Summer 2018 Outreach & Activism Internship

PEN America seeks a diligent, detail-oriented, and highly personable Outreach & Activism Intern to support the work of PEN America’s Membership and Outreach department. Working closely with the Senior Manager of Literary Outreach and Activism and the Membership and Outreach Assistant, interns will provide key support for an exciting new initiative addressing issues of information access, media disengagement, and media polarization in communities around the country.

Over the last year, PEN America has been closely following the local impacts of fraudulent news, misinformation, and distorted narratives on a number of heated topics. The Outreach & Activism intern team will provide critical research, content, and briefings for the programs we will be executing in response in 2018.

This is a unique opportunity for individuals interested in community organizing, coalition-building, and literary activism. Interns 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 and logistics. Additionally, interns are invited to attend and assist at many PEN America events.

Past interns have gone on to find work at some of the most prestigious newspapers, advocacy organizations, publishing houses, and magazines in the country, including The New Yorker, Penguin, StoryCorps, and the Open Society Foundations.

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.


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

  • Planning, developing, and implementing programs for a diverse, nationwide audience including, but not limited to, talks, panel discussions, rallies, 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.
  • Supporting logistical preparation and onsite event management for public actions
  • Contributing research for blogs, articles, and op-eds written in response to free expression advocacy issues

The Ideal Candidate

  • Works at a steady pace, is comfortable taking initiative, and thrives working independently
  • Demonstrates flexibility, autonomy, and carefulness in managing work priorities
  • Is comfortable producing engaging written content for diverse audiences
  • Has excellent communication and research skills, and 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, cultural programming, and human rights

A commitment of two-three days per week (within normal business hours) is required. Internships last from three-six months, with opportunities for longer engagements for interested candidates. This is an unpaid position, though interns who work at least 15 hours a week are eligible for a local travel stipend. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume. Please submit the entire application to glinczer[at] One PDF is preferred. Please use “Outreach Intern – NAME” as the subject 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.