PEN Internships

PEN American Center is a community of 3,500 writers working to bring down barriers to free expression worldwide and to showcase the literary, journalistic, and artistic achievements made possible through creative freedom.

Past interns have gone on to find work at some of the most prestigious newspapers, advocacy organizations, publishing houses, and magazines in the country, including The New Yorker, Story Corps, and the Open Society Foundations.

A minimum commitment of 15-20 hours per week is required. Interns committing to 15+ hours a week may apply for a local travel stipend. Internships last between three and seven months (one or two semesters), giving interns the opportunity to participate in a broad range of programming, including our annual World Voices Literary Festival in April. PEN internships are unpaid and eligible for college credit.

Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. Please inquire within each individual department.

Fall 2014 Membership, Marketing & Literary Awards Intern

PEN is looking for a few dynamic interns to be a part of the Literary Awards and Membership Department. Come be a part of the exciting events and coordination for the PEN Literary Awards. This internship will involve duties in Membership, Marketing, and Literary Awards departments at PEN. Interns will assist with a variety of work, including researching new authors, checking applicant references, and supporting the maintenance of the program’s database. They will also contribute to PEN’s online presence through original writing for the blog and social media outreach and promotion. Interns will have a ringside seat for the PEN awards cycles, helping to prepare for PEN's 2014 Literary Awards announcements and Ceremony and reviewing book submissions for the 2015 awards cycle.

Interns will gain an overview of the literary and publishing communities as well acquire insight into contemporary literature across multiple genres. They will have the opportunity to help out and attend PEN public programs, readings, parties, and other events, and will gain exposure to the wide range of PEN’s human rights work.

The ideal candidate works at a steady pace, and is detail-oriented and independent. Excellent research and writing skills and comfort with Microsoft Office are crucial. Candidates must be willing to do a range of administrative tasks, from research to data entry, and be interested in learning web maintenance and be willing to write for the blog.

A commitment of 3 days per week (within normal business hours) is required, and preference will be given to those who can commit to 4 or more days a week. These are unpaid positions, though a local travel stipend is available. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit.

Please email a cover letter and resume for Membership/Literary Awards internships to Paul Morris, paul at pen dot org.

Summer/Fall 2014 PEN America Programming Internship

PEN American Center is seeking an intern to focus on public programming, beginning in July 2014 and continuing through December. Under the supervision and training of the Deputy Director of Public Programs, the intern will work collaboratively within the Membership department and will assist in its production of events, conversations, talks, and performances. Ideal candidates will have an interest in literature, human rights, and/or arts programming and will be able to commit to 16–20 hours per week. Note that occasional evening and weekend events will be required.

The internship will provide a window into the wide-range of endeavors undertaken by PEN American Center, including our acclaimed Prison Writing Program, our advocacy efforts on behalf of the First Amendment in the U.S. and on behalf of imperiled writers across the globe, as well as our work to ensure that a variety of voices and experiences are represented in American letters. Public Programs invite PEN’s members and the public to engage with the work undertaken by PEN staffers. They raise awareness about PEN American Center as an organization, as well as about specific initiatives and campaigns, and also raise awareness about PEN members and the importance of literature as an art form. In this way, public programs are integral to the strategic plan of the organization and the Public Programs intern will be essential to reaching its fulfillment.

The successful candidate will work with departments across the organization and will be involved in two areas of work: 1) event production and its daily administration, and 2) research and writing relating to future events. He/she may be asked to spearhead special projects depending on interests, skill set, and availability.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the planning, research, development and implementation of programs for a diverse audience, including but not limited to talks, performances, film screenings and special projects. 
  • Research ideas for future programs, obtain contact and/or biographical information about writers/participants. •
  • Assist with outreach for upcoming public programs.
  • Create and proofread marketing collateral, such as printed materials, e-blasts, website text, etc.
  • Process internal paperwork for marketing and event production. 
  • Assist with day-of-event program coordination and on-site production.

Skills:

  • Ability to work independently and as a team player in a fast-paced environment, to handle multiple tasks at once, and to adhere to deadlines.
  • Possess both exemplary organizational skills with an eye for detail, as well as excellent writing skills and the ability to conduct research.
  • Experience with event production or the performing arts is preferred.
  • Professionalism and superior interpersonal skills will be required in a variety of situations, including interactions with writers/participants, staff, members, and the public. 
  • Proficiency in MS Office Applications is necessary and comfort with Adobe Design programs is a plus.

Internships include:

  • Opportunities to attend or participate in a vast number of PEN American Center events.
  • Participation in departmental and all-staff meetings as available.
  • Travel stipend.

Please note that this is an unpaid internship.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Beth Weinstein at elizabeth@pen.org, specifying the internship in the subject line and describing how the position matches his/her qualifications and goals in the cover letter.

Summer/Fall 2014 PEN America Editorial and Communications Internships

Working with fiction, poetry, and web editors, editorial and communications interns will be involved in every step of the online editorial process, from the solicitation of materials to formatting pieces for the web, promoting content via social, and writing for the PEN America blog. Regular duties will include research, maintaining databases and production schedules, updating the website and social media platforms, and helping out at PEN events.

Internships require a 15-20 hour a week commitment, with at least two full days in the PEN office. Internships last between three and seven months (one or two semesters), giving interns the opportunity to participate in a broad range of programming and online literary features, including our annual World Voices Literary Festival. Excellent copyediting skills and strict attention to detail are required. Experience with Photoshop and HTML is very helpful, though not necessary.

PEN America internships offer a great opportunity to learn more about the publishing industry and human rights advocacy world. Past interns have gone on to find work at some of the most prestigious newspapers, advocacy organizations, publishing houses, literary agencies, and magazines in the country, including The New Yorker, Penguin, and the Open Society Foundation.

These are unpaid positions, though a local travel stipend is available. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit.

To Apply, email a cover letter and resume to antonio[at]pen.org.

 

Summer 2014 PEN America Public Relations Internship

The Public Relations Intern will work under the supervision of the Communications Manager, in conjunction with the Freedom to Write and Membership Departments, to increase the visibility of the PEN’s work. Candidates can expect to gain skills and real world experience in media relations, communications strategy, and campaign development.

  • Track and distribute weekly press clippings, including transcription of audio and video press
  • Aid in research and development of press lists on Vocus
  • Maintain electronic mailing lists in conjunction with other departments
  • Develop and schedule newsletters on MailChimp
  • Other press and marketing support tasks as assigned

The ideal candidate will possess a strong interest in literature, journalism, international affairs, or human rights, as well as:

  • Energy, sense of humor, and “people skills”
  • Excellent copyediting skills
  • Strict attention to detail and strong organizational abilities
  • Fluency in internet and social technology
  • Experience with Photoshop and HTML desirable

To apply, email a cover letter and resume to sedkins[at]pen.org

 

Summer 2014 PEN America Digital Marketing Internship

The Digital Marketing Intern will work under the supervision of the Communications Manager and Website Editor to contribute to an online communications strategy to grow the organization’s online presence. Candidates can expect to gain skills and real world experience in digital marketing and online strategy.

  • Gather, report on, and analyze penetration of online marketing platforms including website, social media, and e-newsletter
  • Manage Google ad words campaigns
  • Assist with social media audit
  • Research and identify digital marketing best practices to update usage policy

The ideal candidate will possess a strong interest in literature, journalism, advertising, international affairs, or human rights, as well as:

  • Strict attention to detail and strong organizational abilities
  • Strong social media skills across multiple platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.)
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Comfort with Excel, Google Analytics, and other analytical tools
  • Ability to work independently

To apply, email a cover letter and resume to sedkins[at]pen.org
 

Development Intern

The Development Intern will learn about all aspects of fundraising for nonprofits, through grant writing, prospect research, database management, gift recording and processing, accounting, special-events planning and oversight, and donor relations. The successful candidate will have an interest in human rights and literature, excellent research and writing skills, will be detail-oriented and organized, and able to work independently.

Interns will gain an overview of the literary and publishing communities as well as valuable insight into nonprofit operations and institutional planning and growth. They will have the opportunity to help out and attend PEN events, and gain exposure to the wide range of PEN’s work.

A commitment of 15 hours a week (within normal business hours) is required. This is an unpaid position, though a local travel stipend is available. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit. Please email a cover letter and resume to jasmine@pen.org.