Communications Internship

PEN America seeks a motivated intern to work with our communications team. The intern will help to advance the organization’s literary and advocacy programs and campaigns through media relations, brand-building, social media, public relations, and digital marketing. The candidate will develop skills and gain real-world experience in an exciting, fast-paced, and entrepreneurial environment. This internship is based in New York, but due to COVID-19 concerns, will be primarily a remote position at this time and is subject to change. The supervisor reserves the right to request interns to come into the office if it is necessary and deemed safe to do so.

PEN America’s internships offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the literary community and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world. Communications interns are exposed to a diverse range of programming and departments and are involved with projects that help prepare those interested in careers in marketing, public affairs, journalism, graphic design, video production, publishing, and the nonprofit sector at large.

This is an unpaid position. PEN America internships are eligible for college credit.


Interns will be given responsibilities that involve the following:

Email Marketing

  • Assist with curating news items for inclusion in weekly news digest
  • Assist with writing copy for and/or building marketing emails in Mailchimp and Luminate Online, including event invitations, newsletters, petitions, news digests, fundraising emails, major announcements, and other emails as necessary
  • Create visuals for email marketing components of communications campaigns
  • Update, maintain, and optimize subscriber database, as well as import and/or tag new subscribers from events

Web Editing, Publishing, Analytics

  • Fact-check, copyedit, and format webpages for
  • Compile weekly analytics reports

Graphics, Multimedia, Video Production

  • Source images for
  • Source or create graphics for use across multiple channels (web, social, etc.)
  • Draft social media text and graphics for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Edit video footage for use across multiple channels (web, social, etc.)

Social Media

  • Draft social media posts across platforms to support PEN America events, campaigns, and PR efforts
  • Monitor social media channels to keep a pulse on breaking news in the literary community and free expression around the world
  • Brainstorm ideas and conduct research for new campaigns and initiatives with the opportunity to contribute copy and visual assets

Desired Attributes:

The ideal candidate will have:

  • School or work experience in journalism, public relations, communications, marketing, multimedia, nonprofits, or publishing and editorial
  • Interest in learning new skills and the flexibility to pitch in when needed
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate with team members
  • Strong writing, grammar, copyediting, and fact-checking skills
  • Interest in current events, international affairs, human rights, literature, and/or arts and culture
  • Understanding of or eagerness to learn about social media, websites, marketing, and public relations
  • Experience with graphic design, HTML, and video editing skills desirable but not required

Application Periods:

Be sure to include the dates of your availability with your application.

  • Fall Internship: Please submit your application between July 1 and September 15.
  • Winter/Spring Internship: Please submit your application between November 1 and January 15.
  • Summer Internship: Please submit your application between April 1 and June 15.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, and writing sample to [email protected]. Writing samples include but are not limited to college papers, original essays, stories, and articles that may have been previously published, as long as they have been subject to no more than minimal editing by someone other than yourself. Please use “Communications Intern” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Communications Intern – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you have any questions, please inquire to the email address included above.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.

About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.