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.
How long of a commitment is participation in the Contributors Program?
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 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. Regardless of whether a graduate is promoted, Young Voices makes a point to stay in touch with alumni of our program, sending regular communications, opportunities, and invitations to events.
Can applicants based outside the United States apply?
Yes, applicants from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. However, it is important to note that Young Voices is a US-based operation, so our strongest media partners are American outlets. Thus, a non-American applicants should have a strong interest in writing about policy areas that interest American readers and getting published in the US. Historically, we have found the best luck publishing non-American writers who have either studied, interned, or worked in the US in the past. For those with little knowledge or interested in the US, 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’ Underscored Podcast, 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 select contributors that involves some form of monetary compensation. Primarily, we offer policy fellowships on a regular basis where our writers receive policy training on a specific issue area, are paired with a think tank mentor in the field, and produce media hits on the topic in return for an honorarium.
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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