Searching for creative writing jobs from home? We can help! Discover 9 rewarding jobs for creative writers and find your next opportunity today.
If you’ve been dreaming about taking on creative writing jobs from home, but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of nine stimulating and rewarding creative writing careers that you may not previously have considered — all of which are an excellent way to get your foot in the door of the publishing world!
Throughout and beyond the global Covid19 pandemic, employers have realised that the traditional, office-based nine to five, book-ended with a gruelling commute, isn’t the only valid way of working. In fact, you can work flexibly and comfortably in these creative writing jobs from home.
But just what kind of work is out there for skilled creative writers like yourself?
1. Book/ Novel Writer
If, like me, you grew up reading by a flashlight under the covers, staying up late to find out what happened next, you might just have the passion, drive, and love of good story-telling needed to become a book or novel writer! The very scope of these projects, which can vary from 10,000 to 100,000 words, might seem intimidating at first, but the wonderful thing about this path is that there are many different lengths, varieties, and genres of freelance fiction writing jobs to choose from, and different ways to go about them.
Fiction ghostwriting jobs, particularly those within agencies and publishing houses, allow you to benefit from a detailed brief, a clear outline, hands-on guidance, and more often than not, a team of in-house editors, formatters, and project managers, all united by a single goal — to help your writing shine!
If you’re one of the many creative writers out there with a knack for witty dialogue, gripping descriptions, and pacing, but struggle with plotting and ideas, ghostwriting fiction could be one of the best creative writing jobs you ever have! And if you like to dig in and invest your time and energy in one big project at a time, ghostwriting a novel can equate to a part-time or even full-time pay check.
As a ghostwriter, you’ll be commissioned for various creative writing jobs that will be published under your client’s name (or, if you work for an agency, a pseudonym created in-house). Ghostwriting projects make wonderful entry level creative writing jobs, because they can include fiction, non-fiction, marketing content, blog posts, and more — this means that you can tailor your workload and your client base to your experience and interests.
If you’re an aspiring or established writer with a particular ‘brand’, ghostwriting also allows you to experiment with genres and forms you may not usually try, and, as any good writer understands, you can only benefit by continuing your writing education and expanding your horizons!
People who hire ghostwriters (through platforms like Fiver and Upwork) often have a burgeoning story or lively characters in their heads, but depend on the skills of knowledgeable creative writers to bring them to life, making ghostwriting a satisfying and collaborative process. You can take on a diverse workload, or create your own specific niche in your favourite sub-genre — that’s the beauty and freedom of ghostwriting!
3. Short Story Writer
If you’re more of a sprinter than a marathon runner, don’t be put off by the first two categories! It’s very possible to make a living without committing to book-length projects. In fact, thanks to technology and the proliferation of online communities and databases, it’s easier than ever to find online creative writing jobs in the short story market.
Whether you enjoy writing Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or gritty and insightful literary drama, there are countless online spaces like Duotrope and Submission Grinder where you can view popular publications and upcoming competitions in your chosen genre, read submission guidelines and check out the journal or magazine’s rate (which can vary from a flat fee per story to a specified amount per word), and even keep track of which stories you’ve submitted to which market.
It can take a little time and research to find your specific corner of the short story market, but if you’re willing to spend some time searching and taking notes, you’ll be amazed at the number of creative writing jobs available.
If you enjoy working with people and inspiring others, you might enjoy copywriting. As a professional copywriter, you’ll spend your day helping brands tell their story through webpages, social media, ads, emails, video scripts, blog content, and more. You might spend one day extolling the virtues of an up and coming gym franchise, the next, compiling a list of the best organic cleaning products to use around the home. If you’ve got an instinct for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok, there are plenty of brands and companies out there eager to benefit from your digital fluency.
Copywriting involves creating and editing written content that will then be published on the company’s website, in its email communications, in its advertisements, or as part of fundraising campaigns. You might be writing speeches for your co-workers, or scripts for video or audio that the company plans to release. Be sure to spend some time reading about the difference between “B2C” copywriting, and “B2B” copywriting, as most (but not all!) copywriters tend to specialise in one: the first, B2C, is shorthand for “business to customer”, and comprises the marketing and outreach techniques already discussed; the second, “B2B”, stands for “business to business”, that is, the internal communications from one company to another.
Each of these creative writing jobs has slightly different requirements and styles, meaning you can find the one that best suits you.
5. Blog Writer
When thinking of writing from home jobs, not everyone realises that working as a blog writer is a great career path for creative writers with a specific knowledge or passion about a particular industry or theme. For instance, if you are deeply interested in astrology, women’s health, golf, marine biology, travel, automobile repair, knitting and crochet, you can actually get paid to write about your obsession!
Many bloggers start with a theme or subject that drives them, and take a deep dive into the culture surrounding it, writing product reviews, how-to guides, ‘journal’-like entries of personal experiences, and more. And these pieces don’t have to be (in fact, they shouldn’t be) overly long — most blog posts range from 500–100 words. Basically, if you love it, you can blog about it! And You can monetise your posts through sponsored “guest” blogs on established channels, and by using services like Google AdSense.
Whether you’re into theatre, feature-length movies, or short films, scriptwriting is one of the more varied and adaptable jobs for creative writers. You can break into scriptwriting by joining film-making communities and theatre groups (whether online or in person) and meet directors, producers, actors, and editors who’ll bring your vision to life!
Don’t be put off by the idea that you ‘must’ write an hours-long production — many writers break into theatre by having shorter monologues and plays performed at scratch nights and open mics, or even hiring a room above a bar or town hall to have their short piece performed (or in the case of a film, shown) to family, friends, and selected reviewers or people in the industry. These pieces can be five to thirty minutes long, and are an excellent way of finding your voice and learning the tricks of the trade.
Scriptwriting relies on a good ear for authentic and organic sounding dialogue and character-driven narrative — it doesn’t centre long atmospheric or descriptive passages in the same way that fiction does. You can begin as a scriptwriter by listening to the way people around you speak: notice their colloquialisms, their sentence fragments, their own unique quirks or expressions, the mistakes in their grammar, and local dialects.
Pay attention to what they say, but more importantly, listen carefully to what they don’t say: people rarely speak directly, or openly speak their minds. They might hide behind passive aggression, or omission, or polite-peace-keeping. You can infuse your dialogue with these to maintain tension in a convincing and suspenseful way.
Poetry is one of the most diverse and adaptable written art forms. Poems are often (but not always) deeply personal and expressive of an experience or an idea, so the good news is that there are no “wrong” ways to express yourself. That isn’t to say that poetry doesn’t have rules or structures — there are different poetic forms and tropes, just as there are discrete genres of fiction and drama.
You can begin your journey by checking out poetry collections at your local library, or downloading a few eBooks, and seeing what styles resonate with you. You can also join writing groups that offer critiques (though be sure to choose one whose members are respectful and constructive), and research spoken word events in your area. If you’re feeling brave, you might want to try reciting your poetry to a live audience. This is a great way to gain some recognition, and it’s the first step that many professional poets take at the beginning of their career.
8. Outline Writer
Creative writers and ghostwriters alike, when working on large-scale, book-length products, often work in collaboration with an outline writer who happens to be an expert in the manuscript writer’s chosen subject matter or genre. An outline writer knows the key facts or story points that are essential to the finished book, and knows how to structure them in a compelling way that will keep the readers turning pages and coming back for more.
As an outline writer, you will usually create a chapter-by-chapter document detailing the key information or story-points that a book must include. If you’re working on outlining a fiction series, you might create a character bible for the ghostwriter (who may or may not have worked on the previous books), as well as worldbuilding documents (usually for fantasy or sci-fi, but also sometimes for romance) to ensure consistency in your fictional setting.
These guide the writer through the process, ensuring that the story flows smoothly, hits the relevant genre ‘beats’ experienced readers will expect, and needs minimal developmental editing once the first draft is complete.
We writers would be utterly lost without our editors. They are the lifeblood of an industry that relies on clear communication and gripping storytelling. A good editor can take another person’s writing to the next level, picking up on things the writer has missed, and offering a new perspective — after all, nobody is an objective observer of their own work. An editor can help a writer regain perspective when the latter can’t see the forest for the trees.
But before you decide to become an editor, you should know that there are different kinds of editing. A developmental editor addresses big picture issues, like factual errors, plot holes, slow pacing, characterisation that could be improved upon, and overall structure. A copyeditor looks at the more granular issues that might arise, such as spelling and grammar, sentence structure, and individual words and phrases.
A proof-reader is the final set of eyes that goes over a nearly-finished piece of writing: they don’t make substantial changes to the content at this stage, rather, they are there to catch anything that slipped through the net on the previous rounds. There’s an old aphorism that tells us “writing is rewriting”, and as an editor, you’ll help guide writers through these rewrites!
There are a wide range of creating writing jobs available that allow you to work flexibly from the comfort of your own home. If you’re interested in writing novels and novellas, why not check out available positions as a manuscript ghostwriter for Relay Publishing? Alternatively, if you’re excited by the idea of helping creative writers polish their work and reach their full potential, why not apply for an editing role at Relay? And if you’re so excited by these nine exciting creative writing roles that you don’t know which to choose, you can always take a look at Relay Publishing’s current job positions to find the perfect creative writing role for you!
Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create books and for writers to earn a living from their work. Since then, Relay has sold 3+ million copies and worked with 100s of writers on bestselling titles such as Defending Innocence, The Alveria Dragon Akademy Series and Rancher’s Family Christmas.
Harry oversees the creative direction of the company, and works to develop a supportive collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within in order to fulfill our mission to create unputdownable books.