Young Voices’ Contributor Program is the cornerstone of our operations. A rigorous application process helps our staff identify the brightest rising stars in the liberty movement. Upon acceptance into the program, each new contributor has access to Young Voices’ staff of editors and media experts. We’ll act as your nonprofit PR agency, editing and pitching your articles to top publications and scheduling interviews in broadcast media.
Young Voices accepts applications from writers ages 18-35. Applicants should be prepared to submit their résumé, an unedited op-ed draft, and a two-minute introductory video explaining why they’d like to join Young Voices. Applications are reviewed twice per year in classes of 20-30. Our next round of acceptances will be made in June 2021. Apply by 11:59 PM ET on May 31 to be considered. No extensions will be given for late applications. All questions can be directed to email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the expectations of the Contributor Program? How long of a commitment is it?
Once accepted, a contributor participates in our program for a six-month period (either January to June or July to December). During that time, all contributors are expected to attend 4-6 onboarding trainings and submit one article draft per month to Young Voices’ editorial team. After graduating from our program, Young Voices offers opportunities for select graduates to stay in our program as associate and senior contributors where they are given continued learning and professional opportunities.
Do I need past experience in writing to be a Young Voices contributor?
Not necessarily! As a professional development program, Young Voices welcomes applications from writers under 35 from all levels of experience. It is not a requirement for an applicant to have been published to apply. That said, one requirement of our application process is that an applicant submit some sort of writing sample; it could be an essay for class, homework assignment, personal blog post — anything! We just want to gauge where you’re starting from and if/how we can help.
What is Young Voices UK? Can applicants based outside the United States apply?
Young Voices UK is a recently launched cohort of the Contributor Program focused on students and young professionals in the United Kingdom. Accepted UK Contributors participate in the onboarding trainings like everyone else but will have their articles pitched by our Programs Associate Jason Reed, who is based in the UK. Specific questions about our UK cohort can be directed to him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants from anywhere in the world are also welcome to apply to the Contributor Program. However, it is important to note that Young Voices is a US and UK-based operation, so our strongest media partners are American outlets. Thus, a non-American/British applicants should have a strong interest in writing about policy areas and getting published in the US or UK. For those with little knowledge or interested in the US or UK, we encourage you to look for other opportunities outside of Young Voices such as Students For Liberty’s Speak Freely and African Liberty projects.
How can Young Voices get me on TV?
Once accepted into the Contributor Program, Young Voices’ staff actively looks for writers that we consider to be TV- and radio-ready. After three successful publications, we invite contributors to appear on Young Voices’ Moving Forward radio show, which serves as a low-pressure forum to test a contributor’s media readiness and provide constructive criticism. If a contributor does well, our team then pitches their work for TV and radio opportunities when the subjects they comment on are hot in the news cycle. In other words, it’s a dynamic process. Contributors are not guaranteed to get on TV after acceptance. However, if they write regularly and take advice well, they more likely than not will get such opportunities in time.
Do contributors get paid?
Contributors are not paid for the articles they submit to us as a requirement of remaining in the program. Our greatest compensation to our writers is the free mentorship and public relations services we provide to advance their career. That said, Young Voices does offer exclusive opportunities for associate and senior contributors that involves some form of monetary compensation such as our policy fellowships and policy partnerships. These opportunities, however, are only available to writers who have been in our program for at least six months.
What are Young Voices’ ideological leanings?
Young Voices takes a big-tent approach to coalition building, but if we had to give ourselves one label, it would be classical liberal. As an organization, we believe in the importance of free speech, property rights, the rule of law, free trade of goods and labor, and low taxation and regulation. That said, we are not an advocacy organization and welcome a healthy debate among our contributors. Fundamentally, we are a professional development organization and want to empower voices for liberty no matter what particular label they identify with.
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