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June 2019 Newsletter, Volume 136


Our Elections team has been busy as this year’s OTW Board Directors election season has begun! The election will be held from 9-12 August, but in the meantime you can learn more about the three candidates competing for positions on the Board at our Elections page (for personal reasons, one of the original four candidates has withdrawn her candidacy). The Elections Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed questions for the upcoming candidates Q & A, answers to which will be posted to the Elections page.

Please note that the deadline to become an OTW member in order to vote in the upcoming election has now passed. If you don’t want to miss out next year, you can join at any time by making a US$10 membership donation at the OTW’s donations page. Read More

5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Chelsea Eidbo 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 Chelsea Eidbo, who volunteers with the Development & Membership and Tag Wrangling Committees.

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

As a staff member of Development & Membership, DevMem for short, I help with the Membership Drives and fundraising; work with users to resolve issues surrounding donations; and brainstorm for fundraising ideas, future drives, drive graphics, and gifts for donors. As a Tag Wrangler, I help to organize user-created tags in a variety of fandoms to make them searchable and make all creators’ works easier to find.

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

In a typical week, there is a weekly meeting with DevMem staff to discuss any upcoming projects, plan for any upcoming changes that might affect or interest users and work on graphics, banners and posts for the next Membership Drive. I wrangle in any spare time I have. I work with other wranglers on several mega fandoms as well as maintaining about twenty-five fandoms solo.

What made you decide to volunteer?

It’s not overly exciting. I had just quit my job and planned to spend the next two months living with my grandmother to help her out. I needed something to do in my downtime and wrangling seemed perfect. I joined DevMem two years later because I’d done fundraising as a teenager and was interested in doing it again and I was, and still am, highly motivated to make sure the OTW gets donations.

Plus, it’s fun!

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

Walked right into that one. There is so much fun to be had! Watching the Membership Drives happen from the volunteer side of it is awesome because all the volunteers are in a positive mood and excited to see how much users care about the OTW and AO3, and that they want to donate to keep us up and running. In the October 2018 Drive, we introduced the AO3 heart-shaped stress balls which were a huge hit and I’m psyched to have one, even though my cat has co-opted it as his favorite toy.

What fannish things do you like to do?

So many things. I read and write fanfiction on AO3 endlessly. Lots of crack fic and fluffy, fluffy romance. Lately, I’ve been letting my OTW friends inspire me for the most crack-filled ships to write about. I also listen to and record podfic, and get my fill of drama by reading the Fanlore pages. Most of my free time is either volunteering or meandering through my favorite AO3 tags.

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.

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 115

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we get started, Stranger Things season 3 was released on Netflix this week! Did you guys enjoy the season’s 80s aesthetic? How do you rank it compared to seasons 1 & 2? Feel free to take the (spoiler-cautious!) discussion to the comments.

One hot discussion in fandom this week has focused on Disney’s ongoing series of live-action remakes of its classic cartoons. This week saw a key casting announcement for The Little Mermaid (due to start production in April 2020) and the release of a new teaser trailer for Mulan (which should appear in theatres in March 2020).

Taking The Little Mermaid first: we learned this week that Halle Bailey, one half of R&B sister act Chloe x Halle, will be appearing in the role of Ariel. The news that a black actress would be cast in a role drawn as white in the 1989 cartoon prompted a predictable and unfortunate backlash from a vocal minority online, but Bailey-supporting fans rapidly co-opted the discussion by suggesting that for true accuracy the role should have gone to ‘a real mermaid’, reminding others that the Disney Little Mermaid is itself a transformative work, and suggesting that according to contextual clues, Ariel makes more sense as a Caribbean than as a Danish princess. Read More