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Author vs. Writer: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 23, 2024
An author is someone who creates and publishes a work, particularly books, while a writer is anyone who writes, professionally or not.

Key Differences

An author is typically recognized as the creator of a published work, especially in literary or academic contexts. A writer, however, can be anyone who writes texts, regardless of whether their work is published or not.
Authors are often associated with substantial works like books, novels, or academic papers. Writers cover a broader range, including journalists, screenwriters, and content creators, who may produce a variety of written materials.
The term 'author' carries a connotation of expertise and authority in a particular subject or genre. 'Writer', on the other hand, is a more general term that applies to anyone engaged in the act of writing.
Authors are generally seen as the original creators of their work, owning their narratives and ideas. Writers can work on original content or may write based on guidelines or concepts provided by others.
The works of authors, especially in the literary field, often contribute to their legacy and are remembered over time. Writers, while they may produce impactful work, are not always associated with the long-term legacy of their writing.

Comparison Chart


Published and recognized for their work
Writes regardless of publication status

Nature of Work

Books, novels, academic papers
Articles, scripts, blogs, various texts


Expertise and authority
General term for anyone who writes

Creative Ownership

Original creator of content
May write original or assigned content


Often leaves a lasting legacy
Impact varies, not always long-term

Author and Writer Definitions


The originator or creator of a piece of work.
The author of the study presented groundbreaking findings.


A person who writes, especially as an occupation.
The writer spent her mornings drafting articles.


A person who writes books or creates literary works.
The author won an award for her debut novel.


A contributor of articles or stories to publications.
She worked as a freelance writer for several magazines.


An individual responsible for significant contributions to a field.
He is considered the leading author on ancient history.


An individual who composes text or content.
The writer updated the website's content weekly.


A writer of a book, article, or report.
The author discussed her book during the interview.


Someone who creates written work, either fiction or non-fiction.
As a writer, he excelled in creating vivid characters.


Someone whose ideas or writings initiate a particular movement.
The author sparked a new wave in modern poetry.


A person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc.
The writer’s first short story was published in a local journal.


The writer of a book, article, or other text.


One who writes, especially as an occupation.


One who practices writing as a profession.


Do authors only write books?

Primarily, but authors can also write articles, studies, and other literary works.

Can a writer become an author?

Yes, a writer can become an author by publishing their work.

Can a writer work in multiple genres?

Yes, writers can write in a variety of genres and formats.

Is every author a writer?

Yes, every author is a writer but not every writer is an author.

Are authors always credited for their work?

Generally, authors are credited, but there can be exceptions like ghostwriting.

Do authors have rights over their work?

Authors usually hold copyright and intellectual property rights over their published work.

Can anyone become a writer?

Yes, anyone who writes can be considered a writer.

Can a writer specialize in technical writing?

Yes, writers can specialize in technical writing, focusing on technical or specialized topics.

Do writers need to publish regularly?

No, writers do not have to publish regularly; it depends on their goals and platform.

Do writers need formal education?

Not necessarily, as writing skills can be self-taught or honed through practice.

Are all authors successful?

Not all authors achieve commercial success; success can vary greatly.

Can an author's work influence society?

Yes, authors can have a significant societal impact through their work.

Is a journalist considered a writer?

Yes, journalists are writers who specialize in reporting news.

Is blogging considered writing?

Yes, blogging is a form of writing, often less formal and more personal.

Do authors need agents?

While not necessary, agents can help authors navigate publishing and rights.

Can writing be a part-time profession?

Yes, many writers pursue writing as a part-time or freelance career.

Is self-publishing a way to become an author?

Yes, self-publishing is a valid route for writers to become authors.

Are writers always paid for their work?

Not always; some writers create content voluntarily or for exposure.

Do authors collaborate with others?

Some authors collaborate with co-authors, researchers, or editors.

Can authors retain creative control over their work?

Often, but it can vary based on the publishing agreement.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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