OTW Guest Post: within_a_dream

Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

Within_a_dream, one of the moderators of the Femslash Exchange, is a fic writer and exchange mod who spends far too much time picking up new canons to obsess over. She’s been modding exchanges since college and writing fic for as long as she can remember, although it took her some time to discover that she could post it online. Today, within_a_dream talks about the benefits of AO3’s fest-running infrastructure and the wish to see more fandom-specific femslash exchanges in the future.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I was around 13, looking for interviews with my favorite author, and I found a LiveJournal comm dedicated to her books instead (the Queen’s Thief series, if you’re curious). I lurked for a long time, read the fics posted on the community, and found my way to AO3 via exchanges in college (my first was Jukebox Exchange). I still write fic for Queen’s Thief!

How did the Femslash Exchange get started?

I’m not actually sure! My co-mod and I took it over from the previous set of mods 5 years or so ago, and I think it was a remake of a previous femslash exchange. The first year I signed up was one of the last years of the previous mod running it, and I didn’t want to see it die, so I volunteered to mod.

What has been the most rewarding part of hosting the exchange?

Seeing how excited people get about it! And how many great femslash fanworks get created.

What developments would you like to see for femslash in fandom?

I always want more femslash fanworks in general (and selfishly, more fanworks of my ships 😉), but I think what I’d like most is for anyone who wants more femslash in their fandoms to feel able to run exchanges, fests, or other events. It’s not as hard as it looks, and there’s a great community of mods ready to help you!

How did you hear about the OTW and what do you see its role as?

I heard about the OTW through AO3, as I think a lot of people have. I’m mainly familiar with its work in running AO3, although I try to keep up with some of the other work in policy, academics, etc. With the current environment on the internet, the thing I appreciate most about the OTW is the place it provides to host all fanfiction regardless of topic. (And the aid AO3 provides in running exchanges is also very appreciated! We would have a lot harder time running Femslashex without the matching algorithm and assignment infrastructure.)

What fandom things have inspired you the most?

Seeing the variety of fandom events and all of the work that goes into running them and creating for them. Exchanges, fests, theme weeks, charity auctions – there’s so much joy and passion that goes into them, and that motivates me to keep creating my own fanworks.

We encourage suggestions from fans for future guest posts, so contact us if you have someone in mind!  Or you can visit our Pinboard account to catch up on earlier guest posts.

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