Writing and Editing

Many English majors seek a career in writing or editing. The professional paths described below allow graduates to pursue their interests in crafting, revising, and editing texts of various kinds.

Career Paths in Writing and Editing Include:

Journalist

Journalists research and write news content for various outlets and audiences.  In the twenty-first century news market, journalism has become more multimedia in nature, requiring reporters to mix video, digital, and print content for online newspapers, social media, and web podcasts.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Analyze and interpret information
  • Research and evaluate sources quickly and accurately
  • Present a story from various angles
  • Write reviews, editorials, features columns, and/or hard news stories
  • Work under tight deadlines and handle pressure well
  • Be able to navigate social media
  • Be skilled in desktop publishing and photo/video creation

Where They Work

Journalists often work for radio stations, magazines, newspapers, television stations, and other news outlets.  Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for journalists in California include NBC, CBS, San Bernardino Sun, Daily Bulletin, KIIS FM, and NPR.

Copy Editor

Copy editors help ensure that a text is accurate in language, style and content. They report to the managing editor and are responsible for fact-checking, proofreading, and editing texts while maintaining the original writer’s purposes.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Edit documents for grammar, style, and citation accuracy
  • Maintain clarity, coherence, consistency, and correctness in copy
  • Assist with developing ideas for content
  • Be aware of audience
  • Maintain good relationships with writers and other staff members

Where They Work

A copy editor will often work for publishing houses, newspapers, magazines and other companies. Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for copy editors in California include Apple, AAA, Condé Nast, and Adecco Creative.

Copywriter

Copywriters create content for advertisements, educational documents, public advocacy announcements, and many other texts. Not limited to traditional print genres, copywriters might write anything from an ad on social media, to a health food store brochure, to a company e-zine, to a wellness blog. Basically, anything with writing has a copywriter behind it, and copywriters thus are in high demand in various companies and organizations.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Analyze audience, purpose, and situation
  • Think creativity
  • Write persuasive copy
  • Evaluate marketing strategies
  • Be tech savvy
  • Have experience in desktop publishing
  • Collaborate well with marketing team members

Where They Work

Copywriters will often work in advertising firms, large businesses, and nonprofits. Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for copywriters in California include UberEATS, Adesso Brands, Goto Fulfillment Services, and Northrop Grumman.  

Corporate Blogger

Corporate bloggers write content for company blogs.  They conduct research for blog projects, develop ideas for blog and social media posts, and work with the company’s social media manager to promote content.  One purpose of a corporate blogger’s work is to create a sense of community between businesses and their clients.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Promote the company’s goals, activities, and values via blogs and social media posts
  • Write informative and engaging content
  • Edit and proofread content for clarity, grammar, and style
  • Integrate photos and videos within written text
  • Possess excellent research skills

Where They Work

Corporate bloggers often work with corporate communications specialists or social media managers in businesses and nonprofits.  Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for corporate bloggers in California include ProClip, Traveler’s Choice, and Alta Mira Realty.

Public Relations Writer

Public relations writers, also known as “PR” writers, are responsible for promoting the positive public image of a company or organization. To this end, they write press releases, newsletters, speeches, articles, and other content about the company or organization for distribution to various news outlets.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Build a positive public image for the company or organization
  • Serve as the liaison between a company/organization and the public
  • Write press releases and create media kits
  • Be aware of audience and context
  • Possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Plan events that generate good press for the company/organization
  • Manage public crises through official statements and strategic media coverage

Where They Work

Public relations writers often work for large businesses, health care facilities, public relations firms, and marketing agencies. Companies that have recently posted jobs for public relations writers in California include SEMA, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Blaze PR, and JSA Strategies.

Technical Writer

Technical writers transform complex, jargon-filled technical material into texts that can be understood by ‘regular’ people.  Working for businessess, government agencies, or organizations, technical writers produce user guides, instruction manuals, FAQ pages, memos, product announcements, and reports of various kinds.   They increasingly write for online audiences, so an ability to navigate social media is useful.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Translate highly technical information for a lay readership
  • Be able to learn technical subject matter
  • Research complex content
  • Collaborate well with technical specialists
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Edit and proofread documents
  • Be aware of audience and context

Where They Work

Technical writers are often hired by software, engineering, and medical companies.  Businesses that have recently posted jobs for technical writers in California include Esri, Google, Amazon, and Northrop Grumman.

Grant Writer

Grant writers research and locate private and public grants, write proposals to fund various projects, and coordinate grant budgets. They often work for non-profit organizations and corporations.  

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Research and evaluate grant opportunities
  • Read scholarship related to grant projects
  • Possess excellent analytical and rhetorical skills
  • Write grant proposals
  • Develop grant budgets
  • Edit and proofread documents to ensure clarity and correctness
  • Interact with project officers at granting agencies
  • Possess strong organizational and time management skills

Where They Work

Grant writers are often employed by businesses, government agencies, and universities.  Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for grant writers in California include the Boys and Girls Club, RAFT, various universities, and the American Red Cross.