AWP Hiring Director of Membership

August 27, 2021

AWP dogeared page logo next to the words "We're hiring!"


The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is seeking to hire a Director of Membership to join our leadership team as we continue our work strengthening AWP’s foundational mission to be responsive, innovative, and relevant as we serve all of our members and stakeholders. We are working to create a more thoughtful, intentional, and inclusive space where the larger literary community can gather to exchange wisdom on the art and craft of writing and celebrate vibrant creativity and accomplishment.

AWP provides resources and builds community for writers at all stages of their careers. Our e-newsletters, website, and social media presence encourage engagement and strengthen networks, and our membership programs are carefully designed to meet member needs. The Director of Membership will contribute to AWP’s impact in the literary community through this strategic and innovative work.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to Cynthia Sherman at with “Director of Membership” in the subject line of the email.

Background of the Organization

AWP provides support, advocacy, resources, and community for nearly 50,000 writers, 550 college and university creative writing programs, and 150 writers’ conferences and centers. As a national professional association of creative writers and writing programs, AWP brings together independent writers, academic writing programs, journals, presses, and arts organizations, united by a love for the literary arts. In addition to hosting the largest annual gathering of writers in North America, AWP builds supportive communities through its extensive website, thriving mentorship program, and magazine dedicated to the craft of writing.

AWP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1967. Our mission is to amplify the voices of writers and the academic programs and organizations that serve them while championing diversity and excellence in creative writing.

Our staff is passionate about writers and writing programs. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of our work amid calls for racial justice and changing conditions. We continue to refine and add value to existing programs that have proven to be beneficial to our members and the literary community.


The Director of Membership serves AWP’s membership and responds to the existing and changing needs of individual and institutional programs. The Director of Membership is also an internal spokesperson and advocate for the membership when AWP is formulating and implementing strategic plans, as well as designing and carrying out programming. The Director keeps the Executive Director and the AWP Board of Directors informed of membership trends and collaborates closely with the Executive Director to develop programs that enhance and expand AWP membership.

As a key member of the senior leadership team, the Director of Membership will be a highly skilled, energetic, and enthusiastic professional capable of integrating smoothly into the senior management team at AWP. The Director will work with the Executive Director, the Membership Committee, the Board, and other staff in a supportive and direct manner. The Director will have strong interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and a hands-on management style. It is important that the Director be a creative problem-solver, ready to identify and analyze challenges as they arise and to propose and implement solutions.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Formulate the annual budget for the Membership Services Department, including WC&C programs and awards
  • Oversee key services of the Membership Services Department, maintenance of the mailing lists, invoicing and collection of the Association’s fees, fulfilment of orders for publications, processing of requisitions, and ordering and maintaining office supplies
  • Develop projects and processes to be more responsive to member needs and aspirations, and to improve member services
  • Ensure The Writer’s Chronicle audit is conducted as required each year
  • Carry out marketing, analytics, communications, and outreach
  • Maintain accurate data entry, analysis, and reporting on active and lapsed memberships
  • Identify and suggest ways to honor outstanding teachers of creative writing
  • Maintain member files and ensure confidentiality of records
  • Design, monitor, and improve staff and membership recruitment and retention plans
  • Promote the establishment of competent research capabilities within AWP to better serve the data and analysis needs of AWP’s membership
  • Oversee the creation and analysis of effective analytical methodologies, protocols, tools, directories, and surveys to adequately evaluate, understand, and profile the existing and evolving membership and its demographics, diversity, and characteristics, as well as its interests, needs, ideas/suggestions, and level of satisfaction with AWP services
  • Oversee and manage the expansion of AWP’s capacities (as determined by AWP’s Strategic Plan) to carry out academic program assessments/accreditation of member creative writing programs
  • Directly oversee the work of the Membership Services team
  • Promote deepened engagement with and expansion and sustainability of AWP’s membership in all membership categories, with an intentional effort to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Oversee and manage the Writer-to-Writer Mentorship Program (two sessions per year), including all necessary module development, recruitment of mentors and mentees, program materials, communications and evaluations, and associated social, bookfair, and conference events including the private Writer to Writer Mentorship Program Reception
  • Provide leadership and design oversight for all membership marketing and manage all membership marketing (campaigns, mailers, social media applications, etc.)
  • Oversee the #WritersServe Project and coordinate a service project at the annual conference
  • Oversee services to Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) members and the Kurt Brown Prizes between December and May each year, securing and working with three judges to award scholarship awards in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in membership management of an arts organization or nonprofit organization, preferably in the literary arts
  • Minimum of five years of management experience in an arts organization with significant responsibility to successfully manage the membership department
  • Demonstrated success in increasing members and experience creating virtual programming
  • Working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of creative writing, in the pedagogy of creative writing, and in the assessment of creative writing programs
  • Ability to multitask and work independently, prioritizing workflow to meet critical deadlines while paying close attention to detail and moving longer-term projects forward
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of AWP
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate and manage effectively at all levels of the organization and to effectively represent the organization before outside constituencies
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and information management

AWP is an equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic. AWP is committed to having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the population that it serves at all levels within the organization.

Salary range: $70,000 to $80,000. AWP offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance; PTO/paid holidays; 401k/retirement planning; family leave; telework; and a flexible schedule. For more information on the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, please visit

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