Chris Angotti, Program Director
Chris Angotti is a former middle and high school teacher who believes in encouraging creativity among all ages. In his spare time, he tries to make his own things, as well as read, watch, and listen to as much as he can. Also, he will never get tired of looking at dogs. Here at the office, Chris oversees NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young
Writers Program. He works with all staff to ensure that our websites and resources are the best they can be for participants and educators.
Sarah Mackey, Director of Community Engagement
Sarah is a nap enthusiast and fanatical knitter with a background in libraries, an English degree, a diploma in Public Relations, and a slightly spoiled cat named Weasley. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and thus spends a great deal of time on webcams and Google chat with her coworkers. As Director of Community Engagement, Sarah is responsible for coordinating NaNoWriMo’s more than 650 volunteers around the world, running the various social media accounts, working with libraries and bookstores through the Come Write In partnership, and helping to organize the annual Night of Writing Dangerously fundraising gala.
As a boy, Grant spent his allowance on all sorts of pens and paper, so there was never much question that he would become a writer. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College in English and his M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has published in such journals as The Southwest Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Gargoyle, and The Berkeley Fiction Review, among others. He’s the founder and editor of the lit journal 100 Word Story and writes essays and book reviews for a number of publications and blogs. He believes quite simply that everyone is a writer—that we create our world through the stories we tell—so he now enthusiastically prods nearly everyone he meets to write a novel or a script and feel how life can be transformed through a daring creative act.
Tavia Stewart-Streit, Deputy Director
Shortly after Tavia graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Creative Writing, she packed up and moved to San Francisco in search of a new life immersed in the Bay Area’s literary scene. For the first couple years, she waited tables, volunteered at 826 Valencia’s creative writing center, and interned for McSweeney’s Publishing, Watchword Press, andZYZZYVA. Never in a million years did she imagine that all her hard work would one day pay off and land her such an amazing job at such an inspiring organization. But in 2006 it did, and she’s been over the moon for OLL ever since!
Over the past six plus years, she’s done just about everything at OLL from answering emails to planning our annual Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-thon to helping pen our Young Novelist Workbooks. Currently, as Deputy Director she is in charge of overseeing our wonderful staff, financial oversight, the NaNoWriMo Donation Station and Store and fulfillment warehouse, and assisting Grant with strategic planning, fundraising calendaring, and general organizational operations.
When she’s not working at OLL, or hanging with her extra-awesome son Archer, she also curates literary-based audio tours for her very own small start-up Invisible City.
Tim Kim, Editorial Director
As Editorial Director, Tim oversees communications, including the blog, newsletter, and general updates from HQ. In other words, he is a glorified town caller. Please feel free to picture him with a speaking-trumpet, as it is his accoutrement of choice, preferably bedazzled rather majestically to separate him from the other town callers. As a former NaNoWriMo intern himself, Tim also oversees our intern program, the most difficult part of which is frantically searching for ways to permanently retain these fantastic folks.
Tim has worked for Once magazine, WIRED, San Francisco magazine, and at Conde Nast. He is searching for new ways to humble-brag about the fact that he is only two degrees of separation away from Taylor Swift, and that his dog is possibly the cutest dog ever.
Shelby Gibbs received her B.A. in English Literature from Mills College in 2012. She has written literary criticism, personal essays, and the occasional poem on the color purple since childhood. Before NaNoWriMo, she interned at a small publishing house in Berkeley and penned a senior thesis on Virginia Woolf. In her free time, she enjoys grocery shopping (especially the free samples), and further exploring her native Bay Area. At NaNoWriMo, she holds down the fort by answering customer service emails, tending to office plant life, and coordinating staff and program events.
Dan Duvall, Technical Director
Suburban-born, Dan was raised on video games, Slurpees, the best-of-the-worst action flicks, and juvenile mischief. It’s taken nearly a decade for him to “get out of the house” and the shock of it all has him entertaining delusions of subsistence farming and off-the-grid living from time to time. His notable strengths include sandwich composition, scat singing, spinning pile-drivers and techniques for bailing from a mountain bike.
Jezra Lickter, Web Developer
Jezra enjoys writing code in various programming languages, as well as riding a bike, trying not to fall off a skateboard, and playing the bagipes. When he grows up, he hopes to be an an astronaut.
Heather Dudley, Lead Forums Moderator
Heather is a 30-something mother of two and a hopeless writing addict, and is currently serving as the Lead Forums Moderator for the for the community forums. A relapsed webmaster with extensive moderating experience, she started volunteering in the NaNoWriMo forums in 2003. Her dreams came true in 2007 when she was asked to join staff as the Forums Moderator, and started in 2008. She wrangles the hundreds of thousands of posts and participants that flow through the forums on a daily basis, moving them around, answering questions, and reporting forum feedback to the staff back at HQ. In 2012, she was promoted to Lead Forums Moderator, and is responsible for overseeing the volunteer and staff moderators over both the main and YWP websites.
Emily Bristow, Program Facilitator
Emily may be the only person in the NaNoVerse to belong to every one of our 586 regions. She supports our army of dedicated volunteers by moderating the Municipal Liaison forums, overseeing the Mentor Program, editing the ML Guide to Life, and helping with yearly region setup. She assists with fundraising, is responsible for the Donation Derby, and sometimes concerns herself with statistics. Prior work experience includes fine arts, photography and print journalism, TV production, technical writing, and editing. Emily was an Austin, Texas ML from 2004-2011. She’s participated in NaNo since 2002 and is astonished to win every year.
Rob Diaz, YWP Forums Moderator
Rob hoped to major in Coffee Studies at Rutgers University but settled for a degree in Computer Science instead. This degree helped him get a foot in the door at a large software company where he spent over 13 years as Chief Coffee Officer. Rob signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2006 and has participated alongside his wife and children every year since then. He has now had five short stories published, two plays produced and has become a regular contributor to the Write Anything blog. Rob is often found on baseball diamonds or marching band fields, or in his dungeon plotting new ways to bring on a golden age of Vegetarian World Domination. Or drinking coffee—he’s been known to do that occasionally, too.
Cybele May, Site Wrangler
One of NaNoWriMo’s far-flung staff members, Cybele lives in Los Angeles where she has ample access to internet at all hours of the day and night. This year marks Cybele’s sixth year on staff and possibly the year of her tenth novel. Fear not, she’ll have plenty to do in November in addition to noveling and working on fine-tuning the site; she also holds down a full-time job and is getting her re-certification as a whale watching naturalist. When not obsessively noveling, she’s obsessively blogging for candyblog.net.
Ari Asercion, NaNoWriMo Intern
Ari Asercion graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz after studying creative writing amidst the deer, the beaches, and the redwoods. She has since returned to her home in the East Bay Area where she juggles jobs and internships galore, all of which keep her researching, and writing. Her greatest loves include tea drinking, video games, blues guitar, design, and technology. This is her second time around interning with the folks at OLL and she couldn’t be more pleased about this, and though Ari has never won NaNoWriMo, she’s got her fingers crossed for this year.
Andrea Ellickson, NaNoWriMo Intern
Andrea grew up in San Francisco, a city where the best conversations are found on street corners and subway trains. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in English and Psychology. As a freelance writer, she has spent the past two years writing a variety of travel, lifestyle, education, and non-profit articles. Ever searching for lush experiences and characters to include in her writing, she has backpacked though Europe, South America, and across the USA. She now lives in Berkeley with her boyfriend and their furry side-kick Leila. While interning with the stellar staff at the OLL and working at the UC Berkeley International House, she continues to write her first novel – a young adult fiction about Dill Pickle and his misadventures with earthquakes.
A West Texas native, Hilary hails from the dusty deserts of El Paso. Quite recently she made the huge decision of packing up her treasured books and budding record collection, so as to move to the Bay Area in search of new adventures and shenanigans. Hilary received her B.A. in English and Literature from Texas Tech University, and nabbed a minor in Music along the way. Among her (long) list of favorite interests you would find: experimenting with baking recipes, bad karaoke, crossword puzzles, and buying almost anything that is plaid. Seeing as this is her first year to partake in NaNoWriMo, she is most anxious to start penning her first novel, tackle the beast that is 50,000 words, and hopefully meet you at the winner’s circle!