‘You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. That’s just how it is. It’s like learning an instrument’
Writing is medium of expression intended as a lasting form of communication, an enduring personal interaction, or as a succinct means to convey ideas and feelings to others.Writers are involved in the creation and development of works of fiction and non-fiction. This includes various forms such as poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, scripts for theater, screen and radio, non-fiction, magazine and newspaper articles, web-content and much more.
Many trainees begin their career working in local media or publications with a small audience. After building up their portfolio, writers can aim to work for larger media organizations with a wider audience.Within this domain Technical Writing has a varied scope in different business environments where writers are also employed as medical writers, health writers and speechwriters among many other fields.
As someone with a flair for writing, you can explore careers in publishing, journalism, education, linguistics and technical writing.
1. Career Overview
Some Career Options in this domain.
- Fiction Writer
Fiction writing is the composition of non-factual texts and is often produced as a story meant to entertain or convey an author’s point of view. The result of this may be a short story, novel, screenplay, or drama series. Fiction writers deploy unique diction, sentence structure, phrasing, dialogue, and other aspects of language to create style or convey a mood. This profession requires a flair for writing combined with creativity and storytelling.
- Non-Fiction Writer
Nonfiction is a narrative that strictly presents real-life events, established facts, and factual information. Works of nonfiction are meant to be accurate. This implies that magazine articles, newspaper stories, encyclopedia entries, interviews and textbooks are all nonfiction. As a non fiction writer you can choose to write about cooking, art, travel, science, religion, psychology among the many different topics as per your interest and skill.
A poet is a creative artist of imaginative and expressive capabilities and special sensitivity to the medium. Poetry is the most compressed and densest of all writing. The poem can turn the elephant from a museum specimen into the highest concrete visual image that comes alive in the mind of the reader. Poetry has been a powerful form of expression used to convey atrocities, start a rebellion or express deep emotions.
- Book Editor
Book editors are responsible for one of the most important steps in book publishing which is to take a manuscript and turn it into a polished product ready to be printed. Editors are involved with making sure that a book flows seamlessly; checking it for correct word usage, and improving the general feel of the manuscript. Another aspect of an editor’s job entails looking for good content and aspiring authors with linguistic potential.
- Book Reviewer
A book review is both a description and an evaluation of a book. As a reviewer, your main focus while writing a review would have to on the book’s characters, storyline, and message. Book reviewers are required to identify, summarize, and most importantly, evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented.
A large part of good journalism is the quality of writing used by the journalist to express a story, present views and engage the reader. Consider this career path if you are inclined towards being a journalist for print media such as newspapers, magazines and online publications.
To read more journalism options: Click on the MEDIA LINK.
- Teacher: Languages
As a language teacher, you would be involves with design and implementation of curriculum that develops linguistic skills in students. These facilitators are either very good speakers of a certain language and teach students how to speak a certain language or can be involved with literature and grammar. You can work in informal settings as tutors or group leaders of conversational classes or take jobs in formal settings such as a middle school, high school, or college.
- Historical Linguist
Historical linguistics is the study of not only the history of languages, as the name implies, but also the study of how languages change, and how languages are related to one another. Historical linguist mainly focus on language change (in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics), patterns of language diversification, and methods of reconstruction.
- Computational Linguist
Computational linguists develop computer systems that deal with human language. They need a good understanding of both programming and linguistics that would help them build systems that can perform tasks such as speech recognition (e.g., Siri), speech synthesis, machine translation (e.g., Google Translate), grammar checking, text mining and other “Big Data” applications.
- Speech Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists (SLP), sometimes called speech therapist; assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing and fluency. Speech pathologists complete a degree that encompasses all aspects of communication including speech, writing, reading, signs, symbols and gestures.
A blogger posts regular entries on a personal or business site known as a blog. A blog can be a great way to communicate with other people, and to meet people who share common interests. There are a number of different types of bloggers; personal bloggers, photo bloggers, and corporate bloggers are a few types, among many others.
- Web Content Writer
A website content writer or web writer is a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites. Every website has a specific target audience and requires a different type and level of content. Content should contain words (key words) that attract and retain users on a website. Content written specifically for a website concentrates on a specific topic. It should further be easy to read; offering the information that is structured in clusters or laid out in bullet points.
- Technical Writer
A technical writer prepares clear, concisely written documentation that communicates technical information to a target audience. Some common examples of technical writing include user manuals for software products and services, documentation guides for industrial machinery, and design or engineering specifications for construction projects. In addition to being able to create clearly written communications, a technical writer must also be knowledgeable about the field in which he or she works.
- Academic writer
Academic writing is any writing done to fulfill curriculum requirements of a college or university. Academic books are used by teacher and researchers or presented at conferences. A very broad definition of academic writing could include any writing assignment given in an academic setting.
- Business Writer
Business writers are those writers who work for commercial business magazines and newspapers. Like any other type of article writing, it requires good language skills and relevant domain knowledge. Business writing is considered well paid work, and there are many jobs available both on and offline.
- Speech Writer
A speechwriter prepares speeches for others and works for large companies, public figures or governmental offices. Speech writing is a specialized field of professional writing. Speechwriters often work on projects that include executive board presentations, political speeches and public-relations messages. Speechwriters may also work on scripting projects, and they may write copy for radio and television commercials.
Interpreters convert spoken or sign language statements from one language to another. The job description involves listening to, understanding and memorizing content in the original ‘source’ language, then reproducing statements, questions and speeches in a different ‘target’ language.
A translator is someone who conveys material communicated in one language such as English into another language — like French, Chinese, or Spanish — without losing the literal meaning or nuances of the original work. The key skill of a very good translator is the ability to write well, to express him/herself clearly in the target language. Ideally, a translator is fluent in at least two languages.
For applying to a bachelor’s degree in creative writing a candidate must have completed his/her higher secondary education or 10+2 examination with subjects such as arts or humanities. Students with strong written communication skills in English and high creativity are desirable.
- Entrance Exams
A few universities and institutes conduct entrance exams for the purpose of screening eligible candidates for the different programs in creative writing. The aspirants are advised to check out the official webpage of the desired institute to know more details about the entrance exam.A detailed list is provided below.
Many colleges and universities in India offer a bachelor’s degree such as B.A.(Creative Writing)- Bachelor of Arts B.Sc.(Creative Writing) – Bachelor of Science in Creative Writing and it is a 3 to 4 year course.
- Diploma Options
Numerous colleges and foundations offer a Diploma and certification course in creative writing. The duration of the course ranges between 8 weeks to 1 year with an eligibility of 10+2 with 50% marks.
- Higher Education
Students can pursue Master of Arts in Creative Writing as well as M.Phil.in Creative Writing.
Advances in electronic communications have opened a vast array of opportunities for budding writers. With the advent of online media portals and an increase in publications in all genres of media and communication, there are plenty of opportunities in writing. Online Bloggers today have millions of readers and many have their own books published also. Short stories competitions, literary festivals and online kindle version of books, have opened a wide array of career paths.
Demand for technical writers and writers with expertise in areas such as law, medicine, or economics is expected to increase because of the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information and the need to communicate it to others.Many writers—especially freelance writers—are paid per assignment; giving the flexibility of defining work hours.
A candidate with suitable skills in creative writing can reach out to millions of readers all over the world with his writing ability.
Remuneration in this field varies with the genres of creative writing. At the initial stage, creative writers can earn a payment of Rs. 8000/- to 10,000 per month, depending on the organization they are working for. Within a short span of time, if they are excellent in their work, the pay scale may increase rapidly.
Working as a free lancer is the finest option to earn more. But in the initial stage, one may have to struggle a lot to establish their name in the field.
Reputed publishing houses hire creative writers to write books, articles, reviews and make payment according to the contract which may range in five figures.
As a published author, each time a book is sold, authors are assured of royalty. In this case sky is the limit for renowned creative writers in terms of remuneration.
The scope of technical writing in India is evolving and leading organizations are willing to invest a considerable part of their revenues for aspiring technical writers. Technical Writer salaries range from INR 150,000 – INR700, 000 annually and for Senior Technical Writers from INR 320,000 to INR, 450,000annually.
4. College Information
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges in India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
- The British Council Delhi
- Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), Mumbai,
- Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC), New Delhi,
- RK. Film and Media Academy, Delhi
- Center for Research in Art and Film & Television (CRAFT)
- Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU), Guwahat
- The JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) New Delhi
- The Karnataka State Open University, Karnataka
- Calcutta University offers a Diploma course in Creative Writing
- UP.Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Allahabad offers diploma courses through the distance mode
- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in New Delhi offers a Postgraduate Diploma course in Creative Writing
Funding and Scholarships
Given Below are some institutions offering scholarships
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
- Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships
- The Rhodes Scholarships for India
- Scholarships for International Students at Falmouth University
- Latin America Writing Scholarship
- Binford Writing Scholarship
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges outside of India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
- University of Texas at Austin
- New York University
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Florida State University
- Boston University
- Bath Spa University
- UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
- University of Cambridge creative writing
- City University London
- University of Oxford
6. Top Companies
- Reed Elsevier
- Random House
- McGraw-Hill Education
- Scholastic (corp.)
- Oxford University Press
- China Publishing Group Corporate
- Phoenix Publishing and Media Company
- Readers Digest
- Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd.
- Gyan Books (P) Ltd., New Delhi, India
- National Book Trust
- Ane Books India
- Penguin India
- Chand & Co. Ltd.
- Oxford University Press
- Manas Publications
- Harper Collins Publishers India
- Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.