PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, offers a unique learning opportunity for individuals who are passionate about human rights, free speech, and creative expression, and interested in how the nonprofit sector works, specifically in the area of defending freedom of expression in the U.S. and globally. This fellowship opportunity will require a commitment of nine months and will provide a stipend of $5,000 dispersed in installments, contingent on the completion of the program. It is ideal for a student seeking to take a “gap year” either post grad, between studies, or pausing undergraduate or graduate school for the 2022-23 academic year.
Fellows working with the Free Expression Programs department may be based in our headquarters in New York City or our office in Washington, D.C., and potentially our office in Los Angeles. The fellowship will offer the opportunity for in-person participation, dependent upon applicable health and safety considerations. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application. Fellows will be welcomed as members of their assigned team and participate fully in the community of PEN America, including departmental and all staff meetings, professional development offerings, and social opportunities.
This fellowship will provide the opportunity to be engaged in research and advocacy on a range of pressing free expression issues, including disinformation, book banning, online abuse, digital freedom, press freedom, threats to creative expression around the world, and support for writers at risk globally. Fellows will be members of the Free Expression Programs department and work closely with our expert team. They will have the opportunity to develop skills and gain direct experience in drafting advocacy materials, providing input to thematic reports and preparing for major advocacy campaigns and events. We are particularly interested in engaging Fellows to support our research work and our DC advocacy team, but Fellows may also support our Freedom to Write Center (focused on international advocacy and support for writers at risk globally); our Free Expression and Education program; our US Free Expression programs; or our Digital Freedom and Free Expression program.
Candidates with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates who would be balancing the fellowship (in place of school) along with outside employment are also encouraged to apply and should indicate this in their application for special consideration regarding schedule flexibility.
- Ability to clearly identify their personal goals for the program and what they hope to gain from the fellowship
- Ability to demonstrate skills and abilities and to provide references to support this
- Knowledge of and interest in global free expression and creative freedom issues
- Strong research, writing, organizational, and administrative skills
- Ability to communicate challenges and find solutions
- Ability to work quickly, stay highly organized, and multitask in a fast-paced environment
- Comfortable with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and G Suite; experience with Adobe, Canva, and other design tools a plus
- Experience managing social media accounts, drafting social media content, and working with websites a plus
- Proficiency in Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, or other languages a plus but not required
- Must be able to provide proof of authorization to study in the United States
- Must be able to provide proof of enrollment or acceptance into an academic program of study for the academic year of 2022-23 or 2023-24, or prepare a document that explains their academic history with academic plans or postgrad aspirations (if recently graduated)
- Must commit to 24–35 hours, and four or five days per week, within normal weekday business hours for 9-10 months
TO APPLY, PLEASE PREPARE:
- A resume or CV, one to two pages maximum
- A cover letter indicating your interest in the fellowship (specifying which category of work interests you the most), how the fellowship will support future plans or current studies/projects, and the skills you would bring to the fellowship
- A separate short statement explaining your academic status and why a gap year is planned
- A work sample that demonstrates your proficiency as a writer, researcher, advocate, or communicator, preferably with applicability to PEN America’s work (five pages maximum)
The above must be sent via email to email@example.com with a subject line that includes “Gap Year Fellowship,” the department you are interested in, and your first and last name (for example, ”Gap Year Fellowship – Free Expression Programs – Jane Doe”).
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.
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.