What Can I Do With a Creative Writing Degree?

Although some people might consider Creative Writing degrees impractical, the only real limit to the number of jobs you can find with your degree is your imagination. Creative writers excel at being imaginative. As routine jobs are increasingly automated or outsourced to low-wage countries, the future of employment will, according to The Economist, be in fields that require intelligence and creativity, things Creative Writing graduates possess in abundance. Many different opportunities are open to creative writers including both salaried positions and more entrepreneurial or freelance possibilities.

Selling Your Creative Writing

Although very few publishers pay for poetry, you can earn money by publishing fiction. Genre or niche fiction such as romance, teen fantasy, science fiction, and detective fiction can provide a steady income for a skilled and reliable author. You can sell shorter works to magazines and longer ones to book publishers or self-publish and self-promote, especially over social media. Screenwriters can pitch original scripts or look for work in film or television studios. A growing area of opportunity is writing video games, either as an independent or as part of a writing team for a game company.

Freelance Writing

When you study Creative Writing, you learn the craft of putting words together in an interesting and vivid manner. These are the skills needed for successful writing in any genre. Although traditional print magazines and newspapers are losing readership, the vast proliferation of internet sites means that almost all types of businesses need some form of writing for their websites. Skilled writers often work as freelancers, connecting with clients through platforms or social media, and writing articles, blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, and other materials for various internet sites. Many writers also maintain their own websites and create revenue through allowing companies to place advertising on their sites.

Teaching Writing

If you love reading and writing, you might enjoy sharing your appreciation of creative writing with students. Writers with a bachelor’s degree and proper certification can teach in schools. With terminal degrees such as an M.F.A. or PhD in Creative Writing, one can teach part or full time at the university level. Creative writers often offer classes in less conventional settings, working in prisons, nursing homes, community centers and veterans’ centers, sometimes working with writing therapists.

Salaried Jobs

If the insecure life of a freelancer or entrepreneur is not for you, many traditional jobs in fields such as advertising, marketing, and technical writing employ people with creative writing backgrounds. Your writing skills will qualify you to work in corporate communications doing everything from creating company newsletters to curating social media feeds and from editing technical documents to participating in strategic branding teams.

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With the rapid pace of technological change and the growth of global supply chains, simple, mechanical jobs are disappearing. Increasingly, what is most valuable in the new economy is creativity. A Creative Writing degree builds the skills to do jobs that machines cannot do and prepares you to succeed in a wide range of careers either as a freelancer or entrepreneur or in innovative companies that value your verbal skills and imagination.