The Glossary of Writing Careers will never be complete. You’ll find writers who are programmers, stock traders, and business executives. This is a list of common careers for people who write.

Glossary of Writing Careers Tips

This list is best used to get a general idea of a writing career. If you see something you like, take the time to research the career and learn more.

Acquisitions Editor

Most often associated with book publishers, an acquisitions editor supervises the process of finding potential writers to write for their publisher. They often are in charge of negotiations with the writer.

Glossary of writing careersAgent’s Assistant

An agent’s assistant does whatever tasks need to be done for a literary or talent agent. They often act as manuscript readers for an agent, who generally receives far more manuscripts than they have time to read.

Assistant Editor

An assistant editor serves under the managing editor or editor-in-chief. They generally take over some of their duties, such as managing writers or making story assignments. Often they are assigned a specific section within a publication or broadcast. If so, they may also be called a section editor.


An author is what people classically think of when they think of writers. An author writes books. These books can be fiction or non-fiction.


A columnist is a writer of an ongoing, regularly-scheduled feature for a publication. They may also syndicate their articles to multiple publications.

Content Writer

Content writers create a variety of content that is generally used in websites or other online sources.

Copy Editor

A copy editor prepares text for publication. They proofread articles and often act as fact-checkers as well.


A copywriter writes advertising and product descriptions. This is known as copy. They write copy for catalogs, scripts, brochures, direct mail, and so forth. Because of the work, they are sometimes called advertising writers or marketing writers.

Critic or Reviewer

A critic evaluates the quality of things. This includes books, films, food, art, or theater. You can review almost anything.


The editor-in-chief is in charge of the content and production of a publication. This is a managerial position. They rarely edit others’ writing.

Editorial Assistant

An editorial assistant provides administrative support. They work for for editors, associate editors, and writing/editorial staff. They often perform scheduling, filing, note-taking, and other duties. Editorial assistants may or may not write or edit. Copy clerk is an alternate title.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor

ESL instructors teach speaking and writing in English to students who learned a different language. They often work in foreign countries.

English Teacher

And English teacher works with high school or junior high school classes. They teach English grammar and writing.

Gag Writer

A gag writer writes for cartoonists, comedians, or shows needing humor. They write in short form. Joke writer is another title.


A ghostwriter writes on behalf of another person. They give the authorship credit to that person.

Grant Writer

A grant writer researches and responds to grant opportunities. They work for an organization such as a non-profit. Grant proposals must often adhere to strict rules. The rules are given by the organization providing the grant.


An indexer analyzes the text of a book or other published materials. They create an alphabetized or otherwise organized list of key terms and their locations.


A journalist collects, writes, edits, and presents news. They write for the Internet, magazines, radio, television, and newspapers. A journalist may be a permanent employee of a publication or media outlet. They may be independent.

Literary Agent

A literary agent represents an author. They pitch to publishers. Their job is to get a manuscript read and sold.

Managing Editor

A managing editor administers and directs editorial activities. They work for a magazine, newspaper, book publisher, or other media outlet.

Manuscript Reader

A manuscript reader reviews submissions from writers. They weed out less suitable work. Then they pass on the best of the submissions to an editor such as an acquisitions editor. Manuscript evaluator is a similar title.


They write and then perform an anecdote or series of anecdotes. Monologist is a more prestigious title than a storyteller. They usually perform for an adult audience.

Production Editor

Production editors often have duties similar to a copyeditor. They are focused on putting the article into its printed form. They use page design packages such as FrameMaker, InDesign, or QuarkXpress.

Public Relations Writer

A public relations (PR) writer creates materials that promote a business or other entities’ image with the public.


A publicist’s job is half public relations and half advertising. A publicist promotes an individual, business, or group. They arrange for and write articles or videos. Publicists schedule interviews, lectures, or other public appearances. They also arrange for paid advertising sometimes.


The publisher is in charge of a publication. Often, the publisher is an owner or has some financial stake. They oversee the preparation and distribution of printed material for public sales. This includes books, magazines, and newspapers. They set editorial policy with the aid of an editorial board.


A researcher must provide or confirm information for publication. They do not receive writing credits for their work. Fact checker is a similar title.

Resume Writer

A resume writer works with job seekers to create resumes and cover letters. They may create other materials that will help land a job.

Scriptwriter (Business)

A business scriptwriter writes sales scripts, training videos, and other presentations.

Scriptwriter (Creative)

A scriptwriter writes material to be used by performers or presenters. This is for a filmed or staged production. It could be a movie, commercial, show, play, or other media.


A speaker lectures on a topic or series of topics for an audience. This is often in an educational or motivational capacity. Another title is a lecturer.


A speechwriter writes presentations, lectures, and speeches for other people.

Staff Writer

This is a writer employed by a business, publication, or broadcaster. They write articles and rewrite press releases.


A storyteller is a performer who writes and then performs aloud a story. This is often associated with children’s tales.

Technical Editor

A technical editor reviews the work of technical writers or technical professionals. They make sure it is accurate from a technical, legal, and editing standpoint.

Technical Writer

A technical writer analyzes and writes about specialized subjects. This includes such as computers, engineering, science, medicine, and law.


A translator rewrites works in one or more languages.

Writing Consultant

A writing consultant is an editor-for-hire that examines someone’s writing. They look for ways to improve their work.

Writing Instructor

A writing instructor works at the college level but without tenure. They teach one or more writing classes about composition or grammar.

Writing Professor

A writing professor is a tenured instructor. They have been published many times. They are often required to teach only two or three classes. The rest of their time writing goes to writing new works and mentoring students.

Writing Tutor

A writing tutor works with another person to improve their writing. Unlike a writing consultant, the tutor focuses on a person’s general writing skill.

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