News | 13 September 2023

CFA: THI Undergraduate Public Fellowship with Prison Journalism Project – Poetry Concentration 2023-24


Deadline: Wednesday 10/18

The Humanities Institute is excited to announce an Undergraduate Public Fellowship opportunity for Humanities students at UC Santa Cruz to work with Prison Journalism Project (PJP). THI’s Public Fellowships connect students in the Humanities to projects in the community, with the aim of mutually benefiting students and community organizations. The program provides undergraduate students with hands-on training and professional experience and is available to students who are declared majors and/or minors of a department in the Humanities Division at UCSC.

About the Project: The Prison Journalism Project is an independent, nonprofit, national initiative. We work with incarcerated writers and those impacted by incarceration to train them in the tools of journalism and help them reach a wide audience through our publication as well as through collaborations with mainstream media. We believe that the deep reforms that are necessary to fix the U.S. criminal justice system can only happen by shifting the narrative. Intentional, responsible and well-crafted journalism from within the incarcerated community can break stereotypes, increase transparency and drive change.

Position Description: Editorial Intern

We are looking for an undergraduate student to serve as an editorial intern. The Public Fellow will have the opportunity to work with the whole PJP team but will work closest with Poetry Editor, Laura Nuckols, and the Managing Editor of PJP Inside and PJP’s Prison Newspaper Project, Kate McQueen, a UCSC faculty member in the Cowell Core and Writing Programs. The Public Fellow will be paid $15.50/hour and work 10 hours per week from November 2023 – June 2024. The fellowship involves a mix of remote and in-person responsibilities. 

Primary duties include:

  • Poetry (50%). Assist in managing poetry submissions, including opportunities to edit poetry submissions. Assist in drafting feedback for poetry submissions. And assist with research on other opportunities outside PJP for contributing poets.  
  • Prison Newspaper Project (40-50%). Assist in managing content for PJP’s Prison Newspaper Project, including opportunities to report and write features on currently operating prison newspapers in collaboration with their staff. Assist in updating the Prison Newspaper Project directory. And assist with outreach to prison writers not yet working with PJP.

Additional opportunities (up to 10%) can include:

  • Reporting and research support on journalism submissions.
  • Creating social media content for PJP Inside and PJP’s Prison Newspaper Project.

You’re an ideal candidate if you:

  • Are in good academic standing (required)
  • Declared major or minor in a department in the Humanities Division (required)
  • Are able to work independently and  collaboratively  (required)
  • Are able to work efficiently in a remote office environment (required)
  • Are organized, attentive to detail and sensitive to deadlines (required)
  • Are comfortable juggling multiple tasks at once (required)
  • Have strong communication skills, written and spoken (required)
  • Have some digital media and social media experience (required)
  • Have an interest in criminal legal work and are familiar with PJP’s work and mission (required)
  • Have experience writing, editing, and publishing content for an online audience (preferred)
  • Familiarity with AP Style (preferred)
  • Familiarity with different styles of poetry and some experience editing or giving feedback on poetry (preferred)

How to apply:

Apply by sending contact information (phone and email) for one reference, your resume, and a short cover letter (no more than one page) responding to the following prompts: 

  • Why are you interested in prison journalism?
  • What skills or experience do you have that make you qualified to work with Prison Journalism Project? 
  • Describe a successful experience you had in a previous job, and how comfortable you are working in a remote environment. 

A tip for writing this cover letter is to consider what you can contribute to PJP in addition to how this position will further your undergraduate and/or professional career. Feel free to be creative here. Please know that this position does not have a rigid framework, nor does work in the Public Humanities, and responsibilities are likely to shift. An ability to adapt and be flexible are key qualifications.

Once the application closes on 10/18, there will be an in-person interview process with selected candidates throughout October, with official duties beginning in November 2023.


Students should apply via Handshake using job number #8234002.

Please email any questions to Kylie Rachwalski, Experiential Learning Coordinator in the Humanities Division, at

THI’s 2023-2024 Undergraduate Public Fellowships are generously supported by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.