The Free Expression at Risk Program (FEARP) is the advocacy and assistance arm of PEN, acting as a powerful voice on behalf of writers and creative artists harassed, imprisoned, and sometimes killed for their views, and fighting for free expression in the U.S. and around the world. PEN’s case list containing over 900 cases of writers at risk tracks this persecution of writers worldwide. We assist individuals at risk through advocacy and campaigning on their behalf, as well as practical assistance such as emergency grants, letters of support, and advice and referrals.

FEARP interns play a key role in all aspects of PEN America’s work to assist at risk individuals. Ideal candidates will have experience with global human rights and free expression issues, research, writing, website and social media content development, advocacy and campaigning, database management, and/or protection work. Applicants should be comfortable with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); proficiency in a language other than English (Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, French, Spanish, etc.) a plus.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Working closely and collaboratively with the Free Expression at Risk Program Director on research, developing advocacy strategies and website/social media content, and casework;
  • Conducting research on writers facing severe threats globally;
  • Drafting social media content, press statements, and blog posts related to key cases and free expression developments;
  • Updating existing information in the case list in order to create the most up-to-date entries for our advocacy use;
  • Developing and implementing a system to monitor new developments in the individual cases;
  • Helping to develop and enter information into a new PEN America database which would be used to track cases and generate data and infographics;
  • Assisting with providing concrete help to individual writers at risk, including verifying cases and providing referrals and letters of support.

This internship is unpaid and eligible for college credit. A minimum commitment of 10 hours per week, for at least three months, is required. For those willing to work on the project for longer, there is the option of extending this internship past three months. Interns committing to 15+ hours a week may apply for a local travel stipend.

How to apply:

Please email a cover letter (one page maximum) and resume to [email protected] (subject line: FEARP Internship).

We discourage simultaneously applying to multiple opportunities at PEN, but if you decide to apply for more than one internship, please indicate which one(s) at the top of your cover letter.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please.