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Career and Job Search Guide
  

Writer and Editor

Writers and editors prepare written materials. They write for newspapers, magazines, and internet sites. Many people write for blogs, but only writers and editors who earn money for their work are included in this occupation.

Writers are either classified as authors or technical writers. Writers and authors write books, magazine articles, online publications, company newsletters, and numerous other materials. Their work is considered either fiction or nonfiction. Writers are usually identified as novelists, playwrights, biographers, screenwriters, and textbook writers. Certain freelance writers are sometimes sponsored to write a script while others are contracted to write a book after a draft or an outline they submitted to a publisher is accepted. Writers sometimes submit materials for song writers or scriptwriters.

Writers collaborate with editors and publishers to review drafts, ideas, and stay on schedule. Editors and publishers review the work of freelance writers and coordinate projects for staff writers. All writers conduct research through personal observation, interviews, books, and the internet. Non fiction writers are expected to establish their credibility with editors and readers by utilizing credible sources. Writers work with editors to revise their work, in an attempt to find the best phrasing and organization.

Copy writers prepare advertising copy for use in publications and television broadcasting. They usually work with their clients to develop advertising themes or slogans. Sometimes copy writers participate in marketing.

Technical writers prepare technical written content which is easy to understand. They write maintenance manuals, instructions, and project proposals. Many technical writers write help manuals for information technology companies. Likewise, many technical writers collaborate with engineers to write technical manuals for the general public. Technical writers also edit manuals and determine what illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and charts to use.

Most writers and editors are familiar with computers, desktop or electronic publishing systems, telecommunications equipment, and scanners. Many writers write content for websites whether it be online newspapers or magazines, or online technical documents. Writers creating written content for websites should understand graphic design, page layout, and multimedia software, and they should be familiar with interactive technologies to effectively combine text, graphics, and sound together. Bloggers earning money for their work are usually considered writers.

Many writers perform freelance work. They are self-employed and sell their writings to publishers, firms, public relations departments, or advertising agencies. Occasionally, freelance writers contract with publishers to write a book or an article while others complete short-term or recurring projects. Editors rewrite and edit content while creating original content. Editors determine the content of books, journals, magazines, and publications, and they review story proposals submitted by staff and freelance writers and decide what to publish. Editors review and edit drafts of books and articles and recommend ideas to improve text, as well as suggest possible titles. Editors working for book publishers are responsible to review book proposals and determine whether to purchase the publication rights from the author.

Major newspapers and magazines employ many editors. The executive editor makes the final decision about what stories to publish as well as supervise assistant editors. Assistant editors are assigned to cover specific subjects, such as local news, international news, or sports. The managing editor is responsible for the news department's daily operations. Assignment editors determine which reporters will cover certain stories. Copy editors review and edit content.

One editor will usually perform all the editorial duties for smaller organizations such as small daily or weekly newspapers. Executive and managing editors determine which writers and reporters to hire, as well as negotiate contracts with freelance writers and coordinate budgets.

Editors often hire assistants in entry-level positions. These assistants, also known as copy editors, review content for grammatical errors, spelling errors, and determine whether the content is readable. They also recommend revisions to improve clarity. Copy editors must verify facts, dates, and statistics. Likewise, they plan page layouts, write headlines, and make preparations for publication. Publication assistants employed by publishing companies read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers. Assistants working for small newspapers or radio stations collect articles, answer phone calls, and make photocopies.

Work environment. Some writers and editors work in comfortable, private offices while others work in noisy environments. Writers sometimes travel long distances to acquire information, but many conduct their research on the phone, in the library, or on the internet.

Advances in technology has changed the way writers work. Writers with laptop computers can work at home or on the road. Writers have the ability to e-mail, transmit and download stories, and conduct research.

Some writers work regular office hours to work closer with their editors or establish a routine, but most writers work at their convenience. Freelance writers are paid per project, so they may be required to work long hours and weekends to meet deadlines. Editors preparing morning or weekend publications regularly work nights, early mornings, and weekends.

Freelance writers enjoy flexible hours but must constantly find new clients and complete several projects at once. Working long hours to meet deadlines can create stress and burnout. Writers using computers for long hours can experience back pain and eye strain.
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