by Annie Rose Stathes
Published May 2, 2013
Are you considering writing as a career path? Working as a writer can be very fulfilling, and frequently offers significant freedom and creativity. Less recognized, however, is the vast array of jobs available to those pursuing writing careers. The art of shaping words is embedded throughout our culture in a myriad of forms. Below is a list of common careers for writers:
Novelists, non-fiction writers, and children’s book writers may use blogs to market their own products. Some writers are hired and paid by companies to write blog posts. Bloggers may also earn income by selling space on their blogs to advertisers. In many cases bloggers earn a higher return on advertising space when they have a significant following.
Journalists write for newspapers, magazines, television networks, and news entities. They typically work as Associated Press members, columnists (who write about people, places, and things), editorial writers (who typically write opinion-pieces) or act as specialists in particular topics (such as politics, cooking, or arts and entertainment) for media organizations that publish and broadcast regularly.
Freelance writers typically write for numerous organizations and entities. They often develop a particular style or specialty of writing and market themselves to organizations requiring their talents. Freelance writers typically have contracts with the organizations and entities for which they write and are free to work for whomever they choose.
Content writers write for organizations and entities that need to share information but don’t attach a name to the writing. Content writers may work for colleges and universities, corporations, and non-profit organizations. They write content for websites, catalogues, and other materials.
Copywriters write verbiage for advertisements for a variety of media sources.
Creative writers do just that—write creatively. They write short stories, creative non-fiction, novels, and poems. In order to supplement their income, they may work as freelance writers and/or bloggers as they create longer pieces of writing. Creative writers commonly write to be published and depend largely upon publication to earn an income.
Children’s story writers write for children. Their writing could include poems, short stories, and longer books suitable for various age groups, from toddlers to pre-teens. They typically write to be published, and may also illustrate their own books.
Novelists write fictional stories exploring subjects of interest to the author. They are typically written for teens and adults and can cover a variety of genres, from romance to mystery to adventure. Novelists commonly work to be published and depend upon publication to earn an income.
Creative non-fictionists write stories based on true events. Books in the genre can focus on a wide variety of subjects, the tone can be serious, light-hearted, or anything in between. Creative non-fictionists commonly work to be published and depend upon publication to earn an income.
Editors review other writers’ work to check for faulty data, structure, and grammar. They work for media sources, publishing firms, independent writers, and organizations that need the skills of an editor.
Many writers work as teachers. They often teach writing or English at elementary, middle, and high schools or for colleges or universities. Many writers who work as teachers devote their free summers to their own writing projects. These professionals may devote their skills to any variety of writing including academic writing based on research, analysis, and proving theses.
Technical writers are professional writers who produce technical documentation. Technical writing is a style of writing used in fields such as engineering, chemistry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. They develop information which helps users. The types of material these writers create include user guides/ manuals, online help, design specifications, system manuals, project plans, white papers, and test plans.
Grant writers create material aimed at obtaining grants from companies, organizations, and governing bodies. They write applications requesting grants from governmental and private institutions that award financial support for various purposes to the most convincing submissions. Extensive knowledge of law and business language is usually required. A love for philanthropy is a plus. Grant writers are typically endowed with the gift of persuasion.
Individuals interested in a writing career are able to explore many opportunities to earn money and practice their craft. These talented individuals are often evaluated on the quality of their work. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for writers in 2010 was $55,420, the top 10% of earners made more than $109,000 a year and the lowest 10% of earners made less than $28,610 a year.
Annie Rose Stathes holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science, from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is currently an instructor of writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado
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