatsheet. Each team has a list of the most common or important terms we come across, which have to have consistent translation (for example, one should translate "OTW" in the same way everywhere). Here I was, a newbie to the OTW AND some of its projects, and some terms from the cheatsheet were unfamiliar and so confusing for me! I was the first one on the team, which made it even more challenging.

Thankfully, I had some help from other teams' members, but I'll never forget that experience! (And it makes me even more grateful for my teammates and our two-beta system now ❤)

What fannish things do you like to do?

Oh, I love being involved with different fannish activities! I enjoy reading fanfics (and translating them; unfortunately, I haven't written anything in a while... ehh, I loved writing some time ago; I wish I could resurrect my inspiration somehow) and comics (I can only admire them, I'm terrible at drawing). I have also tried creating some fan merchandise (not for selling, just for myself)! And of course I'm always exploring new fandoms or re-exploring old ones (when I have free time, which is nearly a non-existent thing at this point, but still).

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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Spotlight Open Doors header

FrodoHealers, a Lord of the Rings fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

As a result of the Yahoo! Groups move away from maintaining archives of emailed messages, works posted to FrodoHealers have been saved and are being shared so these stories aren't lost.

Open Doors will be working with Ancalime8301 to import FrodoHealers into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own.

We will begin importing works from FrodoHealers to the AO3 after February.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on FrodoHealers?

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 FrodoHealers 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 FrodoHealers 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 FrodoHealers 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, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of FrodoHealers 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 FrodoHealers!

- The Open Doors team and Ancalime8301


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2021-02-19 20:04:10 -0500

International Fanworks Day

That's right: International Fanworks Day is over for another year, and we at the Organization for Transformative Works want to thank everybody who participated in our scheduled events.

This year we chose to focus on lesser-known fandoms, characters, pairings and fanworks. We're grateful for everybody who created new works on this theme and posted them on social media under the #IFDChallenge2021 hashtag, or on Archive of Our Own using our International Fanworks Day 2021 tag. Make sure to go and check out everyone's creations: you might find a new fandom, encounter a new pairing or be introduced to a character you've never considered before.

In the days before IFD we hosted a Feedback Fest, asking fans to recommend their favourite works on the 'lesser-known' theme. Thank you to everybody for your suggestions and ideas! We hope all the fanwork creators are feeling the love.

Thank you, too, to everybody who participated in our chatroom games marathon, which ran for 30 hours across February 15 (to allow for the many time zones that the OTW's users inhabit!). We hosted this on Discord for the first time in 2021, but although the venue was new, the enthusiasm and creativity of the users who joined in was very familiar. Our volunteer moderators had a great time hosting you. We're also glad to report that as promised, the results of our Lyrics Round Robin sessions have been immortalised on the IFD AO3 account.

If you didn't manage to participate in any of the above events, don't worry! The last event of IFD is still running. Fanlore's 2021 editing challenge will end on February 21. You still have a chance to earn a shiny 80s-themed virtual badge!


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2021-02-17 12:18:29 -0500

OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Are you an awesome beta or a writer with an eye for technical details? Are you a digital artist interested in the OTW’s work? Would you like to assist AO3 users by resolving complaints? Do you have experience with organizational governance? Can you translate from another language? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • AO3 Documentation Staff - closing 24 February 2021 at 23:59 UTC or after 80 applications
  • Communications Graphics Volunteers - closing 24 February 2021 at 23:59 UTC or after 40 applications
  • Policy & Abuse Staff - closing 24 February 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Strategic Planning Staff - closing 24 February 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Translation Volunteers - closing 24 February 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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 email 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.

AO3 Documentation Staff

Do you enjoy helping others learn about AO3? Are you an awesome beta, or a writer with an eye for technical details? If so, then please consider joining Docs!

AO3 Documentation is the committee that writes and updates AO3 FAQs, tutorials, and more. We’re looking for people who love the Archive of Our Own and who have experience relevant to writing and proofreading user help documentation. If that sounds like you, then please follow the link for more information and apply today!

Applications are due 24 February 2021

Communications Graphics Volunteers

Are you a digital artist interested in the OTW's work? The OTW Communications committee is looking for graphic designers to create digital art for our news posts and other official documents. Communications is the main information distribution team for the OTW. We manage the OTW News blog and related social media accounts, and we assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. If you would like to join the OTW and help bring fandom news to the public, click through to learn more about the role and apply to join as a Communications Volunteer.

Applications are due 24 February 2021

Policy & Abuse Staff

The AO3 Policy & Abuse Committee is dedicated to helping users deal with the various situations that may arise. We also handle any complaints that come in about content uploaded to the Archive of Our Own. The team determines if complaints are about legitimate violations of the Terms of Service, and what to do about them if they are; our major goals are to adhere to the TOS, to make our reasoning and processes as clear and transparent as possible, and to keep every individual case completely confidential. We work closely with other AO3 related committees such as Support and Content.

We are seeking people who are self-motivated, are patient in rephrasing explanations, can make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it's needed. Staffers need to be able to handle complex and sometimes-disturbing content, and must be able to commit a sufficient amount of time to the team on a regular basis.

Policy & Abuse staffers are required to spend at least 10-15 hours a week handling committee work, though it often tends to be more. Please be sure you can handle the workload before applying.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role.

Applications are due 24 February 2021

Strategic Planning Staff

The Strategic Planning Committee is recruiting for new staff members! We are a close-knit and collaborative committee of people who are tasked with researching, developing, and supporting the implementation of the strategic plan. We are looking for organized people well-versed in writing and social science research methods, with knowledge of or a background in organizational change processes and/or nonprofit governance. Knowledge of agile project management, surveying, and interviewing are all pluses, but not requirements. We welcome all perspectives and are actively interested in people with diverse views on fandom and the OTW!

Applications are due 24 February 2021

Translation Volunteer

If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, 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!

Translation volunteers help make the OTW and its projects accessible to a wider global audience. We work on translating content by the OTW and its projects from English to other languages, such as site pages, news posts, AO3 FAQs and AO3 Support emails. (However, we do not translate fanworks.)

We really need volunteers who speak Afrikaans, Bengali, Bulgarian, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Persian, Sinhala, Slovenian, Thai, Ukrainian and Welsh—but help with other languages would be much appreciated. If you're interested in starting a team for a language we don't have yet, you're very welcome to!

(Please note that our Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese-BR, Portuguese-PT, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process.

More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page

Applications are due 24 February 2021

Apply at the volunteering page!


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2021-02-14 16:04:20 -0500

OTW Chat

Yes, it's everybody's favourite day of the year: International Fanworks Day! As is now traditional every February 15, the OTW will be celebrating with a chatroom games marathon, hosted on Discord. You will find all the details below, but be sure to check out our previous post for details of the rest of our #IFD2021 celebrations.

About the IFD games session

The OTW’s chatroom games session is a 30-hour party which lasts from 21.00 UTC on 14 February until 03.00 UTC on 16 February. The times listed below are in UTC, but you can click the link to find the time in your own timezone.

The games will be hosted on our dedicated Discord channel and moderated by OTW staffers throughout the day. Every hour you will be able to participate in a different fandom-themed game! The timetable and game descriptions are given below; if you want to join in, you'll find the Discord link at the top of our Linktree page. Please note that we will be staggering invites to keep numbers manageable; if you can't get in on your first attempt, please give it a little while and have another go later. The games will be played and moderated in English.

14th Feb

21.00-22.00 - Trivia - hosted by Izzy

22.00-23.00 - 5 Things - hosted by Izzy

23.00-00.00 - 20 Questions - hosted by Izzy

15th Feb

00.00-01.00 - Lyrics Round Robin - hosted by Irina

01.00-02.00 - That's Life - hosted by Irina

02.00-03.00 - Scattergories - hosted by Irina

03.00-04.00 - Trivia - hosted by Julie

04.00-05.00 - 5 Things - hosted by Julie

05.00-06.00 - 20 Questions - hosted by Julie

06.00-07.00 - Lyrics Round Robin - hosted by Chrome

07.00-08.00 - That's Life - hosted by Chrome

08.00-09.00 - Scattergories - hosted by Chrome

09.00-10.00 - Trivia - hosted by Papernote

10.00-11.00 - 5 Things - hosted by Papernote

11.00-12.00 - 20 Questions - hosted by Papernote

12.00-13.00 - Lyrics Round Robin - hosted by C Ryan Smith

13.00-14.00 - That's Life - hosted by Jonny H

14.00-15.00 - Scattergories - hosted by solovei

15.00-16.00 - Trivia - hosted by Claudia R

16.00-17.00 - 5 Things - hosted by Claudia R

17.00-18.00 - 20 Questions - hosted by Claudia R

18.00-19.00 - Lyrics Round Robin - hosted by Koteneko

19:00-20:00 - That's Life - hosted by Adi

20:00-21:00 - Scattergories - hosted by Dorottya

21:00-22:00 - Trivia - hosted by Martisz

22:00-23:00 - 5 Things - hosted by ami

23:00-00:00 - 20 Questions - hosted by ami

16th Feb

00:00-01:00 - Lyrics Round Robin - hosted by EmilyFowl

01:00-02:00 - That's Life - hosted by EmilyFowl

02:00-03:00 - Scattergories - hosted by EmilyFowl

Access the chatroom via the first link on our Linktree page. To keep things manageable we are limiting capacity, so if you’re unable to get in for one event, please try another.

Details About the Games

5 Things

How to Play: During this game the host will name a topic and players in the room will call out examples from their favorite fandoms. This will repeat for at least 5 rounds. Be prepared to explain why your answer counts (maybe you’ll recruit someone new to your fandom!)

Lyrics Round Robin

How to Play: During this game, we’ll collectively write FANDOM lyrics to replace those of a familiar song. The host will choose the song and type out an alternate first two lines. Then those in the room will write the next lines until the song is finished.

That’s Life

How to Play:  Participants will first name a character that they know well for each round. Every round will consist of two random questions posted by the moderator. You will then share how the character you chose for that round would answer the questions as if answering from their point of view. For each round, you will name a different character to answer the new questions. There will be roughly 5 minutes for you to come up with answers to each set of questions.


How to Play: Like most trivia games, the host will ask a question and the first person to answer correctly wins that round. Because we’re online and you’re free to do searches we’re going to add another factor, which is time — you must answer within 3 minutes. But you can call out your answer as soon as you think you know. If you have the correct answer, the host will type your name and award you a point. At the end of the game, whoever has gotten the most points will be named the winner!

20 Questions

How to Play: The host will think of a person, place or thing. Your task is to guess what it is. The first person in the room roster (on the upper right side) gets to ask a question that the host will answer with a YES or NO. As soon as the host replies, the next person on the list can ask their question. Players can call out a guess at any time but the host will only answer if it’s correct so that the next person gets their turn. The game will continue until someone has guessed the person, place or thing.

Scattergories/List Builder

How to play: List Builder is a competitive game in which each player takes a turn to name something belonging to a particular genre. The host will give you a topic: examples could include capital cities, actors from a certain series of movies, or anything else your mind can conjure up. The winner is the last person to successfully add to the list.

Scattergories is a variant where the host will name five categories at once and ask contestants to name an example from each category beginning with a given letter of the alphabet. Play will continue for 5 rounds and pick a different random letter each time, giving people a limited time to think before naming their examples. The person who accumulates the most points over 5 rounds wins.

We also want to hear from you about other celebrations taking place today. Leave us a comment here to tell us about what your fandom communities are doing!


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2021-02-12 12:58:49 -0500

Feedback Fest

Welcome to the International Fanworks Day Feedback Fest post for 2021!

Whether you’re a consumer or a creator, if you’re here it’s a safe bet to say that you love fanworks - and we do too!

Back in January, we asked you to collect any ‘lesser-known’ fanworks that you felt deserved more love, whether they were in smaller fandoms, for smaller ships, included lesser-used tropes, or were just works you liked that you thought deserved more hits and kudos. This post (and the matching post over at is here for you to celebrate all of these works! Here’s what to do:

Leave a comment sharing any fanworks you think count as ‘lesser-known,’ including a link and a reason why you love them! You don’t have to think too hard about the criteria - it’s just for fun!

If a work you loved deserves more exposure, whether it’s got low hits in a popular fandom or is for a fandom with hardly any works, or any other criteria you can think of, we want to hear about it. Don’t forget to check out other people’s suggestions, and leave a kudos, comment, or bookmark to let the creator know you enjoyed their work too!

We can’t wait to see all the wonderful works you have to recommend to us this year, so get to it!


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2021-02-08 18:48:21 -0500

International Fanworks Day

The seventh annual International Fanworks Day is coming up this month on 15 February 2021, and we have tons of things for you all to take part in to celebrate! Check out the list below for the things we’re doing to mark the occasion.

1. Hidden Gems Works Celebration: Last month we made a post encouraging people to create fanworks for lesser-known fandoms, tropes, ships, and more to celebrate all things ‘lesser-known’ for this year’s IFD!

There’s still plenty of time to submit works using the ‘International Fanworks Day 2021’ tag, and the criteria for what is lesser-known is very loose so if you think it might count it probably does!

2. Rec Fest: Also in January we asked you to recommend your favourite ‘lesser-known’ fics, fandoms, tropes, ships, and so on via social media using the #IFDChallenge2021 tag! Our social media mods will be sharing some of these over the next week. In the coming days we will also be making a Rec Fest post specifically for anyone who wants to share their recommendations with us, so look out for that!

3. Fanlore Challenge: The fun continues after the 15th with the Fanlore challenge, running from February 15th to February 21st with a different editing challenge to complete each day!

4. Games and Fan Chat: Between 21:00 UTC on the 14th (What time is that for me?) and 03:00 on the 16th (What time is that for me?) we will be hosting a chat and plenty of games for you all to participate in over on Discord — a link to which will go out on the day! Demand is high and places are limited, so if you don’t get in right away please try again later! The chat room will be moderated by English speaking OTW volunteers, and we will post a detailed games and activities schedule on the day itself.


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2021-02-05 10:08:58 -0500

Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works


Communications has been busy making preparations for International Fanworks Day, which is coming up on February 15! So far, they have released a public post inviting users to share or create fanworks for their favorite lesser known fandoms, characters, or ships. Stay tuned for more information about this year's festivities in a couple of days!

Fanlore will be taking part in the celebrations as well by running their annual IFD Fanlore Challenge over the week (Monday to Sunday) of International Fanworks Day. This year, Fanlore will have some fun 80s-themed badges as prizes for completing the challenge.


Elsewhere on the Fanlore Committee, Fanlore reached an important milestone in January: they passed one million edits and marked the occasion with a celebratory scavenger hunt held on their Dreamwidth! The event had a grand prize of a Citrus Scale sticker set, generously donated by Development & Membership, that was given to the first user to submit all correct answers to the challenge questions.

On Fanlore's Twitter and Tumblr accounts, Fanlore has been running a 'Featured Article Face-off' event where people vote for their favorite Featured Article of 2020, which has been a lot of fun and had some great engagement! Finally, Fanlore is also planning a month of femslash-themed posts in February in honour of Femslash February.


At the very end of 2020, the AO3 reached a major new milestone: 7 million fanworks posted! Communications released a news post commemorating the event.

Accessibility, Design & Technology started the new year off with a bang: one release with fixes for 26 issues! (And this is right on the heels of release 0.9.296 in December, which had 20 issues!) The highlights of this jumbo-sized January release include an adjustment to make images in works display better on small screens, tweaks to some text margins for right-to-left languages, and an update so audio files previously embedded using Dewplayer will continue to play now that Flash has been retired.

Open Doors has continued to release announcements of upcoming archive imports, including Octaves of the Heart: Sublime Archives and the I Will Remember You Marathon Archive (2005-2009), 春日泽 (SpringFen), The Croft Codex, and a memorial archive in honor of the works of Frodo Baggins of Bag End. They also released a post, Yahoo! Groups In Memoriam, recognizing the final closure of Yahoo Groups and the measures that Open Doors and others have taken to preserve their contents, as well as a roundup post celebrating the four archive imports that took place in 2020.

Systems recently expanded to a third rack in their main data centre. You can see some pictures of their shiny new servers on the AO3 News Tumblr.

Policy & Abuse ended the year with around 2,100 tickets in December. They had around 19,000 tickets come in throughout 2020 -- a roughly 25% increase in comparison to the previous year. At the time of this writing, they were at around 1,400 tickets already for January, with no signs of slowing down.

In December, Tag Wrangling wrangled more than 430,000 tags - that's more than a thousand tags per wrangler. In 2020, Tag Wrangling volunteers wrangled more than 4.1 million tags, a significant increase over the 2.7 million handled in 2019! Tag Wrangling also added over 5,000 canonical fandoms to the archive during 2020.


The end of 2020 was busy for Legal! The U.S. Congress passed some copyright provisions as part of year-end legislation, including passing a law known as the CASE act that creates a "small-claims" copyright tribunal. While these won’t have immediate impact on fans, they are significant. Legal will be involved with consultations on how they should be implemented, and they will keep fans informed about what they mean and what their implementation will look like. They also posted about some fan-unfriendly proposals in the U.S. Senate, and will keep working to make sure fan interests are heard as Senators consider copyright questions going forward.

In January, Legal continued our copyright policy work in a meeting with the U.S. Copyright Office to discuss how copyright policy can incorporate fan interests as part of the Copyright Office’s "listening tour" meetings with copyright stakeholders. They also discussed U.S. copyright questions in response to press queries and responded to a number of fan queries.

Meanwhile, Communications has been tracking usage of the OTW's social media and was astounded by the growth of our Weibo account! In 2020, Weibo went from having about 21,000 followers at this time last year to over 271,000 this year -- a nearly 1300% increase! In 2020 the Weibo mods made 168 posts and received 1.08 million reactions (repost + comment + like) and 150 million views, making it the OTW's most followed account by over 120,000 followers.


From 25 November to 24 January, Volunteers & Recruiting received 112 new requests, and completed 120, leaving us with 20 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 January 2021, the OTW has 905 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: 1 Systems staffer, Akima Ras (Webs), Prerna A. Popat (Translation), Stephanie Godden (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 Translation staffer
New Fanlore Volunteers: 2 volunteers
New Open Doors Volunteers: 1 volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: IndyKitty (Elections), mmmdraco (Tag Wrangling), 1 Fanlore Policy & Admin staffer, 1 Fanlore Social Media & Outreach staffer, 1 Elections staffer, 2 Open Doors staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Felicia W., Goose, HS , mimi, mmmdraco, Océanna & ravelqueen and 15 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Juliette, Julija, nõiaelu & 2 other volunteers

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.

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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