Narrative Seeks Executive Director

Narrative, the leading non-profit digital publisher of fiction, poetry, essays and art is looking for an experienced, entrepreneurial leader with a proven track record for growing an organization through fund-raising, development, and strategic partnerships to join our team as Executive Director (ED).

About Narrative:

Founded in 2003 in San Francisco, Narrative is dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe.

As the premier digital publisher of first-rank fiction, poetry, essays, and art, each year Narrative publishes hundreds of well-known and emerging writers. The Narrative Prize, awarded annually, has helped launch the careers of authors Min Jin Lee, Maud Newton, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Anthony Marra, Javier Zamora, and Gbenga Adesina, among others. The Narrative in the Schools program supports teachers and students around the world by providing lesson plans, video tutorials, and mentors a new generation of readers and writers with the annual Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School writing contest. Narrative was founded on the conviction that there should be no socioeconomic barriers to accessing great literature. Our ever-expanding, modern library of thousands of stories, poems, and essays is always open and always free.

Building on seventeen years of continuous growth and impact that has garnered more than 275,000 dedicated subscribers, Narrative seeks a talented ED with a proven track record to own the revenue side of our business and to take our mission-driven organization to the next level. The position presents a unique opportunity for an innovative, hands-on director with a strong and proven entrepreneurial mindset who will join our esteemed leadership team that includes co-founders and editors Tom Jenks and Carol Edgarian, Creative Director John Miller, and Poetry Editor Michael Wiegers (editor of Copper Canyon Press) as a key contributing member.

The ED position requires a proven record of fund-raising and development success, as well as demonstrated creativity, organizational expertise, and entrepreneurial instincts. Leading the founders and the board on all non-editorial efforts, the ED will develop new strategic partnerships, lead all fundraising activities, and will direct and execute new program initiatives, with particular emphasis on growing the Narrative in the Schools programs. The ED will assess the range of revenue opportunities within Narrative and shape the messaging and presentation of those opportunities with new and existing donors, foundations, partners, advertisers, and sponsors. Love of words, and a deep personal interest in literature and education will be important attributes for engaging the readers and supporters of Narrative.

  • Developing strategic fund-raising initiatives; taking a lead role in relationship cultivation, individual donations, foundation and corporate sponsorship opportunities, and fundraising events; grant writing.
  • Expanding and directing our in-schools programming that includes the Narrative “Tell Me A Story” high school writing contest.
  • Ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, integrity of finance and administration, fund-raising, communications, and systems.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to increase the subscriber base, engage partnerships, and identify new opportunities for growth.
  • Driving revenue via paid advertising, sponsorships, and merchandising efforts.


  • 7+ years relevant experience in executive management of a mission-driven organization in the realm of publishing, arts, and/or education.
  • Passion for the literary world and the vital role of storytelling in our culture.
  • Significant experience in scaling a nonprofit and exceeding revenue goals; proven success securing major gifts from private donors and institutional funders, as well as all aspects of annual campaigns and event planning and execution.
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in online/offline marketing and, most particularly, envisioning and achieving creative solutions to growth challenges and identifying new opportunities.
  • Excellent human resources and project management skills; ability to think strategically and programmatically while managing operations.
  • Nimble, compelling, and highly effective communicator, both verbally and in writing.
  • Knowledge and experience of the technologies involved in digital publication, including Content Management Systems, production software such as Adobe CS, and server technologies.
  • Creativity, a strong work ethic, a drive toward excellence, collaborative thinking, leadership ability, and a spark of humor.
We seek a visionary leader, an effective communicator, a creative self-starter with superior organization, prioritization and time-management skills to inspire a diverse, virtual team to achieve and exceed agree-upon goals. Narrative’s ED will be a doer with a high degree of integrity who can actualize a vison from planning through completion. If you are a collaborative, confident, proven leader with a deeply instilled sense of excellence and a-roll-up-your-sleeves energy to get work done, and if you love working with folks who share these same values, we look forward to talking with you.

To apply: Please email a detailed cover letter, résumé, three references, and your salary requirements (a range is fine) with the subject heading “Narrative Executive Director position” and please let us know how you heard about the position.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to the fact or perception of their race, creed, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status.