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by Staff Reporter
If you have a passion for writing, expressing and investigating then a career as a Writer could be for you.

Career Overview

A career as a Writer is one built on the foundations of passion for the truth, entertainment and writing! As a Writer, you will have the opportunity to share your opinions, stories and criticisms with your audience – however big they may be. 

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school if you would like to study writing at a tertiary institution:

  • English

Recommended subjects:

  • Xhosa
  • Afrikaans
  • History

Institution and APS

There are a number of tertiary institutions in South Africa that offer high quality education in Writing, but we recommend the following:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT) – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 450 for guaranteed entrance
  • Rhodes University – APS of 45 for guarunteed entrance

Required Qualification/s

To become an employable Writer, you do not necessarily need a University degree. You can gain heaps of experience from freelance writing and work your way up the ranks. However, we would recommend putting a University degree next to your name as it will help you with your writing and make you more employable. As a guideline, we would recommend an Undergraduate degree in the field of Humanities at either of the aforementioned Universities. Courses like Media and Writing, Politics, Sociology, English and History will significantly aid you in your quest to become a Writer.

Required Skills

The following skills are needed in order to be a successful Writer:

  • Outstanding oral and writing skills – especially in the language of English
  • The ability to write clear, informative and educational pieces
  • The ability to write humorous, fictional and entertaining pieces
  • To be able to stand up for what you believe in when you write for big corporations

Where you can work

Writers can work in a number of different spheres of the economy:

  • Sports
  • Business
  • Tourism
  • Education

And it is important that you find the one that best suits you.  You could either work for a company or as a freelancer.  Your schedule will depend on which sphere you decide on.  Novalists, for example, tend to have flexible schedules.

Working Hours

Your working hours will depend on your employment. If a company employs you then you will have to adhere to their working hours. If you work as a freelance Writer, you will be able to dictate your own hours.

Expected Salary

The field of Writing is generally associated with a lot less money than other career fields. This, again, depends on your employment. The average Writer’s yearly salary in South Africa is R124 000. Of course, as a Writer, you will be able to earn in excess of this or below this – both depending on your skill, experience and employer.

What to expect

As a Writer, you should expect a career of investigation, passion and pride. In most cases, a Writer is someone that is following their passion and, in this sense, you will always be happy to go to work when you get up in the morning! Writing gives you a platform to express yourself and receive an income for it.

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