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Senior Editor

New York
Job Type
1 Oct 2021

Youth Communication needs an experienced editor to help teenagers write stories about their experiences that will engage and inspire their peers and inform adults. Anchored to their personal experiences, teens cover education inequality, homelessness, immigration, and gender, ethnic and racial discrimination. The editor must have extremely strong editing skills, deep compassion, an ability to see past challenges to focus on young people's strengths, and a strong belief in the power of storytelling to effect change for writer and reader.

The teens at Youth Communication write stories that initially appear in two digital magazines, our general high school publication, and Represent, which is written by youth in foster care. Though all three Youth Communication editors work with writers from both magazines, this editor will have principal responsibility for working with and recruiting Represent writers. Therefore, the role requires strong organization skills, and an independent spirit while also valuing teamwork.

Flexible in-person vs remote schedule based on which afternoons teen writers are in our newsroom. Editing and other duties can be done remotely.

About Youth Communication

Founded in 1980, Youth Communication (YC) mobilizes the power of youth voices to improve the lives of young people who are the furthest from opportunity, including youth of color, youth living in poverty, experiencing housing instability, and in foster care. Our writing program helps teen writers-and the peers who read their stories-imagine bigger and brighter futures and strengthen the social and emotional and literacy skills that will help them achieve those futures.

The teens' stories are the foundation of award-winning curricula and professional development that we create and sell to educators, most of whom work in schools, but also including after school staff, probation officers, and foster care staff. In addition, the teens' stories are widely reprinted in commercial curricula, anthologies, training manuals, and other places where authentic youth voices strengthen educational offerings.



· Manage a team of 6-8 writers, most of whom will be in foster care, working closely with them on personal, memoir-style stories and occasional reported essays and interviews. The editor listens closely to each writer to help identify the story they want to write. Then, the editor helps the teen as they write multiple drafts, often over several weeks or even months, in pursuit of a story that will move and inform YC's audiences. Writers are encouraged to work on a schedule of two days a week for two hours at a time. But youth in care lead complicated lives; in reality, the schedules are aspirational. The editor must be firm but also flexible. A significant part of the job is building relationships of trust and caring with writers and this takes time. Therefore we are seeking a candidate who is patient and empathic. (Note: This job is unique, and even strong editors are unlikely to have worked with teens in this capacity. We provide several months of training and coaching as the new editor gets up to speed and begins to work with writers.)

Stay on top of the foster care beat

  • Recruit writers via contacts from our existing database of foster care supporters and those that you will develop through visits to foster care agencies and programs, homeless shelters, advocacy groups, and other organizations.
  • Maintain an evolving list of potential story ideas related to foster care, youth development, and current events and be alert for writers whose interest and experience make them likely candidates to write those stories.
  • Proactively follow major developments in foster care related to teens in NYC via publications like The Imprint, ACS Provider News, and New York Nonprofit Media. Maintain contact with a small group of key individuals who can provide insight into foster care issues. When appropriate, find ways to have writers address those issues in their stories.
  • Collaborate with the marketing team to build our visibility and impact in the foster care community.

Be attentive to the varied needs of individual writers. We are both a writing program and a youth development program. While our first goal-and each teen's goal-is to produce a story that will move a reader, the editor provides support and referrals to experts for other issues that inevitably arise in the teens' lives, such as connections to college or mental health counselors, scholarship opportunities, and immigration lawyers.

Work collaboratively with YC's other two editors to plan, read and provide feedback on each other's stories, discuss writer challenges, and plan workshops (see below).

Co-lead summer writing workshop

In addition to our school-year writing program, the Senior Editor works alongside other editorial colleagues to run a full-time, six-week summer writing workshop for 12-15 teens.

· Select a workshop theme, along with readings, speakers, and field trips that help engage the teen writers and deepen their understanding of the theme.

· Create and facilitate several writing lessons and lessons related to the workshop theme.

· Assist the Senior Editorial Director in day-to-day workshop management such as reading and winnowing applications, scheduling, booking guests and trips, etc.

· Work with up to 5 writers to produce one or two stories each by the end of the workshop.

Manage our annual Awards for Youth in Foster Care writing contest

· We provide $1,000 scholarships to 10 winners and honor them and their family and friends at a small annual event in May. Responsibilities include working with the marketing team to solicit entrants, selecting the winners from among 50 entrants, and editing their essays for the awards journals.

Other Ongoing Editorial Tasks

  • Post completed stories on the website and other possible related tasks online to be determined.
  • Perform other editorial duties from time to time, such as maintaining an organizational style sheet, making updates to the editor's manual, and proofreading YC documents and publications.

Required Qualifications

  • Understanding of the strengths and challenges of communities of color where 80% of our writers live and go to school.
  • Proficiency in Google Docs and Meet, Microsoft Word and Teams; learn to use the editorial modules of our Salesforce database, and WordPress for posting stories.
  • Bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or another applicable field. Master's degree in journalism is a plus.
  • 5+ years of writing and editing experience, with clips.
  • Passion for YC's mission and purpose (see for more information).
  • Flexible in-person vs remote schedule based on which afternoons teen writers are in our newsroom. Editing and other duties can be done remotely.

Note: All employees of Youth Communication must show proof of vaccination.

Send a cover letter describing your interest and fit with our mission, your resume, and three relevant clips to . People of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates will be contacted for interviews on a rolling basis. Please no phone calls. We are unable to respond to all applications.

For more information, please reference our hiring process and commitment to diversity on our website #careers

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  • Job Reference: 386581087-2
  • Date Posted: 1 October 2021
  • Recruiter: Youth Communication
  • Location: New York
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Advert / Media / Entertainment
  • Job Type: Permanent