5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Arly Guevara 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 Arly Guevara, who volunteers with the Strategic Planning Committee.

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

I work on implementation monitoring, where we try to support other committees in reaching the goals proposed by our current Strategic Plan. In an organization founded by and for fans, it’s very important for us to make sure the plan follows the same principles, tailored to our needs so the OTW can keep being a place where we feel safe and validated.

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

I meet on Saturdays with the other members of Strategic Planning, and the rest of the week I work on any assignments I might have. If there are any projects where I’m involved, I might meet during the week to work on that.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I saw a post on the main page of the OTW website! I’ve been a fan of the OTW for many years now so I decided to take part in it. I was also encouraged by the fact that the job description aligned with the things I was learning at Vocational School at the time.

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

I really like working with my ​teammates! It’s great to meet people outside of my home country, learn about their own experiences and points of view. Besides that, it also feels great to be part of an organization I’ve admired for so long.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I. Read. Fanfiction. A lot of it. I really like to be involved with fanfic writers and be part of discussions/analysis, too. Besides that, I looove attending conventions and I’m trying my hand for the first time in cosplay (though I usually only do characters that have the same hair color as me, sorry, I’m lazy).


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.

OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Jessica Leski

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Jessica Leski’s debut feature, I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story, had its World Premiere at Hot Docs in 2018 and has been screening at festivals around the world since, including the London Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, and Rotterdam Film Festival. I Used to be Normal was released in Australian cinemas in late 2018 by Madman Entertainment and will be released on US screens via Fuse TV on May 18th 2019. Today, Jessica talks about her fandom project.

How did you first find out about fandom or fanworks?

My first experience of fandom was in 1999 when I became a big Dawson’s Creek fan. I loved watching the show with my friends and dissecting it with them afterwards, but I always felt like it was a much bigger part of my life than it was for them. I wrote university essays about it, I saw lookalikes everywhere I went, and I even had one or two moments when I felt reality blur about whether the characters were people I knew in real life or not. This was pretty early in my relationship with the internet, so I wasn’t aware of message boards or forums and things like that. So I found myself searching for ways to express my fandom in real life.

I was in my first year of film school at the time, and for one of my assignments I re-created the opening sequence of Dawson’s Creek, shot for shot, with lookalikes. When we had a screening of all our films at the end of the year the other students laughed and clapped in recognition at mine, but the teachers were completely baffled; they had no idea what they were watching. Luckily a fellow student stood up and likened it to Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, and I ended up getting a good grade!

It took another ten years before I became a fan of something to that same level, and this time it was UK boyband One Direction. I was taken completely by surprise because I had never liked a boyband before, and I was 31 years old at the time, not the target age range at all.

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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Nrandom 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 Nrandom, who volunteers as a staffer in our Policy & Abuse and Tag Wrangling Committees.

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

As a member of the Policy & Abuse Committee, I respond to tickets sent in by users about issues like plagiarism, harassment, non-fanworks (works like prompt lists, fic searches, requests for a beta, or roleplay ads), as well as other violations of the Terms of Service. As a team, we do our best to help users with any issues they have while also ensuring that the values AO3 was founded on are upheld. I also get to do a lot of work with the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee (AD&T), particularly in situations like last year, when the archive was experiencing a spam epidemic.

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