Title: Writers in the Schools Program Associate
Reports to: WITS Program Director
Full time, Exempt
Since 1987, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) has championed the literary arts by inspiring and engaging readers and writers of all generations across the greater Puget Sound region, providing opportunities to learn from the most compelling writers and cultural thinkers of our day. We envision a future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society. With over 20 years of service to the community, our Writers in the Schools (WITS) program serves over 6,000 public school students annually, connecting them to the
best local writing talent for extended creative writing residencies. WITS provides students the opportunity to express their authentic writing and performance voices in publications and on SAL stages. Through WITS, students become authors of their own lives. We are a 10-person team with an annual budget around $3M and a 21-member board of directors. Along with the WITS program, SAL presents approximately 30 public events per year which reach over 30,000 people.
SAL is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply. SAL strives to create a diverse and welcoming workplace. We believe that having a board of directors, staff, interns, and volunteers with diverse backgrounds enables us to better meet our mission and we strongly encourage applications from people of color and other historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.
The Writers in the Schools (WITS) Program Associate works with the WITS Program Director to implement all WITS and Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programming, empowering young people to discover their authentic writing and performance voices in WITS classrooms, publications, and on SAL stages.
The WITS Program Associate engages with WITS schools, teachers, writers, and families throughout the year to celebrate the work of all WITS students throughout the region. They lead the WITS Spotlight Author program, support our Writers-in-Residence, organize and execute WITS public events and publications, and oversee the Youth Poet Laureate program. The WITS Program Associate reports to the WITS Program Director. A brand-new WITS program position will be hired in late summer/fall to make a three-person team.
The ideal candidate for this position builds relationships quickly and is confident engaging with a wide variety of diverse stakeholders—from students to teachers, to WITS writers, to patrons and donors at SAL events. They have a love of the SAL and WITS mission, and a passion for writing and youth voice. They are a clear communicator who takes the work seriously, but not themselves. This person is detail-oriented amidst many moving deadlines and thrives in a fast-paced and collaborative working environment.
Program Support – WITS Schools (20%)
• Support WITS Program Director in building and maintaining vibrant school relationships and ensuring contract fulfillment, including coordinating and managing Spotlight Author visits, student group attendance at public SAL events, tracking hours for billing purposes, and scheduling and attending select planning meetings with schools.
• Support WITS Program Director in maintaining a culture of positive relationships with existing
WITS schools and assist with implementation of pilot programs and outreach efforts.
Program Support – WITS Writers (25%)
• Assist WITS Program Director with WITS Writer-in-Residence management, including hiring and placement, on-going support, observation, and feedback, timesheet and payroll and expense reimbursements and student work collection.
• Manage writer mentor program.
• Co-create writer meeting content with the WITS Program Director and manage logistics and planning for annual schedule of writer meetings and gatherings throughout the year (1 annual retreat, 4 quarterly meetings, and 2 community gatherings).
Student Work Publication and Contests (20%)
• Work with WITS team to produce an annual anthology of student work, including selection of student pieces, editing, proofreading, and interfacing with the designer and publisher.
• Oversee production of Year-End Reading printed pieces and end-of-residency chapbooks (as requested by writers).
• Participate in publicizing, judging, and selection process for annual student writing contests.
Event Production (15%)
• Work with WITS team to produce annual anthology book launch event and Year-End Reading
events including venue communication and logistics planning, staff and volunteer recruitment
and training, and communication with families and teachers.
• Work with WITS team to produce community readings and plan and execute annual art tour for the Poetry Broadsides program with Seattle Children’s.
Program Support for Youth Poet Laureate (YPL), Summer, and other special programming (10%)
• Work with WITS team to implement summer and WITS Digital programs, including interfacing with partner organizations and schools, as well as providing writer support.
• Manage YPL program application and judging process, event production for May showcase, and publication of book in coordination with partner publisher.
• Assist with program evaluation data collection and integrity throughout data entry process and
contribute to evaluation strategy and planning.
• Assist WITS Program Director with management of WITS interns and volunteers.
• Support WITS Program Director in advocating for the WITS program, including occasional attendance at any of the following: PTSA meetings, school functions, and community arts organization meetings.
• Support SAL’s public programs and fundraising efforts by attending both annual fundraisers, select public SAL events, periodic board meetings, and supporting with WITS development initiatives by attending cultivation and other functions as necessary.
• Participate in SAL’s ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, trainings, and activities.
• This is a small team; we all pitch in to help each other out and our work is always evolving. The ideal candidate will be flexible and up for the variety of kinds of work that a small non-profit encounters on the day-to-day.
• Passion for SAL’s mission and a love of stories and storytelling across all ages.
• Minimum two years of experience and a successful track record in program support work,
preferably in an education/arts/nonprofit context.
• Ability to work independently and as a member of a dynamic, creative, highly collaborative team in a fast-paced, open-office environment. Must be both a self-starter and able to work under direction.
• Strong attention to detail and project management skills.
• Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
• Flexible and curious with a sense of humor.
• A commitment to racial equity and social justice.
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite required.
• Experience with PowerPoint, InDesign, database systems (specifically PatronManager) and
comfort with Mac OS a plus.
• Experience working with Puget Sound arts nonprofits and public school communities a plus.
• Valid driver’s license and dependable access to an automobile strongly preferred.
• Ability to lift boxes of books and other program materials and navigate stairs to access the SAL office.
• Evening/weekend hours required; typically 2-4 times/month September – May.
• Openness to a dog-friendly work space.
Compensation & Benefits:
This is a 40 hours/week full-time exempt position. Salary range is $37,000-41,000 per year (commensurate with experience and qualifications) with a benefits package, including:
• generous paid time off, including 20 vacation days/year starting your second year (15 days in year one) as well as sick, personal, and holidays;
• 100% of medical, vision, and dental insurance covered;
• 403(b) retirement plan pre-tax distribution;
• flex time as appropriate;
• support and budget for professional development and growth.
Hiring Process & Timeline:
• We will begin scheduling phone interviews in late March/early April.
• We will begin in-person one-hour interviews in early April.
• Finalists will be invited to a second-round, two-hour interview (comprised of several shorter interviews with different teams), and we will make an offer shortly thereafter.
• Ideally, the selected candidate will start in mid- to late May.
• Send a resume and cover letter that tells us why you would be a good fit for this position.
• Submit applications electronically in one PDF document to [email protected] The email
subject line should be “WITS Program Associate”, and please include your last name in the file
name of your attachment.
• Open until filled. For best consideration, please submit no later than April 1, 2019.
Contact Information for inquiries related to this position (email preferred):
Finance & Operations Director