Literary Programs Internship – World Voices Festival

PEN America seeks interns to work with our literary programs team on PEN America’s public World Voices Festival of International Literature. This internship will operate from our headquarters in New York City and will be primarily onsite during normal business hours.

Interns receive mentoring and hands-on direction from multiple staff members, and have the opportunity to participate in skill-building workshops and discussions about professional development in the nonprofit and literary arts sectors. They will also gain behind-the-scenes insights and valuable exposure to major players and issues in the writing and publishing industries.

Literary programs interns will assist the literary programs manager, the World Voices Festival Events Producer, the World Voices Festival Associate Director, and other literary programs team members in preparing for our annual events programming, particularly by assisting with outreach and development of target audiences, identifying top-choice authors to feature, and helping secure new community partnerships that will make our programming even stronger and more vibrant.


  • Assist team with providing research for the curation and production of 2024/2025 World Voices Festival programs
  • Devise systems for analyzing and archiving data around past ticket buyers, participant demographics, and events
  • Communicate with publishers, literary agents, editors, writers, and translators about literary programs and PEN America’s work at large
  • Monitor the department email accounts and respond to general queries
  • Contribute to the department’s online presence on social media, including drafting social media text and graphics for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Research target audiences and partners who can help generate audiences for the World Voices Festival
  • Research new opportunities for program development based on innovations, fundraising prospects, and more from related nonprofits and book festivals
  • Design marketing collateral, such as postcards, flyers, and social media assets
  • Engage in diversity assessments to ensure programs meet standards of inclusion and belonging

Desired Attributes:

  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to intern in the United States
  • Ability to work in-office at our New York City headquarters
  • Strong attention to detail, organization, and accuracy of research
  • Efficacious communication skills across multiple platforms (email, phone, etc.)
  • Ability to multitask and organize multiple projects at once
  • A creative, open mind, eager to solve problems and discover new alternatives
  • Concrete experience in strategizing social media to promote events and outreach
  • Meaningful exposure to the G Suite, especially Docs, Sheets, and Forms, though skill-building will be part of the program
  • Although not required, lived experience as a member of one or more of the communities served by our writing workshops is a plus for supporting our writers as they build power from within their own communities
  • Passion for inspiring and building communities around a shared love of literature—and a conviction in fostering cross-cultural competence through books—are essential
  • Bilingual writing and speaking abilities in Spanish are also a plus
  • Experience in graphic design and using content management systems (e.g., Canva, WordPress, and Adobe Suite) preferred, but not required
  • Experience with audio and video editing preferred, but not required

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the internship as outlined above, a resume, and an unedited writing sample. Please submit the entire application to Associate Director, World Voices Festival and Literary Program, Sabir Sultan at [email protected]. One PDF is preferred. Please include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “UChicago Summer Literary Programs WVF Internship – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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.