Producer, Literary Programs

PEN America, a non-profit organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a dynamic, highly organized Producer to execute and manage key public events as part of our Literary Programs Department. This is a full-time position based in New York City. We will consider candidates on a fixed term (October 2019 – May 2020) and permanent basis.

The Literary Programs Producer will execute and manage the business operations of the PEN World Voices Festival (the Festival) and PEN America’s key public programs, including the PEN Out Loud Series (POL), Lit Crawl NYC, and other, select one-off events. The Producer helps to constructively balance artistic imperatives with the practicalities of producing events within budget parameters. The Producer will recruit and supervise temporary staff, interns, volunteers and outside contractors, as necessary.

The successful candidate will possess strong event production and financial management skills and a passion for PEN’s mission. The Producer is a self-starter who is strategic, dynamic, resourceful, systematic, detail-oriented and results-focused, and has strong communication skills and the ability to manage multiple competing duties to achieve significant results. The Producer works collaboratively with other PEN America staff and partners on the creative, managerial, and production functions of literary programs.


The Producer is responsible for the management and administration of all operations for Festival, POL and one-off events, and for pulling all elements of an event together including:

Project Management Timeline

  • Develop planning and production timelines and help keep Festival team on time and on task

Creation and Management of the Budget

  • Work with the Senior Director of Literary Programs, the Director of Literary Programs, and the Finance Director to create detailed operational budgets for these events
  • Works with Literary Programs staff to track expenditure and revenue against budget
  • Assist in responsibly stewarding resources, ensuring distribution and allocation for optimum balance of artistic quality, financial strength and organizational integrity

The Producer determines the scope of work for each production function, and manages, oversees, and, where necessary, contracts staff to execute:

Venue Selection

  • Works with the Senior Director and Director to identify and secure suitable venues for Festival and other events, negotiating terms, and ensuring other logistical and production aspects of the Festival are completed according to agreed timelines and budget parameters.

Event Production

  • Assesses the event’s scale and technical and production requirements in order to determine the number of advance and on-site team members serving each function needed to make an event successful.
  • Contracts and manages production staff, on-site event producers and any necessary technical director, lighting designers, sound board operators, stage managers, stagehands, camera operators, house management, etc.

Event Documentation

  • Contracts and oversees any and all necessary, camera operators, photographers, necessary to disseminate and document events, in accordance with a plan designed with the Director, Associate Director and Marketing Coordinator.

Box Office

  • Oversees management of the build and maintenance of the box office, setting ticket prices, seating, comp allotments.
  • Regularly reports on sales to the marketing team.


  • With the support of the Literary Program Assistant, recruits, trains, and manages volunteers necessary for events.

Company Management

  • Oversees the organization of travel, accommodation, itinerary production and dissemination, and any necessary visa applications with the support of the Literary Program staff.

Partner Coordination and Relations

  • Implements terms of the partnership agreement for co-presenting partnerships.
  • Assists in the development of productive relationships with Festival partners.

This position also includes potential curatorial involvement in PEN America’s programming.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Passion for PEN America’s mission and interest in contemporary culture and literature
  • Significant experience in artistic and events production and management; ability to work across a variety of arts disciplines
  • Familiarity with the New York City cultural landscape, presenting organizations, and event venues
  • High energy and passion for an opportunity-centered, mission-driven work environment
  • Knowledge and experience in budget development and management
  • Experience in creating systems and work-plans to achieve core objectives
  • Excellent organizational skills including attention to detail, ability to multi-task and manage diverse personalities and production styles in a fast-paced artistic environment
  • Demonstrated ability to sustain effective, collegial partnerships within and outside an organization
  • Superb communication skills
  • Strong work ethic and success in delivering on objectives
  • Computer proficiency (G Suite, CRM, etc.)

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits,
commensurate with experience.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the position as outlined above, a resume, an unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to {[email protected].} One PDF is preferred. Please use “Literary Programs Producer” with your name as the subject of your email (e.g., Literary Programs Producer – 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.