January 25, 2008

What would you do if you got a different job?

I enjoy being a copywriter. But I only became one because no one would pay me to sit on a beach and write bad poetry. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but plenty of people have made the leap to other occupations.
So if you want a little inspiration to daydream after a tough day, I’ve compiled this list of former copywriters.
Aidan Higgins
Allen Ginsberg
Alan Parker
Alec Guinness
Alastair Crompton
Ameena Meer
Andrea Helman
Anne McCaffrey
Arthur Slade
Augusten Burroughs
Barbara Joosse
Betty Birney
Betty Londergan
Bob Newhart
Bob Raczka
Bryce Courtenay
Carolyn Slaughter
Cambria Gordon
Catherine Woolley
Chloƫ Rayban
Clive Cussler
Dashiell Hammett
Dave Thomas
Don DeLillo
Don Novello
Dorothy L. Sayers
Earl Carter
Eleanora E. Tate
Ellen Kennedy
Ellen Meiste
Elmore Leonard
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fay Weldon
Franc Roddam
Frederick Barthelme
Gary Comer
Helen Gurley Brown
Hugh Hefner
Indra Sinha
James Patterson
Jennifer Holm
Joan Aiken
John Crowley
John Flanagan
John William Bierhorst
John Griffith Bowen
John Hughes
Joseph Heller
Joyce Kay Sweeney
Kes Gray
Kristin Hunter Lattany
Kurt Vonnegut
Laurence Kasdan
Lew Welch
Lilian Jackson Braun
Linda Hutchison
Lori Oliva
Matt Beaumont
Michelle McKinney Hammond
Molly Lamken Cone
Nick Earls
Ogden Nash
Oscar Hijuelos
Peter Carey
Pegi Deitz Shea
Philip Ardagh
Philip Kerr
Pnina Moed-Kass
Richard Condon
Rick Moranis
Robert Elmer
Robin Friedman
Rosemary Hayes
Russell Hoban
Sandra Fenichel Asher
Salman Rushdie
Sherwood Anderson
Steve Dildarian
Steven Pressfield
Terry Gilliam
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Thom Jones
Thomas Burn
Tim Kazurinsky
Todd Strasser
Tom Burrell
Trudy Ludwig
Vashti Farrer
William Trevor
Zane Radcliffe

If you know of any others, leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.


  1. You can't have Moranis without Dave Thomas. He worked on the Coke account for while. Clive Cussler was another former copywriter. Also Laurence Kasdan.

  2. Thanks. I've added them to the list.

  3. Anonymous3:41 PM


    betty londergan she rocks.

  4. Beat poet Lew Welch wrote: "raid kills bugs dead"

  5. Kurt Vonnegut
    Theodor Seuss Geisel

  6. Thanks for including me on your list of former copywriters! I enjoyed working in advertising, though my first love will always be journalism. Still, it taught me a great deal about what I call the three Ps: promotion, publicity, and packaging.

  7. Flannery O'Connor