PEN America, founded in 1922, 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.

As a commitment to this mission, and to mark our centenary, PEN America is offering a special paid internship program for students passionate about human rights, free speech, and creative expression. The program is intended for students who would not otherwise have the support to take up an internship while pursuing their studies.

Openings are currently available in the following PEN America departments: Artists at Risk Connection (NY), Communications (NY), Development (NY), Finance and Administration (NY), Literary Programs (NY), or Prison and Justice Writing (NY). Each will provide a rich learning experience, and more information about their work can be found by exploring PEN America’s website at PEN.org. These positions offer the opportunity to develop skills in advocacy, outreach, fundraising, special events, programming for writers, and nonprofit management. Internship descriptions for each department are at the bottom of this page.

Interns may be based in our New York City headquarters or our offices in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles. We expect interns will work in a hybrid model, starting in 2021 with virtual work and potentially offering an in-person opportunity in 2022 dependent on applicable health and safety considerations.

All interns must commit to 26 weeks over two academic semesters starting in September, with 10 to 15 hours of work per week. These are paid positions at $15 per hour. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. PEN America is able to offer four positions under this program.

Candidates representing diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities:

  • Support the department or program team in one or more areas of work, including a range of programming, research, and administrative assignments
  • Additional duties as assigned by the department

Desired Attributes:

  • Demonstrated interest in free expression, advocacy, literature, cultural programming, human rights, and/or the nonprofit sector
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, to prioritize while staying organized, and to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment
  • Professional demeanor and ability to maintain confidentiality and apply discretion
  • Strong research, writing, organizational, and administrative skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills across multiple platforms (email, telephone, etc.)
  • A creative, open mind, eager to solve problems
  • Experience with G Suite

Requirements:

  • Proof of authorization to work in the United States
  • Proof of enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate academic program

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter directly addressing your qualifications in relation to the desired attributes of the internship. Applicants should explain their reasons for pursuing a paid internship. A resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references should also be submitted. Please send the entire application to [email protected]. One PDF is preferred. Please use “PEN America Centenary Internship – DEPARTMENT NAME” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “PEN America Centenary Internship – Communications – 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.