If there’s one thing grad students are known to have, it’s heaps of spare time just lying around.
But every single moment not spent nose-deep in book after endless book should be, I believe, spent doing something else just as worthwhile. (Okay, sometimes those worthwhile things are, like, watching Gossip Girl until 2 a.m. But still.)
In the past couple of months, I’ve gotten involved in something I’m deeply passionate about, but something I don’t talk about a lot on here. It’s called the Organization for Transformative Works, and I think it’s kind of a big deal.
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.
Fandom has been a direct part of my life for over 10 years (and even longer when you account my childhood amongst Trekkies), though I may not talk about it a lot. It has provided me with hours of entertainment, support when I needed it, a chance to do some good in the world, and a ton of wonderful friends around the world.
Right now, though, it’s time to give back. The OTW does what they do out of love, but it does not happen inexpensively. Servers cost money, legal reform costs money, publishing academic work costs money. Many of us donate our time to the OTW — which, I can tell you, is a fun and mutually beneficial experience — but time alone can’t make the organization run.
So if you’ve ever experienced the sheer joy of fandom, or created a fanwork, or enjoyed a fanwork, or if you believe in open access to intellectual property in the spirit of transformation, think about donating a few dollars. We’ve got a lot more battles to fight, a lot more projects to create, and a lot more fun to share with the fannish world.