Healthcare Writing

Colleen Shannon, Freelance Medical Writer

Freelance health writing

Earn extra money from medical writing


If you've ever published any medical writing, don't miss out on an easy source of extra income.

Be sure to register with the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS), which pays out secondary royalties for uses such as photocopying and digital reproduction.

The ALCS pays writers, editors, translators and some other contributors who have worked on:

  • books (including chapters)
  • journal articles
  • magazine articles
  • scripts.

There are also payments for qualifying photos, illustrations and diagrams.

Medicine is one of the top areas for ALCS payments, so if you have published anything in this field, see if you qualify. If you've published material in a medical book, they might even be holding backdated fees for you.

The first step is to join the ALCS. Then register your works on the website and wait for the next distribution date. Payments vary and you might not get anything - or you might get a lot.

The non-profit ALCS takes a commission on your payment and deducts a small, one-off membership fee, but the payoff is definitely worth it.

Also, membership is free if you belong to the National Union of Journalists, the Society of Authors or the Writer’s Guild, so that's another good reason to join these organisations for writers.