WITS Apprentice

For the coming 2021-22 school year, WITS is hiring a paid Writer Apprentice, a practicing writer in the community, who will work with an existing WITS Writer-in-Residence over the course of an in-school-day creative writing residency in a public school K-12 classroom. WITS will work with the apprentice to make a school placement that is compatible with their schedule, with an anticipated commitment of approximately 5 hours per week for 12 weeks.


The goal of this program is to provide training and direct classroom experience in a public school setting to writers interested in building their K-12 creative writing teaching skills, and hopefully joining WITS as an independent writer in future years. By providing ongoing mentorship from an experienced WITS writer, from WITS staff, and through professional development opportunities with the WITS cohort throughout the year, the program aims to provide meaningful on-the-job training to emerging writers and teaching artists in our community. While the program is not a guarantee of a future WITS placement, a successful apprentice will have preferred consideration in the 2022-23 school year hiring process.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) has three primary goals:

  • Inspire students to engage in the writing process, build skills and improve the quality of their writing, and increase their self-confidence.
  • Invigorate the teaching of writing by providing teachers with innovative lessons and literature, fresh techniques, and the time and encouragement to join their students in writing.
  • Support and sustain a positive culture of reading and writing at each school.
  • Learn more about the program and current WITS writers here: lectures.org/youth-programs/wits/


Job duties will include:

  • Attending all in-class sessions of a WITS residency (anticipated schedule: one day per week, approx. 3-4 classroom hrs./day over the course of 8-12 weeks, plus one hour/week of paid preparation/support). The Writer Apprentice’s scheduling constraints will be asked about during the interview process, and placements with a WITS Writer-in-Residence and mentor will be made accordingly.
  • Assisting students in their WITS writing who need direct, one-on-one support during writing time.
  • Supporting WITS writer as needed (anticipated one hour per week with tasks such as: responding to student work, pre-reading through upcoming syllabi material, preparing materials, research on mentor texts, supporting with preparations for a final class celebration project, etc.)
  • Attending pre-residency planning meeting and mid-residency check-in with WITS writer, staff, and classroom teacher to understand the goals of the residency and learn how to best support student needs.
  • Attending the fall WITS writer retreat and four WITS writer meetings throughout the year will also be highly encouraged, and time for any meetings attended will be compensated.


Requirements & Related Experience:

  • A commitment to assist in a full semester residency, anticipated: October 2021 through January 2022, 5 hours per week, on a regular schedule. (Exact schedule to be determined in coordination with candidate and schools.)
  • A practicing writer in the community with a demonstrated record of work in the study, publication, and/or performance of creative writing. The candidate need not have extensive publication records, but must be actively working on their own writing and an eager participant in the Seattle literary community. Excellent written and oral communication skills a must.
  • Demonstrated interest in, and commitment to anti-racist education (note: education experience may take many forms, both inside and outside of school settings) and one’s own writing practice.
  • Open, reliable, professional, timely communication and collaboration with WITS staff and writer, partner teacher, and all students.
  • Note: Seattle Arts & Lectures is a fully vaccinated office and all medically eligible new staff members will be asked to provide proof of vaccination. School policies will continue to closely follow CDC and local health guidelines, which at this point require all people in schools—K-12 students and educators—to wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.


Expectations & Qualifications:

  • Anti-racist lens in all work with students, schools, and programming.
  • Reliability in all scheduled time in schools.
  • Positive attitude; friendly and respectful manner working when working with students, WITS writer & staff, teachers & school staff, as a representative of the WITS/SAL team!
  • Excellent communication skills and a willingness to learn, grow, and adapt.
  • Confidentiality about all student work.
  • Sense of humor, flexibility, and responsiveness to differing student needs within a classroom setting.
  • A student-centered approach to pedagogy.


Compensation & Opportunities:

  • $30/hr. anticipated 5 hours per week; up to 78 hours total for the program over the course of the 2021-22 school year, including outside of WITS trainings.
  • Free tickets to all SAL events in the 2021-22 Season.
  • Featured reader in one of the 4 annual SAL sponsored “Local Voices” WITS writer readings, held at the Hugo House.
  • Preferred status for hiring for future WITS writer residencies.


Application Deadline: Thursday August 19th, 2021

Please submit:

  • A cover letter.
  • A resume.
  • An idea for a pairing of a mentor text (a poem, one-page work of prose, or comic by a writer you admire) and a suggested writing prompt inspired by that piece.
  • Optional: a 1-page creative or work-related writing sample of one’s own writing.
  • Note: Please save all application materials as one PDF.


Send application materials to: wits@lectures.org, subject line: WITS Apprentice Program.


Hiring Timeline & Process

  • Applications due Thursday, August 19th, 2021
  • Phone interviews: August 25th – 27th
  • In-person interviews: August 31st – September 3rd
  • Writer retreat (attendance highly encouraged): September 16th, 12:30 – 4:30 at the Frye Museum