It’s been a few years since we offered APW writing internships (what can we say, we’ve been busy). But our writing fellowship program is one of the things our team is most proud of, and we’re excited to announce that we’re bringing it back for 2019. It’s a paid writing fellowship where we work with you in depth on your writing, through a series of regular and rigorous deadlines… and over the years it’s proved to be a very valuable training ground for folks who want to get serious about online writing. Our past interns have gone on to become senior editors at BuzzFeed, published authors, and of course, contributors here at APW. Since we haven’t hosted the program in a couple of years, you can catch up by reading articles by our writing fellows in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
If you think this might be an opportunity with your name on it, read on…
What Can You Expect As An APW Writing Fellow?
We’re focused on giving our writing fellows an immersive yearlong writing program, where we devote considerable time to developing their writing and voice and helping them figure out where they want to go as writers. The APW fellowships are not the same as our staff writing positions. Our staff writers hit their deadlines, get an edit, and then get published. Our fellows work through an open-ended pitching process, submit a first draft of a piece, and then go through as many iterations of edits as are needed. They explore various writing styles, and they learn as much about the behind the scenes work at APW as they want to. (And yes, they also get to hang out with us on Slack.)
We’re focused on training our writing fellows in a variety of writing styles—personal essay as well as more commercial editorial writing. We’ll teach you about catchy headlines and how to improve your traffic, along with matching your voice to a particular publication. In short, if you’re looking to take your writing from side hobby to professional, this is a great first step. If you’re wanting to dive into how running a commercial website works, or learn what it’s like to work on a team of hardworking feminist women, this is for you. Our writing fellowship means writing a post every two weeks (because we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t make you write at least that often), and the rest is up to you.
Who We’re Looking For
For 2019, we will be looking for two writing fellows. One of those slots is reserved for someone in the middle of wedding planning, who will be getting married in mid/late 2019 or early 2020, and who is interested in writing about planning every other week over the course of the next year. The second slot will be open to anyone, wedding planning or not, and we really encourage recently married writers to apply. That said, if you’re in another life stage and think you should be an APW writing fellow, apply, and tell us why.
As always, we’re looking for people that will fill our staff with a diversity of voices. We’re always looking to add more women of color and queer and non-binary folks to the team, so if that’s you, please apply. To help facilitate this, we’re asking all applicants to speak to the acronym LOVE in their cover letter. We’d like to hear what your relationship is to the following topics:
Location: Because fifteen ways to plan a wedding in Northern California is boring.
Opinion: We want you to have a strong point of view, even if it’s not one we necessarily share.
Variety: What different and new ideas do you bring to the table?
Ethnicity: How do you self-identify? Any and everyone is encouraged to apply; we’d love a variety of viewpoints.
Past Writing Fellowship TESTIMONIALS
But please don’t just take our word on how good our program is. Because it’s important to hear about the writing fellowship program from people who have gone through it, here are a few words from fellows past:
I love APW and I loved being an APW intern. I learned so much about writing, business, weddings, and the web in that year. The APW writing internship is really whatever you want it to be; I told Meg and Maddie during my interview that I wanted a lot out of it, and that’s exactly what I got.
When I started as an intern in 2013 (so, like, three Internets ago) I had honestly lost my writing groove on my personal blog. I wanted to branch out into new topics and writing styles but needed permission and encouragement, and that’s exactly what I got. Meg, Maddie, and the rest of the staff helped me improve my writing, and, maybe more importantly, they gave me the confidence I needed to take risks again. They showed up for me in a million little ways, and the conversations I had with them made my writing and my overall approach to creative work so much stronger.
The year I was an APW intern is the year that I started calling myself a writer and really believing it. I am so proud of the portfolio pieces that I wrote for APW and to call myself a friend of the blog. APW opened so many career and creative doors for me, both directly and indirectly. I went on to oversee the (now-defunct, RIP) Weddings vertical at BuzzFeed and wrote a book, and continue to use things I learned working with APW in my work to this day. (Seriously—peep the gender-neutral names used in the journaling spreads throughout my book and across the Internet, and then look at how APW writes sample wedding invitations.)
My internship with APW was the first experience I had that gave me the confidence to say, “I am a writer.” I’d written for other websites and publications, but imposter syndrome draped itself over my shoulders, convincing me that each success was just a fluke and didn’t really mean anything about what I might have to offer. Meg and her team changed that for me. They held me accountable to deadlines, they edited and shaped my writing without criticism, and they treated me as an equal. Meg and Maddie spent time with me on the phone to discuss my longer term goals, and they gave me honest feedback that helped me get to where I am today. Beyond my internship, APW has maintained a professional and personal relationship with me, inviting me to write but also being available to me for any questions I may have as a writer, a business woman, or a feminist. (Or all three.)
It’s not hyperbole when I say that my writing internship with APW changed my life.
I’d spent my engagement reading everything on APW and discovering a really supportive, welcoming community. It was that community that led me to write and submit my first piece for APW. I was surprised when it was published, and even more surprised when it received such a positive response. For years I’d maintained a personal blog, but I have no formal training as a writer, so I was just “winging it.”
I applied for the internship on a wave of “I should just go for it!” enthusiasm, and I was overjoyed to be selected as the 2016 writing fellow. I went in a bit intimidated by Meg and the team, but I quickly let that go once I realized how affable they are. I jumped in and said, “Teach me how to write for the web,” and Meg said, “I got you!”
And learn I did! I learned how to pitch, both coming up with ideas and how to present them. I learned the secrets to writing for the web. I learned to stop thinking I’d write a perfect piece on the first try (rounds of editing happen for a reason!). I also learned the joy of working for a woman-led, majority-women company—there was a level of relatability that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. When I got pregnant and could barely make it through the day at my day job, Meg gave me the green light to take a break from my internship.
I look back on my time as the APW writing fellow with such fondness, not only for the skills I’ve acquired but also for the relationships I’ve formed and the confidence I gained. Since my internship, I’ve successfully pitched to and been published on other websites like Motherly and The Spruce. While I’m not quite ready to be a full-time freelance writer, I feel so much more confident that I CAN pitch ideas and share my pieces with the world.
If you have any interest in writing professionally someday, I highly encourage you to apply for the APW Writing Fellowship. You’ll give a lot, but you’ll get so much in return.
How to apply
POSITIONS AVAILABLE: For 2019, we will be looking for 1 to 2 writing fellows.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR: We generally look for one or both of the following kinds of writing: compelling personal essays (example A) or more researched thought pieces (example B). But we’re open to anyone who wants to get creative with their submissions (example C). The qualifications for this fellowship are simple: good writing, being a good team player, and being inquisitive and eager to learn and grow. (I’m dyslexic, so I should note that we don’t penalize for spelling. Please proof your submissions, obviously, but if you can’t copyedit, don’t let that hold you back.)
WHAT WE’RE OFFERING: For anyone who joins the team as a writing fellow, we’ll do everything we can to help you find your voice as a writer, develop your work, and help push you toward your professional goals. Our fellows get a chance to learn about the business of online publishing, build their resumés, and simply practice writing a lot. Many of our recent fellows have stayed on as paid contributors and members of the team. This fellowship pays $40 per published post.
WHAT YOU NEED TO INCLUDE IN YOUR APPLICATION:
- A cover letter that includes
- Why you want to participate in the APW writing fellowship
- What you hope to learn from the fellowship
- What you will bring to the role
- The way you relate to the LOVE acronym, laid out above
- What your professional writing goals are
- Links to any past APW posts, if you’ve written any (not mandatory)
- Any relevant social media links
- Your wedding date (if applicable)
- A resumé
- Two writing samples of posts that would be appropriate for APW. (These can include posts you’ve already written for APW, but you must link to them or include them in your application or it will be considered incomplete.) We look for writing that’s more than just a journal entry: writing for the site should be a starting point for conversation.
We’re accepting applications until Friday, October 12, 2018, and we aim to send out offers in late 2018 or very early 2019. Please email applications to team at apracticalwedding dot com. We can’t wait to read them!