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 Alex Johnson, who volunteers on our Strategic Planning committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
As a volunteer on the Strategic Planning Committee, I help gather feedback and ideas from all areas of the Organization and incorporate it into our Vision Statement and Strategic Plan so that we have a guiding direction to move in as an organization. Part of my job is to have an awareness of what’s happening in every committee to some degree, and it’s great to be connected to the Organization in so many different ways.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
Our committee meets every Monday for a formal meeting where we check in on our latest communications with other committees and work on anything from drafting, to interpreting research, to publishing calls for feedback. We’ve also been meeting on Tuesdays for a study hall, where we work more independently on writing and information gathering in a collaborative space. Outside of our regular meetings, I also keep abreast of various public forums across the Org and occasionally work on editing!
What made you decide to volunteer?
I really believe in the OTW’s mission and appreciate the variety of archival and advocacy work that we do for fandom. As a fanfiction reader and writer, and as a humanities researcher and teacher, I wanted to give back to a community that is so important to me and share my skills to help guide the Organization forward.
What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?
My first volunteer experience with the OTW was with the Strategic Planning Committee, so it was a ton of information and new norms to get acquainted with all at once when I first joined. However, it’s been great to become more involved and comfortable with the Org, and see the ways (both good and difficult) that our organization culture mirrors fandom culture at large.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I love to read and write fanfiction. My favorite thing is to dig into a multiple-novel-length fanfic over the course of several days and just immerse myself in the world with the author (commenting all along the way, of course!). I also attend conventions and do group cosplays with my family; we just did three generations of JoJo characters together and it was a blast.
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 the comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.
The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.