Your Guide to the Columbus Writing Scene

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Columbus Writing Scene

Columbus, Ohio is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, consistently welcoming the addition of diverse new industries to its economic base. Just a few of the top industries in Ohio’s capital city include insurance, education, banking, fashion, healthcare and medical research.

Home to internationally known and respected organizations, such as The Limited, Inc., JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, Limited Brands, Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University, it probably comes as little surprise that high-quality content is in high demand.

Making a Living as a Columbus Writer

Columbus-area content writers can expect to make average earnings of $48,700 annually, according to PayScale. Content writers may include copywriters, editors, social media marketers, technical writers, bloggers and web content management specialists. The earnings increase for content marketing managers, featuring an average salary of $65,104 per year.

Whether Columbus writers plan to work for a brick and mortar organization, or are planning to fly solo, Columbus is rich with possibilities to make the above-referenced earnings and much more. With a bustling business environment that features as many on-the-rise startups as it hosts large multinational companies and everything in-between, content is truly king in Columbus, Ohio, so talented and hard-working writers are vital to local businesses and the economy.

The employment outlook for copywriters is strong, growing steadily at a rate of 8-9% over the next five to 10 years while the need for technical writers is expected to grow at a massive rate of 17.2% over a 10-year period. Content marketing jobs alone have already soared over the course of 2017-2018 by a whopping 33%.

Featuring an overall lower cost of living by 10 points against the national average, as well as a buyer’s housing market that touts a median home cost of $143,000, Columbus offers freelance and part-time writers a bounty of options in settling down in an area with lower risks than other medium-sized-and-growing cities.

A quick scan of job boards that include Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn and Indeed will yield lists of several hundred writing jobs in the Columbus area for ambitious writers ready to make their mark in the professional community.

Whether you want to land an in-house position with an established business, or you want to write as a free agent, the possibilities in Columbus are excitingly varied when it comes to providing unparalleled content in this upbeat Midwest city.

Regardless of whether you are building and sharpening your skills to write for your own pleasure or to embark on a content writing career, or you are seeking paying clients, Columbus is brimming with opportunities for aspiring scribes, experienced copywriters and anyone else who wants to create exceptional content.

State of Marketing Report 2024

Educational and Networking Opportunities for Writers to Fine-Tune Skills and Advance in Columbus  

Columbus is teeming with educational opportunities for writers and is home to 39 colleges within 50 miles of the city. Learning centers for writing students merely begin with traditional studies and course regimen oriented institutions such as Ohio State University, Capital University, Otterbein University and Denison University, but additional learning opportunities are as varied and vibrant as the Columbus writing population itself.

Learn more about all the ways you can sharpen your writing skills, whether you want to explore your creative talents, or you are ready to launch your professional writing career for local businesses or your favorite magazines.

Writing Meetup Groups in Columbus  

  • Columbus Writing Meetup. With more than 400 members, Columbus Writing Meetup offers aspiring and active writers a chance to focus on a single project in developing and contributing to The Columbus Startup Magazine. The magazine is a locally created celebration of the highly entrepreneurial spirit of Columbus residents. The Meetup group works to share local startups’ ideas, struggles, challenges and achievements in their contribution to the city and society at large.

Columbus Conferences for Writers to Consider in 2019 

Columbus does not have any writers’ conferences on the horizon, but the city residents consider cities like Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh a quick jaunt, so it is always important to broaden your search on larger events.

Here are just a few relatively nearby writers’ conferences to consider:

  • The 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop. This March 9, 2019 full-day workshop is set to offer important guidance on “How to Get Published.”
  • The 2019 Cleveland Writing Workshop. July 20, 2019. For those who unable to attend the Pittsburgh workshop in getting published, you get a second chance to explore the key topic of “How to Get Published” at this writing workshop in Cleveland.

Workshops, Classes and More for Writers in Columbus  

While the current writing conference docket is fairly light in Columbus, there is no shortage of locally-based writers’ support. Take a look at some of the local workshops, seminars, training sessions, one-off college classes and more that can help you hone your writing skills and meet fellow professionals for support and essential networking:

  • The Copywriter’s Workshop. This two-day workshop, starting on June 24, 2019, takes place in Columbus and focuses on crucial copywriting topics that include writing to your audience, writing basics regarding grammar and structure and the various media that relies on expert copywriters.
  • The Business Grammar and Proofreading WorkshopA single day event, set for March 20, 2019, this seminar boils down the basics of grammar and proofreading to make sure your business writing content—or your clients’ copy, for working editors—shines.
  • Duo Trio Creative Writing WorkshopScheduled for March 28, 2019 at the Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery in Columbus, the Duo Trio Creative Writing Workshop features a conversation with the writing duo of Nancy Kangas and Paula Lambert.
  • Adult Writing Workshops at the Thurber House. If you live in Columbus long enough—especially as an avid writer and reader—or if you grew up in Columbus, you have very likely heard of James Thurber and the local Thurber House. No secret among the literary crowd at large, James Thurber penned The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and countless other treasured works. As well-known for his cartoons as for his witty writing, James Thurber is a Columbus legend. The Thurber House, which is open for regular tours in the city’s Olde Towne East district, offers several adult writing workshops for local writers to explore.
  • The Carnegie Author Series. Get a glimpse into the professional and published author’s mind, as well as their process, with this respected series. Hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the free Carnegie Author Series features upcoming writers that include Paula McClain, Craig Johnson and Jesmyn Ward.
  • The Ohioana Book Festival. Set your calendar for April 27, 2019, for the Ohioana Book Festival that features more than 130 authors and illustrators, and includes panels, discussions and workshops. This event is held at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The Best Places for Writers to Write in Columbus  

Whether you are working on your writer’s website, finishing up a huge project for a key client, or writing a query to your favorite magazine, sometimes a change of scenery and overall ambience can help you push through to great success. You may need a touch of peaceful nature, the feeling of camaraderie of working among fellow independents in a coffees shop, or in a formal library setting, so if you want to escape your office, kitchen table or comfortable sofa, Columbus has plenty of writers’ havens where you can settle in to get the job done.

  • The Columbus Metropolitan LibraryFeaturing several locations around the city, the Columbus Metropolitan Library is an award-winning library system. Each branch offers plenty of quiet space, along with banks of public computers. Locations also include popular nearby suburban libraries like Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington and Bexley.
  • The Ohio State UniversityPerhaps better for non-students to visit this impressive library system and university campus during college breaks and the summer session, to allow space for students, you will find a wonderland of spots to open up your laptop and get creative. Free wi-fi usage is easily available via a simple sign-on process.
  • The North Market. Just north of downtown in the Short North District is the Columbus North Market. Besides a cornucopia of dining delights, the space features an upper level dining area. Outside of the lunch rush, writers can cozy up with a cup of coffee or tea and make some writing strides.
  • Co-Working Locations AboundColumbus has become a hot bed for the co-working revolution, which makes sense due to an abundance of startups. A few of the top co-working facilities in the city include The Salt Mines in Clintonville, Serendipity Labs in the Short North District, The Perch in the Short North District, and many more all around the city and suburbs.

Community Groups for Writers in Columbus

  • Wild Goose Creative Group. The Wild Goose Creative mission is “To build a creative community at the intersection of art, risk and meaning.” Events include bi-weekly writers group meetings, standup and improv, and much more for Columbus creatives in all media and styles.
  • Ohio Writers’ GuildThe Ohio Writers’ Guild is a supportive community for Columbus writers. Peer review is a driving feature of this warm and inviting environment, giving you a chance to share your work or work-in-progress with kindred spirits. The group meets each Wednesday between September and July at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center.
  • Downtown Writers Network. Regularly check the Downtown Writers Network website to learn about upcoming events to support Columbus writers in business and creative pursuits.

Local Companies Hiring Columbus Writers  

An increasing number of local companies is discovering the art and science involved with providing strong content that attracts a target audience and turns them into loyal customers. Make sure to regularly visit the local pages of the various job boards to scour the marketplace for someone looking for your writing skills and niche. If you plan to send out Letters of Introduction (LOI) to seek contract work, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce is your prime resource for learning more about locally registered businesses that want to be discovered by industry peers, customers and local writing talent.

Columbus Digital Marketing Agencies  

Beautiful graphics alone are not enough to help a website stand out. Digital marketing agencies need skilled content writers who can easily and effectively complement their visual pizazz with a variety of content that includes email marketing, brochures, blog posts, web pages and more. Here are just a few of the top digital marketing agencies in Columbus.

Content Platforms 

  • WriterAccess. Yes indeed, that is us! Our Boston-based business is the leading provider of writing services for more than 25,000 customers. Our ever-growing list of more than 15,000 writers, editors, content strategists and translators work with our talent team to offer top content. We are always happy to hire freelance professionals who have the skills and expertise to help businesses grow organically via content marketing. Currently based in the U.S., we plan to expand our market to five new countries in 2019, which will open up all kinds of opportunity, so APPLY NOW!
  • ClearVoice. Newly acquired by Fiverr, ClearVoice currently plans to maintain its existing model that provides content on demand to a variety of brands and digital marketing agencies.
  • Crowd Content. Accepting writers from around the world, Crowd Content provides an array of content to a broad range of businesses that include retailers and digital marketing agencies. The platform is flexible, easy-to-use and fosters your ability to deliver high-quality content on tight deadlines.

Join Your Columbus Writing Peers to Provide the Best Content in the Marketplace!  

Are you ready to join your dedicated writing peers in Columbus to enjoy your own brand of success? Get ready to become inspired by your writing brethren and the business community in general, which features a splendid combination of strong work ethic and visionary creative capabilities.

Whether you want to write the next Great American Novel, or you want to provide content that brings a budding startup worldwide success, the opportunities are right here in affordable, friendly and goal-oriented Central Ohio!


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