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Baristas & Bartenders (Part-Time, In-Person)

The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, is the only organization in the United States devoted solely to the vital art of fiction. The mission of The Center is to encourage people to read and value fiction and to support and celebrate its creation and enjoyment. In February 2019, we opened the doors to our new building in Downtown Brooklyn, creating a home for NYC’s literary community.

As part of The Center, we run a café/bar nestled between our bookstore and our event space. During the day the café serves as a lively community space where writers work, kids read books, and friends catch up. In the evening we serve drinks and snacks to patrons attending our events and classes, as well as to our neighbors at large.

Job Description

The Center for Fiction is looking to hire a dynamic human to barista and bartend at the CFF’s bustling bookstore, café, and event space. The café features a selection of locally baked pastries, small bites, as well as a menu of craft cocktails and natural wine. This is a fun work environment and our main requirements include an interest in hospitality as well as literature, a passion for customer service, and a willingness to develop and learn new skills. Barista experience and Food Handler’s License are strongly preferred. Come make coffee and cocktails, all the while surrounded by books!

Job Requirements

  • Passion for coffee
  • Reliable, organized, and detail-oriented
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • A desire to learn and grow with the cafe
  • Interest in craft and product knowledge
  • Strong passion for literature
  • Able to lift 50lbs
  • Comfortable standing for periods at a time


This position will have access to The Center’s lending library, admission to onsite events, and staff discounts on books, classes, and more. 401k participation is available upon eligibility.

Location: In-Person, New York City-based position, $15+ (based on experience) an hour, plus tips

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume to with “2022 Barista/Bartender” or as the subject. Please, no calls.

Rolling deadline: applications will be reviewed as received.

The Center for Fiction is committed to building a diverse and culturally vibrant team. As an Equal Opportunity Employer we respect and value diversity and inclusion, and engage employees without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, military status, domestic violence status, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

Events Production Internship (Unpaid Internship)

The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit literary organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction. In February 2019, we opened the doors to our new building in Downtown Brooklyn, creating a home for NYC’s literary community. We’re known for our special literary events, including our innovative panels, performances, lectures, and conversations, and we need interns to help them run smoothly. We are seeking students who are passionate about the literary world and who want to participate as a team to ensure the programs here are of the highest possible quality for all involved.

This is a great opportunity to practice literary citizenship, learn more about the literary world, and to get hands-on experience that could translate to work in publishing, arts programming, and independent bookstores. This position directly reports to the Senior Director of Public Programming (Melanie McNair) and collaborates with the Event Production Coordinator and other members of the Center for Fiction team.

The Center for Fiction plans to host primarily in-person events (city and state health guidelines permitting), with potentially a few virtual events. Interns will have responsibilities at all types of events.

Duties include:

  • Interfacing with audience members to check them in and answer questions about events
  • Setting up and breaking down the multipurpose event space for the unique needs of each night of programming
  • Helping to host authors and guests before and after the formal presentation (welcoming them, answering questions, etc.)
  • Providing audio/visual support, as needed
  • For virtual events, serving as co-hosts to help set up panelists for a successful event, monitor the chat, answer technical questions from viewers, post links, and other assigned duties

This is a non-paying internship, but benefits include:

  • An opportunity to meet and interact with great writers, editors, performers, artists, and other professionals
  • Free Center for Fiction Membership (complete with all membership perks and discounts)
  • One free CFF boot camp writing workshop with a highly regarded professional author
  • A letter of recommendation after meeting goals and expectations for the season
  • 35% discount at bookstore and cafe for the duration of internship
  • We are also willing to work with your school if there is an opportunity to do the internship for credit.

Learning Objectives:

  • By working closely with a leading literary organization and interacting with numerous authors, editors, publishers, and more, gain a deep understanding of many aspects of the literary world
  • Through watching a variety of high-quality conversations with authors, learn numerous perspectives on the craft of writing
  • Through hands on experience, develop skills in event production and front of house management

Previous interns have gone on to internships and full time positions with publishers.

Training will take place the week of January 24th, and will run through April 28th. Most public events are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, with occasional Friday and Saturday events. In-person event shifts run from roughly 5 pm until 9 pm. Interns will generally attend an average of 2 events each week.

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter with your interest and any relevant experience by

Tuesday, December 6th at 11:59PM  at In your cover letter, please tell us about:

  • Your interest in this internship and in literary events
  • Any relevant experience (particularly any public facing or customer service experience)
  • Your availability Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings (5pm-9pm) between February 1st and April 28th and your ability to balance this internship with your classwork and other responsibilities

If you need an extension or have any questions, please email at your earliest convenience.

The Center for Fiction is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity at our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.