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 co-owns 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.
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.
Shelby Gibbs, Operations Manager
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 tending to office plant life, helping out with bookkeeping and financial tasks, planning the Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-thon, and coordinating staff and program events.
Lauren Harsma, Communications Captain
Lauren’s ultimate goal is to turn her house into a library she’ll never have to leave. She eats books for breakfast (and also second breakfast and elevenses, lunch, dinner, and supper) and has degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature from Oswego State University and the University of Leeds. After spending several months train-hopping in Europe, wishing for thunderstorms, freeing insects trapped against cafe windows, and cultivating an impressive crop of freckles, she now responds with sass and gusto to writerly inquiries and plans totally wicked programs and events at NaNoWriMo.
Dave Beck, Technical Director
Brownian motion is Dave’s career arc. With a B.A. in Italian Literature and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence, he has worked as a chef, reporter, editor, museum exhibit developer, website designer, computer programmer, and now the Director of IT for the most awe-inspiring community on the planet. When he’s not helping people achieve their literary dreams he builds wooden kayaks, writes browser-based interactive mysteries, and creates extravagant book-themed birthday parties. He and his beloved twin daughters are attempting to watch every great movie ever made.
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.
Paige Knorr, Program Facilitator
By day, Paige works for a youth emergency shelter in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. By night (evening, weekend) here at NaNo HQ, she flits around in the background coordinating the ML Mentors program, answering questions in the forums, and tackling assorted other projects related to our team of NaNoWriMo volunteers around the world. Paige also has a degree in Professional Writing, hosts karaoke on Saturdays, and enjoys anything involving science-fiction or cats.
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.
Gwen Hicks, NaNoWriMo Intern
Gwen Hicks—Gwendolyn to the courts, Arthurian and judicial—can speak French. That is what her B.A. from Saint Mary’s College is in. It’s very fancy. She also wrote in her sleep once. That was not really fancy, though. That was just creepy. Proclivities have been listed as watching cats do things and becoming overly invested in narratives about ragtag bunches of misfits saving the world, among others. She is here for you, always, in spirit (and to be the Editorial Intern).
Courtney is the new Programs Intern at National Novel Writing Month and could not be more excited to be part of the team. A semi-Bay Area native and recent Stanford Anthropology graduate, she has held a passion for people, culture, and storytelling since childhood. From the moment she learned how to speak and then to pick up a crayon (later graduating to pencils, pens, and laptops), she has crafted stories and encouraged her friends and family to do the same. She spends much of her time indulging in long showers, basking in sunlight, and cuddling with her two wonderful dogs to stimulate her creative process.
Sachiko Silva is the Operations Intern at NaNoWriMo for this fall. She graduated from Sonoma State University in May with a degree in business marketing. Though she has only dabbled in novel writing, she enjoys writing plays and screenplays that she sometimes tries to film with friends. Writing is not her only foray into the arts; she loves crafting of all kinds from knitting, to origami, to making animal suits. Sachi is also a massive fan of event planning. People getting excited about events she’s helped plan, and seeing the whole thing become a success, really makes all the stress and lost sleep more than worth it.