The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Work with Juniper

In partnership with the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst, and as part of the Juniper Institute’s educational mission, we hire current undergraduate and graduate students for our summer staff, offer Director's Assistant positions to graduate students in the MFA program, and bring MFA alumni back to campus as Working Fellows, among other opportunities.

These positions provide UMass students, especially those studying the literary arts, opportunities to gain valuable leadership, professional, creative, and academic experience in the context of our intensive summer creative writing programs.

Summer staff positions include a semester-long training in creative writing pedagogy, developing an interactive classroom, mentoring in a residence-life environment, and strategies for supporting students. Three credit hours and a stipend are awarded.

Past Calls for Applications are posted below for informational purposes. Open calls will be posted here and on relevant UMass sites and email lists. To indicate your interest in a future position, you may email us to be notified of the next application period.

For UMass undergraduate students:

1. Program Assistants

During the Spring semester PAs partake in weekly trainings with Juniper staff and instructors in topics such as: building relational culture through storytelling and resonance, supporting empowering youth/adult relationships, ally skills, and facilitating transformational conversations across difference. During the week of the institute, under the guidance of Juniper staff and Residence Directors, PAs provide round-the-clock support, supervision, and mentoring to create a supportive and engaging environment for all participants. Typical duties include: leading small groups to daily activities and meals, on field trips, and in other activities designed to introduce students to various aspects of the writing life.

Currently there are no open job calls for this position. Applications are open annually in October.

2. Administrative Assistant (Work-Study)

Open to undergraduate students, Administrative Assistants gain experience in arts administration in work/study positions. Students have the opportunity to partake in marketing, program coordination, and event planning. The Assistants help the institute in administrative capacities with events and operations.

Currently there are no open job calls for this position. Next call: March 15 for summer 2019 start date.

3. Office Assistant (Work-Study)

The Juniper Institute seeks to hire an office assistant to help with daily office operations beginning May or June 2019 through the end of July 2020, with option to work in August. Assistants must have a work/study award for the school year and summer. Hours during academic year (7-10/wk); during summer (15-20/wk).

Qualifications: Organized and detail-oriented; ability to multitask and prioritize; good time-management. Juniper is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse community committed to facilitating a multicultural environment. Applicants should describe previous activities working with members of marginalized groups.

To apply, send email with resume and cover letter articulating your interest in working with Juniper. Review of applications begins immediately.

For graduates of the UMass MFA Program for Poets and Writers & current students:

1. Director's Assistant Positions

MFA candidates gain literary arts management experience as institute Director's Assistants. DAs work closely with Managing Director, Betsy Wheeler, and acquire significant insight and experience in producing successful literary programming. They assist in event planning, staffing, operations, and development for the JIYW. 

The Juniper Institute is currently seeking a Director's Assistant (one position in fiction). This is an hourly paid work opportunity open to graduate students enrolled in the MFA program for Poets & Writers. Working as part of the Juniper office team, DA's gain significant insight and experience in producing successful literary programming.

Term: September 3, 2019- July 31, 2020. A one year commitment with encouragement to renew the following fall.

Hours: 10 hours per week September-April; 15 hours per week May-July, with full-time presence during the Juniper Summer Writing Institute (JSWI; June 14-20) & Juniper Institute for Young Writers (JIYW: July 19-26).

Compensation: $6,000 stipend; 3 Applied Literary Arts credits per semester.


  • In the fall semester, the DA will assist with marketing and outreach;
  • In the spring semester they will assist with training and mentoring undergraduate program assistants for the young writer program in weekly meetings;
  • Work in the summer focuses on event preparation and management.


  • MFA candidate in fiction;
  • Administrative experience;
  • Written and spoken communication skills;
  • Organized, with keen attention to details; copy editing skills;
  • Able to work on one's own and with others, and to juggle a variety of responsibilities;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google office suite;
  • Proficiency with social media platforms, email campaigns, and/or web programming.

Submit your application via Submittable by Wednesday, May 15:

  • One-page cover letter;
  • CV or resume;
  • Names and contact for two professional references.

2. Creative Writing Workshop Instructors

CWIs design and teach small (12 students) multi-genre workshops each morning at the institute, offer one craft session, accompany participants on one field trip, and participate in a group reading and Q&A. MFA candidates gain experience in developing mixed genre curricula and working with high school students. Instructors are an important part of the JIYW community; an active presence throughout the institute week is essential, and attendance at orientations, readings, and Q&As is required.

Currently there are no open job calls for this position. Applications are open annually in October.

3. Working Fellowships

Working Fellows assist Juniper's Director, Managing Director and Director's Assistants with daily administrative and event management during the week of the JIYW. In exchange, Fellows are offered: time to write, full room & board, free entry to readings and Q&As with visiting writers. Fellows will also introduce one evening's guest readers and have the option to offer manuscript consultations, which earn a $125 fee per consult.

Applications are usually open in February or March. 

4. Residence Directors (trained UMass residence directors only)

The RD is a live-in professional responsible for the health and safety of approximately 100 participants for the JIYW housed in the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Area during the institute. The young writers are 15-18 years old. The RD also supervises undergraduate Program Assistants in the res hall to create a safe environment through the implementation and administration of departmental and university regulations. 

Currently there are no open job calls for this position. Applications are open annually in January.

Current Juniper Staff and Teachers »