PEN America’s Literary Awards Program seeks diligent, organized interns to assist with the 2018 literary awards cycle. The PEN Literary Awards confer nearly $315,000 annually to writers and translators. In 2018, PEN will administer 25 distinct awards in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, science writing, sports writing, biography, translation, and more.

Interns will gain exposure to New York’s vibrant cultural landscape through program development and regular communication with PEN’s literary affiliates. They will receive hands-on administrative experience and learn the operational details of executing the most comprehensive awards program in the country. Additionally, interns are invited to attend and volunteer for PEN’s many public events in the New York City area.

You can learn more about some of our awards here.


Interns will assist with a variety of tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Coordinating the 2019 Open Call for Submissions
  • Communicating with publishers, literary agents, editors, writers, and translators about the awards and PEN America’s work at large
  • Monitoring the program’s email account and responding to general queries
  • Vetting and logging submissions
  • Building webpages on
  • Contributing to the Literary Awards’ online presence through social media
  • Creating infographics or promotional materials for upcoming deadlines and announcements
  • Communicating regularly with publishers, literary agents, editors, writers, and translators throughout the awards cycle
  • Supporting PEN America’s Literary Awards Program Director with onboarding judges, editing press releases, crafting e-blasts, and providing support to participants.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Has excellent communication and research skills
  • Works at a steady pace and can work independently, seeing tasks through to completion
  • Is willing to manage a range of administrative tasks
  • Has a professional and kind email manner
  • Is comfortable working with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive
  • Experience with MailChimp is strongly preferred
  • Experience with photo editing software is strongly preferred
  • Has a demonstrated interest in literature, cultural programming, and human rights.

For the summer, PEN asks for a commitment of three to four days per week (within normal business hours.) Internships will last from May or June through August, with opportunities for extension for interested candidates.

This is an unpaid position. Interns who work more than 15 hours per week are eligible for a local travel stipend. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit.

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to Nadxieli Nieto, Program Director, PEN America Literary Awards, at [email protected] with the subject line, “Summer Literary Awards Internship.”