Kirsten Wright: A member of the OTW Communications team, Kirsten first joined in 2014 at the recommendation of a former professor. She currently moderates the OTW Facebook page, as well as the LiveJournal and Dreamwidth accounts. She previously moderated the OTW Twitter account, and both the Fanlore Twitter and Tumblr accounts. Kirsten first found organized fandom as a young teenager, and never looked back. At various points, fandom has served as a teacher and friend, and is ultimately how she discovered her career in United States political campaigns. She’s a notorious fandom hopper, but has written the most for The Social Network. Her favorite genre of fic is slice of life. She has definitely opened more than one 200k fanfic after midnight during the work week.
1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
My work with the OTW has brought me great joy. I’ve been a staffer for almost five years, and my work has settled into a routine. Simultaneously, my career outside of fandom, while being unpredictable, leaves me with a lot of free time. After careful consideration, I concluded that this time would be well-spent getting more involved with the OTW.
2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
Because I have worked in all of our social media platforms, as well as a part of the media outreach team, I have a good idea of what concerns and questions people have about the OTW. I’ve spoken with journalists and fans alike, and I believe this gives me perspective I can bring to the board.
Furthermore, I have a very diverse background. I have worked in a lot of different fields, from wedding planning to politics, doing everything from research to fundraising to event planning and this has given me diverse skillset. I’m also hyper organized, and my ability to sort through and categorize minutiae can be incredibly useful in making sure our goals are achieved.
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?
While the OTW is well known for Archive of Our Own, our other projects are less-well known. Furthermore, many casual users of AO3 only have passing familiarity with the OTW, or haven’t heard of it at all. I’d like to work to raise awareness of all of the OTW’s projects, their goals, and their importance to fandom while simultaneously helping raise awareness of the OTW as a whole.
While I didn’t come to fandom through academia, it is how I ultimately became involved in the OTW: after taking several fandom studies classes, my professor recommended that I join the staff of the OTW. This experience definitely altered my experience with fandom, changing it from something to keep quiet about to a legitimate interest, worthy of academic study. I’d like to help bring that to others.
Previously, I worked as a liaison between two committees and I learned how to listen, and how to make sure each team accomplished their goals. I plan on bringing this experience to the board on a much larger scale, working with committees as needed to help address their goals. I have found that small-scale issues tend to get overlooked in favor of large-scale goals, but often these individual problems cause the biggest hurdle. Addressing them will help the organization as a whole to succeed.
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.
I spent a full year as the Communications liaison to Fanlore. During that time, I was responsible for making sure the two committees worked together smoothly, and managed all of external communications for Fanlore.
On a personal level, I really appreciate Fanlore’s dedication to oral history. While fannish works often stand on their own, there is a lot that gets forgotten about how fandom was built. I love hearing stories about what fandom was like before the advent of the internet, and particularly before I was born.
While the internet is forever, it is also transitory. If it weren’t for sites like Fanlore, a lot of important history would be forgotten.
This also brings us to Open Doors. The internet is in theory forever, but websites are not. Open Door’s dedication to bringing fic from shuttering websites to AO3 for preservation means that I have been able to read works that span backwards in time to when my own mother was younger then I am now.
I mentioned previously that while I am not an aca-fan, I did spend a not insignificant amount of time with fandom studies. While it’s not something I plan on pursuing professionally, I do enjoy reading articles from Transformative Works and Cultures.
I’d like to work with the committees behind each of these projects to see how we can better spotlight them. I’d like to raise awareness that the OTW is more than AO3, and that means finding new and innovative ways to showcase our other projects.
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?
I am confident that I will be able to continue my primary tasks in the Communications committee if I am elected onto the board. My current role is pretty well integrated with my day to day life, so I don’t imagine that will be an issue at all.