Creative writing teachers are professionals who help students and clients learn how to write creatively. If you enjoy communicating with others and writing creative works of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, a career as a creative writing teacher may be right for you. While academic institutions offer creative writing teaching positions, some professionals find relevant positions elsewhere, so it's important to understand what job options you have available. In this article, we define creative writing teaching jobs, share 10 careers in the field and provide tips to help you find a job as a creative writing instructor.
What are creative writing teaching jobs?
Creative writing teachers instruct others on various aspects of writing and help their students produce creative works in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction genres. Professionals of various positions may assume the responsibility of teaching creative writing and often are writers themselves. Here are some topics a creative writing teacher may address:
- Story structures
- Grammar and spelling rules
- Style guides
- Punctuation usage
- Analytical skills
- Narrative devices
10 creative writing teaching jobs
If you're interested in teaching others how to write creatively, you may want to consider pursuing one of the following careers:
1. Public speaking coach
National average salary: $24,462 per year
Primary duties: Public speaking coaches are communication professionals who instruct others on how to deliver speeches. These professionals can often complete their work online, offering virtual classes and speeches. Companies also invite public speaking coaches to their workplaces to perform educational speeches. Public speaking coaches teach their clients both how to write their own speeches and deliver them to a crowd of professionals. While many of the speeches may be purely informational, public speaking coaches often encourage their clients to write creative narratives to appeal to their audience.
2. Virtual instructor
National average salary: $27,954 per year
Primary duties: Virtual instructors are teaching professionals who conduct their classes online. These professionals can teach a variety of topics, including creative writing. Because virtual instructors operate remotely, these professionals are often very skilled in communication and are available to assist their students through email, video calls, and online forums. Creative writing virtual instructors may teach a general overview of creative writing, focus on a specific genre and format of writing or lead a writing workshop.
3. Adult education teacher
National average salary: $29, 214 per year
Primary duties: Adult education teachers are educators who cater to the needs of adult students. These professionals can work in a variety of settings, including community centers, correctional facilities, and nonprofit organizations. Adult education teachers who focus on creative writing often lead writing workshops that are open to the public and provide helpful feedback on their students' work.
4. Camp counselor
National average salary: $31,689 per year
Primary duties: Camp counselors supervise, instruct and entertain children and young adults while they attend a camp program. Often offered in the summer, many camp programs offer a specific focus on topics such as creative writing. In one of these camps, counselors may work with children and young adults of various ages and instruct them on how to write creatively. A camp counselor's approach to teaching campers how to write often depends on the age of the campers, with younger students focusing more on the basic structure of a story, while older students may practice crafting their own work.
5. Early education teacher
National average salary: $36,250 per year
Primary duties: Early education teachers typically instruct children between the ages of four to 14, spanning from kindergarten to eighth grade. Early education teachers who specialize in creative writing and English often teach language arts classes, in which they teach their students important story elements, vocabulary, and critical reading skills. Many early education teachers also encourage their students to write creatively, whether it be for a short story, a poem, or a class newspaper.
6. High school teacher
National average salary: $47,000 per year
Primary duties: High school teachers are educators who typically instruct students between the ages of 15 to 18. High school teachers commonly focus on one or two subjects, such as English and creative writing. These professionals may teach creative writing skills in their English classes or in specific extracurricular courses like drama, creative writing, and journalism. While high school teachers don't often teach workshop courses, they may ask their students to submit creative work for a grade and feedback.
7. Content writer
National average salary: $51,213 per year
Primary duties: Content writers are professionals who write for various mediums, including blogs, video series, advertisements, and websites. Because many content writers choose to focus on topics in which they have the expertise, these professionals often write articles and other content centered around sharing creative writing tips. Content writers usually work remotely and may work on a contract, freelance, or full-time basis. Content writers who focus on educating others about creative writing often offer help in following grammar and style rules, tips for overcoming writing-related issues, and advice for professionals to publish their creative work.
National average salary: $54,811 per year
Primary duties: Tutors are education professionals who offer additional assistance to students of all ages. Tutors may work on a freelance or contract basis. Often, clients and companies hire these professionals to help with a specific subject. When tutoring clients about creative writing practices, tutors often provide editorial feedback and help their clients properly format their work and follow grammar and style rules. Because tutors work with students of all ages, these professionals often change their methods depending on the current skill level of their clients.
National average salary: $61,614 per year
Primary duties: Writers are professionals who create works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Writers often work on a freelance or contract basis and specialize in a certain type or genre of writing. Many writers visit colleges and community centers to host workshops, act as guest speakers and teach classes. It's also common for writers to seek secondary positions at educational institutions to earn an income in between writing projects. During this time, writers offer their students expert advice on the creative writing industry and how to craft their own work.
National average salary: $63,036 per year
Primary duties: Professors are education professionals who teach in colleges and post-secondary institutions. These professionals earn master's and bachelor's degrees to gain expertise in specific subjects. Professors who teach creative writing courses are often English professors who offer courses on topics in creative writing such as poetry, fiction workshops, or narrative essay classes. Because many students at this level have a proficient understanding of grammar and style guidelines, professors often focus on instructing their students how to develop their own writing voice and provide feedback on students' work.
Tips for getting a creative writing teaching job
Professionals who wish to pursue a career in creative writing teaching often attend college for additional writing training before sharing their expertise with others. Because these professionals can teach in a variety of ways, such as through a traditional academic setting, an online course, or a summer camp workshop, each creative writing instructor may follow a different career path. Still, creative writing professionals can consider these tips for getting a creative writing teaching position:
1. Take creative writing courses
Try to take creative writing courses in order to become a skilled creative writing teacher, it's important to not only gain expertise in the subject but also to observe the teaching styles of other professionals. This practice allows you to develop your own teaching methods and ensures you are learning the necessary skills to teach others how to write creatively.
2. Create a professional portfolio
Consider creating a professional portfolio or website that features your creative writing. This helps to hire managers and clients to find your work easily. Many organizations prefer creative writing teachers to have experience writing their own work. While this does not always apply to those seeking positions in traditional academic institutions, it's still helpful to establish a professional background in the subject.
3. Develop professional skills
It's important to develop useful professional skills throughout your career in order to earn promotions and improve your work practices. Creative writing teachers often have the following skills:
- Written and verbal communication
- Positive attitude
- Critical thinking
4. Build your professional network
Having a diverse professional network may help you find job opportunities throughout your career because the professionals in your network can refer you to and recommend you for open positions. Building a professional network also allows you to learn from other professionals in your field who may be at a more advanced stage of their careers. To build your professional network, consider attending creative writing conferences and reaching out to professionals in your field on professional social media sites.
5. Stay informed about industry knowledge
As you develop your creative writing teaching career, it's important to update your industry knowledge. Because style guides and industry practices can change over time, making an effort to stay informed on creative writing topics can help you continue to teach relevant information to students. In order to keep up-to-date industry knowledge, consider reaching out to your professional network or subscribing to informational newsletters.