Emyn a.’s Bio & Platform

June 26: Per an announcement, Emyn a. withdrew from the ballot.


Emyn a. (he/they) is a podficcer, rarepair enthusiast, The Sims building fiend and Six Nations fan. In their day job they are a customer service agent, with a focus on exam accommodations and testing event planning. Their deep understanding of the client and their processes has given them the opportunity to develop their skills in communication and self-sufficiency, as well as experience inducting and training new members to the team.

They joined the Organisation for Transformative Works (OTW) as a Translation volunteer in 2016, creating a new language team and running it solo until the adoption of new team members within the last few years. They’ve also enjoyed a stint in the Tag Wrangling committee, and are always enthusiastic to learn new things about how the org ticks.

1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?


Seven years ago I joined the OTW because I saw there was no Welsh translation team, and I knew that the best way for the OTW projects to be accessible in Welsh was to volunteer and create the team myself. The same drive is what drives me to run for Board – I have a deep love and belief in the mission of the OTW, however I can also see places where it struggles and where it is strong, and areas that have and have not responded to the changing territory of fandom in the years since its founding.

The fannish community that we serve has changed since the org’s founding in the wake of Strikethrough and Fanlib. The issues we are facing now are different and evolving, and I’m running for Board because I want to work on modernising the OTW so that it is better equipped to face these challenges. I feel that the best way for me to support and help the OTW strengthen and improve is to be in the driver’s seat along with other Board members.

2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?

My IRL job involves me arranging exams, testing events and accommodations for candidates and answering their queries and complaints, so I have a lot of experience in organising and communicating with folk from all over the world. It’s also taught me patience and how to handle difficult situations, which I hope to use in my time on Board in ensuring that we communicate operate transparently and any issues with our projects are communicated sensitively.

My work in translation has also taught me communication and collaboration skills. Creating the Welsh translation team seven years ago also taught me a number of skills, from documentation to self-organization and self-drive, which I’d like to use to ensure that any new plans and projects are ran and ran well.

3. 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?

On a pan-OTW view, I’d like to work with our committees to ensure that they have the support that they need to carry out their roles. Siloing is a big problem between teams in the OTW, so I’d really like to work on breaking those silos down and improving communication and relationships between teams. I’d also like to focus on finding ways to avoid burnout in the volunteer base and ensure that the workload for volunteers is sustainable. I do support current plans to bring on paid roles for support in certain areas of infrastructure, and I’d also be interested in onboarding a previously mooted idea of a diversity consultant sooner rather than later.

On a more project specific level, the AO3 is very close to my heart, and I’m aware of wider discussions and concerns regarding the use of AO3 as a harassment tool and the difficulties in avoiding unwanted content on the AO3. To this end, I’d like to work with the Support and Abuse teams to ensure that they have the tools that they need to better support users, and what can be offered to them that would lighten their workload. I’d also like to look into further tools to allow personal curation of content, such as adding additional archive warnings tags, particularly for bigotry and AI-generated content, permanent or account-level tag blocking and the like.

4. 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.

My impression is that those committees involved in our projects know what they need and what needs improving, so the way I can see how to strengthen our committees and projects is sitting down with the committees involved and ensuring support is given in a form that is wanted and that would be useful to them.

The main project I am familiar with is the AO3, and it’s the one I engage with most often. I mentioned earlier that I’d love to see personal curation tools for the archive, however I’d like to also ensure that what we already offer is fully supported.If we do implement new features, I want to ensure we have everyone onboard and that all involved are supported to ensure a smooth rollout.

In my free time I also write and edit Fanlore articles! The preservation of fannish lore and events, not only fanworks, is personally important to me, and I’d like to ensure that all committees involved in both Fanlore and Open Doors both have the resources they need to continue their integral work.

I’m also always in awe of the infrastructure underlying all of our projects and the work our volunteer do to keep the OTW dream alive and kicking, from the Legal Advocacy project to the work done by our Webs and ADT teams, and it would be important to me to support their efforts to ensure the longevity of the OTW as a whole.

5. 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?

The Welsh language team I volunteer for has now grown since my founding of it in 2016, and we have more members than just little old me seven years ago! We’ve done some good work translating a significant chunk of OTW content, so I feel much more comfortable taking a step back so I can better split my time between the team and Board. At the moment I plan to stay on news translation and continue to translate short content, which should give me the space and time to work on Board.