International Fanworks Day Date in the current year: February 15, 2023

International Fanworks Day International Fanworks Day is observed annually on February 15 to celebrate and promote fanworks of all kinds including fan fiction, fan art, fan videos, podfic, cosplay, fandom analytics, and other types and formats of transformative works.

Just as the name suggests, fanworks are creative works made by fan of various media properties, musical groups, etc. Most people associate fanworks primarily with fan fiction, fan art and fan videos, but there are so many more forms and formats of fanworks: fandom analytics, fan films, fan games, filk music, cosplay, handmade crafts, and even fandom-inspired tea blends.

Fanworks are generally classified as transformative works under the United States copyright law, and therefore their creators do not infringe copyright as long as they note that the characters and other canon elements are the intellectual property of the author or authors and do not make money from fanworks. However, some authors may take issues with creators of derivative works and send them cease and desist letters.

International Fanworks Day was launched by the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a nonprofit organization that was created to encourage and preserve transformative fan activity, protect it from commercial exploitation, provide legal assistance to the fandom community, and make fanworks widely accessible.

The OTW’s main projects include Archive of Our Own (AO3) and Fanlore. Fanlore is a wiki that focuses on documenting the history of transformative works and fandoms. It was publicly launched in September 2008. AO3 is a non-commercial and nonprofit open-source archive for fan fiction and other fan works. It was created in 2008 and publicly launched as an open beta on November 14, 2009.

On February 15, 2014, AO3 reached the milestone of one million fanworks, including fanfics, artworks and podfics, and Fanlore passed 500,000 edits. The OTW celebrated these milestones with a “milestone weekend”, and once the celebration came to an end, February 15 was designated as International Fanworks Day. It has been celebrated by millions of fan content creators and fans from around the globe annually since 2015.

The main purpose of International Fanworks Day is to celebrate all types and formats of fanworks, as well as the people who create them. Every year, the OTW and various fan communities organize events to celebrate the day such as fanwork challenges, public discussions, feedback fests, and more.

You observe International Fanworks Day by participating in any of these events or choose another way to celebrate, for example, post a new fanfic or fan art, write a post about what fanworks mean to you, recommend your favorite fanworks to others, make a commitment to comment more on the fanworks you like, donate to or volunteer for the OTW (they are a nonprofit, so they need any help they can get), organize a fest or a challenge in your fandom, edit an article on Fanlore to make it better, etc. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #InternationalFanworksDay.

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Category

International Observances

Tags

International Fanworks Day, international observances, fan works, Organization for Transformative Works, Archive of Our Own