National Ghostwriters Week takes place from March 1 to 7. Although ghostwriting seems like a modern phenomenon, it has been around since the 5th century, from the time that royal scribes wrote material for kings and other royal figures. A ghostwriter is a person who is paid to write on behalf of another and give credit to that person as the named author. Today, up to 50% of memoirs, autobiographies, novels, and nonfiction books are written by ghostwriters.
History of National Ghostwriters Week
Though the history of National Ghostwriters Week is unclear, the history of ghostwriting can be traced back to the 5th century. It’s been reported that royal scribes wrote material for monarchs, who then claimed the work as theirs.
A ghostwriter is a person who writes for another person and gives credit to that person as the author. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.” The word ‘ghostwriter’ was, apparently, coined in 1921 by Christy Walsh, who employed the services of ghostwriters himself. He was quoted as saying, “Don’t insult the intelligence of the public by claiming these men write their own stuff.”
In the past, ghostwriting was shrouded in secrecy as most people were wary of revealing the fact that certain works were not written by them. However, it is common knowledge that most memoirs, autobiographies, and even fiction books are ghostwritten. Furthermore, it has become more expedient for people to hire and work with ghostwriters, thanks to technology. One of the main reasons for hiring ghostwriters is that they have the skill and dexterity to express the thoughts of the named author in a palatable and engaging way. For instance, a politician who may not have the time or skill to pen down his thoughts accurately — but wants to write an autobiography — may hire a ghostwriter. Most times, these writers have to work closely with the named authors, interviewing them to come up with the information necessary to write the content. Ghostwriters are a vital part of the literary world, as their work is faceless and goes unrecognized, most times forever. So let’s celebrate these talented and discreet individuals this week!
National Ghostwriters Week timeline
Scribes write for monarchs and other royal figures.
The first-known fictional work is written by Chretien de Troyes.
Literature is categorized into fiction and non-fiction.
The word ‘ghostwriter’ is coined by Christy Walsh.
National Ghostwriters Week FAQs
Is ghostwriting legal?
Yes. Ghostwriting is a legal venture.
How much do ghostwriters earn?
On average, a ghostwriter can be paid between $5000 to $100,000 per project, all dependent on the experience of the writer.
Who is the most famous ghostwriter?
The most famous ghostwriters in the world include H.P Lovecraft (“Imprisoned With the Pharaohs”), Peter Lerangis (“The Babysitter’s Club”), and Raymond Benson (“Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell”).
National Ghostwriters Week Activities
Write a piece
Write an interesting piece about a topic that appeals to you. You never know: a great writer may lie within you. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give credit to someone else!
Do a little fun research
Take a deep dive into the world of ghostwriters and do a fun search about famous books written by ghostwriters. The next section gives you a head start!
Use the hashtag
Don’t keep this holiday a secret. Share what you’ve learned with your connections using the hashtag #ghostwritersweek for more visibility!
5 Famous People Who Used Ghostwriters
Washington’s famous “Farewell Address” was reportedly co-written by Alexander Hamilton and Washington himself.
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” which won a Pulitzer Prize, was written by a ghostwriter.
Referring to his own autobiography, Reagan said, “I hear it’s a terrific book. One of these days I’m going to read it myself.”
Many of the singer’s songs have been ghostwritten by songwriters such as Justin Timberlake, Sia, Ne-Yo, and Frank Ocean
The singer’s hit single ‘Till the World Ends’ was ghostwritten by Ke$ha.
Why We Love National Ghostwriters Week
Ghostwriters perform selfless work
It’s not an easy task to pour creativity and effort into a piece, knowing it will be credited to someone else. Ghostwriters are a special breed who use their talents to help others without receiving acclaim.
It creates awareness about ghostwriting
Ghostwriting is a field of writing that many people know very little about. National Ghostwriters Week helps create awareness about the important work that ghostwriters perform in society.
It promotes ghostwriting
Through the buzz generated during National Ghostwriters Week, people get to learn and appreciate the work that ghostwriters do. As a result, more people may decide to explore this interesting career path.
National Ghostwriters Week dates