Nov 21, 2022

Producer, World Voices Festival and Literary Programs

$75,000 - $85,000 yearly
  • PEN America
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
Full-Time Reporting/Media Other

Job Description

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a skilled, creative, and highly organized producer  to execute and manage key public events, including the World Voices Festival, as part of our Literary Programs department. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters reporting to the associate director of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs. 

The producer will effectuate the planning, production and execution of the PEN World Voices Festival, the PEN Out Loud Series, and other elements of the organization’s dynamic slate of public events. The producer helps to constructively balance artistic imperatives with the practicalities of producing events within reasonable budget parameters. The producer will recruit and supervise temporary staff, interns, volunteers and outside contractors, as necessary. 

The successful candidate will possess strong project management, event production and financial management skills, and a passion for PEN America’s mission. The producer is a self-starter who is strategic, resourceful, systematic, detail-oriented and results-focused, and has strong communication skills along with the ability to manage multiple competing duties to achieve significant results. The producer will work collaboratively with other PEN America staff and will partner on the creative and production functions of literary programs.

This role offers significant opportunity to program leading and emerging literary voices from the United States and worldwide, as well as produce consequential conversations on literature, free expression, and other issues of public interest. The successful candidate will be enmeshed in PEN America’s expanding public programming, a critical component of ongoing organizational growth and rising profile and impact.

The producer is responsible for the management and administration of all operations for the World Voices Festival, PEN Out Loud and other  programming, and for pulling all elements of an event together with precision and impact. These components include:

Project Timeline, Creative Management, and Budgeting:

  • Develop planning and production timelines and help keep the Festival team on time and on task
  • Work with the associate director of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs to create detailed operational budgets for these events
  • Track expenditure and revenue against budget
  • Assist in responsibly stewarding resources, ensuring distribution and allocation for optimum balance of artistic quality, financial strength and organizational integrity

The producer will determine the scope of work for each production function, and manage, oversee, and, where necessary, contract staff to execute: 

Venue Selection

  • Work with the associate director to identify and secure suitable venues for the Festival and other events, negotiating terms, and ensuring other logistical and production aspects of the Festival are completed according to agreed timelines and budget parameters

Event Production

  • Assess the event’s scale and technical and production requirements in order to determine the number of advance and on-site team members serving each function needed to make an event successful
  • Contract and manage production companies, staff, venue producers, and technical crew including designers, stage managers, and house management, where needed

Event Documentation

  • Contract and oversee video crews, camera operators, and photographers, and disseminates documentation to necessary stakeholders 
  • Manage and collate data and feedback from events into reports for Senior Leadership and for grant reporting and applications

Box Office

  • Oversee management of the build and maintenance of the box office, setting ticket prices, seating, comp allotments
  • Regularly report on sales to the marketing team


  • With the support of the Literary Programs assistant and seasonal production manager, recruit, train, and manage volunteers necessary for events

Company Management

  • Oversee the organization of travel, accommodation, itinerary production and distribution, and any necessary visa applications with the support of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs coordinator

Partner Coordination and Relations

  • Implement terms of the partnership agreement for co-presenting partnerships
  • Assist in the development of productive relationships with Festival partners

All PEN America staff are considered to be stakeholders in the development of our shared organization. As such, staff play a role in varied activities within the workplace as part of their job responsibilities. These may include committees or task forces to work on office issues, diversity and inclusion, strategy projects, training, or other initiatives.

Hiring Organization

PEN America


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of production experience
  • Passion for PEN America’s mission to defend free expression and interest in contemporary American and international literature
  • Significant experience in artistic and events production and management; ability to work across a variety of arts disciplines; festival and conference experience preferred
  • Experience leading multi-media teams from planning through post-production
  • Familiarity with the New York City cultural landscape, presenting organizations, and event venues
  • High energy and passion for an opportunity-centered, mission-driven work environment
  • Knowledge and experience in budget development and management
  • Experience in creating systems and work-plans to achieve core objectives
  • Excellent organizational skills including attention to detail, ability to multi-task and manage diverse personalities and production styles in a fast-paced artistic environment
  • Demonstrated ability to sustain effective, collegial partnerships within and outside an organization
  • Superb communication skills
  • Strong work ethic and success in delivering on objectives
  • IT proficiency (G Suite, Raiser’s Edge or similar database, event and ticketing platforms, etc.)

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Arts/Culture and Humanities


Mid-Senior level


PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $75k-85k, commensurate with experience. Candidates whose expectations are outside this range are welcome to apply, as PEN America is open to considering talented individuals at varying stages of their careers. PEN America’s benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax commuter benefits and a 403b retirement plan.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the position as outlined above, a resume, and an unedited writing sample. Please submit the entire application to One PDF is preferred. Please use “Literary Programs Producer” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, Literary Programs Producer – Jane Doe). Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

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