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What would be the best college classes to take to become a writer/editor?

I am a Freshman in High School who has always had a passion for writing. I have taken to writing stories online as posting them on sites such as FanFiction.Net and Quotev.Com. Does anyone have any suggestions or even just advice. #writing #college #author #writer

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Alexandra’s Answer

First, let me preface this by saying that I am not a professional writer. I am a tax attorney. However, I published a poetry book and a number of articles and I also volunteer as a writing tutor. In college, I was considering both writing and law as potential careers and passions. My professors advised me to take a wide variety of classes starting with social sciences: history, anthropology, and philosophy. One of the best classes that I took was a seminar that discussed the influence of religion. I also took literature and languages (French, Spanish and Russian). These classes enriched my life with different perspectives about culture and life experience. They helped me open my mind to the world around me and the fascinating ideas that people have. I also took an actual creative writing class with a published author who taught at my college, Professor Jim Shepard. We got to read our short stories in a small group and discuss how to make them better. This was a great class but the classes that really made me a better writer were those where I...read the most! I think when you read and absorb new knowledge, you learn to write and edit better. Finally, as a friend of mine says, "You don't learn to write by writing. You learn to write by living." So, I would say, have an exciting life, search adventure and experience, share your feelings and thoughts with those around you. This approach will make you want to write and write better.

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Christine’s Answer

Hi Crystal! You've gotten some great advice already so just want to add one more thing to consider. Does your school have a newspaper? If so, see if there are opportunities for you to join the team as a writer or editor. If your school doesn't have one, talk to a teacher about starting one! It'd be a great experience for you and it'll look stellar on your resume and college applications one day.

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G. Mark’s Answer

While an undergraduate taking a variety of courses I eventually ended up with a degree in Engineering. However, during that time, I took several classes in English, Literature and graduate courses in Creative Writing. I found all of these very enjoyable, valuable and to work very well together. I would first talk to a counselor at the university you plan on attending and ask them for advice specific to that institution. I would also strongly recommend taking writing courses outside college. I took writing classes along with my studies at Second City in Chicago and was lucky enough to find one of the teaching staff there who was an experienced screenwriter. My message is that writing does not have to be, nor, in my opinion, should it be separate from other fields. Knowledge in a wider variety of subjects can only help. Plus, it's a lot of fun.

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Isaac’s Answer

As a professional writer and editor, I'd recommend:

  • journalism classes
  • book publishing classes
  • technical writing classes
  • creative writing classes
  • media and literary theory classes
  • ANY classes with an emphasis on writing projects--history, philosophy, economics, art history, etc. The more you write, the better you get.

But also READ. Read widely and actively. You will learn so much about what good writing and editing is through constant exposure.

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Ninos’s Answer

Many colleges offer a creative writing course as an elective. You should also consider Communication courses.

Lastly, if your college has a student sponsored newspaper or magazine, I suggest volunteering for them.


I went to Syracuse University's Newhouse School and it was a great experience. They offer a lot of courses that will help improve your writing.


Good luck!

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