Desperate Literature

LITERATURE: bookshop assistant and communication intern

Desperate Literature is a new International bookshop in Madrid, Spain. Along with the very best collection of used English books in the city, the shop also carries a large selection of quality books in Spanish, French and a variety of other languages.

Location: Madrid


2 positions:
  1. Desperate Literature Library intern
  • Assistant Community Manager (twitter, Facebook…)
  • Contact organizations and establish relationships with English-speaking people in Madrid further to build the community around Desperate Literature
  • Create new partnerships with Madrid-based and international organisations to promote Desperate Literature as an international cultural centre (events, collaboration on particular projects, sponsorship).
  • Help organize and promote events
  • Assist in office tasks and management
  • Researching new markets within Madrid
2. Communications, publicity and Public Relations intern for Literature Prize:
As we are an incredibly small team, the project offers significant creative opportunities for an intern to take the position in their own direction.  They would be able to develop close working relationships with international writers festivals and literary magazines, as well as becoming an important member of one of Madrid's key international bookshops.
The role will begin in early November and continue in stages:
  • Publicity: Finding options for publicity of prize flyers Contacting MFA and writing programs to increase submissions
    • Find candidates of interest and target them
    • Contact various candidates, and possible candidates
  • Promotion of the winning articles/authors:
    • Create designs that suite campaign
  • NOTE: there is also the possibility of an intern becoming part of the judging panel for the prize, but this is not a requirement.

Contact Details:

Calle Campomanes, 13
28013 Madrid, Spain

Tel: 911 888 089
Metro: Opera

Hours per week: 6 - 12



Resume: English
Interview Required: yes

Deadline: N/A


I am promoting an international prize for works of short fiction that the bookstore publishes yearly in a collection of 11 of the best submissions. Specifically, I reach out to many different people, groups, and organizations across social medias to promote the prize. I would recommend the internship not only because it is good work that can connect you with famous authors, publishers, etc. but also because you get to hang out with a group of really cool people from all around the world that are passionate about literature. Gus Tringale, Tufts. Spring 2023
At Desperate Literature, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about some of the operations necessary to run a small bookstore, including: inventory, pricing, shelving, community events, customer relations and managing orders. I really like working here because it’s a low-stress, cozy environment with friendly staff and plenty of books around. I think this internship could be a good fit for someone who is interested in small businesses, language and literature. Anneke Chan, Tufts. Spring 2023
We are working to promote the Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction by reaching out to book reviewers, literary magazines, bookstores, etc. It is providing us with valuable experience in current marketing strategies because we are mostly working within social media. Silas Conlon, Tufts. Spring 2023
       Raga Chilakamarri, Tufts. Spring 2022


.             Sabrina, Tufts     En la librería DL (Fall 2021)
I worked at Desperate Literature, an international language bookstore in the center of Madrid, for four months as a general intern. I spent my days shelving books, writing book reviews, interacting with customers, and doing whatever was needed around the shop. I had a great time getting to see a little slice of life from Madrid through the wide variety of customers who came into the shop, from fellow Americans studying abroad to Madrileños, and through interacting with my co-workers who all had different perspectives and experiences living in Madrid. Overall, I would recommend this internship to anyone who is looking to get more involved in the Madrid community while they are studying abroad here. Sabrina Wen, Tufts. Fall 2021
                           Lane Kuska, Skidmore. En DL   
At Desperate Literature I have been able to learn hands-on the ins and outs of running a small business. It has given me experience working in a bilingual environment, in terms of co-workers and customers, which I think has helped me develop skills that will certainly help in the future. I would absolutely recommend it to other students. Carrie Amiccuci, Skidmore. Spring 2019
       My internship at Desperate Literature was one of the highlights of my time spent in Madrid. Throughout my experience there, I learned so much, not only about the inner-workings of the literary community but also about my own writing aspirations. Desperate Literature taught me about problem solving, communication, trying new things, and dealing with mistakes all the while surrounded by thousands of books in a setting like something from Quixote. I am learning all that goes into planning a literary event and prize, including crowdfunding, outreach through social media and email, and collaboration with other organizations involved in the event. I would highly recommend this internship as it is a great way to meet new people; to listen to, learn from, and connect with amazing authors; and to learn about the inner workings of the literary world. Jenny Mueller, Tufts. Fall 2018

                             . .


          I cannot more highly recommend this internship to another student. I was given the opportunity to follow my passion for marketing, to make lifelong friendships, to immerse myself in an international literary community, to read and be inspired to read, and to feel fulfilled in helping out a benevolent organization with only good things to share. It takes the right type of person to dive headlong into a society like this – but if you are willing to push yourself, Desperate Literature will offer you experiences that will last a lifetime. I feel almost spoiled that I happened upon Desperate Literature, it was the best experience of Madrid so far, and yet only I got to benefit. On the other hand, it was nice to have something so special, so impactful, that was my unique Madrid experience. Emma Kahn, Tufts. Spring 2018
The Literary Prize:
The literary prize has three main aims: to celebrate short form fiction, to continue to grow the anglophone literary community in Madrid, and to help new writers flourish in their careers.  We are still developing the prize structure (indeed, growing this could be an important part of the intern’s role) but the prizes we have currently secured include:
A residency in an Italian castle/writer’s commune, publication in various literary magazines across the anglophone literary world, publication in a limited edition/bilingual booklet through Desperate Literature and contacts with a literary agent in the U.S.A.
The organisers have worked on literary prizes in Paris’s Shakespeare and Company Bookshop and as part of literary magazines in London and Madrid.