What even is Professional Writing?

When I first started telling my friends and family that I was going to major in professional writing, all I got was confused stares and concerned smiles.

It was almost like I was telling them I was going to major in underwater basket weaving or something.  But after explaining the intricate craft that I would be dedicating myself to for the next four years, their confusion soon turned to excitement and inquiries into what I liked to write or where I would want to work someday.

For someone who has never heard of it before, professional writing is confusing. So, in this post, I will be explaining the basics of this major that you can use to help guide others to the wonderful world of PWR.

  • What even is a professional writing major?Taylor+Students.jpg
    • Well at Taylor University, the professional writing program is part of the communication department. Students who love words, writing, editing, and reading are part of this major. Over their time in this program, they will learn the ins and outs of the publishing world and hone their writing skills. They will make connections in the industry by submitting their work to be published, going to writers’ conferences, and completing internships. Ultimately, students in this program will leave the major knowing how to make a living doing what they love as a writer or editor.
  • So, you want to be a novelist then?
    • Well no, not always. Though many students in this program have written manuscripts and hope to one day become published novelists, many also plan to work as editors, agents or other types of writers to make a living.
  • What kinds of classes do you even take as a professional writing student?
    • As a professional writing major, you get the opportunities to take some really awesome classes!
      • In Intro to Professional Writing you will learn the basics of the publishing world and start to soften the sharper edges on your writing skills.
      • Editing you will teach you the roles of different kinds of editors and let you try your hand at editing both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.
      • In Manuscript to Book you get to take an unpublished manuscript and guide it through the process of becoming a fully edited and published novel.
      • Other program highlights include Photoshop, Freelance Writing, Introduction to Media Writing and Writing for Publication.
  • But are you even going to get published?
    • Absolutely! In your first semester of this program you will get your work published. Different classes provide opportunities for you to write book reviews, devotionals, pieces for the school and local newspapers, and more. Many pro-writes also take the initiative to seek out places that publish what they write (and there are outlets that publish EVERY genre).
  • What will you even do when you graduate?
    • Professional writing graduates are equipped to enter into many different job fields. Current alumni work as freelance writers and editors, copyeditors, content editors, acquisition editors, literary agents, journalists and so much more.

 

Do you have any other questions about the program? Leave a comment below!

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Ellie Tiemens is a professional writing major at Taylor University. She works as a staff writer for the student newspaper The Echo and writes book reviews for the Barnes and Noble Teen Blog. She also is a manuscript evaluator for Illuminate YA. Ellie loves reading (naturally), writing (hence the major), and cats (because cats).

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