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Published:
2020-09-23 10:56:35 -0400
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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 memorizingthedigitsofpi, who volunteers for Fanlore.

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

I'm a volunteer with Fanlore, which is a wiki all about fandom and fandom history. It's a place where the people who are involved in fandom can chronicle our stories about ourselves and our works. As a wiki, it's open for editing and there's a Plural Point of View policy that encourages documentation of all sides of any particular issue. Fandom is a diverse place full of diverse people and opinions, and it's important that we have a record that allows all of those points of view to have space.

I'm one of the graphics designers on the team, and in that role I create banners for social media posts and badges for events like Stub September. I'm also involved in conversations around how we can reach out to our fellow fans to encourage them to contribute to the wiki, as well as conversations about the wiki itself.

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

How busy I am varies week to week, because I'll have more on my plate in the run up to an event. Typically, we have a bi-weekly meeting on Saturdays where we discuss what work needs to be done and who will do it. I'll draft however many graphics I've taken on and share them out with the group of other designers and the social media team, and they'll give me feedback. I'll make any edits and we'll go back and forth a bit sometimes. Then I'll wait for the post to go live and get a big grin on my face when I see my work posted for everyone to see.

Throughout the week, I'll read the conversations happening back and forth amongst the other Fanlore volunteers and if I have questions or suggestions I'll join in. Otherwise, I'm just keeping up to date on what's going on.

I'm also new to wiki editing, so when I can I practice formatting by working on my Fanlore user page or editing parts of the larger wiki.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I've been in and out of fandom spaces for the last 20 years or so. Sometimes I just lurk and read all the fic and look at all the art, etc. Sometimes I find a canon that I just can't get out of my head and I end up creating fics and art of my own.

I was slowly leaving my most recent active fandom creator role because I was falling out of love with canon. But I was still in love with the fandom I was in because the people were so wonderful. In trying to find ways to stay in fandom without being a creator, I started up a tumblr blog called ao3commentoftheday. That's what got me interested in being more involved in fandom as a whole instead of just for one particular show or book at a time.

I realized that I loved the people in fandom and the things we do, and I wanted to be involved in helping fandom happen. In my opinion, OTW is the best place for that.

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

This year, I was involved in the process of creating Fanlore's new logo! My design wasn't the one that was picked, but I'm so happy with the one that was chosen. It was an amazing experience getting to try my hand at designing one and seeing all of the other ideas from the rest of the team. I've also never gotten feedback from a group that big before or on a number of designs that large, so the logistics of figuring it out were also a learning experience.

I got to be a part of fandom history, and I can't think of anything more memorable than that!

What fannish things do you like to do?

I write fic -- mostly smut and comedy but with other things thrown in there too. I'm not posting very much lately, but I'm still writing almost every day. These days, I'm writing more RP style -- co-creating fic-like roleplaying threads with my fandom bestie. We aren't posting them anywhere, but we're having a lot of fun.

I also create fanart. In my most recent fandom, I learned how to do photo manipulations, but I also do text-based graphics, edits, and banners. I like to create them for both myself and for other people in my fandom. I've recorded a few podfic and made a few fanvids, and I'd like to do more of both someday. At one point, I co-ran a fic rec blog on tumblr, too.

These days, most of my fannish time outside of the OTW is spent running the ao3commentoftheday blog on tumblr. I do my best to answer questions about writing, fandom, AO3 and the OTW in an unofficial capacity. I first fell in love with Fanlore because it was (and is!) a major reference I use when people ask questions about fandom tropes and terms. It's definitely a passion project for me, and one I'm so glad I stumbled into. I've learned more about my fellow fans and other fandoms in the last few years than I ever would have otherwise.


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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Published:
2020-09-16 11:25:49 -0400
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OTW RECRUITMENT

Would you like to wrangle AO3 tags? Can you read and translate from Chinese to English? Are you interested in writing and editing public news posts? Or would you like to assist AO3 users by resolving complaints? Maybe you have an interest in wiki editing, or writing help documentation? Or you have systems administrator experience or a working knowledge of Linux? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • Elections Staff: Communications Specialist - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Elections Staff: Public Relations - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Fanlore Staff: Policy & Admin - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • AO3 Policy & Abuse Staff - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Systems Staff - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - closing 23 September 202 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 80 applications
  • Tag Wrangling Chinese Volunteer - closing 23 September 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 50 applications

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.

Elections Staff: Communications Specialist

Do you have strong non-fiction or technical writing skills? Are you interested in writing and editing public newsposts? Then come join the Elections team!

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections: we ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. We are currently looking for Communications Specialists to act as the lead writers and editors of the committee. They are responsible for the quality of public news posts and large announcements, as well as editing internal documentation.

Applications are due 23 September 2020

Elections Staff: Public Relations

Do you have experience working in Public Relations? Do you want to help the OTW by improving awareness and understanding of the annual Board election process? Then come join the Elections team!

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections; we ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. We are currently looking for Public Relations Specialists to help us promote the annual election and improve understanding of the Elections Committee's work.

Applications are due 23 September 2020

Fanlore Staff: Policy & Admin

Do you have an interest in preserving fannish history? Do you have an interest in wiki editing, or writing help documentation? Fanlore is recruiting for Policy & Admin volunteers!

Fanlore's Policy & Admin volunteers are responsible for dealing with all the behind the scenes stuff to ensure that Fanlore runs smoothly. We respond to questions and complaints; shape Fanlore's policies, categories, and tutorials; and assist Fanlore gardeners and other editors. No extensive experience is required—just a strong interest in documenting and preserving fandom, good communication skills, and a willingness to work with a team and further Fanlore's mission. Join us!

Applications are due 23 September 2020

AO3 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 23 September 2020

Systems Staff

Do you want to join a Hugo Award-winning team? The OTW's Systems Committee is recruiting!

The Systems Committee supports, troubleshoots, and expands the technological infrastructure that underlies the OTW’s many projects.

We manage email, DNS, domain registration, Apache/Nginx, MySQL clusters, Xen hypervisors, routing and firewalls, and respond to help tickets. We are seeking people who have some experience in remote Linux administration in one or more of these areas. Self-motivation is a critical attribute.

If you aren’t sure you are skilled enough, please apply. We are happy to talk.

Applications are due 23 September 2020

Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! 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 Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán with ABO Dynamics, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

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 fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. For this role, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only, which will change each recruitment round. Please see the application for which fandoms are in need.

While all wranglers need to be fluent in English, we welcome applicants who are also fluent in other languages, especially af Soomaali (Somali), Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), Chinuk Wawa, Čeština (Czech), Español (Spanish), Filipino (Filipino), Italiano (Italian), Magyar (Hungarian), Português brasileiro (Brazilian Portuguese), Suomi (Finnish), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), Русский (Russian), हिन्दी (Hindi), ไทย (Thai), 中文 (Chinese), 日本語 (Japanese) and 한국어 (Korean).

Applications are due 23 September 2020 or until we receive 80 applications

Tag Wrangling Chinese Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! 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 Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán with ABO Dynamics, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you're a fluent Chinese speaker 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 fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. We’re currently looking for applicants who are fluent in both English and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified both welcome). The work will involve both regular Tag Wrangling work and translating tags from Chinese into English.

Applications are due 23 September 2020 or until we receive 50 applications

Apply at the volunteering page!

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

I. STUB SEPTEMBER

Fanlore has been hard at work preparing for their next event, Stub September, which is focused on expanding and creating "stub" pages (short pages with lots of room for new content to be added). For more details about the challenge, visit Fanlore's help page for the event, which is ongoing now!

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology posted their latest set of release notes for deploys going back to June. Most notably, they are now able to assign certain roles (with different sets of permissions) to Archive of Our Own admins. AD&T also added the option for work creators to disallow all comments on works.

Policy & Abuse received around 1300 tickets in August, and Tag Wrangling had a busy July, wrangling around 381,000 tags in over 38,000 canonical fandoms. That is up from about 232,000 tags in over 33,000 canonical fandoms in July of 2019. Additionally, Tag Wrangling's Fast Track process for wrangling small freeform synonyms that aren’t associated with any particular fandom went live in August, after a successful test the month before; this marks an important step towards opening the new process for No Fandom freeform canonicals.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Communications helped the OTW celebrate SysAdmin Day -- thank you to all the readers who expressed their appreciation for these volunteers! We also now have a moderator, Claudia Rebaza, for our LinkedIn account.

In August, Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt met with U.S. Congressional Judiciary Committee staff to discuss the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Legal also worked with a fan to address a copyright complaint, dealt with a takedown notice and analyzed privacy law developments that might affect the AO3 Terms of Service.

IV. GOVERNANCE

August was the busiest month of the year for Elections! The OTW's annual Board of Directors election saw a record-breaking number of ballots cast by our membership. You can learn more details about this year's election from Elections' 2020 Election Statistics post.

In alphabetical order, Alex Tischer, Jess White and Kati Eggert were elected to the OTW’s Board of Directors. Thanks so much to all of our voting members and to everyone who ran! We appreciate all the work they have put into this year’s election process and we wish every one of them the best.

Thanks also to our Translation team for translating the election materials into a whopping 31 languages!

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From July 25 to August 24, Volunteers & Recruiting received 61 new requests, and completed 64, leaving us with 34 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of August 24 the OTW has 921 volunteers \o/. Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Stephanie Godden (Fanlore), Novic, JoJo, Janneke (all Tag Wrangling)
New Fanlore Volunteers: SecurityBreach
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Amaranth42, Bethn, Bram, Egg, Elbereth, Elli, Evi, EzraP, Fire, Haak, HuiLian, Ida Shen, rinrin, Jazz J, Jel, Julie Shaun, JupiterMelichios, Keladry, Lee B, Lokapala, Mackaley, Maela, Mayrin, memoriast, Mia, Minjonet, MintCream, Naicha, nolightss, periru3, Poem, Putri, Ranowa, SayuriShiro, Shecago, Stay, Theo N, Timpa, Tsuruta, Vio, whetherwoman, Whiskey, WYSIWYG & 1 other Tag Wrangling volunteer
New Translation Volunteers: 1 volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: docmint (Translation), Stephanie Godden (Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: Paiyan & 1 other Translation Volunteer

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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Published:
2020-09-05 16:58:54 -0400
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Celebrate the OTW 13th Anniversary

The OTW is finally a teenager! Or to put it another way, we’re old enough to have an AO3 account of our own. We’re glad to celebrate this birthday with all of you.

Thirteen years ago today, the OTW was launched with the mission to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. Since then, we have advocated for fans in legal and government settings; have imported numerous archives at risk of being lost to platform stagnation and deletion; have developed a fan-generated wiki in which fans have contributed over 50,000 articles; have published 33 issues of our fan studies journal; and we now provide access to nearly 6.5 million fanworks.

Of course, there is always more work to do. The OTW exists for and because of our members and we look forward to hearing from (and working with) more of you as we continue to preserve and advocate for fanworks and their creators. You can keep track of changes to the AO3 via our news posts and can find updates on our other projects on our project websites and social media channels.

With that in mind, we would like to take this anniversary as an opportunity to thank the fans and volunteers whose creativity and support have kept the OTW alive, even through the unprecedented times in which we have found ourselves in this, our thirteenth year. We have an anniversary graphic to commemorate our birthday and we hope that you’ll join us in celebrating the milestone amongst your own social circles and fandom communities.

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Published:
2020-08-29 10:37:57 -0400
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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 Matthew Vernon, who volunteers as chair of our Systems Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I am the Chair of Systems, which is the committee responsible for managing hardware and IT infrastructure for the OTW as a whole (not just AO3!) We work closely with a number of other OTW committees, particularly AD&T who manage the software design and development of AO3.

As Chair I do a range of things -- I run our weekly meetings, manage our volunteers, liaise with the OTW Board and Chairs of other committees, keep an eye on our ticket queue, and do quite a lot of code review.

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

The one constant is our weekly meeting (on a Sunday evening in UK time), when we catch up as a team, talk about where we're up to and plan the week ahead. Beyond that, it depends a bit on what needs doing, and how much free time I have! I review some merge requests for our configuration management system almost every week, and correspondence with some other part of the OTW is also a regular feature.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I became aware of the OTW through Yuletide, the annual rare fandoms gift exchange. Some friends of mine were running writing parties, and it seemed like fun! That introduced me to AO3. When OTW advertised for some sysadmins, it seemed like an obvious way to give something back to the OTW, since I'm a sysadmin in my day job.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for Systems?

Systems do a lot of work with not a lot of people-power. That's really good, but it means there is also often quite a lot going on, and it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the important but less immediately urgent tasks. Being Chair means I don't do much direct technical work myself these days, too!

What fannish things do you like to do?

Covid-19 lockdown has given me more time at home, so I've been re-watching some of my favourite shows. I'm also really looking forward to this year's Yuletide, and the joy people get from my distinctly average writing :)


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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Organization for Transformative Works: Elections News

Now that the 2020 election is over, we're happy to share with you our voter turnout statistics!

For the 2020 Election, we had 13,369 total eligible voters. Of those, 2858 voters cast a ballot, which represents 21.4% of the potential voters. Our voter turnout is lower than that of last year, which had a turnout of 22.5%. We also saw an increase in the number of ballots cast, from 2234 to 2858, which represents a 28% increase.

Elections is committed to continuing to reach out to our eligible members to encourage them to vote in elections. Whoever is elected to the Board of Directors can have an important influence on the long-term health of the OTW's projects, and we want our members to have a say in that.

For those who might be interested in the number of votes each candidate received, please note that our election process is designed to elect an equal cohort of Board members in order to allow them to work well together, so we do not release that information. As a general rule, we also won’t disclose which of our unsuccessful candidates received the fewest votes, since we don’t want to discourage them from running again in the future when circumstances and member interest might be different.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated at every stage of the election! We hope to see you at the virtual polls again next year.

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Published:
2020-08-19 12:41:19 -0400
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Banner by Erin of a flexed bicep with the words 'OTW RECRUITMENT'

Do you know MySQL and want to rescue at-risk fan archives? Do you have a background in finance and accounting? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • Finance Committee Staff: Financial Analyst - closing 26 August 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Finance Committee Staff: Investment Specialist - closing 26 August 2020 at 23:59 UTC
  • Open Doors Committee: Technical Volunteer - closing 26 August 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 30 applications

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.

Finance Committee Staff: Financial Analyst

Have you checked out the OTW’s budget for 2020? Does it look like something you'd be interested in helping with? If you have experience in finance and accounting, and if you’re eager to contribute some of your time and skills, we’d love to hear from you!

The OTW Finance committee is responsible for ensuring that the organization's financial reporting and records are accurate and timely. The Financial Analyst position handles monthly bookkeeping and bank reconciliations, assists in the creation of the annual budget, helps coordinate annual audits, and contributes to annual financial statements. Financial Analysts will also take the lead on other projects, such as insurance renewal and internal documentation, as requested by the Finance Committee Chair.

More information about the Finance Committee can be found at the Finance Committee Page

Applications are due 26 August 2020

Finance Committee Staff: Investment Specialist

Have you checked out the OTW’s budget for 2020? Does it look like something you'd be interested in helping with? If you have experience in finance and investment, and if you’re eager to contribute some of your knowledge, we’d love to hear from you!

The OTW Finance committee is responsible for ensuring that the organization's financial reporting and records are accurate and timely. The Investment Specialist position manages the OTW's investment portfolio and advises the Finance Committee on investing opportunities. They monitor account activity, analyze statements and reports, and provide suggestions on how to structure the investment portfolios to get the maximum return within specified parameters.

More information about the Finance Committee can be found at the Finance Committee Page

Applications are due 26 August 2020

Open Doors Committee: Technical Volunteer

Do you know MySQL and want to rescue at-risk fan archives?

The Open Doors project receives many requests to rescue fan sites which are at risk of disappearing because their owners can no longer maintain them. The sites we import to the Archive Of Our Own range from database-driven archives based on common software packages like eFiction and Automated Archive, to hand-coded HTML sites that are over twenty years old!

As a technical volunteer for Open Doors, you will process the contents of legacy sites to do the following:

  • analyse the original data to find all the content and metadata needed for the import
  • remove spam, legacy navigation and personal information from HTML files
  • convert tags to official AO3 tags as specified by the Tag Wrangling team
  • ensure chapters are correctly combined into complete works
  • resolve duplicates, such as works already imported to AO3 by their creators or previous imports
  • convert the cleaned data to MySQL tables in a standard format that can be ingested automatically into the Archive

As the person responsible for ensuring that all the content from the original site is correctly imported to the AO3, you will have an excellent eye for detail and an ability to work independently within the rules of Open Doors. You will also liaise regularly in chat with other Open Doors staff, keeping them up to date with your progress on your assigned tasks.

Applications are accepted until 26 August 2020 or until we receive 30 applications

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Elections News

The Elections Committee would like to thank all of our candidates for their hard work in this year's election. With that, we are pleased to present the results of the 2020 Election.The following candidates (in alphabetical order) have been officially elected to the Board of Directors:

  • Alex Tischer
  • Jess White
  • Kati Eggert

The new members of the Board will formally begin their term overlap on October 1. We wish them well with their terms. With that, the election season comes to a close. Thank you to everyone who got involved by spreading the word, asking the candidates questions, and, of course, voting! We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.


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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