Close date: 
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Location: Washington, DC

Island Press Publishing Fellowship

Founded in 1984 and based in Washington, DC, Island Press’ mission is to provide the best ideas and information to those seeking to understand and protect the environment and create solutions to its complex problems. We elevate voices of change, shine a spotlight on crucial issues, and focus attention on sustainable solutions. As the nation’s foremost not‐for‐profit publisher of environmental books and other materials, we grow the awareness of and present science‐based solutions to the critical challenges of our times to the natural world, to the built environment, and to the health and well‐being of all.

The Publishing Fellowship is intended to serve as a pathway to a successful career in publishing, environmental communications, non‐profit management, or related fields. The Fellowship Program is designed to support the professional development of people with marginalized identities, who may have felt excluded from the industry. In particular, we seek to involve individuals who have a close working or lived experiences in communities that are historically under‐represented in publishing, including the Black or African‐American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or East Asian, and Hispanic or Latinx communities. We are committed to building a racially diverse and pluralistic staff dedicated to the environment and to creating and working in a more equitable and just environment. We strongly encourage people of color to apply.


The Publishing Fellow will have the opportunity to learn the basics of acquiring, developing, producing, selling, and marketing books. They will have hands‐on experience in select departments by working closely with all levels of staff, and attend and participate in all relevant publishing meetings. In editorial, for example, the fellow will gain an understanding of how editors identify authors and books for acquisition, and assist editors in working with authors to develop a manuscript that meets the agreed upon goals of the project.

The fellow may also work with other departments – including production, marketing, and publicity – on behalf of specific book projects, and take on additional projects to gain a deeper understanding of all areas of publishing.


  • A demonstrated interest in fields relevant to the environment, publishing, marketing, and/or communications.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills, attention to detail, and a passion for working hard and learning.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial equity and justice in either your personal or professional life.
  • A demonstrated ability to work with people who are different from you.
  • Proficiency in or ability to learn office technologies and software.
  • Ability to commute to the Washington, DC headquarters.
  • Authorized to work in the United States.
  • Current and former Island Press employees are not eligible.

Commitment & Compensation

The Publishing Fellowship begins in fall 2019 or winter 2020 and extends through summer 2020. During the school year, between 10‐15 hours per week are requested and are flexible around academic scheduling. In the summer, the fellow may work up to 29 hours per week.

This position pays an hourly wage of $15. Participation in pre‐tax commuting program or free membership to Capital Bikeshare. Our office has a casual dress code and a free onsite fitness center.


To apply, submit a cover letter following the guidelines below and a résumé of your past work and/or volunteer experiences, highlighting your accomplishments to with a subject of “Island Press Publishing Fellowship”. Please also include two letters of recommendation.  

The cover letter should be addressed to the FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE and answer the following questions in a maximum of three pages:

  1. Why are you interested in publishing, and which aspects of the publishing process do you find most interesting?
  2. What essay, book, or author has shaped or informed the career path you hope to take?
  3. What previous activities have you engaged in racial equity and justice work and how do you expect those experiences to inform your work at Island Press?