How to become a writer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
- specialist training or self-teaching
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
You could also do a postgraduate writing course to get into this career.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You can do several things to develop your writing skills and learn more about the world of publishing. These include:
- joining a local writers' group
- entering writing competitions
- blogging online
You might be able to apply directly for technical writer jobs in industries like engineering or pharmaceuticals, if you've got the relevant background and qualifications.
Experience in journalism could also help you to get into travel or broadcast writing.
You could work in TV or radio as a scriptwriter. BBC Writersroom has information, advice and workshops on writing and submitting scripts.
You may be able to publish and sell your work without formal training or qualifications, if you're exceptionally talented and have taught yourself. A literary agent may be able to help you with this.
- creative ideas that will sell
- good research skills
- the ability 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.
You'll need a portfolio of your work to show to employers and commissioning editors.
You'll find more advice about careers in writing through the National Association of Writers' Groups.
The Poetry Society and Writers & Artists have more details on writing competitions.
Writers & Artists also has industry advice on being a writer and submitting work for publishing or self-publishing. It publishes the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which has information on literary agents, publishers, newspapers and magazines.