Adolescent Literary Arts Curriculum Intern


Writers in the Schools (WITS) is recruiting an Adolescent Literary Arts Curriculum Intern.  This full-time, paid internship will provide one intern with the opportunity to explore and document the best teaching practices of professional educators and creative writers who work with adolescent students in middle school and high school (grades 7th-12th). 

By observing and teaching with veteran teachers, writers, and artists in our annual Creative Writing Camp, as well as in other WITS summer programs, the intern will compile successful lessons, innovative teaching prompts, and tried and true classroom management techniques into a published curriculum and training guide.  With this literary arts curriculum, WITS will be able to train new writers and share best practices during our program year on working successfully in middle school and high school classrooms as well as in future summers of the Creative Writing Camp.

WITS has collaborated with the School Literacy and Culture Project (SLC) in the Center for Education at Rice University since 1990 to produce the Creative Writing Camp.  Throughout the internship, the intern will have access to key SLC staff and stakeholders for further research and reference in producing this curriculum. 

The intern will work in a variety of areas, gaining experience in secondary literacy education, creative writing instruction, interdisciplinary education, arts education, and arts/non-profit administration.

Past WITS interns have gone on to full-time teaching positions, enrolled in nationally-ranked graduate programs in creative writing, been hired for full-time positions in non-profit organizations, and taught on the faculty at the Creative Writing Camp.

The internship will begin Friday, June 1, 2012 and end Thursday, July 26, 2012.

The salary for this 8-week internship will be $2,750.


Description of Internship

June:  The Adolescent Literary Arts Curriculum Intern will serve as a lead intern for a larger team of our summer workshop teaching assistant interns.  During workshop hours, the intern will provide creative writing instruction to students in grades 7th-12th by team teaching with professional teachers and writers, offer constructive feedback to students on their writing, work with small groups of students who need extra or advanced assistance, and observe and document best teaching practices.  The intern will be asked to focus this documentation by exploring questions such as:

  • What are the explicit and implicit connections between adolescent literary arts and the state-mandated literacy curriculum?
  • What does it mean for a professional poet or fiction writer to work with writers in middle school and high school?
  • How does a creative writer engage a classroom teacher at the 7th-12th grade level?
  • What lessons and prompts get students excited about the writing process?
  • What motivates reticent students who are at an age where writing is not “cool?”
  • What training or tools does a creative writer need to give students the foundation and tools to be successful, creative thinkers and writers?
  • How does the college workshop model of teaching succeed when used with adolescent students?  When does it not work?  What tweaks need to be made to make a college model more age-appropriate?
  • What challenges hinder the teaching of creative writing and how does a creative writer work through and/or with these challenges?


After workshop hours, the intern will help administration by preparing for faculty meetings, meeting with teachers, assisting in the production of anthologies, and in other administrative tasks as assigned.

In June, Writers in the Schools will host the annual Writers in the Schools Alliance Conference here in Houston.  Several writers-in-schools organizations from across the country will observe the Creative Writing Camp and will attend panel discussions and meetings on administrative topics, education and literary arts trends, and program development.  The intern will help the Writers in the Schools staff in organizing the conference and will have the opportunity to attend the presentations and meetings.   The intern will have the opportunity to present her/his research and experience to conference attendees.

In addition to teaching and observing at the Creative Writing Camp, the intern will also have the option of working with middle and high school students at other WITS summer programming.  Often, WITS will work at community sites or summer schools in June and July.  The intern will observe and research what 7th-12th grade students respond to in these diverse environments.  What similarities with the summer workshops exist?  What prompts work at these community sites?  Which ones don’t?  This optional teaching, done during the intern’s regular workday schedule, is contingent on WITS’ programming roster.  Administration will know if there are middle school and/or high school programs for observation by late spring or early summer.

July:  The internship will focus on compiling materials, documents, lesson plans, student writing examples, and training techniques to produce a published literary arts curriculum.  Working directly with WITS Administration (including our new Education Coordinator, who will join the WITS staff in Spring 2012), SLC educators, WITS creative writers, and 7th-12th grade students, the intern will comb through the WITS lesson archives, materials documented at the workshops during June, and materials produced by students to shape this cohesive curriculum.  Also, the intern will incorporate a narrative of anecdotes and historical background information to highlight what makes teaching creative writing at this age level successful.  The intern will be responsible for the creation, editing, proofing, and publication processes for this curriculum.

The intern will work closely with the new WITS Education Coordinator to align this curriculum with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.  By demonstrating how the WITS pedagogy and curriculum gives students the tools needed to satisfy these standards successfully, WITS will be able to use the curriculum as a marketing tool to procure new middle schools and high schools in the future.

The intern will be required to attend an internship organizational meeting, two workshop training days, the three-week summer workshops, and weekly faculty meetings.  The intern will participate in all WITS weekly staff meetings and will report on his/her progress with the curriculum research and document.  Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to attend a WITS board meeting as well as meet with other key WITS staff members to learn about arts/non-profit administration.  



At the end of the eight-week internship, the Adolescent Literary Arts Curriculum Intern will have at minimum 60 hours experience working directly with 7th-12th grade students (as well as with professional literacy educators and creative writers).  The intern will produce and publish a valuable literary arts curriculum and training document.  Finally, the intern will have the opportunity to present this research and curriculum at the Writers in the Schools Alliance annual conference.

For WITS, this curriculum will guide our creative writers with tools and lesson ideas for working with 7th-12th grade students and will help us expand our scope in school year programming by engaging middle school and high school partner educators.   



The Adolescent Literary Arts Curriculum Internship is open to all interested candidates who are currently undergraduate students enrolled in a college or university full-time and who will be returning to school full-time in Fall 2012 as undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors.

Candidates must demonstrate an aptitude in secondary education, arts education, creative writing, pedagogy, literacy education, and/or non-profit administration.

Interns will be subject to a criminal background check, which must meet WITS standards, prior to beginning the internship.

Writers in the Schools encourages applicants from all backgrounds to apply and is dedicated to a culturally diverse staff.


Application Process

All applicants must submit the following materials via our online application: 2012 Creative Writing Camp Internship Application.

One-page letter describing your interest in working with Writers in the Schools and the Creative Writing Camp; please include information on your specific areas of interest, your career goals, and your grade-level preferences (early education, elementary, middle, or high school)


Unofficial transcript (photocopies acceptable)

Selected candidates will be asked to interview either in person or by Skype.