Department of English

Paid Intern Needed for Prison Creative Writing Program!

Mon, June 25, 2018
Paid Intern Needed for Prison Creative Writing Program!
2018 Pen City Writers Journal

Paid Intern Needed for Prison Creative Writing Program!

The Pen-City Writers internship is a paid student-technician position in the UT English Department. The Pen-City Writers is a three-year, creative-writing certificate program for men incarcerated at a maximum security prison in southern Texas. The incarcerated students earn UT college credit, publish their own journal, have their own library, and are learning to be writers and thinkers behind bars. The intern is primarily responsible for organizational support and does not go to the prison. The director of the program is Deb Olin Unferth, a creative writing professor at UT. The internship begins fall 2018. The pay is $17 an hour, 5-7 hours a week.


  • Scan, print, and organize student work
  • Correspond with volunteers
  • Brainstorm with the director and other participants about program initiatives
  • Keep track of complicated program details
  • Help plan and run the annual book drive
  • Help put together our prison-writings journal
  • Revise documents, work on the volunteer newsletter, and other light writing tasks.
  • Help organize occasional PCW events


  • Must be comfortable working and corresponding with incarcerated men. You do not go to the prison, and you do not need to use your full name in correspondence, but you must communicate with students about class-related matters in an empathetic and professional manner.
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • Should be able to work five to seven hours per week.
  • Undergrad and grad students welcome to apply. Duties vary slightly depending on experience.
  • English or Creative Writing student preferred but others considered. Must enjoy reading, writing, and creative problem solving.
  • The position is year-round. We work all through summer and for a good part of winter break. It is fine to be away a week or two here and there, but the ideal candidate will be in Austin for the bulk of the summer and not be away for the entirety of winter break

How to Apply

If interested, please email your resume, cover letter, the name and email address of one reference, and answers to the questions below to Deb Olin Unferth at

  1. What makes this position a good fit for you?
  2. Do you have any experience working with at-risk or incarcerated populations?
  3. The PCW students often write about trauma, violence, injustice, personal anguish, suicidal thoughts, racism, and other triggering topics. In addition, they may not have the same political views as you. Would this be hard for you to handle in a professional manner?

Deadline: August 15

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