Creative Laureates are interdisciplinary storytellers who explore stories through a unique combination of creative mediums.

Those selected to be our 2024 Laureates will each receive a $200 honorarium to apply to the 2024 project of their choosing, along with the title of Creative Laureate

Throughout the year, the Storytelling Collective team highlights their projects, announcements, and accomplishments to our community. This program is our way of celebrating interdisciplinary storytellers doing amazing things!

An illustration shows three creative people standing beside each other: a male-presenting figure wearing a red shirt and holding a large red pencil; a femme-presenting person wearing a red turtleneck and holding a laptop, and a lightbulb hovers near her face; and another femme-presenting person holding a large drawing pen. The three look happy and excited to be creative.

Learn more about our illustrious alumni laureates below!

Dann Lynch (they/them)

Dann "believes in the power that play can create"

Dann (they/them) is a storyteller, creative, and academic who focuses on inclusive design. Their specialization is in integrating inclusive design for creative projects which extends to, user-facing project information, the additional internal information that runs along with it, and contributing to inclusivity in the narrative. When they're not doing all that, Dann is creating around their passion, Live Action Roleplaying (LARP) as @DarkerLarper, and refuses to take themselves too seriously while doing so.  They're a graduate student finishing a Masters in Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Decolonial Arts, which allows them to take their wanderlust on the winds of the world. Dann believes in the power that play can create, so they can be found shaking out dances, making mixtapes, and causing mild chaos in pattern shirts wherever they go.

Learn more about Dann's work here

Ethan Yen (he/him)

Tabletop creator and environmental engineer

Ethan Yen (he/him) is a tabletop game designer and writer. He has freelanced for publishers including Evil Hat Productions and Ghostfire Gaming, and has experience in production and creative direction within the TTRPG industry. Ethan co-created the solo journaling game, Fetch My Blade, which was featured in Polygon's "The best tabletop RPGs we played in 2023."

Learn more about Ethan's work here

Taylor Navarro (she/her)

Game designer, project manager, and editor

Taylor Navarro is a Puerto Rican-British TTRPG project manager, game designer, and editor. Most notably, Taylor was a recipient of the Big Bad Con POC Scholarship (2022 & 2023) and currently works as the producer for Tales from Sina Una. When she’s not bringing games to life, Taylor can be found hoarding dice and playing video or board games with her two children.

Learn more about Taylor's work here

Leon Barillaro

Writer, game designer, community ambassador

Leon Barillaro (they/he) is an LA-based writer and game designer. They’ve worked in video games, immersive theater, and tabletop rpgs. They are also a spotlight ambassador for Crowdfundr, helping indie TTRPG creators secure funding for their projects. Leon is currently working on a solo TTRPG called O Captain, which was 140% funded on Crowdfundr in November 2022. You can also find their work in places like MCDM’s ARCADIA Magazine, EN Publishing’s Level Up, and Ghostfire Gaming’s Fables series.

Basil Wright

Game designer, writer

Basil (they/he/xe) is a Black and Indigenous Game Designer and Writer who focuses on creating games with the lowest barrier of access, so that they can be enjoyed by all. "I believe there's power in community, and strive to incorporate community and togetherness in my writing."

Lyla McBeath Fujiwara

Game designer, adventure writer, project manager

Lyla McBeath Fujiwara (@ceruleanotter) is an early career game designer, TTRPG adventure writer, and project manager living in Boston, Massachusetts. She’s had many past lives, from teaching high schoolers in East Africa to eight years in tech, where she worked as a developer for Google News and created online courses that taught hundreds of thousands of students to make their first mobile apps.

As a creator, she writes games that focus on intricate stories, complex characters, and mechanics that drive the narrative. Her projects include Encounters in the Radiant Citadel, a 10-person D&D 5e project where she was the lead, layout artist, and writer, as well as Jukebox - A Musical Roleplaying Game, a karaoke-based storytelling TTRPG. Her most recent work is Out of Luck, a 5e D&D heist with heart, set in the Radiant Citadel location of Umizu. She’s applied her background in educational writing to the TTRPG space, maintaining a blog about the game design process, as well as creating resources for new designers. She’s currently writing a “lessons learned” series on TTRPG project management. She is a volunteer Ranger for Big Bad Con and recently had her first foray into interactive theater as the production assistant and a puzzle designer for the 2022 Club Drosselmeyer.

In her off hours she can be found throwing lopsided ceramics, drawing, and cooking feasts for her cooperative house.

Adelina Rose Gowans

Writer, Artist, Narrative Designer, Scholar

Adelina Rose Gowans (she/her) is a writer, artist, narrative designer, and student pursuing degrees in writing and animation from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her writing has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the Poetry Society of England; as well as published in 20+ literary journals. As an artist, she specializes in illustration and background painting, with a particular interest in TV animation and games. She works for SCAD's chapter of Women In Animation, an international nonprofit focused on the amplification of women and nonbinary individuals in animation; as well as serving as an editor for Pollux Journal, a literary magazine celebrating the multilingual experience. Her TTRPG design is published and forthcoming on DM's Guild and

Daryl Li

Essayist, Writer, Game Designer

Daryl Li (he/they) is a writer of primarily fiction and nonfiction based in Singapore, with interests in film, music, and games. Their writing has been longlisted for the Australian Book Review Calibre Essay Prize and Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. Their work has also been published in NANG, Gastronomica, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and OF ZOOS, as well as books such as the Food Republic anthology from Landmark Books. Additionally, they have been exploring and experimenting with intersections between different mediums and genres in their work. To that end, they have explored writing about games in experimental ways, including pieces published in OF ZOOS looking at tabletop games. Taking their exploration of literary boundaries further, they put together an event called SAD Tales for Sad Kids in 2019, which combined readings, games, zines, and conversation. In 2021, they also started a digital project dubbed the Hall of Uselessness, which is aimed at fostering collaboration and the exploration of different forms.

Kat Kruger

Author, Game Designer

Kat Kruger (she/her) is a freelance game designer at her owner-operated company, Steampunk Unicorn Studio. Having worked for clients such as Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, and Larian Studios, her credits include: HeroQuest, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, and Divinity Original Sin the Board Game. In the TTRPG sphere she has most notably contributed to the D&D NERDS series of mini adventures collaboration, and an upcoming book called How to Be More D&D (Running Press Books). She is also the Dungeon Master on the family-friendly, actual-play podcast d20 Dames. When she’s not designing games, she’s raising a geeky toddler with her partner and their dachshund in Seattle.

Insha Fitzpatrick

Graphic Novelist, Horror Writer and Editor, Narrative Designer

Insha is a New Jersey-based writer and editor. She's also the founder of DIS/MEMBER, a horror genre website, and co-writer of middle-grade graphic novel series Oh My Gods! (Etch, 2021). Talk to her about spooky movies, monsters, true crime, or Rod Serling's Twilight Zone.

Collette Quach

Interactive Media Scholar, Game Designer, Filmmaker

Collette (she/they) is a writer and game designer based in California. Her focus is on analog games and tabletop RPGs. She has a passion for creating fantasy worlds based on non-European cultures and using games as a way to tell stories from marginalized communities. Her work can be found in Uncaged, Book of Seasons: Solstices, and the Unbreakable Anthology. Currently she is a MfA student in Interactive Media and Game Design at USC. Follow her on twitter @collettequach.

Chris Bissette

Musician, Game Designer, Storyteller

Chris Bissette is an ENnie-nominated musician and designer of over 20 games. Their journaling RPG The Wretched was one of Tabletop Gaming Magazine's "Best Games of 2020," spawning hundreds of games based on its Wretched & Alone engine. Freelance writing includes The Gauntlet and Onyx Path Publishing, among others.