Writers in Residence

Jun 1, 2021 | Work at PEN/Faulkner

PEN/Faulkner is seeking candidates to be Writers in Residence in public school classrooms in Washington, DC. Spanish-speaking candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

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Our Writers in Residence serve as writing workshop teaching artists for a single classroom in grades 3-12. Writers in Residence work in close collaboration with one of PEN/Faulkner’s partner educators, with support and oversight from PEN/Faulkner’s Director of Education Programs. This is a seasonal contractor position.

Writers in Residence must be available for school-based in-person programming. Residencies take place during the school day and are the equivalent of between 12 and 15 teaching hours, not including planning, preparation, and educator meetings. Writers in Residence are compensated at a flat rate between $1,100 and $1,400, depending on the project terms. All candidates must be able to pass a state-mandated background check and a drug/alcohol test, as required by our partner schools, and must be able to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Our most recent Writer in Residence partnerships included: crafting social justice persuasive speeches for a city-wide competition with 6th and 7th grade students; poetry writing with 4th grade students; and a Spanish-language and Latinx-focused project on narratives of home with 10th grade students. Placements are determined by PEN/Faulkner and our classroom educator partners. For School Year 2021-22, there are three available residency placements.

A note on scheduling:

Residencies are unique, immersive collaborations developed in partnership with educators, and every residency is different. Due to the nature of the partnerships, duration and project details are not finalized until educator planning meetings are held each August/September. Final residency schedules are worked out directly between educators and writers, but all residencies occur sometime between 8:30am and 4pm. Residencies may occur in a compressed period of time (for example, ten consecutive days), for mid-length periods (for example, weekly on Thursdays for three consecutive months), or as long-term projects (bi-weekly for the length of a school year).

We are looking for writers who:

  • Have an established creative practice and are able to deliver skills-based creative writing lessons
  • Possess a willingness and excitement to work with young people in a long-term project
  • Embrace creative risk-taking and “failure” throughout the creative process
  • Are adaptable and can demonstrate flexibility to changing classroom needs
  • Have experience working with youth and/or other community work, preferably with Black, Latinx, and/or low-income populations; fluency in Spanish is a HUGE plus
  • Demonstrate a willingness to receive and integrate ongoing feedback from partner educators and PEN/Faulkner staff into their lesson plans
  • Can provide timely responses to mandatory data collection and program evaluation requirements
  • Are able to travel to their partner school in Washington, DC
  • Can commit to working with a single classroom for the duration of the residency (length and scheduling to be determined, and varies by residency partnership)

The Writer in Residence receives:

  • An opportunity to develop and deliver creative writing workshops to young people in an immersive and collaborative public school partnership
  • A supportive experience in arts education with under-served and marginalized young people at a renowned literary nonprofit
  • Free tickets to PEN/Faulkner’s Literary Conversations and the PEN/Malamud Award ceremony
  • $1,100 – $1,400 paid in two installments

How to apply:

Submit a cover letter, resume (demonstrating your experience with young people/community populations), a brief statement (250 words) on your approach to working with youth, and your general anticipated availability Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4 pm for School Year 2021-22 (September 2021 through May 2022). Submit your application materials to [email protected] with “Writer in Residence” in the subject line.

Candidates who are selected to move forward will be required to give a short lesson demonstration via Zoom and submit contact information for three references. Partner Educators participate in the interview process of final candidates. Applications will be accepted from June 1-June 30, with interviews beginning in July.

We value individuals with diverse talents and backgrounds.


The PEN/Faulkner Foundation celebrates literature and fosters connections between readers and writers to enrich and inspire both individuals and communities.

PEN/Faulkner is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and strongly encourages persons of color; females; LGBTQIA persons; and persons with disabilities to apply to available positions.

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