We had a bit of excitement at home earlier this month. The Archive of Our Own won a Hugo Award!
I’m sure some of you are saying “Yeah, I know. That’s great!” and some of you are saying “What?” I will explain what this is and why it was cause for celebration at my house.
The Hugo Awards, which have been awarded annually since the 1950s, are given for science fiction. They are announced at WorldCon, which is a giant international convention of the World Science Fiction Society. Over the years, the Hugo Awards have expanded to include fantasy and fandom; they have also expanded beyond text and film into newer media.
The Archive of Our Own (AO3), a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, describes itself on its homepage as a “fan-created, fan-run, nonprofit, noncommercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic.” The archive is HUGE, comprising over five million works across more than 33,000 fandoms. AO3 was nominated in the Hugo Award category of “Best Related Work.”
Our daughter E was following the award ceremony online because she is part of the AO3 community. She has some of her own work on the site and volunteers as a “tag wrangler.” The tag wranglers check on the tags posted by content creators within their specified fandoms to keep the archive organized and easily searchable.
Congratulations to Archive of Our Own on their win! Naomi Novik, one of the site’s founders, gave an acceptance speech that sums up the creative, community spirit of AO3. It began, “All fanwork, from fanfic to vids to fanart to podfic, centers the idea that art happens not in isolation but in community. And that is true of the AO3 itself.” I wish them many more years of sharing and joyful creativity.