An author is a specific type of writer who has created and published a book or other significant written work including novels and non-fiction books, children’s books, or poetry. Authors are typically associated with longer, more substantial literary works, such as novels, non-fiction books, plays, or poetry collections. The term "author" is often used when discussing someone's role in creating a specific, standalone work.Job Category:
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 author, you’ll attend book signings, readings and discussions of your work, or run writing workshops.
The difference between an Author & Writer is than, in essence, all authors are writers, but not all writers are authors. Being an author usually implies that one has completed a substantial creative work and seen it published. Writers, on the other hand, encompass a broader category of individuals who engage in writing activities for various purposes and may write shorter or less formal content.
- 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:
Becoming an author doesn’t require specific GCSE subjects, but there are subjects and skills that can be helpful for developing the writing and creative skills needed for a writing career. Here are some relevant subjects and skills:
- English Language: A strong command of the English language is crucial for writing effectively. GCSE English Language or equivalent courses can help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills.
- English Literature: GCSE English Literature or similar courses can expose you to various literary works and help you analyze and appreciate different writing styles and storytelling techniques.
- Creative Writing: While not always offered at the GCSE level, creative writing courses or extracurricular activities can be beneficial for honing your storytelling abilities and developing your unique writing voice.
- Reading: Reading widely and often is essential for aspiring authors. It exposes you to different genres, styles, and perspectives, which can enrich your writing.
- Research Skills: Research is often an integral part of writing, whether you’re working on fiction, non-fiction, or any other genre. Strong research skills can help you gather information and add depth to your writing.
- Critical Thinking and Analysis: Analytical skills can help you deconstruct and understand the mechanics of storytelling, character development, and plot construction in other authors’ works, which can inform your own writing.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication skills are valuable not only for writing but also for promoting your work, interacting with readers, and collaborating with publishers or editors.
- Self-Motivation and Discipline: Writing often requires self-discipline and motivation, as it can be a solitary and sometimes challenging endeavor.
While these subjects and skills can be advantageous for aspiring authors, becoming a successful author ultimately relies on your passion for writing, creativity, dedication, and a willingness to learn and improve your craft continuously.
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 authors’ group
- entering writing competitions
- 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
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.