CAREERS: Writers and Authors
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Writers and authors typically do the following:
· Choose subject matter that interests readers
· Write fiction or nonfiction through scripts, novels, biographies, and more
· Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail
· Write advertising copy for newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, and the Internet
· Present drafts to editors and clients for feedback
· Work with editors and clients to shape the material so it can be published
Writers must establish their credibility with editors and readers through clean prose, strong research, and the use of appropriate sources and citations. Writers and authors select the material they want to use and then convey the information to readers. With help from editors, they may revise or rewrite sections, searching for the clearest language and the most appropriate phrasing.
Some writers and authors are self-employed or freelance writers and authors. They sell their written content to book and magazine publishers; news organizations; advertising agencies; and movie, theater, and television producers. They may be hired to complete specific short-term or recurring assignments, such as writing a newspaper column, contributing to a series of articles in a magazine, or producing an organization’s newsletter.
An increasing number of writers are producing material that is published only on the Internet, such as for digital news organizations or blogs.
The following are examples of types of writers and authors:
Copywriters prepare advertisements to promote the sale of a good or service. They often work with a client to produce written content, such as advertising themes, jingles, and slogans.
Content writers write about any topic of interest, unlike writers who usually specialize in a given field.
Biographers write a thorough account of a person’s life. They gather information from interviews and research about the person to accurately portray important events in that person's life.
Bloggers write posts to a blog that may pertain to any topic or a specific field, such as fashion, news, or sports.
Novelists write books of fiction, creating characters and plots that may be imaginary or based on real events.
Playwrights write scripts for theatrical productions. They come up with a concept, write lines for actors to say, produce stage direction for actors to follow, and suggest ideas for theatrical set design.
Screenwriters create scripts for movies and television. They may produce original stories, characters, and dialogue, or turn a book into a movie or television script.
Speechwriters write speeches for business leaders, politicians, and others who must speak in front of an audience. A speech is heard, not read, which means speechwriters must think about audience reaction and rhetorical effect.