Staff & Board

NaNoWriMo Staff

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner, Executive Director

Grant Faulkner believes in NaNoWriMo because stories tell us who we are and shape the world we live in. He has been a writer since his earliest memory, and he’s proud to be the author of Pep Talks for Writers and Brave the Page. He struggles with rough drafts (hence his love—no, his need—for NaNoWriMo), but luxuriates in revision. His dog Buster serves as his lap dog/lap desk and has traveled with him for thousands and thousands of words.

Marya Brennan

Marya Brennan, Director of Programs

Marya Brennan believes that writing fiction is a transformative experience, and she loves helping people (young and old) discover that. She taught middle-school English for five years; has written several beautiful, messy novels (one of them still in progress); and traveled Europe as part of a two-person street circus. She loves revising words she’s already written and making herself laugh. She’s less fond of writing third-person bios. You can reach her at

Tim Kim

Tim Kim, Director of Programs

Tim Kim loves NaNoWriMo, and continues to be inspired by NaNoWriMo’s vision for a better, more creative world. In the past, he’s written for San Francisco, WIRED, and ESPN magazines. The most valuable writing lesson he’s learned is that an imperfect sentence is truly always better than a blank page. He is supremely talented at taking naps, and remains amused by strangers who delight in telling him his name rhymes.


Chris Angotti

Chris Angotti, Chief Operating Officer

Chris Angotti’s career is dedicated to learning and creativity, and he’s been at NaNoWriMo—which embodies those two things—since 2010. He is most proud of his work with the Young Writers Program (where he began his tenure) and his recent years building and strengthening our organization’s infrastructure. Chris has trouble finishing his drafts, but is confident that a few more years of November writing will make him less of a perfectionist.


Sarah Mackey

Sarah Mackey, Director of Community Engagement

Sarah Mackey began participating in NaNoWriMo in 2002, became a Municipal Liaison in 2003, and started working for the organization in 2009. She loves finding new ways to help build writing communities and support our Municipal Liaisons. She really enjoys planning novels, delights in messy first drafts, and is extremely bad at everything that comes after that. She is easily distracted by her knitting, her small children, and her cat Weasley. 

Chanda Briggs

Chanda Briggs, Community Manager

Chanda Briggs loves community and relationship building with the NaNoWriMo audience. She’s currently working towards her master’s degree in library sciences, and her poems have been published in a Swedish zine (as well as other platforms)—but she loves writing anything from dystopian sci-fi to thoughts on current affairs. She has a passion for Nordic entertainment and thinks that research is by far the most challenging but rewarding part of her literary journey.

Dave Beck

Dave Beck, Technical Director

Dave Beck believes that learning to write means learning to think, and that NaNoWriMo helps the world become more thoughtful. He is the proud winner of the Historical Fiction category of the 2019 Bulwer-Lytton Contest, and plans to start many more terrible novels. When he isn’t keeping our websites afloat, he enjoys coaching high school speech and debate.


Shelby Gibbs

Shelby Gibbs, Operations Director

Shelby Gibbs joined the NaNoWriMo team as a bright-eyed intern in 2012, and has been hooked on cultivating creativity in everyday places ever since. She is also highly motivated by writing-streak badges. When not writing novels or managing the NaNoWriMo store, Shelby enjoys yoga, swimming, and collaging any blank surface in her house. She also loves dogs. (Send photos!)


Heather Dudley

Heather Dudley, Lead Forums Moderator

Heather is a wife, mother, and non-traditional college student, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. She loves to learn, is a writing tutor, a workaholic, and is intensely devoted to the NaNoWriMo community. She joined as staff in 2008, has beaten founder Chris Baty in a word war, and has approximately 14 unfinished NaNo drafts in her “writing” folder on Google Drive.


Rob Diaz

Rob Diaz, YWP Forums Moderator

Rob Diaz has been part of the NaNoWriMo community since 2006, because he believes people of all ages need a safe place to be creative. He has had five short stories published and two stage plays produced. As a father, business owner, baseball coach, and marching band volunteer, finding time to write is difficult—but NaNoWriMo has been the perfect excuse for him to drink more coffee prioritize creativity.


Katharine Gripp

Katharine Gripp, Communications Manager

Katharine Gripp has been participating in NaNoWriMo off and on since high school, and finally won for the first time (without cheating) in 2018. She loves getting to share writing advice from authors and participants as part of her job, and tries to pick up as many helpful tips as she can in the process. When not writing, she can be found learning new styles of dance or playing music with her folk-punk band.

Jezra Lickter

Jezra Lickter, Web Developer

Jezra Lickter has been part of the NaNoWriMo team since 2009, when he first worked on our Script Frenzy program. Prior to his time here, Jezra spent eight years as a developer with a company specializing in educational software for children with learning disabilities. He believes in utilizing computers to help people learn, improve, and reach their goals. When not writing code or screenplays, Jezra can be found boat building and butchering tunes on the bagpipes.

Jordan Leigh

Jordan Leigh, 2021 Spring Editorial Intern

Jordan is a bright-eyed cynic, eternally immature yet excessively introspective, and likes to say he's his own antithesis. Although he chafes at the factory model of education he has nonetheless martyred himself for studies in Behavioral Science, Theater, Religion, Philosophy and Communications, all of which he is certain will eventually coalesce to explain everything. An explorer of both mind and foot, he loves to negotiate travel on a Humanities budget. 

Fatima Mahmoud

Fatima Mahmoud, 2020 Fall Tech Intern

Fatima Mahmoud has been a Wrimo for about ten years but has only actually participated one year. Joining the NaNoWrIMo team is a childhood dream of hers and she is so grateful and excited to be a Fall NaNoWriMo Tech intern. She likes to think about writing and call herself a writer more than she actually writes, and when she’s not doing those things she watches and overanalyzes shows on Hulu, experiments with make-up, and tries new running challenges!

Board of Directors

Get to know them!

  • Chris Baty
  • Stephanie Block
  • Cari Borja
  • Karima Cammell
  • Marie Lu
  • Justin Quimby
  • Lise Quintana
  • Julie Russell
  • Michael Sippey
  • Julie Zhuo

Writers Board

Get to know them!

  • Gennifer Albin
  • Melissa Anelli
  • Sarra Cannon
  • Alexis Daria
  • Aya de León
  • Susan Dennard
  • Mignon Fogarty
  • Kami Garcia
  • Rachael Herron
  • Hugh Howey
  • Maureen Johnson
  • Darynda Jones
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Mur Lafferty
  • Devi S. Laskar
  • Niall Leonard
  • Taran Matharu
  • Marissa Meyer
  • Daniel José Older
  • Danielle Paige
  • Emily X.R. Pan
  • Mitali Perkins
  • Kate Schatz
  • Scott Westerfield