OTW Elections 2017: It’s Almost Time


OTW contested election banner

Being a member of the Organization for Transformative Works means being able to vote for your Board. This helps affect how the OTW, and projects such as the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures, are run now and going forward. This year, our Board elections are from August 11th–14th, and to be eligible to vote, you need to be a member of the Organization for Transformative Works by June 30, 2017.

In order to become a member and be eligible to vote in this year’s election, you have to have made a donation of US$10 or more and chosen the “membership” option. If you're unsure whether this applies to your donation, please contact our Development & Membership team.

Please don’t miss your chance to vote in this election; become a member today!

2017 OTW Elections Candidates Announcement


OTW Contested Election

Candidates Announcement

The Organization for Transformative Works is pleased to announce the following candidates for the 2017 Election (in alphabetical order by given name):

  • Claire P. Baker
  • Danielle Strong
  • Erica Dulin
  • Gimena Calixto
  • Jessie Camboulives
  • Milena Popova

Because we have 3 seats to be filled and 6 candidates, the 2017 election will be contested – that is, the members of OTW will vote on which candidates fill the seats.

The Elections Committee is excited to introduce the candidates to all of the members of the OTW! Included in this post are links to short Bios and Platforms written by the candidates. This post also marks the beginning of our Q&A period, during which we invite the public to submit questions for the candidates. Additionally, we will be holding a series of live chats – dates and times for those are to be announced based on candidate availability. Information on the voting period and how to vote will also be posted shortly.

In the meantime, there is a timeline of Elections events available here for your reference. Read on to learn more about our candidates and how you can submit questions for them!

Platforms and Bios

We asked each candidate to provide us with a Bio that sums up their professional and fannish experience, as well as to write a Platform about their goals for their term on the Board by answering the following questions:

  • Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
  • What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
  • Choose one or two goals for the OTW that are important to you and that you would be interested in working on during your term. Why do you value these goals? How would you work with others to achieve them?
  • What is your experience with the OTW’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Try to include a range of projects, though feel free to emphasize particular ones you have experience with.
  • How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the OTW, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?

You can read both the candidates’ answers to these questions and their bios by following the link below.

Question & Answer (Q&A)

Candidates will also answer questions from the public. Anyone may submit questions via the Elections form. Please submit all questions by 11:59pm UTC on June 28 (what time is that where I live?). All candidates will answer each question submitted, subject to the following restrictions:

  • Questions must not be repeats of questions from the Platforms. This is to allow candidates to spend their time answering new questions.
  • Similar questions will be grouped together so candidates don’t have to repeat themselves. Elections staff will decide which questions are similar enough to group.
  • If you have a follow-up to a Platform question, please specifically mention that it is a follow-up so it isn’t treated as a repeat.

The posting date for answers will be chosen depending on the number of questions received. Posts will be spread out, arranged by topic, to make it easier for voters to read all the answers.

The OTW is Recruiting for Finance, Support, Development & Membership, Plus Translators and Graph


OTW Recruitment Banner by Erin

Would you like to help your fellow fans use the AO3? Or do you have skills with graphic design, fundraising, or customer service? Or do you have a background in finance? Or can you translate documents on a tight turnaround? Communications, Development & Membership, Finance, AO3 Support, and Translation are looking for new personnel in a range of roles!

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Translation Volunteers and Strategic Planning Staff.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Graphics Volunteers
  • Finance Committee Staff
  • Development & Membership Committee Staff
  • Support Committee Staff
  • Translation Committee - News Translation Volunteer

These roles will all close Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC.

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Communications Committee Graphics Volunteers

Do you have experience with graphic design or creating digital fan art? The Communications Committee is looking for volunteers!

Communications handles most of the information distribution for the OTW. We manage the OTW News blog and related social media accounts, and we assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. Most of our OTW News posts use original graphics created by volunteers, and we’re looking for new recruits to create those graphics. If you have experience with graphic design or digital fan art, apply to join us as a Communications Graphics Volunteer!

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC

Development & Membership Staff

Do you have skills or interest in fundraising, membership database management, creating promotional graphics, eCommerce, or customer service?

The Development & Membership committee (DevMem) coordinates the OTW's fundraising and membership-building activities. Our primary responsibility is coordinating our biannual fund drives. Our other responsibilities include designing a new convention outreach process, communicating with donors, and exploring new fundraising opportunities. If you have skills or interests in these areas, consider applying to join our staff!

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC

Finance Committee Staff

Have you checked out the OTW’s budget for 2017? Did you by any chance look at it and go, hey, I could help them with that? If you have a background in finance and if you’re up for contributing some time and knowledge, we’d love to hear from you!

The OTW Finance committee handles payments, ensures that the accounting records are accurate and up-to-date, communicates with the Board and OTW committees in the creation of an Annual Budget, and produces annual financial statements. We are improving and documenting internal financial policies and procedures, such as payment requests or setting up new vendors.

More information about the Finance Committee can be found at the Finance Committee Page

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC

Support Committee Staff

If you've spent time figuring out how to make the Archive dance (or are willing to press the button to see what happens), are patient in the face of strange questions, can self-motivate, and are interested in helping your fellow fans, we would love to hear from you!

The Support team is responsible for handling the feedback and requests for assistance we receive from users of the Archive. We answer users’ questions, help to resolve problems they’re experiencing, and pass on information to and from coders, testers, tag wranglers and other teams involved with the Archive.

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC

Translation Committee - News Translation Volunteers

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish.

(Please note that our Chinese, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page. If your language is not listed, feel free to contact us anyway! We'd love to hear from you.

More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC

Read more and apply at the Organization for Transformative Works' Volunteering page!

Five Things Ely Said


5 things an OTW volunteer said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Ely, who volunteers as a translator.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

The mission of the OTW is to “provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures”; I reckon that, as a volunteer translator, my role fits primarily with the part where we “provide access”.

Even though, in the 21st Century, more and more people use English online, there are still many users who don’t feel confident enough in a language that is not their own. What we do in Translation is try to reach as broad a public as possible by translating content that otherwise would be inaccessible to many.

Knowing that, thanks to our work, people get to feel part of the wonderful community that is the OTW makes it one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever volunteered to do.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I am part of the Italian Team, which is one of the teams with the highest number of volunteers, and we don’t get new tasks daily since we have completed all the main ones already. Therefore, I don’t think we have a “typical” week, every day varies greatly according to the tasks we’re given. But that doesn’t mean that our week is anything but exciting!

When I am given a new document to translate, I draft a rough rendition of the translation as quickly as possible. Then, I put it away for a day or so before I get back to what I’ve written with a fresh mind and work properly on it. It usually takes me four to five days before I feel confident enough to send it back.

We have a two-beta system and I very much enjoy being the first beta. Being the first beta means that I can point out what I would change but I get to hear what other people think of my changes before anything is set in stone. I love to discuss grammar and stylistic choices with my fellow teammates –- yes, I am that nerdy. The second beta wraps up any comment and marks the doc as “Ready”.

Sometimes, the teams are given new terms whose translations they need to discuss before adding them to each team’s cheat sheet. Everybody writes what they believe would be the most accurate translation and we discuss and vote the terms that are the toughest to find a solution to. Don’t be fooled! This is a hard task that can take days if not weeks.

We also take surveys about our work as volunteers; once a year, we chat privately with our Chairs; we have regular Translation meetings on Slack (that I regularly miss due to personal schedule conflicts!); and when there is a Drive or other time sensitive posts to translate… well! That’s when things get hectic!

What sorts of OTW content have you worked on?

I have worked on all sorts of OTW content: AO3 and OTW FAQs, News posts, Election posts, Abuse and Support messages, Open Doors tutorials, Drives, Video Subtitles, Annual Reports, and the recruitment samples.

My favourite tasks to work on are the Abuse and Support emails, though, because the role of the translator is essential –- not that it usually isn’t -– and, without our mediation, the Abuse and Support volunteers wouldn’t be able to communicate with non-English-speaking users seeking practical help.

Alas! My least favourite tasks are legal documents; I am pants at translating all that technical vocabulary and, when I get one of those, it’s usually accompanied by an apology from our Translation Chairs –- who totally understand and share my grief.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Being a language graduate from the University of Venice, and having worked as a freelance translator and interpreter for years, one of the most fun things for me is working on the translations themselves. Some of them are a field day, some others are much more byzantine, but it is always rewarding when the document is finally ready and you know you gave all you have to do a good job. Plus, you get to know about what’s going to happen on the Archive before everyone else (when you have News posts to translate)!

Another fun aspect of my work as a volunteer is to meet other nerdy people that share my passion about fandom, and to chat with them about their fanworks and their own involvement with AO3. I am always interested to see the similarities and differences between other users’ experiences and my own, and I am often surprised to see how much I share even with people that have very different interests from my own.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I like to do all sorts of fannish things! (Who doesn’t?)

Primarily, when I have time, I love to write. I am an author (and have been one for 14 years, now) for the Harry Potter fandom (my one and only fandom), and I love to pen long, plot-driven, multi-chaptered stories about my OTP (Lily Luna Potter/Hugo Weasley). When I feel particularly inspired by a prompt, I participate in the occasional fest on LiveJournal (which usually cross-posts on AO3, nowadays).

I love to read, and I absolutely adore to leave long and detailed feedback that makes other writers and artists squeal in delight. I am also a mod for Crack Broom, a reccing community on LiveJournal, and I love to rec those stories that leave me a gooey mess.

I am artistically impaired, but I am a junkie for fanart, and I always marvel at how good other people are. I commission the occasional drawing, too, just for the pleasure of my eyes and to support those wonderful artists out there.

I take part in-fandom discussions on LiveJournal, read meta-essays, enjoy fandom stats, beta-read Italian fan-fictions, cheerlead my fellow writers when they need help, and study articles on Transformative Works and Cultures. In fact, I used one of the articles from TWC as a source to write my plagiarism essay for my university induction last year.

Fandom is such a big part of my life; the one place where I always come back. It is the beautiful fantasy world that we build all together and where I love to get lost.

Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.