Laure D. has changed jobs too many times after studying translation. She’s worked in publishing, in video games, briefly in fashion, press and technical support. It was not enough variety so at the moment she’s studying again to become a web developer in France.
Laure can’t even remember when exactly she discovered fanfictions, but her AO3 account says she’s been there since 2013. She reads in any fandom with enough fluff, angst and romance, preferably all at once.
She joined the OTW as a French translator in May 2019, and was roped in to become a volunteer manager for the Translation committee 6 months later. This encouraged her to engage more with the other committees, but also to start writing her own fics at last.
1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
Being a volunteer manager for the Translation committee has been so interesting, and has allowed me to discover so much about the OTW and fandom, that I really want to learn even more. I feel like being on the Board and seeing the big picture of such an organization would be really compelling.
Over the past year I’ve also realized how complicated it can be to run such a structure, and I’d like to help this process and make a contribution however I can.
2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
My main skills are adaptability, empathy, and teamwork.
The adaptability I’ve developed first during my studies. Translating is a very versatile exercise in itself, and that’s why I like it. It’s a skill that’s been very useful each time I had to change jobs, I learn fast and I’m generally quickly operational in a new environment.
Empathy is also something you learn, though I had a good head start. Working and then volunteering with kind people has taught me a lot, in particular that kindness has to be embedded in the processes to be consistent. I’ve also seen enough toxic work environments to know what NOT to do as a manager.
Teamwork I’ve also learned over the years, and it’s especially important in OTW, where most of the work is done in teams.
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?
The first goal I value is making the OTW projects as accessible as possible. I already know and work on the translation side of this goal, and I intend to continue. I’ll also support the efforts of the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee (AD&T) that works on the AO3 website. For me it’s an important part of our missions, that we strive to be as welcoming as possible.
I’d also like to help the different committees work better together. The OTW is a rather massive machine, and having all its different parts collaborate smoothly is a continuous effort. I’m very keen on seeing how the chairs from the different committees approach their work, and to be there for them if they need help.
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.
Being rather new to the OTW, I’ve only been part of the Translation committee for now. Luckily, it’s a committee that’s in contact with a lot of the others, as we translate a wide range of documentation. It has allowed me to collaborate with most Committees for translation purposes, and to see how they each have their own particularities and issues.
It means that I’ve done a lot of reading on AO3, Fanlore, Open Doors and Legal. Of course AO3 is our most well-known project, but it doesn’t mean the other projects should be neglected. I find it amazing that we contribute to preserving endangered contents through Open Doors, and recording fandom history on Fanlore.
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 Translation committee has recruited several new volunteer managers lately, so we’re not understaffed at all. My current workload within the committee is already very reasonable and flexible, so I’ll just need to organise and adapt my time depending on priorities.
Board decisions will of course take priority, as will any current crisis affecting OTW. But I won’t give up volunteering for Translation as it’s bringing me much joy and it’s very helpful to the committee to have enough managers around!