Find out more about being a writer
Writers produce written work for publication, broadcasting, performance or filming. Their writing can be fiction or non-fiction, and includes a wide range of material, eg: novels, non-fiction books, short stories, plays, poems, newspaper features theatre, television, radio and film scripts new media, such as mobile phone content and computer games scripts.
Varies from less than £5,000 to over £100,000 a year.
There are no set working hours and freelance writers often determine their own hours of work. However, they may have to take into account other responsibilities, for example a second job. Some writers may have to work to deadlines. Writers who are employed tend to work 35 to 40 hours a week. Freelance writers usually work at home, sitting at a desk or a computer.
There are no set entry qualifications to become a writer. Relevant higher education courses include English, creative writing, writing for stage, screen and radio, scriptwriting for film and television, journalism, literary studies, communication, media studies and performing arts. Foundation degrees and BTEC higher national diplomas (HND) are useful. Alternative qualifications, such as suitable SQA units higher national certificates (HNC), can be acceptable. Honours degrees are also useful. Short creative writing courses can be helpful.
A writer should have an excellent command of language and good creative writing skills, be self-disciplined and highly motivated, have basic IT skills for word processing and for research via the internet, enjoy working with words.