Internships & Volunteer Opportunites
Interested in how a poetry manuscript becomes a book? Apply for a Poetry Publishing Internship with Copper Canyon Press!
Hands-on, independent, and collaborative projects will give you professional experience in marketing, fundraising, production, acquisitions, reader engagement, and publicity. You’ll also be giving back to the literary arts community by supporting Copper Canyon’s nonprofit mission: to engage the imaginations and intellects of readers with extraordinary poetry from around the world.
All interns experience the full scope of operations within a nonprofit press, including fundraising, marketing, book production, editing, publicity, and reader engagement. Internship responsibilities depend on current needs at the Press. General administrative support is shared among all interns.
In light of the ongoing pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution, Fall 2020 internships will take place remotely. Fall 2020 interns will use a variety of online tools—videoconferencing, email, telephone—to participate in Press operations from home.
Applicants must be passionate about poetry or literature, have strong writing and proofreading skills, have experience doing independent research, be comfortable working on solo and collaborative projects, and have coursework or experience working with language in various voices. Prior experience preparing a manuscript for publication or working with campus literary journals or other publications is a plus.
For Fall 2020 remote internships, applicants must have access to reliable internet and access to a personal computer.
Though internships are unpaid, Copper Canyon Press offers a generous sampling of books and broadsides and participation in special events and author readings, as well as a small monthly grocery stipend. Above all else, interns gain valuable insight into the world of nonprofit publishing and earn our deep gratitude for their time and service to the press.
Based in Port Townsend, Washington, our 3–5 month internships are on a trimester schedule from January–May, June–August, and September–December. End dates are flexible. Interns spend 3 days/week in the office during regular Monday–Friday, 9–5 office hours. Those interested in an intensive experience spend 4 days/week at the Press.
College students are welcome to apply for summer positions. Applicants not currently enrolled in school are encouraged to apply for Fall or Winter/Spring internships.
Summer (June–August) Application deadline: March 15
Fall (September–December) Application deadline: July 1
Winter/Spring (January–May) Application deadline: November 1
Location and Housing
Copper Canyon Press is located in Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington. Port Townsend is a historic Victorian seaport known for the arts. Voted one of the top ten “America’s Coolest Small Towns” by Budget Travel Magazine, the town is surrounded by beaches, and is only fifty miles from the Olympic Mountains. Copper Canyon Press does not provide housing in Port Townsend. We recommend searching the Port Townsend/Jefferson County Leader, the local weekly newspaper, or Craiglist for listings. Past interns have often shared rental housing during their stay.
Where Do Interns Work Within the Press?
Interns gain experience in all departments at Copper Canyon.
Some examples of intern projects are in the areas below.
- Publicity and Marketing: researching author information for forthcoming titles, copyediting and proofreading promotional materials, social media, and website updates, and preparing book catalog drafts.
- Acquisitions: researching and seeking permissions, reading manuscript submissions, and assisting the editors in research.
- Production: preparing manuscripts for design, entering corrections, reviewing galleys, and archiving.
- Development: drafting and producing print and digital materials for crowdfunding campaigns and donor appeals, assisting in the preparation of grant reports, logistical support for events, and maintaining contact records.
- Finance: compiling materials for the annual audit, maintaining contract and royalty records, and managing inventory.
- Community Engagement: assisting with event planning and outreach, and communicating with poetry readers.
Do Internships Lead to Jobs at Copper Canyon?
Rarely. Over the past five years, two former interns have been hired by Copper Canyon and a few interns have been hired on a project basis. Past interns have gone on to work with other presses, including the University of Arizona Press, Milkweed Editions, Graywolf Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mountaineers Books, Bepress, and BOA Editions.
Other past interns now write, teach English and creative writing, work in grant writing and fundraising for nonprofits, manage (and own!) independent bookstores, and work for a variety of print and online publications as writers, editors, and copyeditors.
I’m a Writer…
Internships at publishing houses offer excellent exposure for writers. You will learn firsthand how a manuscript transforms from an idea into a published book, which then seeks a larger place in the marketplace.
I’m a Student…
Many of our past interns have been in their junior and senior years of their undergraduate education or are pursuing a graduate degree. Students have interned over the summer or for credit during the academic year as part of their degree program. Some colleges provide stipends or credit for internships. Check with your college or departmental internship adviser.
To apply for an internship at Copper Canyon Press, please submit your resume, a cover letter, and contact information for three references.
Copper Canyon Press believes diverse representation is vital to the vision and operations of publishing. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive, and equitable working environment, and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. We welcome applications from people in all stages of their careers interested in a working experience with a poetry publishing press.
Email resumes to:
Janeen Armstrong, Reader Services Coordinator
Or mail to:
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271
Port Townsend WA 98368