PEN America’s Free Expression department seeks an intern for a project serving writers and journalists targeted by online hate speech and trolling. The project will entail researching and documenting the problems writers and journalists experience online, and developing a toolkit of responses. There is also the potential to work simultaneously on another journalism-related project, pertaining to the spread of fake news. Candidates should be thoughtful, open-minded, and somewhat attuned to the complexities inherent in issues of free speech and hate speech in the United States.


  • Help to create a series of databases documenting existing legal, psychological, educational, and community resources around online hate speech and trolling
  • Source valuable and innovative tools to help combat online hate speech and harassment
  • Process the results of a survey examining how online hate interferes with the lives of writers and journalists
  • Take an investigative, out-of-the-box approach to tackling an issue that continues to confound both victims and experts of online hate speech and trolling


  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong research skills
  • Superb writing skills including the ability to craft clear, user-friendly language
  • Strong familiarity with social media platforms
  • A high tolerance for viewing unsavory or offensive language and images, in the context of investigating and understanding online hate
  • Fluency in Google Drive document management, including Google Sheets
  • Interest or experience in law, journalism, or tech industry a plus


  • High energy and efficiency
  • Strong work ethic
  • Meticulous attention to deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an aptitude for collaboration, creativity, and initiative
  • A commitment to over-deliver on expectations

To Apply:

About PEN Internships:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open 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.

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, Penguin, Story Corps, and the Open Society Foundations.

A minimum commitment of 10-15 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.

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