1. MissRis

    MissRis New Member

    Apr 18, 2012
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    Career as a Writer

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MissRis, Apr 19, 2012.

    Here is the background for the basis of this question. I know that I'm good at two things, reading and writing. I know that I love two things, reading and writing. I went to school to study my passion, which was literature and I now have a master's degree in the field. My goal had always been to be a university professor, but after rounds of rejections I have decided to pursue something else. I think, other than publishing, becoming a professor is fraught with politics, timing, and personal preference -- at least in the literary fields. I'm 26 right now, and for the first time I am not looking to be in school again. I am simultaneously terrified and hopeful.

    My question is, what types of careers are out there for people like me? If anyone is an editor, how did you do that? If anyone is an agent, how did you do that? These jobs seem to have a mystical quality to them because unlike studying medicine, which leads to a job as a doctor, there is no set path for jobs in the literary world. Additionally, having a literature degree doesn't carry the street cred to get your foot in the door.

    Comments, hints, discussion are all invited for this forum. I have posted this more to quell my anxious heart.
  2. Z. C. Bolger

    Z. C. Bolger New Member

    Apr 5, 2012
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    Miami, FL
    I have nothing to say besides, "I wonder that too.":confused:
  3. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Getting an internship at a publishing company helps. Once the internship ends, there's a good chance you'll get a position within the company. However, a lot of internships for English majors don't pay (they may offer school credit, but since you're not in school that doesn't matter).

    There are jobs outside of publishing and teaching that look for English/Literature degrees, so that's always a possibility. But if you have your heart set on becoming an editor, then I think getting an internship (or maybe an entry level job within a company if you're lucky) is your best bet.
  4. AmsterdamAssassin

    AmsterdamAssassin New Member

    Oct 20, 2011
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    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Besides looking for internships, I'd write short stories and self-publish them to make a name for yourself -- if you aim at becoming a writer, that is. If you have editing skills, you might try to become certified and flog your skills on the self-publishing market. Even uncertified, if you don't charge too much and you build up a clientele, you might be able to keep yourself in beer money.
    Also, there are writer/publisher/agent conventions--if you attend them, you might find someone willing to take you on.
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    with a masters in lit, you're a good candidate for an editor position with either book or magazine/literary journal publishers...

    check the want ads...

    check publishers' websites...

    send your resume and request for a job interview to every publisher in places where you wouldn't mind living... that said, a lot of editors are working from home nowadays, thanks to email, so don't make location a 'must' factor, if you want to maximize your chances...

    as for being an agent, that takes a different set of skills... and good connections to publishers... so, i'd concentrate on getting experience as an editor first... after some years of learning the ropes in the publishing industry and making the requisite connections within it, if you still want to hang out an agent's shingle, go for it...

    good luck!

    love and hugs, maia
  6. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

    May 14, 2006
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    Peoria, Illinois
    It's probably not the type of career you're really looking for, but freelance writing is always an option - at least until you can get into the writing/publishing industry.

    For getting started in the publishing industry, a publishing internship does sound like a good idea.

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