Nonfiction Writer

Research and write histories, biographies, and science books.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Nonfiction Writers do?

Science. Travel. Politics. Art. These are just a few of the things you might write about when you’re a Nonfiction Writer.

That’s because as a Nonfiction Writer, you write about the world around them, which is chalk-full of interesting subjects. Part Historian, part storyteller, you write stories, articles and books that are based on fact, not fantasy. In other words: While Fiction Writers are interested in entertaining, you’re interested in educating and informing. The former write invented stories; as a Nonfiction Writer, however, write true ones.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you specialize in writing textbooks — although you might. In fact, your writing can be extremely engaging and imaginative, even though it’s always true. For instance, if you write memoir, you tell gripping stories from your own real-life experiences. If you write travelogues, you write creative narratives about real-world places. And if you write biographies, you give colorful accounts of real people’s real lives.

Regardless of your genre — other examples include criticism, essays and journalism — your writing always includes facts, as your craft is based more on reportage than on creativity, although some of the best nonfiction includes both.

There are just as many formats as there are genres. You might write full-length books, for instance, or news articles for magazines and newspapers. You might write reports for scientific journals, book reviews for websites or entries in encyclopedias. Regardless, you spend your days at the computer, developing ideas, doing fact-based research and, of course, writing. The end goal: To publish your work so that people will read what you write.

Should I be a Nonfiction Writer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Nonfiction Writer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Nonfiction Writer-related education!
    Schools close to

    Careers Similar to Nonfiction Writer