Author Kaituhi Pukapuka

Authors write stories, scripts, poems, blogs or plays for publication or production, to entertain and inform people.

Authors may do some or all of the following:

  • choose and research topics to write about
  • write and revise their material
  • prepare their work for publication and find a publisher or producer
  • discuss further revisions with an editor
  • publish their work online
  • attend book launches and publicity events
  • give public readings
  • run writing classes.

To specialise as an author in a specific subject, such as law, medicine or accounting, you may need to complete a relevant tertiary qualification.

To specialise as a dramatist/playwright, non-fiction author, novelist, poet or scriptwriter you may need to complete a relevant tertiary creative writing course.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for authors includes work:

  • as a journalist
  • in film, theatre or television
  • involving writing
  • involving artistic skills.

Personal Qualities

Authors need to be:

  • imaginative and creative
  • disciplined
  • inquisitive and good at observation and listening
  • able to accept criticism
  • adaptable
  • skilled at research and planning
  • problem solvers
  • happy working on their own.


Authors need to have:

  • excellent writing skills
  • knowledge of different writing styles
  • knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and spelling
  • knowledge of the topics they write about
  • the ability to promote themselves
  • knowledge of the local and overseas publishing industry.



  • work flexible hours and may set aside a certain amount of time for writing or words to complete each day
  • work wherever it suits them, including offices, libraries, or their homes
  • may travel locally, around New Zealand or overseas when researching information or publicising their work.

Authors may move into journalism or public relations roles.

Authors can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Dramatists/playwrights write scripts for plays and other theatre productions.
Non-fiction Author
Non-fiction authors write factual works such as books about historical events.
Novelists write fiction books and may specialise in writing in a particular genre such as romance or science fiction.
Poets write poems, usually published in collections of works.
Scriptwriters write scripts for television and film.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become an author. However, a tertiary creative writing qualification may be useful.

Authors who specialise in a particular subject area, such as those who write textbooks, need expertise in their chosen field. This may require tertiary education in that area.

To get work published, most authors need to first show their ideas or writing to publishers.