Senior Manager, Event Production, World Voices Festival and Literary Programs

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a skilled, creative, and highly organized event production senior manager to execute and manage key public events, including the World Voices Festival, as part of our Literary Programs department. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters reporting to the associate director of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs.

The event production senior manager will effectuate the planning, production and execution of the PEN World Voices Festival, the PEN Out Loud Series, the PEN Presents Series, and other elements of the organization’s dynamic slate of public events. The event production senior manager will help to constructively balance artistic imperatives with the practicalities of producing events within reasonable budget parameters. The senior manager will recruit and supervise temporary staff, interns, volunteers and outside contractors, as necessary.

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

This role offers a significant opportunity to produce events with leading and emerging literary voices from the United States and internationally, as well as produce consequential conversations on literature, free expression, and other issues of public interest. The successful candidate will be enmeshed in PEN America’s expanding public programming, a critical component of ongoing organizational growth and rising profile and impact.

In alignment with PEN America’s current policy, all applicants should be available to report to the office at least three days per week. This policy is subject to change.


The event production senior manager is responsible for the management and administration of all operations for the World Voices Festival, PEN Out Loud, PEN Presents, and other programming, and for pulling all logistics of an event together with precision and impact. These components include:

Project Timeline, Creative Management, and Budgeting

  • Develop planning and production timelines and help keep the Festival team on time and on task
  • Create detailed run-of-shows and disseminate to all stakeholders
  • Work with the associate director of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs to create detailed operational budgets for these events 
  • 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 event production senior manager will determine the scope of work for each production function, and manage, oversee, and, where necessary, contract staff to execute: 

Venue Selection

  • Identify and secure suitable venues for the 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
    • Complete venue contracts and obtain necessary Certificates of Insurance in partnership with the PEN America’s chief financial officer
  • Arrange site visits with all festival team stakeholders and festival production company
  • File permits with the city for outdoor activations including park permits, street permits, and sidewalk permits

Event Production

  • Assess the event’s scale and technical and production requirements in order to determine the number of advance and on-site team members 
  • Contract and manage production companies, box office manager, company manager, and event technical crew and front of house staff as needed 
  • Must be available to work at PEN America events on weekends and after-hours, as needed, particularly during the lead-up to and through the annual World Voices Festival

Event Documentation

  • Contract and oversee video crews, camera operators, and photographers, and disseminates documentation to necessary stakeholders  
  • Manage and collate data and feedback from events into reports for senior leadership and for grant reporting and applications
  • Draft in partnership with the development team and associate director, corporate and foundation grant applications

Box Office

  • Oversee management of the build and maintenance of the box office by the seasonal box office manager, setting ticket prices, seating, comp allotments
  • Regularly report on sales to the marketing team
  • Identify low performing events and coordinate with the associate director and PEN America’s communication team on targeted outreach


  • With the support of the literary programs coordinator, recruit, train, and manage volunteers necessary for events

Company Management

  • Oversee the seasonal company manager’s organization of travel, accommodation, itinerary production and distribution, and any necessary visa applications with the support of the literary programs s coordinator.

Communications & Marketing

  • Coordinate with PEN America’s communications team on Festival graphics, program and signage
  • Oversee the Literary Programs Coordinator in ordering print assets to venue specifications

Partner Coordination and Relations

  • Implement terms of the partnership agreement for co-presenting partnerships
  • Assist in the development of productive relationships with Festival partners

All PEN America staff are considered to be stakeholders in the development of our shared organization. As such, staff play a role in varied activities within the workplace as part of their job responsibilities. These may include committees or task forces to work on office issues, diversity and inclusion, strategy projects, training, or other initiatives.


  • A minimum of five years of production or event management experience
  • Passion for PEN America’s mission to defend free expression and interest in contemporary American and international literature
  • Significant experience in artistic and events production and management; ability to work across a variety of arts disciplines; festival and conference experience preferred
  • Experience managing multi-media teams from planning through post-production
  • 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
  • IT proficiency (G Suite, Raiser’s Edge or similar database, event and ticketing platforms, etc.)

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $75k-85k, commensurate with experience. Candidates whose expectations are outside this range are welcome to apply, as PEN America is open to considering talented individuals at varying stages of their careers. PEN America’s benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax commuter benefits and a 403b retirement plan.


Please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Use “Senior Manager, Event Production” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Senior Manager, Event Production – Jane Doe”). Please also share where you heard about this position in the body of your email. 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. 


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.