Board of Directors

National Novel Writing Month is overseen by a wise, tireless, and strikingly good-looking Board of Directors.

Our Board Members

Julie Barton is the Development Manager for Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, and previously worked for the Harry Potter Alliance. With a Ph.D. in Literature and a M.A. in Children’s Literature, she has publications in The Journal of Children’s Literature Studies and Crossing Textual Boundaries in International Children’s Literature, and taught undergraduate courses at the University of East Anglia. In London she served for four years on the UK chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People, and is currently a committee member for USBBY. A 2015-16 Leadership San Francisco member and an Advisory Board Member for New Leaders Council SF, she is determined to never be too old (or too busy!) to read books written for children. She is passionate about the power of story to enact positive social change, and believes that quality children’s literature can change the world.

Chris Baty accidentally founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and oversaw the event’s growth from 21 friends to more than 300,000 writers in 90 countries. Chris now serves as a Board Member Emeritus for NaNoWriMo, teaches classes on writing and creativity through Stanford University’s Writer’s Studio, makes posters, and endlessly revises his own novels and screenplays. He’s the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author of Ready, Set, Novel. For more on Chris, see

Buster Benson is the founder of and has participated in and completed NaNoWriMo twice. The results of one year were self-published and are still available on Amazon under the title Man Versus Himself. During the day, Buster builds products for tech platforms that encourage writing (currently at Slack, previously at Twitter), advises a number of startups, and documents his life and beliefs at

Karima Cammell is a painter, author, and publisher admired for her merging of art, business, and personal philosophy. In 2001, she founded Castle in the Air, a shop and classroom in Berkeley, California which grew to become a destination for artists and dreamers from around the world. Her list of award-winning books includes Pirate & HoopoeCommonplace Mouse, and Commonplace Birthday, and her creations have been featured in numerous publications including Where Women CreateVictoria, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Faerie.

Paul Oh is the Director of Community Engagement at Teaching Channel, an educational non-profit dedicated to improving teaching and learning through video-based professional development. Paul is a graduate of Wesleyan University, a former journalist, and a former public school teacher. In his spare time, Paul roots for his hometown team, the Mets, runs around Lake Merritt, and dreams of updating his blog.

Julie Russell leads the IT team at In 2001 she launched a web magazine called Be Real which published personal essays.  She is on the STEM and Technology committees at Alta Vista School in San Francisco.  She’s also a California native who graduated with a BS in Managerial Economics from UC Davis, and eventually migrated west to San Francisco. Julie got hooked on NaNoWriMo in 2011, and will keep you up late talking about how much she loves it and believes that yes, everyone can write 50,000 words in 30 days, and it very likely will change your life.

Tony Shen is the Chief Operating Officer for EdTec, a social venture supporting charter schools throughout the U.S. Tony has directed and consulted to a wide range of organizations in the public and private sectors and, prior to EdTec, managed a rural economic development fund. Tony holds an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a BA from Stanford University. But really, Tony would rather be turning his 2011 NaNoWriMo novel into a rock opera co-starring Carrie Brownstein and Radiohead.

Jason Snell has spent two decades writing about the world of technology, and specifically Apple. He was the lead editor at Macworld for more than a decade and now writes and edits his own site, Six Colors, while also providing weekly columns for Macworld and WinSuperSite. He’s also the founder of The Incomparable, a popular-culture podcasting network, and hosts two weekly technology podcasts at Relay.FM as well. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (where he later taught new-media publishing for several years). When at UCSD in the early ’90s, he founded the fiction magazine InterText, which was one of the first magazines distributed worldwide by an obscure computer network called “the Internet.” He has participated in NaNoWriMo six times and has three as-yet-unpublished novels to show for it. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife and two children.


Learn more about NaNoWriMo.