National Engagement Internship

PEN America seeks a diligent, detail-oriented, and highly personable national engagement intern to support the work of PEN America’s National Outreach and Engagement team. Working closely with the team, the intern will gain an understanding of literary advocacy communities, our engagement with these communities in New York City and throughout the country, as well as insight into contemporary literature across multiple genres. The intern will also provide key support in events, and will assist with the creation and implementation of strategies that aim to grow our membership and engagement with current members.

PEN America seeks to provide our networks the means to take action and push back against attacks on free expression and defending literature as essential to democracy. The national engagement intern will provide critical research, content, and briefings for the programs and activism we will execute in the future. This is a unique opportunity for individuals interested in community organizing, coalition-building, and literary activism. The intern will gain exposure to the wide range of PEN America’s work, and receive hands-on experience in program research and development, marketing, event management, data maintenance, and logistics. 

This internship will operate from our headquarters in New York City on a hybrid schedule during normal business hours. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application. Paid internships are available through our Centenary Internship program and would require a commitment of 15-20 hours/week over 6 months, and would pay $17/hour for hours worked. Internships are also eligible for college credit.


The intern will assist with a variety of work, including but not limited to:

  • Supporting the maintenance of data in Raiser’s Edge, shared computer files and webpages
  • Assisting with the logistical preparation and onsite event management of PEN America’s membership and campaign events
  • Planning, developing, and implementing programs for a diverse, nationwide audience including, but not limited to: talks, panel discussions, rallies, petition drives, workshops, and special projects
  • Creating briefs on partnership opportunities, community influencers, and potential venues for PEN America’s activist programming
  • Contributing to PEN America’s online presence through social media outreach and promotion
  • Supporting the creation and printing of event marketing materials such as website text and flyers
  • Researching new and diverse literary voices

Desired Attributes:

The ideal candidate:

  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to intern in the United States
  • Works at a steady pace is comfortable taking initiative and thrives working independently
  • Demonstrates flexibility, autonomy, and thoughtfulness in managing work priorities
  • Has excellent communication and research skills
  • Is proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Applications
  • Must be willing to do a wide range of administrative tasks, from research to data entry
  • Has an interest in literature, journalism, cultural programming, activism, and human rights

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 submit a cover letter and resume to Membership Engagement Manager, Aleah Gatto at [email protected]. One PDF including the entire application is preferred. Please include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Winter National Engagement Internship – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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.