Jobs for Writers

by Josh Riverside - Date: 2007-01-17 - Word Count: 464 Share This!

Writers and editors communicate with the rest of the world through the written word. They can be broadly divided into three categories - writers and authors (including non-fiction writers and creative writers), technical writers/science and medical writers, and editors (those working in the publishing industry and those working for newspapers or magazines).

Some of the employment facts for writers and editors are given below. Writers and editors held about 319,000 jobs in 2002 in the United States. Amongst them, writers and authors held about 139,000 jobs, technical writers about 50,000 jobs and editors held about 130,000 jobs. More than one-third of writers and editors were found to be self-employed.

Now we shall discuss some of the basic educational requirements for writers and editors. Generally, they must have college degrees. Often a broad liberal arts background is desirable, but certain employers prefer a degree in communications, journalism, or English. When specializing in a particular subject area, a degree in that field is desirable. Besides, they should be able to express ideas clearly in writing and should have an inherent passion to write. Also desirable are traits such as creativity, curiosity, a broad range of knowledge, self-motivation and perseverance. Employers often appreciate unpaid practical experience, such as the ones gained through work on school newspapers and internships.

In smaller companies, new writers and editors may begin writing and editing immediately. In larger firms however, those starting out, may do research, fact checking, or copy editing before moving onto full-scale writing or editing assignments. Employment of writers and editors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations for the next 5-6 years. Demand is greatest for technical writers and those with training in a related specialized field. Employment of salaried writers and editors for newspapers, periodicals, book publishers and non-profit organizations is expected to increase several folds. Median annual earnings for salaried writers and authors were $42,790 in 2002. Median annual earnings for salaried technical writers were $50,580. Median annual earnings for salaried editors were $41,170.

A writer's work normally includes creating original works like prose, poetry, song lyrics or plays; proposing topics about which to write or receiving assignments; gathering information about the topic; selecting and organizing the material he or she has gathered; using the written word to express ideas and convey information; revising or rewriting material; preparing advertising copy; selling one's work to publishers, advertising agencies, public relations firms and publication enterprises.

An editor's work can include reviewing, rewriting, and editing the work of writers; planning the content of books, journals, and magazines; deciding what material will appeal to readers; reviewing and editing drafts of books and articles; offering comments to improve the work; suggesting possible titles; overseeing the production of publications; reviewing book proposals and deciding whether or not to buy the publication rights.

Related Tags: writers, ghost writers, freelance writers, resume writers

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