How To Become A Writer In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can become writers with no experience in Australia.

 

Do you love reading and writing and have a good grasp of the English language? Then a profession as a writer might be worth exploring.


Writers write unique, informative, and engaging content for readers. They research ideas to compile necessary data and write in various formats for different businesses.


You don’t need any formal education to become a writer. However, a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or communication, a relevant course or training could advance your skills and fast-track your success.


Here is a comprehensive guide that discusses everything about being a successful writer and the pathway to materialize your writing aspirations. You will discover the daily work routine of a writer, essential technical and soft skills, earning potential, career opportunities, and much more to get started and prosper in the world of words.

 


1. Who Are Writers?


Writers are professionals who are passionate about reading and have a strong command of the English language. They are creative beings who have exceptional abilities to convey complex ideas clearly and effectively.


They use their expert intellectual and language skills to plan and write original, informative, and engaging pieces of written work in a diverse range of formats that includes websites, blogs, publications, online and offline media, corporate training and, more.


Writers generally work under senior editors, creative directors, and producers.

 


2. What Are The Different Types Of Writers?


The industry offers many career opportunities for talented and skilled writers.

 

Having qualified, you can specialize to work as a full-time/part-time, employed/freelance writer in the following niche roles:

 

  • Literary writers

  • Children’s writers

  • Commercial fiction writers

  • Publishers

  • Crime writers

  • Video games writer

  • Non-fiction writers

  • Romance writers

  • Young adult writers

  • Copywriter

  • Technical Writer

  • Medical writer

  • Legal writer

 


3. Duties And Tasks Of A Writer


Writers can take on varied tasks and duties based on the area in which they specialize. For example:

 

  • Business writers design training packages, enable workplace discussions, recognize documentation issues, and execute communication audits.

  • Technical writers understand and elucidate complex technical information in a comprehensible way. They specialize in IT, finance, or engineering, and are majorly involved in documentation work. They research and prepare information-based material including learning resources, white papers, training videos, system manuals, and user guides.

  • Ghost-writers conduct research and write articles, blogs, stories, or books, on behalf of the other person. 

  • Bloggers write well-researched and enriching blogs for different genres of blog sites.

  • Journalists write content for news reports, articles, feature stories, and commentaries, for journals, magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio on events of public interest. They put forth their critical analysis and reviews about daily news topics, books, plays, and movies in the editorial section of newspapers.

  • Commercial writers write advertisements for cinema screens, press, TV, radio, billboards, brochures, catalogues, and store displays

 

 

Here is a list with the most common work responsibilities of a writer:

 

  • Choose the topic, perform research, gather, and organize relevant material for content creation.

  • Conceptualize ideas for different types of written works such as novels, musicals, plays, educational content, screen productions, information texts, and audio-visual products.

  • Write, revise, proofread, and refine written work before submitting it to the publisher.

  • Refer to original and secondary information sources, interviews, reports and, other forms of media to assemble relevant data.

  • Gather news stories, create, and amend news reports, feature stories, and commentaries for digital and print media.

  • Compile and evaluate facts about events from print media, interviews, observations, and investigations. 

  • Ensure consistent style and proper referencing.

  • Work with scriptwriters, graphic designers, illustrators, and software developers, to create multimedia content.

  • Perform admin tasks such as taking minutes and writing notes and emails for supervisors.

  • Compose written information to promote products and services of a business.

  • Adhere to editorial policies and form decisions about the specific publication content in association with senior editors.

  • Assess the written work to ensure conformity with grammar rules, formatting, style, correctness and legality of information, and authenticity of reference resources.

 


4. Key Skills For Writers


Following skills will lead you to become a successful writer:

 

  • Observant

  • Able to articulate thoughts creatively

  • Excellent command of written English language

  • Concentration

  • Perseverance

  • Dedication

  • Inquisitive

  • Coherent thinker

  • Disciplined

  • Self-inspired

  • Aware of rules and legislation concerning Writing

  • Attention to detail

  • Open-minded

  • Computer and multimedia skills to submit work electronically

  • Social media savvy

  • Good knowledge of SEO practices

  • Work well with others

  • Like staying abreast of industry trends and development

  • Good understanding of media relations

  • Able to perform under pressure and in fast-paced environments,

  • Work to deadlines

  • Social media savvy

  • Reliable and Dependable

  • Persuasive

  • Strong researcher and fact-checker

 


5. What Education Is Needed To Become An Author?


There are no formal qualifications to become and work as a writer in Australia. This is because when you work on different projects, you develop skills and experience that, in turn, improve your employment chances.


However, it is good to complete bachelor’s degree in English, communications, journalism or undertake relevant courses and associated formal training. Not only does it refine your skill but also makes you more appealing to prospective employers to land a role easily.


Many universities and training schools generally require a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English as an entry pre-requisite to the courses and training programs.

 


6. Steps To Become A Writer In Australia


If you want to dedicate yourself to freelance writing, you should allocate specific time to acquire skills, apply for jobs, write content, build a network, and market your content.


Here is the general route to earning an entry role as a writer in Australia:

 


Step 1: Complete Your Education in English


Start your career journey by studying English literature, advanced English, and creative writing in high school. It will greatly help you develop written, and verbal communication skills, and write creatively in varying styles. Some of the good options to consider are:

 

  • Creative Writing Course - TAFE QLD 

  • Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing 

  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

  • Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing

  • Bachelor of Creative Industries (Creative Writing and Publishing)

  • Bachelor of English and Creative Writing

  • Bachelor of Journalism

 

There are several online courses available for people desiring to know how to become a writer online. CopyHour is a great place to learn strategies that world-class copywriters employ to communicate and make a huge sum of money.

 

The skills that they teach are helpful to become a better copywriter and more persuasive with words.

 


Step 2: Start Reading More


To know how to become a writer for a beginner, attending technical workshops and participating in writing competitions will help. Technical courses will help you gain knowledge and skills in web programming, social media, and blogging software.


Another thing that you could do is to start reading more and learn about high-quality writing. Goodreads, and Local Libraries, are a few great learning resources to refine your writing skills and creativity.


“So You Want To Be A Writer” is an amazing guide designed for aspiring writers. It takes one through the key aspects involved in writing such as:

 

  • Understanding different types of writers and deciding the right niche

  • How to and where to look for ideas

  • Where to find your writing community 

  • How to write content and share it with your community

  • How to use technology and start a writing business


In addition to the above, you will also learn brilliant tips from successful writers about the writing process, publishing your written content, working with editors, and publishing your book.

 

“Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and Writing and Life by Anne Lamott are a few other popular books that can provide you a direction when starting a writing career.


The Writing Centre is another great place to access bestselling writing guides and useful practical advice to help inspire you, hone your craft, and help you make the right impression on employers.

 


Step 3: Develop A Habit To Write Daily


Writing is one of the ways to get clarity in thoughts. Clearer thoughts make it easier to translate them into words. When the process becomes easier, you start to enjoy writing, and it effortlessly gets into a habit.


Beginners should commit to writing 1,000 words daily and gradually increase the word count as they become comfortable. The more you write, the better you get especially when you get feedback. Writing tools like Grammarly are beneficial to check and correct mistakes and improve your writing skills.

 


Step 4: Seek Work Experience


Gaining relevant industrial experience gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. Look for work opportunities within the industry, internship programs, or volunteer in organizations to gain knowledge and skills.


Local libraries, local print, and digital media agencies, publisher’s offices, marketing, and social media companies are key places where you may find on-the-job learning experiences.

 


Step 5: Set Up Your Website or Work Portfolio


An impressive work portfolio coupled with some work experience is a good way to demonstrate your competency and make you a potential candidate for the job.


Having a self-hosted website or blog is a professional way to bring your talent in front of a vast online audience, including employers. Upload your written and published works and certificates, along with your services, contact details, and pricing.


Update it regularly as you learn more skills and/or complete more writing projects. Mention your blog/website URL in your resume as it will cast a good impression on the employer and improve your job prospects.

 


Step 6: Look For Paid Gigs


With adequate writing skills and a good work portfolio, you are all set to start your job search. Decide on your pay per hour rate and start applying for part-time and full-time jobs online.


Try out all means to secure a job:

 

  • Upwork, Jobs Board, and Freelancer are some of the reputable platforms to seek job opportunities. 

  • Moreover, there are sites such as Make A Living Writing and The Write Life that accept content on a variety of niches and pay for it. 

  • Several Facebook groups are dedicated to Writers. Apply for writing jobs in the group. 

  • Identify websites of companies that hire freelance content writers and contact them directly to learn about existing requirements.

 


7. Relevant Courses And Certifications For Different Writing Careers

 


Copywriter

 

  • Certificate IV in Advertising

 


Speechwriter

 

  • Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations)

  • Graduate Diploma in Policy and Applied Social Research

 

Journalist

 

  • Bachelor of Communication (Media)

  • Master of Communication

  • Certificate in Freelance Journalism

  • Bachelor of Journalism

 

Author

 

  • Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing

  • Certificate in Editing And Proofreading

  • Graduate Certificate in Editing And Publishing

  • Creative Writing Course - TAFE QLD 

  • Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Publishing)

  • Graduate Certificate in Arts (Writing)

  • Master of Arts (Creative Writing)

 


Blogger or Digital Content Writer

 

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Creative And Professional Writing

  • Undergraduate Course in Writing, Rhetoric, and Persuasion

  • Bachelor of Arts ((Digital and Social Media) (Professional Writing and Publishing)

  • Bachelor of Arts (Digital Experience and Interaction Design) (Professional Writing and Publishing)

 

Screenwriter

 

  • Certificate in Introduction to Screenwriting

 

 

Video Games Writer

 

  • Diploma of Creative Arts (Game Design)

  • Diploma of Information Technology (Game Art And Design)

  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Game Design)

 

 

Bid or Grant Writer

 

  • Grant Writing Course

  • Online Grant Writing Certificate

 

 

Technical writer

 

  • Certificate of Technical Writing

 

 

Ghost-writers

 

  • Master of Arts (Writing)

  • Bachelor of Creative Industries (Creative Writing and Publishing)

  • Bachelor of English and Creative Writing    

  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

  • Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing

 


8. Work Environment For Writers


Working as a Writer is purely an office-based job. Based on the industry where you are employed, you may work as a team with other writers, web developers, scriptwriters, graphic designers, and illustrators. Their job seldom requires direct interaction with the clients.

 

  • Writers have multiple options available for working such as full-time, commission-based, or part-time

  • Based on the job outlook website, 68% of workers work full-time for an average of 44 hours in a week. 

  • Out of the total employed workers, 56% of them are female. 

  • The average age of employed workers is 39 years.

 


9. Where Do Writers Work In Australia?


Usually, writers work under contract or as self-employed. Several publications look to hire contributors on a contractual basis for content generation. Politicians and Celebrities hire Ghostwriters to create autobiographies.


Based on your niche, you can find work in several businesses that include:

 

  • Government departments

  • Private businesses

  • Theatre company

  • Radio or TV station

  • Ecommerce companies

  • Movie or Television production house

  • IT firms

  • Publication firms

  • Corporate firms, news, and media agencies

  • Multimedia agencies

  • Law firms

  • Healthcare institutions

  • Media and broadcasting

  • Travel agencies, and more


Employers generally recruit writers for the following genres:

 

  • Historical writing

  • Literary publication

  • Novel writing

  • Infomercials

  • Biographies

  • Multimedia distribution

  • Fiction, and non-fiction writing

  • Journalism

  • Humor writing

  • Short stories

  • Educational textbooks

  • Children's books

  • Corporate training videos

  • Magazine writing

  • Editorial services

  • Technical writing

  • Documentation preparation

  • Scriptwriting for radio and television

  • Copywriting

  • Documentary writing

 


10. Job Prospects Of Writers In Australia


Businesses have an unending need for written content, which, in turn, leads to steady demand for writers. Writing is among the occupations that are listed on the Skilled Occupation List Australia.


This list includes professions that are highly in demand in Australia. The ease to work anywhere with access to a computer and the internet makes it an attractive career option for youths.


There are endless career opportunities for technical writers who are skilled at writing engaging posts for readers in this potentially dry area. Cybersecurity is another hot field for writers that thrives with the digitalization of businesses.


Niches such as personal finance blogs and search engine optimization (SEO writing) have high client demand and a low supply of skilled writers. Identifying more of such niches and targeting them will provide you high job stability and security.


According to Joboutlook.gov.au, the demand for writers has grown at a moderate pace over the last couple of years and is expected to grow at a steady rate over the coming 5 years. Where there were 30,600 writers in 2020, the number is projected to reach 32,400 by 2025. The government projects moderate future growth in this sector.


Top industries with heavy demand for writers are Scientific and Technical Services, Arts and Recreation Services, Professional, and Information Media and Telecommunications. Though qualified writers are employed in several areas of Australia, NSW is the top state with the maximum share of workers.

 


11. How Much Do Writers Get Paid In Australia?


The salary of a writer varies based on the type of writing, experience, nature of employment, area of work, skill requirements in a project, and the employer.


According to Payscale, the average Writer’s salary is AU$57,430 or an equivalent of $39.18 per hour in Australia. The average weekly salary for writers comes out to be $1,576.

 


Based on Experience

 

  • An entry-level Writer (< 1-year experience): AU$54,378 

  • An early career Writer (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$56,325 

  • A mid-career Writer (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$54,496 

  • An experienced Writer (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$70,000

 


Based on Location


As per Indeed, the following Australian cities pays the highest salary to Writers:

 

  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: $179,804 per year

  • Sydney, New South Wales: $86,032 per year

  • Adelaide, South Australia: $80,730 per year

  • Perth, Western Australia: $79,096 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria: $74,420 per year

  • Brisbane, Queensland: $70,088 per year

 


12. Conclusion


Have you been thinking about making a career in professional writing for a long time? Now is the perfect time to pursue your ambitions. By being a modern writer, you get to enjoy plenty of writing jobs to explore the flexibility to work at your convenience.


Writing courses are indeed beneficial to hone your writing abilities and improve your chances to realize your writing dream. With a learning attitude, dedication, and the ability to take negative feedback constructively, there is nothing that can stop you from becoming a successful writer.

 

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