AO3 Reaches 5 Million Fanworks!

On 17 July, the Archive of Our Own hit 2 million registered users. Today, we have reached an even more significant milestone: 5 million posted fanworks! \o/

AO3 entered open beta in November of 2009. It took until February of 2014 to reach the first 1 million fanworks, but almost every year since then we’ve reached another million. In July of 2018, we reached 4 million fanworks, and in October of that year, we reached 30,000 fandoms.

Thanks so much to everyone who visits AO3, both those 2 million registered users and the many unregistered users who visit the site alongside them, for helping us get to this point. It’s because of you that AO3 is what it is today.

In celebration of this 5 million fanworks milestone, we’re presenting you with a challenge: AO3 Bingo! AO3 Bingo is a cross between regular bingo, a fanworks rec list, and a scavenger hunt. Everyone can play AO3 Bingo, and we have different reward badges according to the number of challenges you complete.

But first, here’s how the AO3 Bingo card works:

The graphic below is your AO3 Bingo card. Each square contains a type of fanwork or fanwork-related element that can be found on AO3. For each square, you recommend a fanwork or related element that you love by providing a link to an AO3 page that contains something that matches the square. Once you complete one of the types of bingo listed below, you win a badge!

You can play by posting your cards and links on social media using the hashtag #AO3Bingo. You can also comment on this post to play.

Follow the links below to access your badge, and you can post it on social media, hang it up on your door, wave it around in a parade, or otherwise put it wherever you please. We’re using the honor system here, so we’re counting on you to keep track of your own completed challenges.

How to get a bingo:

Complete five of the challenges in a line across, down, or diagonally (much like normal bingo), and you will have earned the bronze badge.

Complete the challenges in a checkerboard pattern (either all of the red squares or all of the white squares), and you will have earned the silver badge.

Finally, if you complete all twenty-five challenges on the AO3 Bingo card, then you will have earned the gold badge!

Good luck, and don’t forget to use the #AO3Bingo hashtag on social media so we can find your post!

The #AO3Bingo card (html version):

  1. Highly_Illogical commented:

    Alright, here’s my attempt at getting the bronze badge for column 5 (O).
    Yes, they are all from the Merlin fandom. What can I say? I’m late to this party, but I’m partying hard.

    A fanfic over 50,000 words long: Bought and Sold, by PeaceHeather. I will literally never stop recommending this person, her stories suck you in from beginning to end. 90,000+ words, don’t read if you’re bothered by depictions of violence and enslavement.

    A canon-divergent fanwork: The Warlock’s Quickening, by Antares8. Veers off from canon bright and early and ends up being a compelling alternate story that goes off in a completely different and still valid direction. First in a series, long read, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The series is being reposted on AO3 from, where it is currently further along if you can’t get enough.

    A fanwork with a color in the title: Of Snow, Butterflies, and Blood Red Flowers, by thewayaround. Yet another what-if, what-could-have-been, they-all-deserved-better kind of fic like so many in this massive tragedy of a fandom, but worth your time.

    A “classic” fanwork: I’m not sure I’ve been in this fandom long enough to know what the classics are, but I think I can safely recommend Bird With A Broken Wing, by versaphile. First in the Falconry series, which is one heck of a long read with emotional rollercoasters, amazing attempts at historical accuracy for a show that wasn’t even accurate in canon to begin with, and smut aplenty that actually has a role in the greater plot. If it isn’t a classic, it deserves to be.

    • Highly_Illogical commented:

      Right, I’m an idiot, I forgot one.

      A fan art comic: In a land of pen and paper, by Gammija. Adorable, funny series of little vignettes, mostly canon or AU set in the canon era, with a sprinkle of modern AU. Recommended if you need a quick laugh.

      • Janita Burgess commented:

        Hi highly_illogical,

        Way to go! You earn the bronze badge! Thanks for playing.

        -Janita Burgess
        OTW Communications Co-Chair

  2. Alls commented:

    Does the link have to be on ao3? I havent actually seen any fanvids on ao3 but i have on YouTube..

    • Janita Burgess commented:

      Hi alls,

      The idea is for this to be a celebration of the works on AO3. However, you’re in luck, because there are actually lots of fanvids on AO3!

      -Janita Burgess
      OTW Communications Co-Chair

  3. Angela Brookins commented:

    Can we post the bingo fills on tumblr?

    • Janita Burgess commented:

      Hi Angela Brookins,

      Yes, you can post them on any social media platform!

      -Janita Burgess
      OTW Communications Co-Chair

  4. Al_JustATrekkie commented:

    In regards to the “a fanwork from a small fandom” square, how would you define small?

    • Janita Burgess commented:

      Hi al_justatrekkie,

      Like many squares on the bingo card, the small fandom square is subjective. You can use your own interpretation–it’s all good.

      -Janita Burgess
      OTW Communications Co-Chair

  5. Alessnox commented:

    Congratulations on five million fanworks! WOW!
    I have had so much fun on this website! I was able to find almost all of the entries in my own bookmarks, history, and works. I recced 26 works below. Thanks AO3 for all that you do. Here is my gold medal entry.

  6. Jenna4112 commented:

    Fanworks challenge Bronze app

    1 A fanworks challenge
    Billdip dark but so so deep and true to character! X3

    2. Favorite Trope
    Soulmate AU of course! Rwby Rosewick

    3 Favorite Fic! Hero academia, Bakudeku
    Sweet story of growth and cuteness

    4 Favorite additional tag
    Mutual pinning x3 it’s just so cute
    Another Hero Academia Bakudeku one!

    5 A “Classic” fanwork
    Twist and Shout you cant be in the destiel fandom (Supernatural Dean and Cas) and not know about this legendary fic

  7. nanotrance on ao3 commented:

    Here’s my entry for a bronze badge going diagonally from the top right!

    A fanfic over 50,000 words long:

    A fanfic from a small fandom (only 2 works!):

    FREE SPACE: My favorite, even if it was brief and discontinued

    A fanwork in progress:

    A fanwork for when I’m happy:

  8. lily commented:

    my shot at the bronze badge!

    A fanfic over 50,000 words long: Beyond the Walls of Sleep by Chaed and spacelaska. it’s over 144,000 and is an incredible Avengers AU – i don’t think i’ve even finished reading it, it’s so long. it has an excellent mix of Fun Space Adventure and dark and realistically depressing scenes. amazingly written, 100% recommend!

    A fanwork from a small fandom: Metamorphasis by aceofhearts61 – a BBC Luther fic, which is a pretty small fandom. Again, the writing is incredible, and a perfect fix-it regarding the death of my favourite character from the show. unfortunately, not updated since 2017, but the first two chapters are great anyway.

    Your favourite fanwork: oooh. hard. this will probably change by tomorrow, but it’s Happy Twenty-Third by schmelia. An Umbrella Academy episode in script form, pre-tv show. So fun. W/W rights for vanya. excellently written, i absolutely love it.

    A fanwork in progress: istanbul by Utopiste (umbrella academy). I haven’t read every chapter, but the writing is some of the best i’ve seen. the best part is when diego takes vanya boxing – this has by far some of the best diego-and-vanya content.

    A fanwork for when you’re happy: Terms of Endearment by Beguile (marvel/netflix defenders). it has the trope of There’s Only One Bed, but with a platonic squad of superheroes who don’t get near enough friendship time in the show. It’s the cutest, happiest, most fluff-packed fic i’ve read, and i would have put it as my favourite if it didn’t fit into this category as well. Beguile is incredible and an absolute gift to the fandom.

  9. xShadowGirl commented:

    Okay. lemme try.

    A fanfic over 50k words long:
    really loved this one, it read like an actual book and i really think it deserves more kudos

    A fanwork from a small fandom (could also count as a fanwork for when youre happy)
    (i really love witch hat atelier, and i really think it deserves more attention qwq)

    My favorite fanwork is
    (its just so funny and there was not even one chapter where i didnt die from laughter)

    a work in progress:
    The idea is really unique and i love it ^-^

    a fanwork for when youre happy:
    really funny oneshot, i loved it!

    a comment i left on a fanwork:
    (aa the writing is soo beautiful)

    my favorite trope (flower shop and tattoo parlor):
    (its my favorite trope and i really love how they worked with it qwq)

    photo manip:
    im not really in this fandom but i really loved how they did the fire on this work!

    A fanworks challenge (could also count as crossover):
    okay, a crossover from both of my favorite fandoms, how could i not love this one?! its really humerous, i dont like the chat style tho, (but its a short drabble, what can you expect)

    a fic with a color in the title:
    aa i really loved this one

    a fav additional tag:
    *what can i say except FLUFF*

    a one hundred word drabble:
    aa i really loved how they formatted this

    a classic fanwork:
    i really loved this one…

    well, i hope this was enough for the silver badge, if something doesnt count please tell me?

  10. melissamermaid commented:

    Canon Divergent:
    Teen Wolf:
    The words were stuck on loop, Stiles’ broken voice repeating them over and over. Derek didn’t realize he was crying until he let out a broken noise, so low he could barely hear it himself. His hands dug into his eyes trying to stop the flow but the tears kept coming. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t think, he couldn’t be strong like he’s supposed to be.
    He was weak. So weak.
    He walked away from the only person that felt like home.
    Somewhere in the back of his mind he couldn’t help but acknowledge that by the time he got back, his home would be miles away, once again leaving him all alone.
    Or the healing/getting together AU that involves building a house together and a healthy dose of angst.
    50,000 + Words
    HP Fandom:
    Preparing to head to his hearing, just before his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry learns quickly that Sirius’ plans tend to get complicated. In a matter of minutes Harry becomes a Lord of the Wizarding World and in so doing learns that not all his friends are on his side.
    Watch as Harry stands up for himself and shakes the Wizengamot, Dumbledore, Hogwarts, Voldemort and the Wizarding World at large for a spin.
    Comment: I was surprised how much I liked this and I’m super intrigued to see where this author goes with this inventive idea.

    Fan art Comic
    Teen Wolf Fandom:
    Stiles finds a mysterious packet of seeds one day called ‘Seed Wolf’. He doesn’t expect anything to grow from them, maybe a flower or something to replace his beloved (and deceased) cactus Bertrand.
    What grows from the little seed is surprising.
    Fan Work with Color in Title:

    Tony Stark has worked hard to make sure everyone sees exactly what he wants them to. After all, they’d all rather see the asshole with the too-bright smile than the terrified person underneath who is desperately trying to conceal that which has caused him so much pain. Trust him, he knows.
    (Tony Stark is a mutant, and his father had made sure to note /exactly/ how he felt about that. Now, with the Avengers living with him full-time, it’s getting more and more difficult to hide the part of him that almost no one still alive knows about.)

    “Classic” Fanwork
    “Classic” meaning the Drarry pairing that everyone writes in HP fandom as well as the inescapable pet/animal transformation that is in a lot of fics. But this one is sooo good, I love it.
    “Bellow, bluster… your rage is insignificant. No more than the mewing of a kitten. Do not be afraid. He will save you. Calm you. Love you.”
    Harry has a furry little problem – but Draco’s scent soothes the savage beastie. Will Draco be able to save him when Harry’s world begins to crumble? Bubbles, blowjobs, mystery – and something rotten in the place of Grimmauld. Yes, yes – it’s a Kitten!Harry fic. I know what you’re thinking – but it was there and I had to get it out of my system. Give it a chance.

    Complete for the Bronze. ?

  11. kawherp commented:

    I posted mine on Dreamwidth
    That should get me the bronze.

  12. Luck Kazajian commented:

    Here we go for the Bronze…

    A comment I left on a work – Coincidentally, this work is one that made me laugh and gave me a nice, warm fuzzy feeling. Great for a quick read to refresh your day.

    Creator with only 1 posted work – Also from the Lupin III fanbase, this story is hilarious, poignant, and action-packed. The authors do a great job of writing in-character and making a crazy, fun adventure with lots of gut-wrenching moments, cliff-hangers, and an absolutely vile bad guy.

    My favorite work – Sooo hard to pick *a* favorite! Although this story isn’t finished yet, I think it’s my first favorite from AO3. While I really have too many favorites to list, this is the one that sort of drew me into AO3 first ;) Plus it’s from the Uncharted fanbase and that’s my favorite video game series.

    Fanwork for when you’re sad – and Am I breaking the rules by posting two here? I couldn’t decide between them. So you guys get a bonus work, I guess! These are both heart-wrenching and beautiful. They will make you cry, make you gasp, maybe even make you smile. Absolutely touching, both of them. These are the type of stories you read when you want to hang out with Melancholy for a while.

    100-word Drabble – Again from the Lupin III fanbase (can you tell that’s where I’ve been spending my time?) A little drabble about Lupin’s devotion to Jigen.

  13. Janis commented:

    Ha-ha-ha, I narrowly missed filling out all of the last column on one piece of fanfiction alone. :-)

    Surprised there is no square for a fixit fic though — you know the sort, they killed off or wrote out your favorite character and you want them back, or whatever.