Milkweed Editions offers a four-month intensive introduction to independent book publishing through our nationally recognized internship program. Over the course of the session, interns will assist with projects from all areas of our operation, including editorial, book design, publicity, marketing, online and community engagement, and development (nonprofit fundraising). Interns also have the opportunity to spend time with Milkweed Books, the independent bookstore operated by Milkweed Editions. We try to tailor project assignments to individual interests as much as possible, but please keep in mind that one goal of the internship is for participants to develop an understanding of how each department functions within the context of the others. 

The comprehensive approach of our program—working behind the scenes with books from the pre-acquisition stages through to the final point of sale—offers both breadth and depth of experience and introduces interns to a wide range of career trajectories across the industry. Positions are unpaid, but we offer free books, mentorship, and a range of professional development opportunities. College credit is also available.

We are committed to making publishing an increasingly diverse and inclusive industry. We encourage applicants of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, gender and sexual identities, and disability statuses.


Typical Responsibilities

  • Read, evaluate, and report on submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
  • Support creation and maintenance of digital content, including Milkweed's website, blog, newsletters, social media, and more.
  • Assist in proofreading, copyediting, and fact-checking materials for all departments, ranging from manuscripts to digital content to fundraising materials.
  • Conduct substantial research and analysis, and offer recommendations on various projects, including new initiatives, grant proposals, special markets, and potential acquisitions.
  • Assist in planning and execution of author events and fundraising events, including preparing invitations, working with partnering organizations and external vendors, and coordinating logistics.
  • Assist in designing and developing publicity materials and marketing collateral, including press releases, catalogs, posters, signage, and galleys.
  • Assist in typesetting book interiors and conduct image, color, and typeface research for book design.
  • For relevant candidates: Assist or lead in creation and editing of a range of audio, video, and other multimedia content.
  • Support a range of administrative tasks, including preparing and executing mailings, maintaining database records, copying, filing, and sorting mail.
  • Participate in intern cohort and staff meetings.


  • Ambitious, driven, and detail-oriented individual with excellent written, verbal, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and with others, take initiative, and juggle various deadlines.
  • Dependability, flexibility, and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Experience with InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, any audio or video editing tools, photography, and videography are helpful, but not required. (Let us know if you have these skills!)
  • A passion for publishing and a curiosity about the inner workings of the industry, as well as a knowledge of contemporary literature, including titles published by Milkweed Editions.

Sessions & Application Deadlines

Interns typically commit to 24 hours per week for a minimum of four months. Internships are to take place at our offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • SPRING: Mid-January through mid-May. Applications due November 15.
  • SUMMER: Mid-May through early September. Applications due March 15.
  • FALL: September through December/early January. Applications due August 1.


Applicants should submit the following as one combined PDF via Submittable (link below) no later than the application deadline mentioned above. Incomplete applications will not be guaranteed consideration.

  1. A cover letter that includes answers to the following questions (your cover letter can be up to two pages):
    —What is/has been the focus of your studies? What additional areas of interest or experience do you have beyond the classroom?
    —What do you hope to learn during this internship? What kinds of learning opportunities and projects (see details above) sound most exciting to you?
    —Help us get to know you as a reader. What have you been reading lately? 
  2. Resume 
  3. Help us get to know you as a writer (about books) and as a critical thinker. Please select one contemporary book you’d recommend and tell us why. You might include within that recommendation personal response, critique, cultural context, or marketing/positioning. You may include up to one page single-spaced, though a single very articulate paragraph will also do the trick!



Questions may be sent to

It is the policy of Milkweed Editions to afford equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, status as a disabled veteran, status with regard to public assistance, or any other protected class recognized by applicable laws.

Recommended Reading
Interested in interning? Learn more about Milkweed by familiarizing yourself with our books.
J. Drew Lanham

Growing up on his family’s land in South Carolina, the author fell in love with the subtle beauties of the natural world around him—and grew up to be one of the lone black men in a predominantly white field. This memoir is a riveting exploration...

Bright Dead Things
Ada Limón

Full of bravado and introspection, of twenty-first-century feminist swagger and harrowing loss, this collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact. Taking readers from New York City to rural Kentucky, these poems...

Into the Sun
Deni Ellis Béchard

When a car explodes in Kabul ten years after 9/11, a journalist discovers that its passengers—three fellow ex-pats—had formed an unlikely love triangle. As the journalist learns more, the narratives of their lives become inseparable from the...

Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, the author has been trained to examine nature with the tools of science; as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our teachers. Here she brings these two lenses together,...

Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller, and Kevin Prufer

Bringing together a wide range of perspectives—industry veterans and provocateurs, writers, editors, and digital mavericks—this collection reflects on the current situation of literary publishing, and provides a road map for the shifting...

Body of Water
Chris Dombrowski

The author was in the Bahamas, pursuing bonefish—one of the world’s most elusive creatures—when he had a life-changing encounter with David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Here he tells Pinder’s story, as well as that of an ecology, of an...

Max Ritvo

The poems of this debut collection are dispatches from chemotherapy beds and hospitals and the loneliest spaces in the home. They are relentlessly embodied, communicating pain, violence, and loss—and yet they are also erotically, electrically...

Medicine Walk
Richard Wagamese

When sixteen-year-old Franklin Starlight is summoned by his ailing father, Eldon, Franklin’s sense of duty clashes with the resentment he feels for his father’s many years of neglect and drinking. But when the two men set out together on one last...

Things that Are
Amy Leach

These essays take jellyfish, fainting goats, and imperturbable caterpillars as just a few of their many inspirations. Surveying both the tiniest earth dwellers and the most far-flung celestial bodies, this is a book of wonder, one readers cannot...

Ordinary Wolves
Seth Kantner

Born and raised in the Arctic, Cutuk Hawcley has learned to provide for himself by hunting, fishing, and trading. But when he leaves for the city as a young man, incompatible realities collide, forcing Cutuk to choose between two worlds—both...