Success as a writer depends on individual determination and perseverance. However, the skills gained on a creative writing course are useful in a range of careers
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Advertising copywriter
- Arts administrator
- Creative director
- Digital copywriter
- Editorial assistant
- Magazine journalist
- Newspaper journalist
- Web content manager
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Academic librarian
- Film director
- Information officer
- Marketing executive
- Primary school teacher
- Public librarian
- Public relations officer
- Secondary school teacher
- Social media manager
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Building a portfolio of written work, especially any that you've had published, will help to evidence your writing skill and establish your reputation as a writer.
You can practice your craft 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, or approaching local drama groups to see if they will use your scripts.
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.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
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
- general businesses - in an administrative or general management position
- national government, library or charitable organisation.
Skills for your CV
As well as acquiring specialist knowledge of creative writing, you'll have developed effective written and oral communication skills through your degree. Other strengths you can evidence 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
- planning and researching written work - you'll be adept at this from from turning ideas into well-rounded stories
- presentation skills
- editorial and proofreading skills - key skills gained from producing accurately written content
- negotiation skills - learning how to market your work effectively gives you the skill to negotiate in other workplace settings.
As a creative writing graduate you can go on to further study in creative writing, or undertake an MA or PhD in a variety of other fields. A common option is to pursue a vocational route 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, should you choose not to continue as a full-time writer.
What do creative writing graduates do?
Almost one in ten creative writing graduates who are in employment in the UK are working as authors, writers and translators.
|Working and studying||8.1|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||26.4|
|Arts, design and media||17.7|
|Marketing, PR and sales||11.3|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||9.7|
For a detailed breakdown of what creative writing graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.