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Career and Education Opportunities for Writers in Huntsville, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for writers in the Huntsville, Alabama area. There are currently 1,510 working writers in Alabama; this should grow by 8% to 1,630 working writers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for writers are expected to grow by about 14.8%. In general, writers create original written works.

Income for writers is about $18 hourly or $37,540 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $53,070 annually. Writers earn less than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Alabama and less than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. Writers work in a variety of jobs, including: fiction and nonfiction prose writer, playwright, and video game script writer.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a writer. Writers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a writer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Writer

In general, writers create original written works.

Writers revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients or producers. They also choose subject matter and suitable form to express personal feelings and experiences or concepts, or to narrate stories or events. Equally important, writers have to formulate project arrangements or outlines, and organize material accordingly. They are often called upon to collaborate with other writers on specific projects. They are expected to ready works in appropriate format for publication, and send them to publishers or producers. Finally, writers talk with clients or producers to consider changes or revisions to written material.

Every day, writers are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for writers to conduct research to obtain factual data and authentic detail, using sources such as newspaper accounts and interviews. They are often called upon to follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work. They also attend book launches and publicity events, or conduct public readings. They are sometimes expected to design factors such as themes and dialogue, to generate material. Somewhat less frequently, writers are also expected to collaborate with other writers on specific projects.

Writers sometimes are asked to teach writing classes. And finally, they sometimes have to revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients or producers.

Like many other jobs, writers must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • News Analyst. Analyze, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.
  • Reporter. Collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, or television.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Writer Training

Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL

Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has 2 areas of study related to Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
  • Mass Communication/Media Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package: Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package course list: Better Requests for Proposals for Better Projects; Continuous Improvement Through Monitoring; Contracting; New Coding System for the 21st Century; Procurement; and Writing Winning Grant Proposals.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.