Writers produce works of fiction and non-fiction such as books, poetry, scripts and articles for newspapers and magazines. They will need to develop ideas, research material by using the internet and interviewing people and make sure work is submitted on time to meet deadlines.
You can get into this job through:
You'll need a high level of writing skill and talent. To develop these skills, you could get a qualification like a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:
- creative writing
- English language or literature
- creative and professional writing
You could also do a postgraduate writing course to get into this career.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
Click here to search for a suitable course.
You might be able to apply directly for technical writer jobs in industries like engineering or pharmaceuticals, if you've got the relevant background and qualifications.
Experience in journalism could also help you to get into travel or broadcast writing.
You could work in TV or radio as a scriptwriter. BBC Writersroom has information, advice and workshops on writing and submitting scripts.
You may be able to publish and sell your work without formal training or qualifications, if you're exceptionally talented and have taught yourself. A literary agent may be able to help you with this.
- creative ideas that will sell
- good research skills
- the ability to express ideas in a style suited to your intended audience
You'll also need to have confidence in your writing, be able to accept criticism and remain positive.
You'll need a portfolio of your work to show to employers and commissioning editors.
You can do several things to develop your writing skills and learn more about the world of publishing. These include:
- joining a local writers' group
- entering writing competitions
- blogging online
You'll find more advice about careers in writing through the National Association of Writers' Groups.
The Poetry Society and Writers & Artists have more details on writing competitions. Writers & Artists also has industry advice on being a writer and submitting work for publishing or self-publishing. It publishes the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which has information on literary agents, publishers, newspapers and magazines.
Career Path and Progression
You could self-publish, in traditional print format, online or through e-books.
You might be able to promote your work by entering literary competitions, become a book critic or teach creative writing in colleges.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Advertising copywriter
- Advertising account planner
- Social media manager
- Magazine journalist
- good literacy skills
- the ability to work to deadlines
- to be good at research
- self motivated
- able to work on your own for long periods of time
- good IT skills
- to be able to accept and understand criticism
- excellent communication skills