Creative writing

Jennie Owen, volunteering adviser
March, 2016

Success as a writer can depend on individual determination and perseverance; however, the skills gained on a creative writing course are useful in a range of careers

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.

Work experience

Creative writing is predominantly a vocational course; so you will have learned how to bring your ideas to fruition and express them in words. The skills gained outside of your study are vital too, helping you to demonstrate other abilities and interests that may be relevant to an employer.

Many students undertaking a creative writing degree build a publishing portfolio by submitting their work to journals or anthologies, entering competitions, or having their scripts performed by local drama groups. Others may write for student newspapers or magazines, volunteer at schools, or get involved with writers’ groups. Evidencing such activities will increase your employability and help to establish your reputation as a writer.

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

Typical employers

As a creative writing graduate you may seek work as a writer on a self-employed freelance basis. However, you could also find opportunities with a variety of employers.

Public and private sector organisations such as educational institutions, retail companies, local and national government, media companies, and charitable organisations employ graduates in a range of roles, including:

  • administration;
  • editing and publishing;
  • general management;
  • technical writing.

Other typical employers include:

  • advertising marketing and public relations agencies;
  • primary, secondary, further and higher education institutions;
  • media organisations.

Find information on employers in marketing, advertising and PR, teaching and education, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

As well as acquiring specialist knowledge of creative writing, you will also develop effective written and oral communication skills. Other strengths you can evidence on your CV include:

  • creative thinking and problem solving;
  • independent working;
  • time management and organisation;
  • IT skills;
  • planning and researching written work;
  • presentation skills;
  • negotiation skills;
  • editorial and proof reading skills.

Further study

Creative writing graduates often go on to study an MA or PhD in a variety of fields. Others may decide to undertake a more vocational route and study courses related to teaching, journalism, librarianship or publishing.

Vocational courses allow you to study in an area in which you would like to have a career.

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

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.

Further study12.4
Working and studying5.6
Graduate destinations for creative writing
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and bar work31.5
Arts, design and media13.1
Secretarial and numerical clerks12.5
Marketing, PR and sales8.9
Types of work entered in the UK

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.