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 for classes of 30-40.
Applications for the Spring 2024 class (which begins January 2024) are open now and will close on November 30, 2023. All questions can be directed to [email protected].
Why Young Voices?
Watch an explainer
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 3 onboarding trainings on Zoom and submit one article draft per month to Young Voices’ editorial team.
What happens after I’ve completed my six months on the Contributor Program?
Young Voices offers opportunities for select alumni to stay in our program in a more senior position where they are given continued learning and professional opportunities.
After graduating from our program, you will join the Young Voices alumni network. Alumni can remain within (or rejoin) the Contributor Program through our Advanced Tracks. For instance, members of the Writer Track can continue submitting articles to the editorial team and those on the Commentator Track can keep working with the PR team on TV and radio interviews.
Like the Contributor Program itself, applications to the Advanced Tracks are accepted twice per year, in June and December. Alumni (those who have completed the six-month Contributor Program) can apply to join Tracks straight away, or they can wait and apply to Tracks further down the line – six months, a year, or even longer.
Read more on the Advanced Tracks page.
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 an unpublished op-ed draft (500-800 words). We just want to gauge where you’re starting from and if/how we can help.
If I already applied to the Contributor Program but didn’t get in, am I allowed to apply again?
Yes! Applications for the Contributor Program are extremely competitive – we accept fewer than 1 in 3 applicants – so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get in the first time. You’re very welcome to apply again in the next application cycle (application deadlines are May 31st and November 30th each year). In the past, Young Voices has accepted new contributors into the program on their second or even third attempt, so if you didn’t succeed the first time, we would love to receive another application from you!
What are Young Voices UK, EU and France? Can applicants based outside the United States apply?
Young Voices UK launched in January 2021. It is a subset of the Contributor Program focused on students and young professionals in the United Kingdom. Since then, Young Voices has accepted contributors from a wide range of countries around the world. Accepted international contributors participate in the onboarding Zoom trainings like everyone else but will have their articles pitched by staff based in the relevant country. Separately, Young Voices launched a new France project in 2022, which then developed into our EU fellowship.
Applicants from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply to the Contributor Program. However, it is important to note that Young Voices is a US and UK-based operation with limited activities in other countries, so our strongest media partners are outlets in those countries. Thus, a non-American/British applicant should have a strong interest in writing about policy areas and getting published in the US or UK. For those with little knowledge or interest in those countries, we encourage you to look for other opportunities outside of Young Voices such as Students For Liberty’s Speak Freely and African Liberty projects.
Any questions about Young Voices’ non-US activities can be directed to our Global Projects Manager Jason Reed on [email protected].
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 alumni (those who have completed the 6-month Contributor Program) which involve some form of monetary compensation such as our policy fellowships and policy partnerships. These opportunities, however, are only available to those 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.
Is your question not answered here? Email [email protected].