Careers in Writing


Looking for an entry level job or internship in writing? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

One of my favorite authors of this decade is J.K. Rowling. And what a story she has! She went from sketching a rough outline of a series of stories on a napkin to selling millions of books and having an entire portion of an amusement park dedicated to her characters and story. Grab a butterbeer while we delve into her career–and more generally, that of a writer.

Writing Entry Level Jobs and Internships

Photo Credit: Flickr user Colin ZHU

Writing Career Guide Overview

  1. What a writer does
  2. A typical day for a writer
  3. Salary and career ladders for a writer
  4. Best locations for a writer
  5. Pros and cons to being a writer
  6. What you need to know to be a writer
  7. Things you should do to get started as a writer

What a Writer Does

A writer is a person who produces literature or nonfiction, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, essays, news articles, blog posts, or other literary art. In doing so, writers use language to portray ideas and images. There is a wide range of opportunities available to writers, everything from working at a local newspaper, to content development for websites and social media, to writing comedy for Jon Stewart, to penning your own book or blog on a topic you’re passionate about.

A Typical Day for a Writer

While a typical day for a writer generally revolves around writing, here are a few things you might devote time to:

  • Researching: in person, on computer, etc.
  • Reading
  • Editing
  • Emailing with your agent, employer, interviewees, and other writers
  • Book signings
  • Interviews
  • Giving speeches
  • Attending conferences
  • Updating a Twitter or Facebook feed
  • Crafting a blog post

Salary and Career Ladders for a Writer

A writer on average makes between $14,000-$97,000 yearly. You can switch into editing, taking on a Senior Editor gig ($39,000-$99,000 yearly) or work as an editor at a magazine ($27,000-$93,000). Or perhaps copywriting interests you (they make about $26,000-$76,000 yearly).

Best Lcations for a Writer

  • New York, New York
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • San Francisco, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Pros and Cons to Being a Writer

  • Variety of projects
  • Opportunity to work from home
  • Creative thinking
  • Tight deadlines and odd hours
  • Low pay in most cases
  • Not much team work
  • Writer’s block!

What You Need to Know to be a Writer

While there are no definite requirements for being a writer, you’ll have a solid background if you’ve got a college degree (or even better an MFA) in writing, English, or journalism. You also might need to be well-versed in APA or Chicago style. Beyond that it’s most important that you do a lot of writing! Getting your work into a couple publications is always a good start. Maybe there’s a newspaper you could freelance for, or you could start your own blog.

Things you should do to get started as a writer

Required reading for a writer


Blogs and Websites

Networking opportunities for a writer

Job search resources for a writer

Careers Related to Writing

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Next Century Publishing Las Vegas, NV
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jobs San Francisco, CA
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Asynchrony Denver, CO
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Visiting Angels Ann Arbor, MI
MetroPlains Management Devils Lake, ND

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Writing

The Wirecutter Logo

The Wirecutter - The Wirecutter is a site that offers “a list of the best electronics and gadgetry" that will help you make the absolute best purchasing decision.

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GuideSpark Logo

GuideSpark - GuideSpark is a Menlo Park, CA based company that offers a “robust employee communications platform” to make HR's job easier.

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Huckberry Logo

Huckberry - Huckberry is a San Francisco, CA based company that “is like your favorite store, your grandpa’s favorite store, and your favorite magazine all rolled into one.”

See the complete Huckberry profile

Academy of American Poets Logo

Academy of American Poets - The Academy of American Poets is an NYC based membership organization that is “fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets.”

See the complete Academy of American Poets profile

eponym Logo

eponym - eponym is a company based in Brooklyn, NY that helps "the world’s most exciting brands create and distribute their own eyewear.”

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Northstar Travel Media Logo

Northstar Travel Media - Northstar Travel Media is a Secaucus, NJ based “business information and marketing solutions provider to the $300 billion U.S. travel, tourism and meetings industries.”

See the complete Northstar Travel Media profile

SheKnows Logo

SheKnows - SheKnows is a Scottsdale, AZ based “women’s lifestyle media platform” that “allows brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale.”

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Quarasan Logo

Quarasan - Quarasan is a Chicago, IL based “full service conceptual developer of content for publishers of educational materials and products.”

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Fashion Update Logo

Fashion Update - Fashion Update is a New York, NY based company that offers tours that will help you “find designer name merchandise for less than a fraction of the retail cost.”

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StyleCaster Media Group Logo

StyleCaster Media Group - StyleCaster Media Group is based in NYC and aims “to bring style to the people, empowering millions of readers to discover and share their style.”

See the complete StyleCaster Media Group profile

The Music Center Logo

The Music Center - The Music Center is “one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country."

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Xamarin Logo

Xamarin - Xamarin is a San Francisco, CA based company allows developers to write “apps entirely in C#, sharing the same code on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac.”

See the complete Xamarin profile

Trefis Logo

Trefis - Trefis is a Boston, MA based company that has developed a set of tools that “helps you understand how a company’s products impact its stock price.”

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Forensicon Logo

Forensicon - Forensicon is a Chicago, IL based “firm specializing in computer forensics analysis and consulting."

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Hayneedle Logo

Hayneedle - Hayneedle is based in Omaha, NE and “has become one of the nation’s largest online retailers, offering more than 3,000 brands and nearly 2 million products for the home.”

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Healthline Logo

Healthline - Healthline is a San Francisco, CA based company that has built “the largest, most clinically accurate classification of health information available on the web.”

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Ahalogy Logo

Ahalogy - Ahalogy is a Cincinnati, OH based company that is “pioneering the science of discovery on Pinterest.”

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Whalerock Industries Logo

Whalerock Industries - Whalerock Industries, based in Santa Monica, CA, brings together the "best and brightest minds to create world-class content, spanning all mediums and screens.”

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Houzz Logo

Houzz - Houzz is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers “a collaborative platform for home remodeling and design."

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Worthee Logo

Worthee - Worthee is a Chicago, IL based company that offers premium dog walking and care services through a simple mobile app.

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FierceMarkets Logo

FierceMarkets - FierceMarkets is a Washington, DC based company that specializes in business-to-business media, publications, and marketing.

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American Conservatory Theater Logo

American Conservatory Theater - American Conservatory Theater is a San Francisco based non-profit that aims to "renew, and reinvent the rich theatrical traditions that are our collective legacy."

See the complete American Conservatory Theater profile

Loverly Logo

Loverly - Loverly is a New York, NY based "one-stop-shop for wedding planning where brides and grooms find ideas, people to hire and things to buy.”

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Animoto Logo

Animoto - Animoto is a New York, NY based company that helps regular people make and share extraordinary videos of anything imaginable.

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Lyft Logo

Lyft - Lyft is a San Francisco, CA based company that offers “on-demand ridesharing” in nearly 20 cities across the country.

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FaithStreet Logo

FaithStreet - FaithStreet is a New York, NY based company that helps people find a place to worship and helps religious communities find new members and gather donations.

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CafeMom Logo

CafeMom - CafeMom is an NYC based digital media company for moms that reaches more than 20 million users every month

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TextLinkBrokers Logo

TextLinkBrokers - TextLinkBrokers is a Mesa, AZ based company that services the “needs of professional SEM agencies and individuals looking for high quality link development.”

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Food52 Logo

Food52 - Food52 is a New York, NY based online community that brings “cooks together from all over to exchange recipes and ideas and to support each other in the kitchen.”

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The National Center on Time & Learning Logo

The National Center on Time & Learning - The National Center on Time & Learning is a Boston, MA non-profit that “is dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement."

See the complete The National Center on Time & Learning profile

Black Diamond Equipment Logo

Black Diamond Equipment - Black Diamond Equipment is a Salt Lake City, UT based company that is “all about climbing and skiing.”

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Society for Science & the Public Logo

Society for Science & the Public - The Society for Science & the Public is a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.”

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Mirrorball Logo

Mirrorball - Mirrorball is a New York, NY based consumer engagement agency “that connects brands and people through a fusion of social media and live experience.”

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Upworthy Logo

Upworthy - Upworthy curates online content that is both awesome and meaningful. They call themselves “a mission-driven media company.”

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Social Media Beast Logo

Social Media Beast - Social Media Beast is a Chicago, IL based agency that is helping some of Chicago’s most notable brands do social right.

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Poetry Foundation Logo

Poetry Foundation - The Poetry Foundation is a Chicago, IL based “independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.”

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The Telling Room Logo

The Telling Room - The Telling Room is a Portland, ME based non-profit that aims “to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for students.”

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Patient Conversation Media Logo

Patient Conversation Media - Patient Conversation Media is an Austin, TX based company that publishes “doctor-reviewed health-related content online for consumers.”

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Panthera Logo

Panthera - Panthera is a New York, NY based non-profit that “is the world’s leading conservation organization devoted exclusively to the protection of wild cats.”

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I Will Teach You To Be Rich Logo

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a business that was started by Ramit Sethi to help people achieve their career and financial dreams.

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Digital First Media Logo

Digital First Media - Digital First Media is an NYC based group of news-focused companies that reaches “61 million Americans each month across 18 states.”

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Brit + Co Logo

Brit + Co. - Brit + Co. is a San Francisco, CA based “online platform and e-commerce company that inspires and enables the digital generation to make.”

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Base CRM Logo

Base CRM - Base CRM offers is a Chicago, IL based company that “is paving the way by building the next generation of CRM software.”

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Treatspace Logo

Treatspace - The Internet plays a huge role in how people find doctors, and Pittsburgh, PA based Treatspace wants to ensure that patients accurate, helpful information.

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Youth America Grand Prix Logo

Youth America Grand Prix - Youth America Grand Prix is an NYC based non-profit that offers $250,000 through “the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition."

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Adpearance Logo

Adpearance - Adpearance is a Portland, OR based digital marketing agency that crafts campaigns that bring traditional marketing principles together with new tactics.

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Lean Startup Machine Logo

Lean Startup Machine - Lean Startup Machine is an NYC based company that offers “intensive three-day workshops” that teach “entrepreneurs and innovators how to build disruptive products.”

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Nitro Logo

Nitro - Nitro is a San Francisco, CA based company that builds “easy-to-use products that help people work smarter with digital documents.”

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UrbanBound Logo

UrbanBound - UrbanBound is based in Chicago and "helps companies offer a comprehensive transition system to their newly hired and transferring employees" over the web.

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CB Insights Logo

CB Insights - CB Insights is based in NYC and “helps you track the world’s most promising private companies, their investors, their acquirers and the industries they compete in.”

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