Job Description:

Authors produce written creative work, including novels and non-fiction books, children’s books, or poetry.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

You could write either fiction or non-fiction, in genres such as novels, short stories, plays or poetry. You could choose a writing specialism, like writing children’s books, travel or technical writing.

You could also write features for newspapers, magazines, radio, film or television, or hold a blog or other social media.

Depending on your role, your day-to-day duties might include:

  • choosing a subject based on personal interest, or on a commission given by agents or publishers
  • coming up with themes, ideas or plots
  • researching information using the internet, libraries and personal interviews
  • submitting your draft to a publisher, either speculatively or through an agent
  • revising your work after getting feedback
  • pursuing publishing opportunities
  • upload your work to websites or social media, or look for publishing opportunities
  • attend book signings, readings and discussions of your work
  • run writing workshops

As an established writer, you’ll attend book signings, readings and discussions of your work, or run writing workshops.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • excellent written communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

There are no set requirements.

You’ll need to:

  • be able to come up with ideas that will sell
  • have good research skills
  • be able 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.

There are a number of things you can do to develop your skills, find out more about the world of publishing and promote yourself, like:

  • joining a local writers’ group
  • entering writing competitions
  • blogging
  • study Creative writing or English

Should you wish to study through University:

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
  • communication and media
  • English language or literature
  • creative and professional writing
  • journalism

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll work on a self-employed, freelance basis. You’ll choose your own working hours, although you may still have to meet publishing deadlines.

Career Path & 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.