Poets & Writers, Inc.

Director of Programs & Partnerships

The Director of Programs & Partnerships is a new position that offers the opportunity to shape and lead programming that will help creative writers nationwide develop their careers, build community, and reach readers.

Poets & Writers is the nation's leading nonprofit serving creative writers. Since 1970, we have offered writers direct financial support for presenting literary events that engage the public. New programming initiatives, supported by our 50th Anniversary Campaign, will expand and deepen our reach to empower writers and strengthen literary communities nationwide.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for contemporary writing, deep knowledge of and engagement with the literary community, and experience developing and delivering programs for writers. They will be creative and entrepreneurial, able to facilitate collaborative work both internally and externally. They will share Poets & Writers' commitment to antiracism and understand the specific challenges that face writers of color.

This is a full-time position in our New York City office reporting to the Executive Director and leading staff in New York and California. Salary $80,000 to 90,000; good benefits package including health insurance and ample paid time-off.

Responsibilities include:

  • Working collaboratively and cross-departmentally to imagine, develop, deliver, evaluate, and refine programming that helps writers develop their careers, build community, and reach readers.
  • Ensure that current and future programming meets the needs of writers, is aligned with P&W's mission and values, is in keeping with P&W's brand, and exploits the full potential of live in-person, online, and recorded formats for reaching intended audiences.  Collaborate with the editor in chief (and other editorial staff) to develop programming that takes full advantage ofP&W's extensive content and resources for writers and builds on our trusted brand.
  • Initiate and cultivate opportunities to advance our mission by working in partnership with other literary and community-based organizations.
  • Apply a DEIAB-RE (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, Belonging, and Racial Equity) lens to ensure that our programs work to break down barriers, create equitable access, and address the needs of BIPOC writers—as well as writers from other historically marginalized groups, such as members ofthe LGBTQ+ community, writers with disabilities, women, rural writers, and others.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development to develop grant proposals for support of programs, ensure compliance with the terms of grants funded, and report to funders.  Work with marketing staff to ensure that marketing and outreach for programs reach their intended audiences.

  • As a member of the senior staff, participate in organizational planning and program development.

  • Attend Board meetings and staff the Board's committee on programs.

    Objectives for year one include:

  • Launch Let Your Voice Be Heard (LYVBH), a new initiative to help writers achieve their publishing goals.
  • Build on existing relationships and establish new partnerships that leverage P&W's strengths, together with the reach of local organizations, to serve writers in specific markets including (but not limited to) Detroit, Houston, New Orleans.
  • Work collaboratively with the editor in chief to develop curriculum and to engage and train presenters, ensuring that LYVBH takes full advantage of P&W's extensive content and resources for writers. o Manage all aspects of program delivery.
  • Develop evaluation mechanism(s) and use data collected to inform program iteration.
  • Lead United States of Writing, building on P&W's work to date in Detroit, Houston, and New Orleans to engage more writers in those cities with P&W's content and support writers in building community; develop a strategy to expand USW to other cities over time and as funding allows.
  • Collaborate with existing staff to evaluate Readings & Workshops; develop strategy to maximize the effectiveness of this program as well as to document and communicating its impact.
  • Oversee a new competitive funding opportunity that will assist BIPOC women writers with certain professional costs.
  • Facilitate P&W's participation in the NYC City Artists Corps.



  • Minimum of five years' experience working for a literary nonprofit or aligned organization
  • Demonstrated success in developing, delivering, and evaluating professional development programming for writers  Experience building partnerships
  • Extensive knowledge of the literary field
  • Understanding of challenges that face writers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as those from other historically marginalized groups
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

    To Apply:

  • Please send résumé and cover letter via email to: Melissa Ford Gradel, Executive Director, mgradel@pw.org. Please include Director of Program in the subject line. Attachments must be .doc or .pdf; other file types will not be opened. No calls, please.

    Poets & Writers is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a building a diverse and inclusive staff. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including veterans and those with disabilities.

    About Poets & Writers:

    Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers marked its 50th Anniversary in 2020. It is respected and trusted as the primary source of information, support, and guidance for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. As we begin our sixth decade, our vision is that Poets & Writers will empower writers and strengthen literary communities throughout the United States.

    Our mission is to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.

    We advance this mission through our flagship publication, Poets & Writers Magazine; pw.org, a website that provides trustworthy advice, information, and a lively online community for writers; the Readings & Workshops Program, which pays writers fees for giving readings and leading workshops throughout New York and California, as well as in eight cities outside those states; Poets & Writers Live; and awards for writers including the Jackson Poetry Prize and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

    We are guided by our core values: service, inclusivity, integrity, and excellence. Poets & Writers is committed to becoming an antiracist organization. Learn more at pw.org.

Contact Information

Melissa Ford Gradel, Executive Director
Contact e-mail: