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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The primary responsibilities of this position are to coordinate the Visiting Writers Series and programmatic support for MFA initiatives.  The MFA Director provides functional supervision, with administrative supervision by the Department Manager.  The Visiting Writers Series is the largest reading series at UM and the largest academic reading series in the State of Michigan.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.


Job duties include the following and as assigned: 

Manage the Visiting Writers Series:

  • Communicate with visiting writers; initiate communication & scheduling; negotiate contracts with writers or their agents
  • Develop and implement publicity strategies; develop publicity pieces; compose press releases; develop community connections
  • Manage all logistics of visits for the visiting writers including itineraries, travel & hosting
  • Plan & execute week-long residencies with authors of great acclaim
  • In consultation with the MFA Director, and Business Manager, develop a budget for the Visiting Writers Series; assist with projecting long-term spending plans for discretionary budget; monitor budgets against spending
  • Manage the Zell Visiting Writers Series accounts, which include billing and reimbursement for the Visiting Writers Series; process honoraria; manage PCard expenditures
  • Orchestrate meetings between the writers and the MFA students
  • Oversee mailings; perform outreach services with the surrounding UM community
  • Work collaboratively with University/Department partners to advance the Visiting Writers Series
  • Record, edit post readings on website

Manage HZWP Events & Programming:

  • Literary agent visits 2-3/semester
  • Poetry editor visits 2-3/semester
  • Annual AWP conference and related activities
  • Program receptions/parties:  Labor Day Picnic, Winter Solstice Party, End of Year Reception
  • Coordinate Helen Zell visits

Manage MFA internships & Post-MFA Fellowships

  • Continue development of internship opportunities, making connections and contacts with presses & publishers for MFA students; manage logistics of internships
  • Coordinate established MFA internships:  MQR, CIVITAS, Wolverine Press, 826michigan
  • Monitor check-ins for third year Zell Fellows
  • Manage Zell Community Projects

Programmatic responsibilities:

  • Assist MFA Director to develop literary and/or career development roundtables and panels for current MFA students
  • Provide administrative support for new program initiatives as determined by MFA Director
  • Work with local and national publications to advertise the MFA Program and events
  • Collaborate with University/department partners
  • Hire & supervise work study student intern to assist with data and logistical tasks, which includes overseeing social media accounts, and developing and maintaining program website.
  • Hire & supervise work study MFA student intern(s) to assist with program logistics and staffing at readings and program events.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and university administrative experience;  3-5 years of progressive program administrative/coordination/event experience; excellent verbal and written communication skills; excellent interpersonal and customer services skills, with demonstrated ability to communicate with a diverse group of people; ability to work both independently and in teams;  experience with public speaking; strong organizational skills, with attention to accuracy and detail; excellent computer skills, including knowledge of publishing/publicity software.

Desired Qualifications*

Knowledge of University policies & procedures; experience managing a creative arts program; experience working with literary agencies/speakers’ bureaus or literary publishing; experience working in public relations; strong administrative experience, including projecting and managing budgets; experience working with website maintenance; and a knowledge of and familiarity with a wide range of contemporary poets & fiction writers.

We are seeking a colleague who can perform at both strategic and operational levels.

Work Schedule

NOTE:  There are evening activities that will require some sporadic evening hours other than Thursday evenings, when the Visiting Writers Series takes place.

Additional Information

Salary Range: $53,000-$65,000

Salary offer may be higher based on the selected candidate’s experience.

You can learn more about the English Department at and the Zell Visiting Writers Series.

Additional Information

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College’s Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.  

To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion visit

To learn more about LSA’s Guiding Principles visit

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.