A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Writers in the Schools is Hiring!

Applications to join the 2018/19 WITS Writers-in-Residence corps is now open! To download the 2018/19 Writer Application Guidelines, click here.

Writers in the Schools (WITS), a program of Seattle Arts & Lectures, is looking for creative writers—poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and cartoonists/graphic novelists—who are passionate about teaching the power and pleasure of writing to young people, elementary through high school aged, and who are excited to collaborate with public school teachers to create environments that foster a sense of inquiry, creativity, and inclusion.

We do the majority of our hiring and placements during the summer and early fall, but accept inquiries throughout the year. School placements vary and may be either weekly throughout the school year, or take place over a shorter window of time as a multi-day per week intensive.


For writers, the WITS program includes:

♦ Placement in a public Puget Sound K-12 school for an extended creative writing residency.

♦ Professional development throughout the year, including quarterly meetings with WITS peers, mentorship for new WITS Writers, and racial equity training.

♦ Inclusion in the Local Voices reading series, a reading by WITS Writers held three times a year at the Sorrento Hotel’s Fireside Lounge, publicized by Seattle Arts & Lectures.

♦ Free tickets to all SAL events throughout the season.


♦ Prepare and circulate to teachers and WITS staff a syllabus incorporating reading selections and writing prompts, taking into account your classroom teacher’s desired learning outcomes and curriculum.

♦ Guide students to write through exciting and innovative creative writing lessons.

♦ Provide regular written feedback to your students on their writing.

♦ Attend a half-day writer retreat in September.

♦ Attend writer meetings (5-6 over the course of the year).

♦ Attend a residency planning meeting with WITS staff and classroom teacher(s) at the beginning of each residency.

♦ Be observed by WITS staff throughout the year, and participate in one-on-one debrief sessions.

♦ Collect excellent student work and permissions throughout the year and submit it to WITS staff on deadline for displays, online and print publication, etc.

♦ Coordinate end-of-semester/trimester culminating events for your classes.

♦ Choose and prepare students to read at the annual student readings in May.

♦ Contribute to the WITS blog.

♦ Complete an annual self-evaluation and review with WITS staff.


Required Qualifications:

♦ One to two years of teaching or mentoring experience with elementary, middle, or high school students.

♦ Desire, ability, and flexibility to collaborate with public school teachers.

♦ Excellent written and oral communication skills.

♦ Outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail.

♦ Established record of publications and/or performances.

♦ Availability to complete every session of a scheduled residency—either throughout the academic year (October through June), or in an intensive multi day per week setting— schedules vary by school.


Desired Qualifications:

♦ Writers experienced with diverse populations, English Language Learners, and/or Special Education students.

♦ Bilingual writers.

♦ Asset-based, social justice framework to working with all students.



♦ Compensation for a full-residency of 84 teaching hours starts at $78/teaching hour (rate assumes outside of class time spent on preparation and feedback and is paid in monthly installments. Partial or greater residencies are scaled accordingly).

♦ Free tickets to Seattle Arts & Lectures events.

♦ Professional development training and inspiring colleagues.


How to Apply:

Send the following via email to [email protected]:

♦ Cover letter.

♦ A resume indicating significant teaching and writing experience.

♦ Names, phone numbers, and email addresses for three references, at least one of whom should be familiar with your teaching.

♦ Three- to five-page creative writing sample in the genre you most like to teach.

♦ One page describing three specific writing goals you would have for a WITS residency, and why these goals feel essential to you.

♦ Two specific teaching exercises/lesson plans you would use to help students achieve those goals. Please identify if the exercises are intended for elementary, middle, or high school students.

Note: Application guidelines: please save all materials as one pdf document, and label: Firstname.Lastname_WITS2018-19application. Include “WITS 2018-19 Application” as the email subject line.



Applications are due August 15th, 2018, by noon. People of color and bilingual applicants are especially encouraged to apply. Writers selected for interviews will be contacted in late August.

Posted in Writers in the Schools2018/19 Season