Posted on

Creative writing employment opportunities

Jobs you can do with a Creative Writing degree

A creative writing degree is a good course to choose if you fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith. But what other jobs can you do with your degree once you’ve graduated?

Thinking of studying for a degree in Creative Writing? But worried that you might not have many job opportunities after you graduate?

Before you ditch your dreams and switch to something you think will have better career prospects, check out the 10 jobs below that you could do after you’ve graduated.

Writer

OK, so this may be the dream for many of you. A handful of graduates will indeed publish that best-selling novel or screenplay that’s turned into a Hollywood smash.

For some graduates with a Creative Writing degree, their writing may end up being something that’s pursued on the side. There’s certainly no shame in that – especially as there are plenty of roles out there that call for the skills that you’ve developed over the past three years.

Copywriter

On the other hand, there’s a huge range of commercial opportunities open to those with a Creative Writing degree.

From writing advertising copy, both print and online, to creating web pages for businesses of all shapes and sizes, it can be a broad and very rewarding job.

Those that are really successful though work hard to improve their knowledge of both their subject – specialising in a field can sometimes open as many doors as it closes – and the various related parts of the industry, such as production, marketing or web development.

Journalist

Journalism is usually split in to news and magazine publishing, but there’s a lot of crossover as you might expect. While this can be exciting and fast-paced work, wages can be low and competition high. You will probably need to do a postgraduate course, too.

There are plenty of reputable ones available, but those with National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) accreditation are almost always preferred. Even though it can be a challenge, many in the industry wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.

Web content editor

The online world is continuing to expand, with many smaller businesses now employing dedicated web content editors as part of their teams. As with many of these jobs, an interest in the subject you’ll be writing about will help massively, as will a willingness to dive into reader statistics and understand the role of content in search engine algorithms.

SEO executive

This is a fast-growing market, and an understanding of the written word can be extremely useful. While a large part of the job is looking at content and working out how it can be improved for both search engines and readers, as well as writing to publicise clients and projects, there’s a lot of technical knowledge that’s needed too.

An interest in web design, programming and marketing will help, but most entry-level positions will let you learn as you go.

Proofreader/Sub-editor

Those with an eagle eye may enjoy the world of proofing, where copy is screened for errors before publication. Perfectionism is a pretty useful attribute here, as is a taste for spotting factual inaccuracies.

Content marketing specialist

Another related area is content marketing. Publishing great content – whether articles, videos or infographics – is an increasingly popular way for brands to boost their audience. All of these forms need great copy, so good writers can be in real demand.

Social media specialist

Knowing what to write to engage an audience is a useful skill in many ways, but it’s especially important for those working with social media.

It’s not always the most technically precise field – language and grammar can sometimes undergo some pretty drastic shifts when faced by tight character limits – but for those that can communicate well, it’s ideal.

Be prepared though to dive deep into statistics and metrics, as the job is as much about proving what you say is effective as it is the content itself.

Email marketer

Email marketing might seem like an old form of communication, but it’s still an enormous industry. An interest in design will help here too, as will a willingness to learn HTML and CSS, which are pretty handy skills for any writer working online.

Public relations

PR is a great field for outgoing, confident people who are excellent writers and communicators.

There’s huge scope here, with copy needed for press releases, publicity material and client promotions. If you like the buzz of working in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this could be the role for you, and the perks – such as attending events and receiving free products from clients – can be pretty good too.

Fancy a career in any one of these fields? Here’s just a selection of awesome universities you can study creative writing at:

NEXT:

Are those unis not tickling your fancy? Search for your perfect uni right now.

**Article written with help from Sam Wright, founder of Blink, a Norwich-based agency specialising in search and quality content.

Creative writing

A degree in creative writing allows you to develop your writing, research and creative thinking skills. You’ll also gain skills that are useful in a range of other careers such as publishing, marketing, PR and teaching

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Take a few minutes to answer the Job Match quiz and find out what careers would suit you

Work experience

Building a portfolio of written work, especially any that you’ve had published, will help to evidence your writing skills and establish your reputation as a writer.

You can gain valuable experience by writing for your student newspaper or magazine, volunteering in schools, or getting involved with writers’ groups. Also, try submitting work to journals or anthologies, entering competitions, performing at spoken word events or approaching local drama groups to see if they will use your scripts. This will boost your profile and help build your confidence.

To make yourself more employable, look for opportunities to gain some solid work experience. This could be in the form of paid administrative work for a company or volunteering, perhaps with a local charity helping them to promote the work they do.

You could also write speculatively to a number of businesses, including publishing houses and marketing firms, to ask if you could complete some short-term work experience or shadowing. This can have the advantage of getting you a foot in the door in a highly-competitive industry and could lead to a permanent position.

As well as creative talent and writing experience, you will also need perseverance and determination to succeed as a writer.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Related case studies

Advertisement

Typical employers

As a creative writing graduate you may work to establish yourself as a writer on a self-employed basis, either writing your own works, or writing for others in a freelance capacity.

Alternatively, you could find opportunities with a variety of employers, including:

  • publishing houses or editorial/technical writing service companies
  • advertising, marketing and public relations agencies, particularly in a copywriting capacity
  • primary, secondary, further and higher education institutions
  • media organisations and social media companies
  • general businesses – in an administrative or general management position
  • Civil Service, library or charitable organisations.

Employers hiring creative writing graduates now

Marketing Content Creator / Copywriter

  • CGP Books
  • Cumbria
  • £22,001-£24,500

Product Developer

  • CGP Books
  • Cumbria
  • £24,501-£27,000
Where will your words shine?

Publishing. Media. Theatre. Study MA Creative Writing. Hone your craft into a lifelong career

Skills for your CV

As well as building specialist knowledge of creative writing, you also develop effective written, oral and presentation skills through your degree. Other skills include:

  • creative thinking and problem solving – these skills are useful for many jobs and you’ll have gained them from developing characters and storylines
  • independent working – having to be self-motivated as a writer means you can effectively determine and direct your own workload
  • time management and organisation – learning to structure your time effectively as a writer means you can be highly organised
  • a good understanding of information technology
  • collaboration – from liaising with students from other related courses such as journalism and film studies
  • independent research and analysis – you’ll be adept at this from turning ideas into well-rounded stories
  • editorial and proofreading – from producing accurately written content
  • negotiation and networking – learning how to market your work effectively gives you the skill to negotiate in other workplace settings.

Further study

As a creative writing graduate you can develop your creative writing skills further by undertaking further study at Masters or PhD level. You can also specialise in an area such as screenwriting, the graphic novel, writing for young people, writing poetry, or writing and producing comedy.

Alternatively, you may want to undertake further vocational training in areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship or publishing. Vocational courses allow you to study in an area in which you would like to have a career.

You may also want to consider further study in areas such as PR, marketing or advertising.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in creative writing.

What do creative writing graduates do?

A tenth (11%) of creative writing graduates who are in employment in the UK are working as authors, writers and translators, while 6% are working as marketing associate professionals.

Destination Percentage
Employed 61.3
Further study 7.1
Working and studying 14.3
Unemployed 11.6
Other 5.7
Type of work Percentage
Retail, catering and customer service 26.1
Arts, design and media 18.4
Clerical, secretarial and administrative 15
Marketing, PR and sales 10.2
Other 30.3

Find out what other creative writing graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Found 6 in Creative writing jobs

Location details Gunnison, Colorado Salary $44,000-$45,000 Closes Jun 3, 2022 Languages English Field Interdisciplinary, Humanities, Creative writing, Literature, American Employment category Full-time Location Colorado

Lecturer, Creative Non-fiction and Fiction

Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT is seeking full or part-time lecturers to teach creative non-fiction writing and undergraduate fiction…

Location details 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139 Closes Jun 15, 2022 Languages English Field Creative writing Employment category Full-time Location Massachusetts

Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing (Poetry)

University of North Texas

The Department of English at the University of North Texas, a Minority and Hispanic Serving Institution, invites applications for a one-year Visiting…

Location details Denton, Texas Salary Competitive Closes Jun 25, 2022 Languages English Field Creative writing Employment category Full-time Location Texas Academic Hiring Standards Hiring standards

Lecturer for English at University of Illinois

University of Illinois, English

Lecturer Department of English University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The Department of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,…

Location details Champaign-Urbana, Illinois Closes Jun 11, 2022 Languages English Field Creative writing Employment category Full-time Location Illinois

Visiting Assistant Professor of English: Creative Writing – Poetry

Centenary College of Louisiana – HR

Centenary College of Louisiana invites applicants for a one-year Visiting Assistant Professor position in English beginning August 2022. We seek…

Location details Sherveport, LA Salary commensruate to experience Closes Jun 5, 2022 Languages English Field Creative writing Employment category Full-time Location Louisiana

Associate Director of the University Writing Program

Northern Arizona University

Associate Director of the University Writing Program Location: English Regular/Temporary: Regular Job ID: 606193 Full/Part Time: Full-Time Workplace…

Location details Flagstaff, AZ Closes Jun 4, 2022 Languages English Field Technical and business writing, Creative writing Employment category Full-time Location Arizona