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 a free library of literature, video writing tutorials, and other resources, including mentorship and publication of a new generation of readers and writers with our 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. (More information can be found at www.NarrativeMagazine.com.)
Building on eighteen years of continuous growth and impact that has garnered more than 280,000 dedicated subscribers, Narrative seeks a talented ED with a proven track record 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, which includes cofounders 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 fundraising and development success, as well as demonstrated creativity, organizational expertise, and entrepreneurial instincts. Leading the founders and the board on all noneditorial efforts, the ED will develop new strategic partnerships, lead all fundraising activities, and direct and execute new program initiatives, with particular emphasis on growing the Narrative in the Schools programs to reach more students and teachers in underserved communities. 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, a deep personal interest in literature and education, and a commitment to inclusivity will be important attributes in engaging the readers and supporters of Narrative.
- Developing strategic fundraising initiatives; taking a lead role in relationship cultivation, individual donations, foundation and corporate sponsorship opportunities, and fundraising events; grant writing.
- Expanding and directing our Narrative in Schools programming—which currently serves teachers and students in middle and high schools, community colleges and universities in more than twenty countries—and includes our free Narrative Library resources, video tutorials, and the annual Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Writing Contest.
- Ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, integrity of finance and administration, fundraising, 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.
- 10+ years relevant experience in executive management of a mission-driven organization in the realm of publishing, arts, and/or education.
- Flawless, nimble, compelling, and highly effective communicator, both verbally and in writing, demonstrated in various formats.
- 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.
- Experience in event curation and production.
- Ideally, familiarity with the Bay Area literary, philanthropic, and business spheres.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of hiring and training staff, partner/board recruitment, community-building, and programmatic outreach.
- 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 agreed-upon goals. Narrative’s ED will be a doer with a high degree of integrity who can actualize a vision from planning through completion. If you are a collaborative, confident, proven leader with a deeply instilled sense of excellence, commitment to inclusivity, and 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.
Narrative staff and consultants work from home but connect constantly through digital communications and meet periodically in San Francisco and New York, health restrictions permitting.
Narrative is an equal opportunity employer. We especially encourage applications from LGBTQ, disabled, and BIPOC candidates.
To apply: Please email a detailed cover letter, résumé, and your salary requirements (a range is fine) with the subject heading “Narrative Executive Director position,” to @email, and please let us know how you heard about the position.