Literary Arts Internship

PSU MFA Internship with the Youth Programs at Literary Arts

Application deadline: February 19, 2021

The PSU MFA in Creative Writing program and the Youth Programs at Literary Arts offer an annual paid internship for a first- or second-year MFA student. The Youth Programs of Literary Arts inspire public high school students to write, revise, edit, publish, and perform their own creative writing and serves more than 4,000 public high school students throughout Multnomah County each year with a variety of literary opportunities, including:

  • Writers in the Schools (WITS): semester-long writing workshops in high school classrooms
  • Books for classrooms and school libraries
  • Public student readings at local bookstores and cafés
  • Publication of student work in annual print & digital anthologies
  • One-day visits by local and world-renowned authors
  • Students to the Schnitz: transportation, books, and tickets for school groups to attend Portland Arts & Lectures and Special Events
  • Slam poetry events including Verselandia! and East Side Slam! competitions
  • College Essay Mentoring Project: helping students with college and scholarship application essays 

A note from Olivia Jones-Hall, Youth Programs Manager at Literary Arts:

This year’s internship will be largely based around the planning and production of our virtual poetry competition, #Virtualandia! This event is the virtual answer to our city-wide youth poetry slam Verselandia, typically held the last Thursday of April at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. This year’s competition will span eight weeks, and will include workshops, an open round of submissions, and a semi-live virtual grand slam championship on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

As our intern, you will assist with coordination for each element of the competition under the supervision of our Youth Programs Manager. This will include organizing video submissions for first-round judges, fielding judge questions and guiding them through submitting scores, assisting with virtual poetry workshops, scheduling recording times with student poets, shipping gift bags and thank you cards, chat management on event day, and other duties as needed. Youth Programs also keeps a weekly blog, and we may ask that you contribute a post or two about the series of competition events and your experience.

You can expect to work between 6 and 8 hours a week for 10-12 weeks depending on start date. Our preference is a February 22 start date, and no later than March 8. Because of the nature of our work, it is possible that your workload will increase as we approach the event, and in the week leading up to and week of the event, you may work closer to 12 hours, with the earlier weeks of the competition requiring closer to 4 or 5 hours. We anticipate this position will last through the second week of May. The stipend is $1,500.

The Literary Arts staff has worked remotely since March 2020, and this position will be remote, as well.

To apply, send a letter of interest and your CV or résumé to In the subject line, write: Youth Programs of Literary Arts. Include as references the names of two of your English Department professors. The application deadline is Friday, February 19, 2021.  

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of MFA faculty and the finalists interviewed shortly after the deadline.