Authors, and Book and Script Editors
Authors, and Book and Script Editors write, edit and evaluate literary works for publication and scripts for film, television, radio and stage productions.
creating and developing ideas and themes for written works, such as novels, plays, musicals, screen productions, educational texts, information texts and multimedia products
researching subject matter through original and secondary materials, interviews and other media
planning, organising and writing material
reviewing and evaluating manuscripts of novels, biographies, short stories, poems, educational texts and other books, and ensuring coherence of style and development of theme, plot and characterisation
advising publishers about potential of works for publication and conditions of publication contract
negotiating publication details such as royalties, publication dates and numbers of copies to be printed
reviewing and assessing stories and other material for film, television, radio and stage productions
directing the preparation of scripts to be read by announcers to introduce and connect parts of musicals, news, sports and special events programs
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 7,400 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 51% of people employed as Authors, and Book and Script Editors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Authors, and Book and Script Editors work in the Arts and recreation services industry. They are also employed in industries like:
- Information media and telecommunications
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration and safety.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Authors, and Book and Script Editors||All Jobs Average|
Around 75% of Authors, and Book and Script Editors live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Authors, and Book and Script Editors is 47 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 67% of the workforce. This is 19 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Authors, and Book and Script Editors||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||13.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in writing, literature or another related field is usually needed to work as an Author, or Book or Script Editor. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Authors, and Book and Script Editors||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||33.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.7||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Authors, and Book and Script Editors who have strong attention to detail, can communicate clearly and are organised.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
52%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
50%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
30%Management of financial resources
Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
83%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
63%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
61%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
59%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
51%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
47%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
40%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
36%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
33%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
32%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
27%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
24%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
See details that are far away.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
39%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
71%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
70%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
70%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
69%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
68%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
67%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
64%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
64%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
63%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
62%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
53%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
51%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
50%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
50%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
50%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
50%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
49%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
44%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
99%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
89%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Use electronic mail.
79%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Talk on the telephone.
78%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
73%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
70%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
68%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Work to strict deadlines.
66%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
64%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
61%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
61%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk to a group of people.
48%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-3043.05 - Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.