The APW writing internship is one of the things our team is most proud of. Our past interns have gone on to become published authors, senior editors at Buzzfeed, and of course, contributors here at APW. Fall means it’s time for us to say a slightly teary farewell to our current writing fellows (a few of whom are currently all off having babies). It also means it’s time to find our newest writing fellows. We’re always a little sad to to see our interns go, but they tend stick around when the internship is over anyway, writing, commenting, and generally making our work lives more pleasant. (Where do you think all those happy hour links come from?)
What Can You Expect As An APW Writing Fellow?
We’re focused to giving our writing fellows an immersive year-long writing program, where we devote considerable time to developing their writing and voice, and helping them figure out where they want to go as a writer. The APW internships are not staff writing positions in disguise. Our staff writers hit their deadlines, get an edit, and then get published. Our interns work through an open-ended pitching process, submit a first draft of a piece, and then go through as-many-iterations-as-they-need of edits. They explore various writing styles, and learn as much about the behind the scenes work at APW as they want to.
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 (scrappy, bootstrapped) commercial website works, and or learn what it’s like to work on a team of hardworking feminist women, this is for you. Our writing internship 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
This year, we’re once again looking for people that will fill our staff with a diversity of voices. We are particularly hoping to add more women of color 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 are encouraged to apply; we’d love a variety of viewpoints.
Here are a few words from interns past:
One of the things I hoped for from this internship was to become a more disciplined writer; I got that and so much more. It was really beneficial to get feedback from the APW editors during the writing process. It helped me to step outside of my head and see each piece from a broader perspective. Writing each post also turned out to be a form of wedding planning therapy, as I usually found that by the time I’d thoroughly gone over a topic it no longer bothered me. Stepping behind the scenes of APW and working with such a fun team has been something that I’ll take with me as I continue to grow as a writer.
I’ve gotten a lot out of my internship with APW. I learned so much about writing for an audience, and to a deadline, as well as the editing process and maintaining an editorial calendar through my own work for the site. It was also fascinating to learn more about APW as a business, just through being included in staff discussions. It’s been a unique pleasure to work with such a smart, feminist team.
The internship forced me to push myself farther in my writing (and having a deadline forced me to actually publish what I wrote, rather than letting all my drafts collect dust on my hard drive). The APW staff was so helpful throughout the whole process, from choosing and refining topics to providing edits. Publishing my writing was really intimidating at first, but knowing that I had gotten so much feedback and guidance throughout the editing process gave me a lot more confidence in my work (as did the many kind and thought-provoking comments left by readers). Behind the scenes, it was great getting to know the smart, funny ladies that make up the APW team, and learning more about the business and logistics of running the company. Overall, the writing internship has been a wonderful experience, and I’m so glad I worked up the courage to hit “submit” on my application!
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. When I started as an intern, 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.
I also want to say that I had my eye on this internship for months… but I wasn’t feeling terribly confident after the first few pieces I submitted to APW got rejected (or weren’t run for months, at which point I had given up). It was a bit of an ego blow that I’m sure a lot of people can understand. Like, how can they not know we’d be so good together?! (Yes, I accused APW of Friendzoning me.) But I decided to take an honest look at what I had submitted and see if it really was good enough. So the first piece of mine that ran on APW? I re-wrote it and submitted it three times before they ran it, and my GOD, the third one was so much fucking better than the first and second. I also became active in the comments because I realized perhaps I should get to know a community and really get the voice and the vibe before I started submitting. I can’t say this with total certainty, but if you want a spot and you aren’t a big commenter, it might be time to de-lurk.
In the months leading up to the intern selection, I buckled down and wrote my ass off. I think we could only submit two pieces with our applications but I was having a hard time deciding… so I just used the submission tool and submitted all the other pieces I had wanted to submit. (God, in hindsight I sound CRAZY!) I just REALLY wanted it; I wanted to show them what I could do and show them I was serious. So there’s the loophole for you overachiever types. Use it wisely.
I am so proud of the portfolio pieces that I wrote for APW and to be a part of this team. It opened so many career and creative doors for me, both directly and indirectly. The year I was an APW intern is the year that I started calling myself a writer and really believing it.
POSITIONS AVAILABLE: For 2016, we will be looking for 1—3 writing interns. If you read APW, you’re in a life stage we’re interested in, no limits.
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 internship 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 interns get a chance to learn about the business of online publishing, build their resumes, and simply practice writing a lot. Many of our recent interns have stayed on as paid contributors and members of the team.
WHAT YOU NEED TO INCLUDE IN YOUR APPLICATION:
- A cover letter that includes
- Why you want to intern with APW
- What you hope to learn from the internship
- 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 resume
- 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 Sunday, November 22, 2015, and we aim to send out offers in late 2015 or very early 2016. Please email applications to team at apracticalwedding dot com. We can’t wait to read them.