International Fanworks Day

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Event: International Fanworks Day
Participants: Organization For Transformative Works (OTW)
Date(s): Annual: beginning in 2015
Type: Holiday
Fandom: Multi-fandom
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International Fanworks Day is an annual event on February 15th celebrating and promoting fanworks of all kinds.

The holiday was proposed in 2014 by the Organization for Transformative Works and the first International Fanworks Day celebrations were held on February 15th 2015.

Communities and individuals are encouraged to take part in celebrations through various means. Some of the original suggestions for ways to celebrate the occasion included:

  • A day of activism: reaching out to legislators or taking part in an organization's campaign for the public's right to remix
  • A day of renewal: dusting off a WIP that was put aside when things got busy
  • A day of reflection: writing meta about what fanworks mean to them
  • A day of sharing: posting recs to their favorite works for others
  • A day of traditions: organizing a Fanworks Day challenge[1]

The date of February 15th was selected due to the twin milestones at AO3 and Fanlore, the first having reached 1 million fanworks and the second passing 500,000 edits.


On 15 February 2014, the Archive of Our Own reached the milestone of one million fanworks.[2] The OTW celebrated the milestone with a "milestone weekend"[3] which included posting fanworks to AO3 using the "AO3 1 million" tag and posting fic recs to Twitter and Tumblr using the hashtag #AO3million.

On exactly the same day, Fanlore reached 500,000 edits, and marked the occasion with a celebration in Fanlore's then-chatroom on Campfire.[4]

After the Milestone Weekend celebrations wrapped up, the Organization for Transformative Works published a post entitled "Announcing International Fanworks Day":

Now that our milestone weekend has ended, we’re thinking of plans for 2015. Specifically, next February 15th, we’d like to hold an International Fanworks Day.

Why do we need a special day? Because fanworks are awesome! That’s why fans, the AO3, and many other archives around the web have ended up with hard drives full of fanworks and thousands to millions of users. Lots of people want to create them and even more want to access and save them. And like other communities that celebrate their special traditions, a specific date for celebrating fanworks speaks to their importance in our lives.

Because fanworks are international' Every part of the world creates fanworks, both about their own stories and those which have crossed national and language borders. Fanworks belong to everyone, and a fanworks day would be a great time to have them shared with someone new.

Because fanworks don’t all look the same Text, audio, multimedia, physical or digital, fanworks exist in all sorts of formats. Whatever time period they were created in, all of them should be discovered by someone who will love them.

Because someone is looking for them Maybe someone’s new to a fandom and wants to know where the goodies are. Maybe someone’s never seen a fanwork before and wants to learn more about them. Maybe someone’s been away from fandom for a while and wants to know where to go to get caught up. International Fanworks Day is a great opportunity to rec your favorite works to someone new, and to celebrate the reccers and rec communities for the work they do year-round.

Because fanworks are valuable and ought to be preserved

A sad moment for any fan is trying to access a fanwork they’ve enjoyed only to discover it’s suffered a takedown, has gone offline, or has otherwise become unavailable. The OTW wants to put the issue of fanwork preservation out into public discussion, whether it’s to remedy the legal problems fans may suffer when they try to share their work, or by creating safe spaces where fanworks can be housed when they’re at-risk.[1]

The post continued with some suggestions for how fans might choose to celebrate the occasion. The following year, the first International Fanworks Day was celebrated.[5]

International Fanworks Day 2015

The OTW announced various related events including:


There were various references to the day by different outlets, notably Romance Times Book Reviews, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, the Verity! Podcast and The Mary Sue.

International Fanworks Day 2016

The OTW announced various related events including:

  • Feedback Fest encouraged viewers to leave recs to favorite fanworks. Over 1000 fanworks were mentioned and linked.
  • Games and Fan Chat: The OTW hosted a 35-hour party in its Public Discussion chatroom and scheduled various fannish related games that took place as IFD 2016 moved through timezones internationally.


The 2016 event was the topic of discussion at The Slash Report and The Crafting System. Various other sites mentioned the event in passing. Also, the the UBC Innovation Library in Kelowna, Canada held a Focus on Fanfiction event in celebration of International Fanworks Day on February 15th.

International Fanworks Day 2017

The OTW announced various related events including:

  • Feedback Fest encouraged viewers to leave recs to favorite fanworks. 136 posts were made to the Feedback Fest post at AO3 mentioning and linking over 1000 works.
  • What Fanworks Mean to Me, a meta challenge which involved hashtagging the event across fannish spaces and discussing the effect of fanworks on people's lives. The OTW published six entries on their outlets, which had been submitted to them from around the world.


The 2017 event went largely unremarked in other fannish locations. The Daily Fandom used the occasion to highlight fanwork formats other than fanfiction, and some such as at Babi a Fi wrote about their history in fandom (and used Fanlore as a resource.)

International Fanworks Day 2018

The OTW once again held various related events including:

  • Feedback Fest encouraged viewers to leave recs to favorite fanworks. Comments were made to the Feedback Fest post at AO3 mentioning and linking to over 500 fanworks.
  • What Fanworks Mean to Me, a meta challenge which involved hashtagging the event and discussing one's connection to or inspiration from fanworks. This was active largely on Twitter with around 100 participants. Many hundreds more fans met to chat and play games at an OTW-run chat party spanning February 15th.

Fanlore held the IFD 2018 Fanlore Challenge, a week-long Fanlore editing challenge appropriate to new and experienced editors.


Nerds and Beyond highlighted the event and the participation of WIP Big Bang. The Mary Sue wrote about the event as well, highlighting the #WhatFanworksMeantoMe activity on Twitter.

International Fanworks Day 2019

The OTW asked the wider fan community what they would be doing to mark the day! It also invited submissions on the topic “What fanworks mean to me.”

Whether you enjoy reading fanfiction, creating fanart, listening to podfics or audio mixes, editing fan videos, or getting deep into meta discussions, International Fanworks Day is your opportunity to share your favorite fanworks and talk about what they mean to you. You could also use it as an opportunity to run a challenge or create some new fanworks of your own!

Fanlore brought back the IFD Fanlore Challenge for a second year, running for the week of 11-17 February. Additionally, the OTW once again organized a number of events:

1. What Fanworks Mean to Me: A couple of weeks ago, we sent out a call for essay contributions about what fanworks mean to you. Tomorrow, we'll be posting selected essays from the submissions. If you missed your chance to send us an essay, don't worry! You can always post on social media with the tag #IFD2019. Let people know how you feel and help spread the International Fanworks Day festivities.

2. IFDrabble: This is a fanworks fest that invites you to create short fanworks (like drabble fanfics) about characters and/or celebrities being fannish over something. We created an AO3 tag to use when posting your works, and on social media, you can use #IFDrabble for a chance for us to signal boost your work.

This year, to shake things up, we're suggesting a specific theme: Characters and/or celebrities discovering new fandoms! How about Izuku and Katsuki discovering Madonna? Or McCree discovering Venom? Anything goes for IFDrabble--fanfiction, fanart, fanvids, or anything else you can come up with.

3. Feedback Fest: Feedback Fest is a chance to show your favourite fanworks some love, and to get some great recommendations from others! Look for our Feedback Fest post on February 13th, then leave a comment with some fanwork recommendations. On social media, use the tag #FeedbackFest when posting.

4. Fanlore Challenge: Fanlore is participating in IFD, too! Every day from February 11-17, Fanlore will post different challenges on their Tumblr, their Twitter, their Dreamwidth, and on Fanlore for all editors to participate in. How well do you know your fandom? It’s time to show off your knowledge and contribute to Fanlore!

5. Games and Fan Chat: On February 15th, we’ll be hosting a chat in the OTW’s Public Discussion chat room. Join us between 23:00 UTC February 14th (What time is that where I live?) and 04:00 UTC February 16th (What time is that where I live?) to play trivia games and chat with other fans! The chat room will be moderated in English, and we’ll post a detailed schedule as IFD draws nearer.[6]

Fan Comments

Some fans have made jokes about telling non-fans that their favourite holiday is in February and having the other person assume they mean Valentine's Day:

Person: when’s your favourite holiday?

Me: oh it’s in February

Person: Valentine’s day?

Me: what? No, International Fanworks Day[7]

Me: Oh, there’s a date in February that’s really important, and I must celebrate!

Someone: Right! It’s Valentine day’s on the 14th!The most romantic time of year!


[screencap of the beginning of the Fanlore article on IFD, reading "International Fanworks Day is an annual event on February 15th celebrating and promoting fanworks of all kinds"][8]

Further Reading


  1. ^ a b Announcing International Fanworks Day, Organization for Transformative Works. Published February 18, 2014 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  2. ^ AO3 Reaches 1 Million Fanworks, AO3 News. Published February 15, 2014 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  3. ^ Update on the Milestone weekend, Organization for Transformative Works, published February 17, 2014 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  4. ^ (Almost) Half a million edits!- chat by fanloremod via Dreamwidth, published February 15, 2014 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  5. ^ a b International Fanworks Day is Here!, Organization for Transformative Works, published February 14, 2015 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  6. ^ What We're Doing for #IFD2019. Organization for Transformative Works. Published on February 11, 2019. Accessed on February 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Tumblr post by nooonbinaryyy, published February 11, 2019 (Accessed February 15, 2020).
  8. ^ Tumblr post by clarisimart, published February 15, 2019 (Accessed February 15, 2020).