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10 Writing Internships for High School Students

If you’re looking for ways to build up your writing portfolio and improve your writing skills, then a writing internship might be the way to go. Compiled in this blog is a list of really good writing internships and opportunities that can help you on your writing journey!


Some of these are unpaid internships, while some provide a stipend. Some of these opportunities may also require you to pay a fee because there is a teaching/mentoring component or a learning program outside of the internship.


How to Find Writing Internships as a High School Student

Finding writing internships can be hard, because of how self-driven the nature of writing is. They can also be overwhelming to look for because of how many different kinds of writing exist! But doing writing internships can show college admissions officers your passion and dedication, and it also helps in skill-building. A writing internship can show you are a highly motivated individual. Here are some tips to find internships outside of this blog:

  • Consider reaching out directly to newspapers or NGOs or organizations that interest you, even if they don't advertise internships. Express your interest and inquire about any available opportunities to write for them in marketing, or grant requests… or really any kind of writing!

  • Build a portfolio of your best writing samples. Include a variety of pieces such as articles, essays, blog posts, or short stories. Make sure your portfolio demonstrates your writing abilities and range.

  • Be proactive and persistent in your search. Follow up with organizations after submitting your application and express your continued interest in interning with them.


Here are some of the best writing internships to start with!


The Los Angeles Times runs a High School Summer Internship Program called the High School Insider Summer Internship Program. If selected, as an HS Insider intern, you will have the opportunity to experience covering breaking news, crafting feature enterprise stories, and experimenting with multimedia storytelling. Interns will pursue stories with the support of mentors, extensive training, and workshops from the newsroom. The internship expects interns to work 30 hours per week.


Location: Remote (if outside LA), hybrid (if in LA)

Application Deadline: TBA, usually in April

Program Length: 6 weeks, Between June and August

Eligibility: High School Student


Pasquines is a non-profit news organization dedicated to bringing the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands into the national conversations of politics, policy decisions, and the consequences of both on these American territories – as well as the reverse, where they bring matters of national consideration to the local level. They look for virtual interns throughout the year, and the hours are flexible, with a minimum of 2 hours per week. Interns get to hone their writing and reporting skills, they get to learn a lot about the impact of large-scale policy at the local level, and work with other writers while learning about publishing and writing in a non-profit news network.


Cost: No cost, unpaid

Location: Remote

Application Deadline: Rolling

Program Length: N/A, for however long you want to work with them

Eligibility: High School Student


Building-U is a non-profit centered around helping high-school students. It operates virtually. It is currently looking for interns to assist its blog-spot team. The blog-spot team is a group of students focused on learning more about and building awareness of land-based education and its importance to both Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples for addressing all of the environmental, social, and economic challenges faced globally. Interns will be involved in writing articles for their Blog (Down to U) and hosting open discussions with invited expert guests that are turned into podcasts (Down to U Discussions). The position is for three months but can extend beyond that if interns are interested.


Cost: No cost, unpaid

Location: Remote

Application Deadline: Rolling deadlines, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible

Program Length: usually 3 months, June through August – but if the intern is open to it, it can run year-round

Eligibility: High-school students can apply



Project Write Now is a nonprofit aimed at supporting individuals, organizations and communities through writing. Project Write Now’s teen internship program gives exposure to editing, publishing, and journalism. The Internship has three tracks. If selected, you will either be in the editorial stream – where you will help them manage their online literary magazine, write marketing pieces, and more, or you could take part in their ‘interview project’, where you will be trained in journalism-relevant skills such as interviewing, selecting important details, and writing a compelling narrative. The goal is to provide completed stories to give to the participants and their families. These pieces will also be published. Note that the teaching assistant track requires you to be in-person. You will also get community service hours in this internship.

Cost: No cost, unpaid

Location: Remote

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Length: 3 months, between June and August

Eligibility: High School Students between the ages of 15 and 18 years old



Run by the Smithsonian Institute, the Benjamin Lawless Internship is a unique writing opportunity for high school students. Over the course of five consecutive weeks in the summer, the selected Benjamin Lawless intern will be challenged to develop their creativity by finding new ways to tell stories inspired by the Smithsonian’s collections and research. If selected, note that the position expects you to work 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. The Interning experience is guided and mentored by other employees in the Smithsonian. Upon the conclusion of the internship, the intern will provide an expression of their experience in any form they choose.


Location: Remote

Application Deadline: TBA, usually March

Program Length: 5 weeks, between July and August

Eligibility: High School Seniors


Although the Future Rising Fellowship is not an internship, it is a very unique work-learn experience. The Fellowship is highly prestigious, selecting fellows from an international pool of exceptional individuals who demonstrate a deep commitment to environmental justice and gender equity. The Future Rising Fellowship supports young leaders working at the intersection of climate and gender justice. The year-long program builds Fellows’ leadership and storytelling skills. If selected, you participate in a year-long program of leadership development, storytelling workshops, professional development, and creative enrichment with access to advisors and experts including journalists, educators, advocates, filmmakers, artists, academics, authors, and climate scientists.


Location: remote, with an in person bootcamp in the beginning (location TBA)

Application Deadline: TBA, usually in June

Program Length: year long (August through till the next August)

Eligibility: High School Juniors and Seniors.



City Limit is New York City's oldest nonprofit investigative news agency that attempts to empower the youth and train students in public service journalism. Interns are trained in the essential tenets of reporting and news writing. This includes research, interviewing, exploring investigative techniques, media ethics, photojournalism, and more.

Through this program, you work closely with City Limits in order to report locally

focused news stories about important New York City issues, particularly from underrepresented communities. A unique feature of CLARIFY is its two cohorts - an English-Language Cohort and a bilingual cohort for Spanish and English speakers.


Location: CUNY Brooklyn or CUNY York’s College Campuses

Application Deadline: June 15th, 2023

Program Length: July 17th - July 27th

Eligibility: Open to rising juniors or seniors (seniors who have graduated as of June 2023 are also welcome to apply) who reside in New York



Creative writing internships can be hard to come by – but If you’re interested in creative writing, then you should know that the Kenyon College in Ohio conducts a two week intensive writing workshop for high school students. In this workshop you get to work and network with professional writers, in order to develop your skills in writing fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The work and learn experience also entails attending readings and lectures, and participating in writing workshops.


Note: We've written a detailed review of the program, which you can read here!


Cost:

  • $995 for online summer workshops

  • $655 for online winter workshops

  • $2,575 for summer residential workshops

Location: Remote or In person (on Kenyon College Campus, Ohio)

Application Deadline: TBA , Usually in March

Program Length: 2 weeks

Eligibility: High School Students


Organized by the New York Times, NYC Summer Academy is a 2 week work-learn opportunity, where high school students reside in New York City and learn from industry professionals, journalists and other leading media figures. Students in NYC Summer academy will also learn and work on writing, reporting, video production, and data visualization while making their project, which covers challenges faced by newsrooms today. Accommodations are provided by the program. All in all, if you’re keen on learning about writing in large, well known news organizations, this experience might prove beneficial.

Cost:

Residential Program Tuition: $5,975

Day Program Tuition: $5,325

Financial aid is offered.

Location: New York City

Application Deadline: Rolling

Program Length: 2 week programs through June to July

Eligibility: High School sophomores, juniors, and seniors


The Columbia Scholastic Press Association offers a weeklong Summer Journalism Workshop for high school students. The event not only offers insight into the journalistic process, but also the publishing world. So if you’re interested in learning about how you can publish your own piece and improve your writing, this program could offer insight and help you rethink your publishing strategy.


Cost:

In person –

Residing on campus – $1,599

Commuting to campus – $1,199

Virtual–

$899 per class

Location: Columbia University, New York

Application Deadline: Rolling

Program Length: 5 days long between June and July

Eligibility: sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school


Ladder Internship is a selective program for high school students to work with startups, including media start-ups, in a real world internship.


Ladder Startups work in fields including media and journalism, technology, machine learning and A.I., finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form.


As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding students through the internship and helping them navigate the startup environment.


Note that as a Ladder Intern, you will engage in a coaching+work-based model - a component that sets it apart from most internships in this list. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application Deadline: Applications for cohorts in June, September, December, and February (4 cohorts throughout the year)

Program Dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!


More for you if you love writing!

We have covered various writing programs, competitions and awards here - creative writing programs, writing competitions, awards such as Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Bennington Young Writers Awards.


If you are interested in doing university-level research in literature and writing, then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: LA Times logo


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1 Comment


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