Chris Angotti, Director of Programs
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.
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 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 and feel how life can be transformed through a daring creative act.
Tavia Stewart-Streit, Deputy Director
After earning a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, Tavia Stewart-Streit worked at 826 Valencia, McSweeney’s Publishing, Watchword Press, and ZYZZYVA before joining NaNoWriMo in 2006—where she’s held many roles since. Currently, she is 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 NaNo or hanging with her extra-awesome son Archer, she also curates literary-based audio tours for her very own small start-up Invisible City, and eats whenever possible at her husband’s restaurant, The Hog’s Apothecary.
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, Wired, and San Francisco magazines, as well as at Condé 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, Office Captain
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.
Paige Knorr, Community Liaison
By day, Paige works for a youth emergency shelter in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; by night (okay, evening) she dons her special cape-of-organization and coordinates the team of 650+ NaNoWriMo volunteers around the world. Her job is to provide support and guidance for all the Municipal Liaisons organizing writing events in their local communities. Paige also has a degree in Professional Writing, hosts karaoke on Saturdays, and enjoys anything involving science-fiction or cats.
Sonja Sueker, Customer Service Captain
Sonja spent most of her life in the Coloradan suburbs. Now she is doing what she has always wanted to do: live in a big city. She just graduated from high school and has yet to plan the rest of her life. These days, she spends most of her time writing novels, artfully avoiding editing aforementioned novels, drawing on Photoshop and the backs of napkins, watching Morgan Freeman-narrated documentaries on physics, and belting Broadway tunes in the shower (to which her Basset Hound-mix Milo howls along in delight).
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. She is currently the Lead Forums Moderator 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. 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 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 global 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 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, and has been a staffer since 2008. 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.
Lauren Harsma, NaNoWriMo Intern
Lauren is a West Coast transplant from Syracuse, New York. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and studied English Literature at the University of Leeds—and as a result of these six months abroad, she now spends a significant amount of time searching for flights to Europe that she cannot afford. When she’s not making up for lost time in California by voluntarily doing yoga, queuing for brunch, and disparaging artisan pizza, Lauren can most often be found trying to figure out how to fit more books onto her very tired bookshelf, teaching lawyers how to make coffee, mourning long-cancelled television shows, and writing lots and lots of fiction.
Steven Genise, NaNoWriMo Intern
Steven Genise is a NaNoWriMo intern and student at UC Berkeley who, contrary to popular belief, is not so much a human as a robot that runs exclusively on coffee. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring fringe sports like rowing, and learning all sorts of dead languages that he claims will come in handy one of these days. He has participated in NaNo three times, and written three novels (though the two facts do not always coincide), and is eager to start his fourth in November.
Hannah Rubin, NaNoWriMo Intern
Hannah Rubin is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University where she studied writing, theory, and the theory of writing. At least that’s what it says on her Facebook. She just loaded all of her possessions into two incredibly large grey duffel bags and drove across the country—an adventure that included climbing on large rocks, sleeping in teepees, and cajoling the benevolent women at Subway to put as many pickles as possible onto her $5 footlong tuna subs. With a background in nonfiction and poetry, Hannah is kind of new to this “fiction” stuff, but is excited to finally figure out whether the voice that lives inside her head is named Lyra or Judy—or is, possibly, a wearied American Studies professor named Charles Olivander who often forgets to comb his graying hair and coughs too loudly when he is thinking.
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. (Sarah is on maternity leave until August 2014.)