Los Angeles Programs Internship

PEN America’s Los Angeles office seeks a diligent, detail-oriented, and energetic intern based in the Los Angeles region for an internship that will provide experience in the administration, research, and curation of digital literary and human rights programming. This internship is a paid, hybrid position made possible by the Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program.

The programs of PEN America Los Angeles include a portfolio of efforts that further the organization’s mission of uniting writers and their allies to celebrate free expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. The organization’s post-COVID pivot has centered on community building, resource sharing, advocacy work, and the publication of timely information and tools on issues affecting writers. Programming includes online and in-person workshops, convenings, interviews, panels, screenings, advocacy initiatives, readings lists, and other resources.

Working closely with the Los Angeles staff, the intern will gain exposure to Los Angeles’s vibrant cultural landscape by assisting with research, communications, outreach, and events.

The objectives of this internship are to enable participation in the development, planning, marketing, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of a variety of programs for PEN America, while also assisting with and contributing to national free expression advocacy campaigns. Together, these efforts give a holistic picture of the programming cycle at a nonprofit providing advocacy and arts and cultural services.

Interns will work approximately 24-36 hours per week. In-person work, when required, will take place at our coworking space in East Hollywood. Several in-person programs will require evening and weekend on-site participation at various venues across the city. Positions will be open to both currently enrolled college students, as well as recent graduates. We encourage candidates from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as persons with disabilities, to apply.


Interns will be given responsibilities that involve the following:

  • Support PEN America’s Los Angeles staff and programming with research, including literary and organizational list maintenance; drafting and copyediting invites, newsletters, and other correspondence
  • Support PEN America’s literary programs team with research and administrative tasks related to the Emerging Voices Fellowship program and professional development programming for early-career writers
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of digital programs for a diverse audience, including but not limited to talks, performances, and special projects
  • Create marketing materials for upcoming programs, such as web copy, programs, social media messaging, and graphics
  • Schedule social media campaigns, digital calls for submissions, and events
  • Work with PEN America Los Angeles staff on post-event follow-up, including evaluation, email list management, database updates, and post-program debriefs

Desired Attributes:

  • Excellent communication, writing, research, and copy editing skills
  • Demonstrated capability to work both independently as well as in a group; to prioritize, handle multiple tasks, and adhere to deadlines
  • Willing to manage a range of administrative tasks, such as data entry
  • Ability to create original digital media content and promotional materials
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and social media; experience with WordPress, Mailchimp, Canva, and Adobe Creative Suite is strongly preferred
  • Interest in free expression, literature, cultural programming, human rights, nonprofit sector, and/or advocacy

Application Periods:

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

  • Fall Internship: Please submit your application between July and September
  • Winter/Spring Internship: Please submit your application between October and January
  • Summer Internship: Please submit your application between February and May

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter (one-page maximum) and resume to [email protected]. Please include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Summer LA Internship – Jane Doe”).

PEN America does not discriminate in its selection practices, and in order to build the strongest possible team, 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.