How to become a Writer

Writer

Writers plan and write literary or other written work for publication or performance. Writers may create original pieces of written work, which can take the form of poetry, novels, short stories, biographies, blogs, plays or film, radio and television scripts. They may also write for multimedia distribution. Writers may specialise in fiction writing, general interest non-fiction, journalism, children's books, educational textbooks, historical writing and transferring oral histories into written form, corporate or training videos, technical writing, magazine writing, documentation preparation, freelance editorial services, helping others to prepare manuscripts for publication, scriptwriting, documentary writing, humour, copywriting, editi

Personal requirements for a Writer

  • Observant and inquisitive approach to people and their environment
  • Able to think and write creatively and clearly
  • Excellent understanding of English, particularly grammar and spelling
  • Concentration, perseverance and dedication

Education & Training for a Writer

You can work as a writer without formal qualifications. Skills are usually developed through practice and experience. However, you will improve your chances of employment by undertaking some associated formal training. Relevant courses can range from part-time interest courses to university degrees. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Alternatively, you can become a writer by studying a degree in a related area at university. Entry to these courses usually requires you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Writer

Writers:

  • Choose themes or subjects for written work, conduct research into the subject, assemble background material and obtain other necessary data
  • Plan and organise material and write the work
  • Revise or edit the work, making sure that the style is consistent; that there is proper development of theme, plot and characterisation; and that referencing is correct
  • Set out the original manuscript so that it is clear and legible (typed or word processed, for example) and submit the work to a publisher
  • Work with other specialists such as scriptwriters, software developers, graphic designers and illustrators, to create multimedia works.

Tasks

  • Plans, organises and writes material..
  • Researches subject matter through original and secondary materials, interviews and other media..
  • Creates and develops ideas and themes for written works, such as novels, plays, musicals, screen productions, educational texts, information texts and multimedia products..

Employment Opportunities for a Writer

People interested in writing should consider related occupations until they are able to establish themselves in this occupation. This may be in areas such as journalism, editing, teaching and advertising. Writers are usually self-employed or work under contract. Many publications will have a bank of regular freelance contributors they rely on to provide content. Business writers may be employed by government departments and private businesses. Technical writers are usually employed under contract to publishers. New technologies have increased the expectation that writers have multimedia skills and work on personal computers, submitting their work electronically.


Specializations

par - Writers may specialise in fiction writing, general interest non-fiction, journalism, children's books, educational textbooks, historical writing and transferring oral histories into written form, corporate or training videos, technical writing, magazine writing, documentation preparation, freelance editorial services, helping others to prepare manuscripts for publication, scriptwriting, documentary writing, humour, copywriting, editing text into accessible 'plain English' form or writing text for musical works. Work may be commissioned by a book or magazine publisher, a theatre company, a film or television production company, or a radio or television station. Alternatively, work may be sold by the writer or a literary agent acting on the writer's behalf. Writers often work with visual or performance artists. In the business environment, writers can work as communication specialists. They may design training seminars or packages, facilitate workplace discussions, identify problems in documentation and conduct communication audits.


Technical Writer

A technical writer researches and writes manuals, textbooks, online user guides and other information-based material. Technical writers need to understand and explain complex technical information. They may specialise in IT, engineering, finance or help documentation.

Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter researches and writes books, articles, stories or other texts on behalf of another person. Celebrities and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft autobiographies.

Blogger

A blogger researches and writes web content to publish online.

Writer

Writers plan and write literary or other written work for publication or performance. Writers may create original pieces of written work, which can take the form of poetry, novels, short stories, biographies, blogs, plays or film, radio and television scripts. They may also write for multimedia distribution. Writers may specialise in fiction writing, general interest non-fiction, journalism, children's books, educational textbooks, historical writing and transferring oral histories into written form, corporate or training videos, technical writing, magazine writing, documentation preparation, freelance editorial services, helping others to prepare manuscripts for publication, scriptwriting, documentary writing, humour, copywriting, editi

  • Average age
    Average age
    47 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    62% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    46 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,600
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    50% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    3,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 2.6%
    NSW: 38.9%
    NT: 0.5%
    QLD: 16.6%
    SA: 4.3%
    TAS: 2.5%
    VIC: 28.4%
    WA: 6.1%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.7%
    20-24: 3.1%
    25-34: 16.2%
    35-44: 22.6%
    45-54: 23.9%
    55-59: 10.2%
    60-64: 7.8%
    65 and Over: 15.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 9.1%
    Bachelor degree: 42.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 3.9%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 29.6%
    Year 10 and below: 2.5%
    Year 11: 1.2%
    Year 12: 10.9%
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