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Literary Arts News, Youth Programs

Now Hiring: WITS Writers for 2021-22 Roster

Independent Contractor Opening: Writers in the Schools Writer

Position: WITS Writer

Status: Independent Contractor

Compensation: $1750 per residency

Reports to: Director of Youth Programs

Deadline: June 13, 2021

PDF: Click here


Literary Arts seeks experienced teaching artists living in the Portland and Salem-Keizer metro areas with backgrounds in education and writing to join our roster of writers for the 2021-22 school year.

WITS pairs local writers with classroom teachers to lead creative writing residencies for public high school students. Our WITS program currently serves students at schools within Portland Public Schools, Parkrose School District, Gresham-Barlow School District, and Woodburn School District. Residencies take place during the school day and scheduling is unpredictable. Therefore, this role requires a flexible schedule of at least three full mornings or afternoon per week during the academic year. Being on the roster does not guarantee a residency assignment, although we typically can assign writers at least one placement per year.

We are committed to building a teaching artist roster that reflects the diversity of Multnomah County’s schools and prefer candidates with demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion work through education. Teaching artists identifying as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color and bilingual writers are especially encouraged to apply. We are also especially interested in adding more slam poets, graphic novel/comics artists, playwrights, journalists, and screenwriters to our roster, and writers from the Salem-Keizer metro.

For consideration for the 2021-22 school year, please apply by Sunday, June 13, 2021. To learn more visit www.literary-arts.org/about/programs/youth/


  • Teaching creative writing residencies (typically 10-15 sessions) to students from diverse backgrounds in variety of classrooms (ex. language arts, English Language Learners, art, media studies, anthropology) and formats (in-person, hybrid, distance learning)
  • Attending paid mandatory day-long annual WITS writer orientation in September (Tentative date for 2021: September 2, 8, 11, 15, or 16)
  • Maintaining timely communication with WITS staff and school teachers
  • Ongoing collaboration with WITS staff, fellow WITS writers, and school partners
  • Designing inclusive, responsive well-planned curriculum for high school students
  • Providing feedback and encouragement to student writing throughout residency
  • Receiving and integrating feedback following classroom observations from WITS staff
  • Attending end-of-residency reading and performing your work
  • Completing the background check and fingerprinting process for PPS contractors

Skills & Qualifications

We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying. Please be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.

  • Prior teaching experience, with strong preference for work with youth
  • Identify as a writer with publication experience and/or an established practice
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Knowledge of, and ongoing willingness to learn, educational pedagogy and best practices
  • Fluency with digital tools such as Basecamp, Zoom, Google Drive, or willingness to learn
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Reliable transportation and ability to travel up to 25 miles in/around PDX preferred

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Literary Arts is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for our employees, volunteers, and wider literary community. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

To Apply

Please send a PDF document that includes the following items, as well as any questions, to Emilly Prado at emilly@literary-arts.org by Sunday, June 13, 2021:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume or CV with publication and teaching experience
  3. A creative writing sample or video link of your work (appropriate for high school students)
  4. Sample creative writing lesson or unit plan
  5. Name and contact info for two references
  6. Your schedule/availability for the 2021-22 school year

Hiring Timeline

  • Sunday, June 13: WITS Writer application closes
  • Week of June 28: Interviews
  • Wednesday, July 15: Offers made
  • September 2, 8, 11, 15, or 16: Mandatory orientation

About Us

The Youth Programs of Literary Arts inspire our city’s youth to find their stories and play an active role in the broader community. We provide opportunities for high school students to use their voice through creative writing, Q&As with authors, student readings, and spoken word performance. Much of our work prioritizes underserved communities, and we strive to make our programs as equitable as possible.Writers in the Schools has offered creative writing residencies in Portland, and more recently, east Multnomah County, high schools since 1996. WITS is one of several programs within the Youth Programs of Literary Arts which collective serve over 4,000 students annually.

For more information about Literary Arts, please visit www.literary-arts.org.

The mission of Literary Arts is to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

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