The 10 Best Online Creative Writing Classes of 2023
The stereotype of the writer starving in their garret while waiting for inspiration to strike is far from the truth for today’s authors. Writers work in many fields, and the best of them get where they are through education and practice. A good writing course will feature a knowledgeable instructor, along with the opportunity to practice the skills they are teaching. To help you determine the best one for your own needs, we’ve sifted through the top options and reviewed the 10 best online writing courses below.
- Coursera — Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University — Top Pick
- Udemy — Secret Sauce of Great Writing — Most Affordable
- MasterClass — Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television — Best for Multimedia Writing
- The Novelry — Writing for Children — Best for Children’s Literature
- Writer’s Digest University — Creative Writing 101 — Best for Beginners
- Bookfox — Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book — Best Editorial Support
- CreativeLive — Writing Your Story — Best for Memoir Writing
- Grammar Lion — A Grammar Refresher for All Writers & Editors — Best for Grammar Review
- LitReactor — Writing the Weird — Best Online Community
- Gotham Writers Workshop — Fiction Writing Level 1 — Best Supporting Materials
Our Ranking Criteria
The best online writing courses offer you the chance to take your natural writing skills and shape them into a form that will open the doors in your chosen field. Whether you want to pen tv sitcom scripts or write the next great American novel, the best online writing course for you will take you further than you would be able to go on your own, helping you develop professional-level skills that will allow you to obtain the job of your choice. We based our decisions for the best courses on the following criteria.
Basic Ranking Criteria
There’s no one factor that makes a writing course the best. Instead we looked at multiple aspects for each of 74 online classes and factored them all into our final ranking. In our first pass, we looked at basic ranking criteria:
Time to complete. Although it’s important to have the time you need to thoroughly understand what you’re learning, no one wants to spend more time in class than is necessary. Some of our chosen classes are self-paced, others take less than an hour to one year.
Prerequisites required. None of our finalists has any prerequisites, which means that anyone with a basic understanding of the English language can participate and learn. If you do have previous writing experience, all the better — but it’s not necessary.
Flexible schedule. All but two of our choices feature a flexible schedule. Your life is busy, and for most people it is difficult to have to sign into the course at a specific time. Eight of our chosen courses allow you to take the classes and do the work as you are able, at a time that’s convenient for you.
Certificate of completion. A certificate of completion is not standard for writing courses. However, if one is available, it is often a plus to add the certificate to your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Advanced Ranking Criteria
Once we reviewed results for the basic ranking criteria, we looked at more advanced features which are specific to the topics of the courses. Since many of our finalists have different focuses (such as children’s literature or creative writing), we were more concerned that they each covered their topic completely, rather than covering the same things as the other courses.
- The course thoroughly covers the material needed for an understanding of the topic.
- Instructors have solid credentials in the field they are teaching.
- The course includes materials that are appropriate to someone without skills or training in that area.
- The course includes opportunities for students to practice their writing skills.
- Instructors are personable and engaging.
- Alumni of the course are equipped to write at a beginning professional level.
- Graduates of the course have landed good jobs in their field.
- The course does not require software beyond a basic writing program such as Microsoft Word.
- Goals for the course are clear from the beginning.
10 Best Online Writing Courses Courses or Bootcamps
Coursera creative writing specialization by wesleyan university.
Intelligent Award: Top Pick
Coursera’s business model is somewhat different from many online education companies. It partners with established colleges and universities to offer classes at the higher-ed level. You don’t earn college credit for many courses, but can gain valuable certificates by completing specializations. The Creative Writing specialization consists of five courses that focus on three genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. Within those genres, you’ll learn about crafting characters and settings, writing descriptions, and developing your style, followed by a capstone class that will result in a completed story, essay or memoir. Throughout the specialization, you’ll have access to peer readers who can critique your work and suggest improvements. The course is taught by faculty at Wesleyan University who are published authors and trained in the creative writing process.
- Price: $49/month
- Time to complete: 3-6 months
- Prerequisites required: None
- Flexible schedule: Yes
- Includes verified certificate of completion: Yes
Who should take this course? This course is best for writers wishing to jumpstart or fire up their creative projects with college-level coursework.
Udemy Secret Sauce of Great Writing
Intelligent Award: Most Affordable
One of the better-known names in the online education industry, Udemy offers both paid and free courses, and, as of April 2021, had more than 40 million students. As you might imagine, an undertaking that vast will have a broad range of quality among its products. One of the company’s many courses on writing, The Secret Sauce of Great Writing stands out. Taught by former Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja, the class focuses on what Raja believes are the four ingredients of good writing: simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness. Understanding and using these four ingredients, Raja says, will take your writing from the mundane to the inspiring. And at this price — it’s free! — and with a minimal time commitment (the course runs less than an hour), it is a great way to give your writing a boost and possibly learn some techniques that can enhance your output, whether you’re writing press releases or your autobiography.
- Price: Free
- Time to complete: 41 minutes
- Includes verified certificate of completion: No
Who should take this course? Anyone looking for a short, inspirational course at no cost.
MasterClass Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television
Intelligent Award: Best for Multimedia Writing
Our top pick from MasterClass is Shonda Rhimes MasterClass on writing for television, although there are a number of excellent options for writers, including courses taught by Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, and Joyce Carol Oates. Rhimes packs a lot into her 30 lessons, including how to create a compelling character, script structure, and writing authentic dialogue. But she also takes it beyond writing instruction, discussing editing, breaking into the industry, and showrunning, among other TV-centric topics. Your annual membership to MasterClass also gives you access to a pdf workbook and the opportunity to download the classes and watch them offline. Rhimes is one of the biggest names in television today and an engaging speaker who seems to relish letting learners in on all the secrets that got her to where she is today.
- Price: $180 annual membership (access to 100+ classes)
- Time to complete: Self-paced
Who should take this course? Best for those with some script-writing experience, or anyone who wants to try their luck with the notoriously-difficult-to-break-into world of TV writing.
The Novelry Writing for Children
Intelligent Award: Best for Children’s Literature
The Novelry offers several programs for children’s writers, ranging from the Classic Course Box Set, which allows you to work through 45 lessons at your own speed for $365, up to The Book in a Year Plan, which guides you from planning, creating, and writing a children’s novel to publishing within a year (costs $1,999). The latter includes nine one-on-one sessions with a children’s fiction tutor to help you shape your creation — a valuable benefit for budding writers. An interactive platform allows you to ask questions or add comments online. Classes are 15-20 minutes in length, and the company recommends that you allow one hour a day for your writing. The platform keeps track of your progress and offers feedback as you go.
- Price: $365 to $1,999
- Time to complete. Self-paced; one year accessibility
- Prerequisites required . None
- Flexible schedule : Yes
Who should take this course? If you already have a great plan for a novel, the Book in a Year plan is ideal. If you’re still searching for an idea on which you can build a novel, try the Classic Course.
Writer’s Digest University Creative Writing 101
Intelligent Award: Best for Beginners
If you are at the very start of your writing career, you should consider checking out Writer’s Digest University. A venerable name in the writing world, Writer’s Digest has been publishing a magazine for writers since 1920, and it has the professional chops to offer solid, comprehensive courses to both beginners and experienced writers. Creative Writing 101 is geared toward those who have an idea and the urge to write, but are not sure where to begin. The classes lead you in shaping your protagonist and antagonist and fleshing out the plot of the story while addressing common writerly concerns such as determining point of view and how to motivate yourself to write. The 12 sessions are available for $579.99, which is a bit on the steep side for what you receive, but the quality of the courses is generally excellent.
- Price: $579.99
- Time to complete: 12 weeks
Who should take this course? Those who are at the beginning of their writing career without a strong sense of direction. It’s also good for established writers who would like a refresher on topics such as imagery and dialogue.
Bookfox Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book
Intelligent Award: Best Editorial Support
Bookfox is the brainchild of John Matthew Fox, a former college professor, editor, and writer, who well understands the ins and outs of the publishing world. His courses, which include Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book, are packed with information. They delve far beyond the actual writing process, and include how to generate book ideas, the revision process, and, perhaps most importantly, how to successfully publish your book. He also touches on topics including finding an illustrator and agent as well as what you should know if you decide to self-publish. Fox himself teaches each class. The self-paced children’s book class has 14 lessons, which take anywhere from two weeks up to one year. As a one-man operation, Bookfox doesn’t have the highly-polished look and feel of companies like MasterClass, but Fox’s knowledge base more than makes up for his website’s lack of bells and whistles.
- Price: $149
- Time to complete: Up to one year
Who should take this course? Anyone who wants comprehensive information on the editorial and publishing process.
CreativeLive Writing Your Story
Intelligent Award: Best for Memoir Writing
CreativeLive’s Memoir course, called “Writing Your Story,” is taught by celebrated novelist and memorist Joyce Maynard, who first came to public recognition following her account of her affair with J.D. Salinger, At Home in the World . She’s written several other books of an autobiographical nature along with 11 novels. Her teaching style is engaging and idiosyncratic, and involves numerous stories from her own life. If that piques your curiosity, you’ll find her course engaging and informative, with 26 lessons that range from 5-30 minutes long and discuss how to determine what to write, how to write it, and how to handle criticism and rejection. If you enjoy Maynard’s style of teaching, note that there are several other courses taught by her, including How to Write a Full-Length Memoir and How to Write a Personal Essay.
- Price: $11/month for pass that includes 1500+ classes; $89 if you purchase just this class
- Time to complete: Five hours, 19 minutes spread over 26 lessons
Who should take this course? A great option for anyone who wants to tell their own story.
Grammar Lion A Grammar Refresher for All Writers & Editors
Intelligent Award: Best for Grammar Review
Having a great story to tell is important, but unless you have the basic building blocks of writing, you won’t be able to tell it. This means paying attention to grammar, and it’s what the Grammar Lion Grammar Refresher course offers. Appropriate both for those who need to learn about grammar as well as accomplished writers looking for a review of basic material, the course starts out by identifying the parts of speech, reviews sentence structure, delves into verb forms, and discusses shifts in person, tense, and structure. One whole lesson is given to matters of clarity and logic, and course extras include helpful resources and a favorite books list. The instructor is Ellen Feld, an author, editor, and educator who has taught more than 44,000 students in her online grammar refresher courses. You can connect to Feld via a discussion forum or by private email. She also offers one-on-one editing services for an additional fee.
Who should take this course? Beginners who are learning grammar for the first time and experienced writers who need a refresh in the building blocks of language.
LitReactor Writing the Weird
Intelligent Award: Best Online Community
LitReactor’s courses are hip and decidedly off-center. Take, for example, the course Writing the Weird, taught by J.S. Breukelaar, a finalist for the Ladies of Horror Fiction award and author of Collision . Enrollment is limited to 16 students, who take a deep dive into surreal, fantastic, and otherwise bizarre literature to find and write the human elements that make a story stand out. The four week course is divided into four topics: humanity, structure, setting, and resolution. You’ll explore the work of writers from Kelly Link to Matt Bell, and discover how conventional narrative can be a starting point for delving into innovative and speculative fiction. Each week you’ll be given writing assignments that will be critiqued by Breukelaar and your classmates, and in the fourth and last week, you’ll develop a story from start to finish based on what you’ve learned. Depending on your job title, this class may be the least likely to get you a raise. But it just may be the most fun of all our finalists.
- Price: $350
- Time to complete: 4 weeks
Who should take this course? Anyone with a taste for the off-beat and a willingness to stretch themselves and think outside of the box.
Gotham Writers Workshop Fiction Writing Level 1
Intelligent Award: Best Supporting Materials
Gotham Writers Workshop has made a name for itself in the NYC region with in-person and Zoom classes, but it also offers well-regarded online classes. Level I classes, such as Fiction Writing I, max out with 16 students per class, so you are guaranteed personal attention from the instructor. Level II and III classes (which include the continuation of the Fiction Writing series), have a maximum of 14 students. You can access each class and do the accompanying exercises anytime during the week for the 10 week workshops. The online interface makes it easy to submit work and read critiques from instructors and fellow students. Lessons are text-based rather than video, and there is a wealth of accompanying materials, such as reading lists and podcasts, to help you extend your learning experience.
- Price: Registration fee: $25; Online: $409; Returning students: $379; One-on-one: $1,745
- Time to complete: 10 weeks
- Flexible schedule: Modified flex time, with work needing to be completed within a week
Who should take this course? Anyone who prefers text-based lessons; those who want to interact personally with their instructor and peers.
Online Course Comparison Chart
Tips for succeeding in an online writing course, 1. consider the cost, how much do online writing classes cost.
Online writing courses are offered at a broad range of price points, our cheapest option is free, and the highest is nearly $2K. Generally, the more personal one-on-one time you have with an editor or your instructor, the more you’ll pay. LitReactor, for example, has a vibrant online community and regular feedback from your instructor, and costs $350 for the roughly four-week class.
Many of our choices are paid for in one lump sum when you sign up. A few, however, follow Coursera’s model of charging by the month or year. Also, keep in mind that some of our choices, such as MasterClass, give you access to all courses for the membership fee. So, if you have the time and interest, your $180 annual fee at MasterClass could net you literally dozens of courses in a range of topics.
Will my employer pay for me to take the course?
If you work in the communications industry, or in any industry that values good, clear writing skills, you may be able to have all or part of your writing course fees paid for by your employer, especially if you can show them how the course will benefit them. It’s worth asking your boss or your HR supervisor if they will help out with the cost.
2. Get your tech squared away
You shouldn’t need any special software or hardware to take an online writing course. You will need a good internet connection and a computer that is loaded with the most recent version of your chosen browser and system files. Most courses are formatted to work on both desktop computers and other devices, such as your tablet or smartphone. One handy app if you use Google Chrome is the company’s Video Speed Controller , which allows you to speed up or slow down HTML5 video, as needed.
3. Use the right study resources
One resource that many writers swear by is a good style guide. There are several of these, and you can generally find out which style guide your company uses with a quick question to the marketing or communications department. Here are the most common:
- Associated Press Stylebook — now in its 55th edition, this is the granddaddy of them all. Used by journalists, it is also the favored choice for much web writing as well as some academia.
- The Chicago Manual of Style — a wealth of information, the 17th edition features chapters on grammar and usage, a glossary of problematic words, and extensive information on citing sources.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association — in its 7th edition, this style guide is used extensively by researchers and those in science and health care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Courses
What jobs can you get after completing a writing course.
Few people are full-time authors. But the vast majority of professions, from legal work to health care, require those who can write clearly and concisely. According to the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook , a full-time writer earns an average of $67,120 a year — but you can earn significantly more, depending on your job skills and professional area.
Are there free online writing courses?
Yes. In fact, one of our ten best choices is Udemy, which offers a broad range of free courses. In general, however, the old adage about how you get what you pay for holds true — the best, most well-designed courses will usually have a cost attached to them.
How long is the average online writing course?
Online writing courses vary from less than an hour to up to a year. Since most offer a flexible schedule, you can do them when you have time available. Keep in mind that in addition to lectures you’ll be watching or reading, you may also have exercises to complete, which take additional time.
Are online writing courses worth it?
They can be. Like many things in life, you will get as much out of it as you put into it. If you are taking a course for personal enrichment, all our chosen courses should benefit you. If you’re looking for professional advancement, a course with a certificate of completion may be a good idea, so you can show the certificate to your boss when done.
What are the best online writing courses?
There are probably hundreds of online writing courses — we looked at nearly 75 for this review. The best online writing courses are the ones we’ve featured above. The best writing course for your needs will depend on what you are looking to get out of it. If you’re hoping to write a best-selling children’s book, for example, the best writing class might not be Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass. You’d be better off choosing an option like The Novelry’s program or John Matthew Fox’s Bookfox.
Best Online Writing Courses: 18 Top Options (2023)
Discover the best online writing courses to help you take your career and craft to the next level.
I spent a year taking a traditional in-person writing class. We covered topics like writing short stories and personal essays. It was fun to meet other writers, but a conventional writing class involves traveling to a location at a set time each week. It’s often hard to do this with a job and family commitments.
New and experienced writers can choose from a plethora of online writing classes. You can learn a specific topic related to the craft at your own pace. No matter what you write, write books, articles, blog posts, and so on, there’s an online writing course for you.
Online writing courses provide valuable lessons for new and established writers. No matter your skill level, you can continually improve and build new skills with the help of industry experts. Some of my most valuable skills have been gained from online classes.
Using online writing courses can open up opportunities to further your career. This could include launching your online blog with articles, publishing your non-fiction or fiction book, beginning a copywriting career, or delving into journalism. Whatever your passion is, online courses are a great way to develop your skills and start your next adventure.
Learn from the world's best teachers and instructors about writing, business, creative pursuits and more. It's affordable and includes dozens of hours of high-quality lessons that you can't get anywhere else.
What to Do Before Starting a Writing Course?
The best online writing courses , 1. the successful writers’ club, 2. masterclass, 3. the novelry, 4. creativelive, 6. storylogue, 7. writers village university, 8. your first 10k readers, 9. self-publishing formula/ads for authors, 10. authority pub-academy, 11. brandon sanderson’s writing lectures at brigham young university, 12. accelerated program for six-figure copywriting, 13. skillshare, 14. coursera, 15. writer’s digest university, 16. bookfox, 17. grammar lion, 18. litreactor, why you can trust us, best online writing courses: the final word, faqs on the best online writing courses, masterclass resources.
Establish Your Goals for an Online Writing Course
The first step towards improving your writing skills is to understand online writing classes vary widely in price, content, and theme. Before picking a class, decide what part of the writing process you want to learn more about and your budget.
Before spending money on a course, it’s a good idea to reflect on what you write, who it’s for, and your ideal learning goal. For example, a non-fiction writer probably has different creative goals than a novelist. The former may want more clients, whereas the latter may be interested in world-building. So here are several questions to ask yourself before handing over your credit card details:
- Are you a new writer looking for something to inspire you to start writing?
- Do you need help with writer’s block?
- Are you trying to hone your writing style?
- Would you like to write your first book?
- Or perhaps you want to pen and publish a personal essay?
- Do you need help with novel writing?
- Do you want to increase revenue by self-publishing your book on Amazon?
- Are you a freelance writer who wants to develop better business writing skills?
- Would you like to improve your brand storytelling skills?
- Or do you want to hone everyday writing skills, like self-editing ?
- Do you need help launching and marketing a potential best-seller?
Online writing courses exist for all types of creative and business pursuits! These courses can help you improve several aspects of your writing skills. Some of these classes are available today, whereas others only open their doors several times a year.
Set Your Course Budget
Next, you must determine how much you are willing to invest in a course. For example, if you are new to online learning, you might want to try free online courses like Brandon Sanderson’s lectures for genre fiction writers.
You can check out affordable courses like Udemy or The Successful Writers’s Club. Then, once you have covered the absolute basics of the writing format through free online courses – step up to a more advanced paid class like Masterclass.
Remember, set your budget for what you can afford now and what is suited to your skill set. You can always note down interesting courses and add them to your wishlist to revisit at a later time. It is better to start small and build up to more comprehensive courses than pay for something above your skill level out of pocket.
I teach new writers how to share their stories, make an impact and get paid to write. With a plethora of experience, I share my insights into what makes a great book and how you can achieve your writing goals. By pulling from my writing, I share skills that will help you write online, get paid and make an impact. I also delve into popular topics like publishing a book, blogging and SEO for writers. The club comprises a series of mini-courses for writers and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
I cover topics like
- What it takes to go from the blank page to a finished book
- Conquering writer’s block once and for all
- Editing that messy first draft like a pro!
- Getting paid as a freelance writer
- How to find readers using blogging and SEO
- Lots more… I record new mini courses regularly
Instructor(s): Yours truly
Course Schedule: Self-paced
Recommended for: This course is suitable for bloggers, aspiring non-fiction authors, and freelance writers.
Pricing: It only costs $20 per month
With thousands of courses to choose from, Masterclass provides a professional platform for acclaimed experts to share their knowledge. In addition, Masterclass offers writing classes focusing on the craft and theory of fiction and non-fiction writing. Where else will you find talented authors talking about their writing process and style in such great detail? Click here to read our detailed Masterclass review .
Each lesson is between five and ten minutes long, and you can watch them on your mobile or desktop. They also come with downloadable materials like PDF worksheets and notes. You can also engage with other writers and students. If you’re lucky, one of the celebrity tutors may even workshop your piece!
Instructor(s): Masterclass superstar writing tutors include: James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, and David Mamet. You might want to consider Patterson’s class if you write fiction and Gladwell if you write non-fiction. In addition, students can pick from over a dozen Masterclass courses for writers .
Course Schedule: The course is self-paced.
Recommended for: From fiction to creative non-fiction to script-writing – Masterclass has courses for every kind of writer, including novelists, bloggers, and aspiring authors. You’ll learn about everything from character development to getting published.
Pricing: These classes are relatively affordable and cost approximately $100. You can access digestible materials from great writers who are usually inaccessible.
The Novelry supports writers from the twinkling of an idea to submission to their literary agency partners. In addition, the Novelry offers online creative writing courses for the budding author keen to complete a novel. Founded by award-winning Booker-listed novelist Louise Dean, The Novelry supports writers from the twinkling of an idea to submission to their literary agency partners. I recently interviewed Louise Dean for my podcast, and she has a great approach that helps writers finish a draft in 90 days.
Course Schedule: Self-paced.
Recommended for: Fiction writers. Aspiring novelists.
CreativeLive is an exciting alternative to Masterclass. Rather than featuring celebrity writers and authors, many of CreativeLive instructors are entrepreneurs, bloggers, and online personalities.
Having taken several of these classes, I found them more practical than Masterclass offers. However, if Masterclass provides the theory, CreativeLive provides the steps you must take to succeed at blogging or book writing.
Click here to read my detailed CreativeLive review .
These writing classes are recorded in a live studio by instructors teaching or presenting to other writers. It’s an exciting way to learn because you can see the audience’s reactions and get ideas from their questions for the writing instructors.
Again, the materials are readily digestible. With some exceptions, the lessons are between five and 15-minutes long. The CreativeLive writing classes also include downloadable PDFs, exercises, and worksheets. You can watch the materials on your desktop or through the CreativeLive app on your mobile device.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider Wired for Story: How to Become a Story Genius by Lisa Cron.
Instructors: Notable instructors include New York Times best-selling authors Ramit Sethi and Tim Ferriss.
Recommended for: CreativeLive has classes for bloggers and fiction and non-fiction writers.
Pricing: The cost varies depending on the class. Classes start from $20.
Master your craft, your passion, or something new
with creative classes taught by the world’s best.
These Udemy classes cover everything from critical concepts like basic grammar and punctuation to freelance writing, self-publishing, and blogging. Udemy is the supermarket of online learning. It also has courses on hundreds of topics other than writing. You can choose from dozens of different writing classes of varying standards. These Udemy classes cover everything from critical concepts like basic grammar and punctuation to f reelance writing , self-publishing, and blogging.
Typically, these writing classes involve the instructor recording a video from their office, sometimes supported by a PowerPoint presentation. However, the quality of the lesson materials varies widely from class to class, so make sure you read the reviews before buying one. In addition, consider taking the Secret Sauce of Great Writing by former Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja. His other course writing with flair is popular.
Instructors: Many of the instructors on Udemy are less well-known than CreativeLive or Masterclass.
Recommended for: Udemy is an excellent place to start if you’re new to online learning, as the classes don’t cost much, and you can buy them anytime.
Pricing: Udemy online writing classes are cheap to start with and often sold at a discount . The cost varies depending on the class. Classes start from $9.99.
Run by screenwriter, author, and creative instructor Robert McKee, Storylogue is one of the lesser-known online writing classes available today. It’s based on what McKee teaches in person and his excellent book Storynomics.
Robert McKee’s in-person workshops cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on where and when you take them. However, the online writing class Storylogue distills what McKee knows about storytelling, emphasizing screenwriting and business writing. These lessons typically involve McKee speaking straight to the camera from his office.
The materials aren’t as well-organized as those in a Masterclass or CreativeLive. I had to use the search feature to find suitable lessons. They’ve updated the user interface since I was a member. The slight emphasis on screenwriting may also deter some writers.
Instructor(s): Robert McKee is an author, lecturer, and story consultant. He consulted on business storytelling for companies like Microsoft, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Time Warner, and Siemens. I attended Robert McKee’s in-person business writing class several years ago in Kerry. He was an engaging and inspiring instructor. At one point, McKee became so passionate about a story that his eyes watered.
Recommended for: This course is suitable for screenwriters, content marketers , and anyone who wants to improve their storytelling skills.
Pricing: You get access to all lessons for $19.97 (paid monthly) or $197 (paid annually).
Writer’s Village University is a popular online writing class and community aimed at fiction writers. The emphasis here is on the community. So consider Writer’s Village University, an online version of your local creative writing group. It’s been around since 1995, too, making it the oldest writing class in this review. I joined for two months out of curiosity, even though I don’t write much fiction.
The website contains an active forum. There are over 200 different short classes you can take at your pace. They cover topics like writing poetry, crafting thrillers, essay writing , and more. There’s less emphasis on video learning than in other classes featured in this review. Instead, you receive a series of writing assignments via email.
You can then submit your homework assignments to your online writing tutor and other students to the workshop. I joined this website for three months before moving on. That said, it struck me as a valuable resource for fiction writers who hunger for a community.
Instructor(s): It is a community of writers.
Course Schedule: Click here for more upcoming courses.
Recommended for: These courses are suitable for fiction writers who want the support of other writers.
Pricing: It costs $30 for a 30-day trial. After the trial period, a one-year Writers’ Village University membership costs $99.
Try Writers’ Village University
This online writing class is aimed at fiction and non-fiction authors who want to self-publish and sell more books. The instructor is Nick Stephenson, an author from the United Kingdom. Self-publishing is an underrated pathway to becoming a successful author. Nowadays, self-publishing has become the new normal. With the influx of social media, it is possible to self-publish, self-promote, and self-market.
I took this course in 2017. It walks you through some basic and more advanced book marketing strategies that work. For example – It teaches you the process of self-publishing a short book that you offer for free. This book serves as an introduction to your series or a reader magnet. The goal of this free book is to encourage people to buy your next book.
Instructor(s): The course is offered by British indie author Nick Stephenson, known for his thriller novels.
Course Schedule: Stephenson only opens this course several times a year, so you’ll need to join his email list first.
Recommended for: This course suits authors who want to earn money from self-publishing books.
Pricing: This course, in its entirety, costs around $595. However, you can sign up for a free training session.
Both of these courses are taught by bestselling author Mark Dawson, a noted indie author from the United Kingdom. He’s also an expert in book marketing through paid advertising.
Self Publishing Formula teaches the basics of writing, publishing, and promoting a book on Amazon and other stores. Dawson’s second course, Ads for Authors , will help you sell more copies of your book. He explains how to use various ads to sell your books, including Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon ads. In 2016 and early 2017, I struggled to earn a profit from selling my books on Amazon. But, thanks to Dawson’s second course, I learned how to run profitable Amazon ads, making me an excellent monthly return on my books.
Instructor(s): Mark Dawson is a British thriller author. He has reportedly earned $450,000 a year by publishing books on Amazon!
Course Schedule: Dawson only opens the doors to his courses a few times a year, so join his email list first.
Recommended for: This course is suitable for aspiring indie authors or established authors who want to increase their profits.
Pricing: This course, in its entirety, costs around $497.
Authority Pub-Academy is an online learning class run by noted indie authors and entrepreneurs Steve Barrie and Barrie Davenport over at Authority Pub .
I haven’t taken this writing class, but many other indie authors recommend it. I have browsed the curriculum, and it’s similar to what Bolt, Dawson, and Stephenson teach. In other words, this course walks you through the basics of writing and self-publishing a book that sells. The course contains six lessons, with multiple lessons in each one. Some lessons include:
- The Current State of Self-Publishing
- How to Research and Pick A Winning Niche
- How to Create A Bestselling Topic
- Ten-Day Free Book Launch Strategy
- How to Create a Facebook Ad For Your Books
This writing course has been around for nearly ten years, which is encouraging. I will update this online writing course review when I take it.
Instructor(s): Steve Barrie and Barrie Davenport have published nearly 100 books.
Recommended for: It’s suitable for aspiring writers who want to learn about self-publishing.
Pricing: The course, in its entirety, costs around $797.
In 2016, Brandon Sanderson recorded a course focused on writing fantasy books. Then, he uploaded these classes and published them as a YouTube playlist . Now, you can take Sanderson’s curriculum online in the same sequence as his students.
I don’t write fantasy stories (at least, not anymore), but I watched nearly a dozen of Sanderson’s writing classes. I was fascinated to hear him describe his world-building techniques and genre fiction writing.
Some of the classes are hard to follow because of background noise. Also, the classes were typically between 30 and 60 minutes long, and it took me a long time to go through them. Still, Sanderson’s classes are free and an excellent introduction to learning online for aspiring fiction authors.
Instructor(s): Brandon Sanderson is a famous American fiction author specializing in fantasy. Notable works of his include the Mistborn series and his conclusion to the Wheel of Time series.
Course Schedule: You can watch all of his videos at your leisure.
Recommended for: These lectures are a great introduction to online writing courses. It is suitable for fiction writers (specifically fantasy).
Pricing: You can watch all of his lectures for free!
Copywriting is a specialism for non-fiction writers that involves writing words that sell. In the past, I’ve taken several types of copywriting classes and enjoyed reading many books about this art. Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is the most popular online writing class for copywriters. Many noted online writers recommend it.
I haven’t taken this online writing class yet, but it’s on my list. I will update this writing class review with more information when I complete this class.
Instructor(s): American Writers & Artists, various copywriters
Recommended for: Suitable for bloggers, freelance writers, and copywriters who want to improve business writing skills.
Pricing: The course in its entirety costs $497.
Students can take a class on almost anything by participating in nearly 30,000 classes. You can watch unlimited lessons while your subscription lasts, but when it expires, you lose access. With unlimited access, this course is brilliant if you want to scale up your skillset in multiple ways. Read our Skillshare review
Key Concepts: Writing, coding, graphic design
Instructors : Varies
Recommended for: This course is suitable for bloggers, freelance writers, and creative entrepreneurs.
Pricing : Free trial available
Explore your creativity with classes in illustration, photography, design, content writing and more.
By partnering with established colleges and universities, you can gain access to valuable certificates by completing specializations.
Key Concepts: The Creative Writing specialization contains multiple courses you can participate in, including short stories, narrative essays, and memoirs. Coursera is a fantastic option for writers seeking official qualifications and certificates and learning from industry leaders.
Instructors: Coursera’s Creative Writing course includes Brando Skyhors (Visiting Assistant professor of Creative Writing), Amy Bloom (Distinguished University Writer in Residence and Director of the Shapiro Centre for Creative writing, Amity Gaige (Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing), and Salvator Scibons (Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor of English).
Course Schedule : This course is self-paced and lasts 3-6 months.
Recommended for: Those who want to get a headstart on their writing career or to achieve college-level coursework and qualifications
Pricing: $49 per month
Writer’s Digest University provides a creative writing crash course for those beginning their writing career. With a fantastic reputation of being an established magazine since 1920, you can get the best start to begin your first exciting writing project.
Key Concepts: The class teaches common concerns, such as deciding on the point of view and beating writer’s block.
Instructors: Ran Walker, winner of the 2019 National Undie Author of the Year Award.
Course Schedule: This is a 12-week course
Recommended for: Those who are ready to take the next to begin their writing career.
Bookfox is created by John Matthew Fox, a former college professor, editor, and writer. His course is packed with helpful information for writers looking to create an excellent children’s book. This course has 14 lessons, which take as long as you want as it is self-paced.
The content provides you with everything you need to know to write and publish your book. This includes writing, proofreading, editing, finding an illustrator and agent, and getting your book on the shelves! It’s a must-have course for serious writers.
Instructor: John Matthew Fox
Course Schedule: This course is self-paced
Recommended for: Children’s book writers
This Grammar Lion course is perfect for those looking to upgrade their grammar skills or learn the art of proofreading and copyediting. The course material involves:
- Identifying parts of speech.
- Reviewing sentence structure.
- Discovering different verb forms.
- Learning about the different tenses.
This course allows one-on-one discussions with the lecturer to learn new skills. As well as this, you have access to 12 comprehensive lessons, each delving into a different topic that will improve your grammar.
Instructor: Ellen Field
Course Schedule: This course is self-paced and lasts 12 weeks.
Recommended for: Beginners looking to elevate their grammar schools
With interesting elements weaved into the coursework, this writing experience is like no other. For example, the course “Writing the Weird” features assignments that look at surreal and bizarre literature to find and examine the writing within these novels that makes them stand out.
Key Concepts: This course examines humanity, structure, setting, and resolution within a story’s plot.
Instructor: J.S. Breukelaar (finalist for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Award).
Course Schedule: 4-week schedule that you can work through at your leisure.
Recommended for: Writers within niche genres.
Price : $350
I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines, and online publications, including Forbes and Lifehacker. I’m also a best-selling non-fiction author, a trained journalist, and a copywriter.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars taking writing courses in college and online. I consider writing courses a crucial part of my development as a writer. I also sometimes commission other writers to review these courses to get another point of view.
What other online writing classes would you like me to feature in this review? How do you plan to develop your English writing skills? Please let me know in the comments section below.
Please note the cost of some of these writing classes varies depending on when they are launched.
Do creative writing courses help?
Creative writing courses help if you complete the course and also write and share your short stories or pieces. In addition, it helps if you can take a course alongside other students and an experienced teacher.
Are writing-intensive courses hard?
If you haven’t written much before, they can be a challenge as you’ll have to cultivate a regular writing habit and adapt to getting feedback from other writers, even if it’s negative.
Are writing courses worth it?
They are if you pick a course from a reputable instructor that solves a particular problem. For example, I took a book marketing course that doubled my book sales and earnings over time.
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Bryan Collins runs things around here. He's also a non-fiction writer and author.
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Choose The Best Online Writing Classes Today
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5 Best Writing Classes You Can Take Online
PSA: You don’t need a higher education or an MFA to become a great writer. Truth be told, you don’t need any form of classes—only your paper and pen—to get started on the next bestselling novel. Curriculum and instruction can help though, especially when you find yourself stuck in a writing rut or eager to learn more about your craft.
The list below includes a few of our favorite online writing classes, perfect for writers of all levels and genres. Consider gifting yourself a bit of structured creative time in 2023 and maybe some Zoom rooms you’ll actually want to hop into. We can’t wait to read what you write!
For more creative writing inspiration, try these 52 creative writing prompts .
Best For | Zoom classes and virtual workshops led by renowned instructors Starting At | $75 for a 1-day seminar Catapult offers one of the most extensive lists of online writing workshops and classes, and many of the instructors are renowned authors or literary magazine editors. Our team has taken a six-week essay course, a one-day editing seminar, and a creative nonfiction class—all online—and each one has far exceeded our expectations. Catapult is also excellent for connecting with other writers (the workshop component is one of the best we’ve experienced), and we’ve made and maintained relationships with writers all around the world. With online courses of all lengths and covering various genres, it’s perfect for everyone.
Browse Catapult Writing Classes
Best For | Self-led courses with the world’s best writers Starting At | $15/month billed annually (access to all courses) While you won’t get a workshop component with these courses, MasterClass is one of our favorite websites for learning about all things, including writing. The instructor list packs a serious punch, with big names like Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris, and Roxane Gay. This is a great option if you want courses you can take at your own pace and videos you can revisit again and again.
Browse MasterClass Writing Classes
3. one story.
Best For | Short story and fiction writers Starting At | $55 (three-day intensive) One Story is a publication bringing people together through reading, writing, and learning about short fiction. In addition to its mission of publishing one short story at a time, the org offers affordable online writing workshops and classes throughout the year. Read one of the recent One Story issues here , and then browse the upcoming workshops to find the best fit for you.
Browse One Story Workshops
4. sackett street writers.
Best For | Small-group writing workshops, advanced workshops Starting At | $450 for 6-week courses Another team favorite, Sackett Street Writers has been called a “top alternative to MFA programs” by Poets & Writers. The 8-week workshops offered online throughout the year are perfect for taking your craft to the next level. Most are in small group settings (9-10 writers), and while Sackett offers courses for all levels, some of the advanced workshops require a writing sample and application. This may sound a bit daunting, but it actually creates a challenging environment and an excellent cohort of writers to workshop with, so give it your best shot!
Browse Sackett Street Writing Workshops
5. write or die magazine.
Best For | Mentorships, self-guided classes Starting At | $12 for a self-guided course “Writers need writers” — ain’t that the truth! Write or Die Magazine is an online hub offering writers resources, inspiration, and connection and accountability. The website has plenty of freebies and affordable self-guided classes to help you build a sustainable writing practice and overcome common fears and doubts associated with writing. If you have a serious project in the works, the platform also includes one-on-one mentorships and coaching. Sign up for the weekly newsletter for upcoming class announcements.
Browse Write or Die Magazine Classes
Bonus: story club with george saunders.
Best For | Ongoing interaction with writers and lessons from George Saunders, of course! Starting At | $6/month (or $50/annually) While not a traditional writing workshop per se, we love Story Club with George Saunders for the writing MFA we never applied for. Wrestling with the concept of story in a continuation of his latest book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain , each email (hosted by Substack and sent twice a week) includes guided readings and is both interactive and rigorous. You can also anticipate writing exercises and prompts, examples from Saunders’ vaults of files, and comment discussion threads about craft and writing life. Learn more about the structure and see past posts here .
Browse Story Club with George Saunders
Kayti Christian (she/her) is a Senior Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside , a newsletter for sensitive people.
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917 results for "writing"
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Research and Design, Writing
Beginner · Specialization · 3-6 Months
Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing, Leadership and Management, Business Communication, Professional Development, Project Management, Strategy and Operations, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales, Strategy
Write Your First Novel
Skills you'll gain: Business Psychology, Communication, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Organizational Development, Research and Design, Storytelling, Writing
Beginner · Course · 3-6 Months
Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself
Skills you'll gain: Business Psychology, Communication, Entrepreneurship, Human Learning, Leadership and Management, Marketing, Sales, Storytelling, Strategy, Strategy and Operations, Writing
Academic English: Writing
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing, Research and Design
Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing, Media Production, Business Communication, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Business Psychology, Collaboration, Human Resources, People Development, Creativity, Research and Design, Computer Graphics, Graphic Design, Planning, Project Management, Storytelling, Strategy and Operations, Supply Chain and Logistics, Visual Design
Writing in the Sciences
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing, Social Media
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
English for Journalism
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Journalism, Marketing, Social Media, Writing, Business Psychology, Culture, Data Visualization, Digital Marketing, General Statistics, Leadership and Management, Probability & Statistics
Mixed · Course · 1-3 Months
Learn English: Writing Effectively with Complex Sentences
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing, Computational Logic, Mathematical Theory & Analysis, Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science, Business Communication
Intermediate · Specialization · 1-3 Months
English Composition I
Skills you'll gain: Writing, Communication, Business Analysis, Critical Thinking, Research and Design, Strategy and Operations
The Strategy of Content Marketing
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Marketing, Media Strategy & Planning, Business Psychology, Marketing Design, Marketing Management, Marketing Psychology, Media Production, Research and Design, Digital Marketing, Influencing, Writing, Advertising, Advertising Sales, MarTech, Storytelling, Brand Management, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Sales, Strategy, Strategy and Operations
Intermediate · Course · 1-3 Months
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
Skills you'll gain: Communication, Writing
Mixed · Course · 1-4 Weeks
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In summary, here are 10 of our most popular writing courses.
- Creative Writing : Wesleyan University
- Good with Words: Writing and Editing : University of Michigan
- Write Your First Novel : Michigan State University
- Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself : Wesleyan University
- Academic English: Writing : University of California, Irvine
- Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation : University of Colorado Boulder
- Writing in the Sciences : Stanford University
- English for Journalism : University of Pennsylvania
- Learn English: Writing Effectively with Complex Sentences : University of California, Irvine
- English Composition I : Duke University
Skills you can learn in Business Essentials
Frequently asked questions about writing, what are the best free writing courses .
If you're looking for the best free writing courses on the web, then look no further! Coursera has you covered with a wide variety of writing classes from Novel Writing to Journalism to Scientific Writing to English Composition to Poetry Workshop . There is something for everyone looking to hone their writing skills.
What are the best writing courses for beginners?
If you're just getting started with writing and looking for a comprehensive suite of courses, Coursera offers great options. The Writing for Business course provides a good foundation for clear and effective business writing. For those interested in honing their editing skills, Writing, Editing, & Words and Writing, Editing, & Structure cover writing process, drafting and revision for maximum clarity. Writing Your World and Writing About Ourselves focus on creative writing development with personal and fictional stories.
What are the best advanced writing courses?
For those looking to take their writing skills to the next level, Coursera offers excellent advanced writing courses. The Just Reading and Writing English course is a great resource for anyone wanting to brush up on their reading and writing skills. Additionally, for those looking for more in-depth grammar instruction, the English: Writing and Grammar: Adverb Clauses , English: Writing and Grammar: Noun Clauses , and English: Writing and Grammar: Adjective Clauses classes provide comprehensive instruction. Finally, Copy of Glasscock: Writing: Grammar & Style delves into the art of editing and revising, allowing users to learn the more nuanced aspects of writing.
Why is it important to learn to write?
Alongside verbal communication and body language, writing is one of the most essential forms of interpersonal communication. In the workplace, strong writing skills allow you to send persuasive emails to your boss or clarify complicated instructions with coworkers. In your personal life, writing allows you to keep in touch with friends and family members via texts, social media posts, or traditional letters.
Not all writing is intended for interpersonal communication. Sometimes you simply need to write to organize your thoughts or record information for later use. Writing things down by hand can also improve your memory retention and understanding of a subject.
What are typical careers that use writing?
Writing is an essential skill if you want to pursue a career in a field such as copywriting, journalism, technical writing, or scriptwriting. Copywriters use their writing to persuade audiences to try a service, buy a product, or participate in an event. Journalists write about current events, and their work can help people make informed daily decisions. Technical writers break down complex processes into more concise and easy-to-understand text. Scriptwriters, novelists, and poets produce artistic works that entertain, inspire, and inform audiences. Artistic works can also challenge viewers to explore a new perspective.
Many other career paths are also writing-intensive. For example, public relations specialists need to constantly communicate with the press and public in media releases, and scientific researchers often have to record and share their findings in academic papers.
How can online courses on Coursera help me learn about writing?
Online courses on Coursera will help you learn or brush up on the basics of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Mastering these elements of writing gives you a foundation to build on. Courses in storytelling take your education a step further, offering lessons on crafting coherent and creative narratives. Other courses focus on more specific areas of interest, such as technical writing, poetry, journalism, and personal essays. You can take the lessons at your own pace and work on the lessons from anywhere that has internet access.
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Home / Book Writing / 16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2023 [Free & Paid]
16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2023 [Free & Paid]
Table of contents.
- Best Overall Online Writing Courses: MasterClass
- Best Course to Help Finish Your Book: The 100-Day Book Program
- Best Writing Course for Beginners: Writing With Flair
- Best Course for Children's Book Writers: Children's Book University
- Best Course for Amazon Self-Publishers: AMS Ads for Books
- Best Online Memoir Writing Course: Memoirama
- Best Course for Indie Publishers: WCU's Publishing MA Program
- Best Online Course for Bloggers: Freedom Machine
- Best Course for Sci-Fi Writers: Writers of the Future Online Workshop
- Best Course For Writing a Novel Step-by-Step: A Fearless Way to Write Novels
- Best Free Online Writing Courses of 2023
What is the best online course for writers in 2023? In this article, I’ll cover the highest-quality online classes that are free…and not so free. How can I improve my writing skills online? You can improve your writing skills using online classes that push your creative writing, business writing, and academic writing skills to their maximum potential.
A writer needs to keep improving his or her craft. Online writing courses aren't just for amateurs or writing hobbyists; they're for all writers. However, all online writing courses are not created equal. Some courses available are a waste of money, while others are the best money can buy. (Some of the best courses are free .) When looking at the prices, try not to think how steep the cost is. Think of the money you will make if you take the course. Think of how much it would cost to earn an MFA for a specialization in creative writing. These are (often tax-deductible) investments in your career. I've devised a comprehensive list of my favorite online writing courses in 2023, including their cost and what type of course they are. This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into when you enroll.
- Best general online writing courses
- How much each course costs
- Best genre courses for writing sci-fi, children’s books , memoirs
- What free , high-quality courses Kindlepreneur offers
- Best free online classes (in case you're on a tight budget)
Links in this article may give me a small commission if you use them to purchase products. There’s NO extra cost to you, and it helps me continue to write handy articles like this one. This does not detract from the quality of the courses; there's a reason I affiliate myself with them. It's because they're awesome!
If you’re specifically interested in self-publishing courses, check out my article on the Best Self Publishing Courses .
MasterClass is a massive archive of online courses providing training in specific subjects by titans of that particular industry. MasterClass features the biggest names in writing, such as Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, and Dan Brown. What course should I take to become a writer? MasterClass is the best use of your money as an online course to become a writer . Learn from the best. MasterClass courses are the best overall online writing courses because bestselling authors teach them. Plus, your monthly subscription fee gives you access to all of the fantastic MasterClass courses. The courses are self-paced, comprehensive, insightful, geared toward an “intermediate and above” student, and undeniably invaluable. How much does MasterClass cost? MasterClass costs $180/year ($15/month, billed annually). You can also pay $90 for a single class. They seldom offer discounts or coupon codes. MasterClasses features big-name authors, such as:
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Joyce Carol Oates
- James Patterson
- Neil Gaiman
- Margaret Atwood
- David Sedaris
- Shonda Rhimes
- Aaron Sorkin (for screenwriting)
Which writing MasterClass is the best? I recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s writing MasterClass. It is the best course for finding the story you need to convey, instead of just telling the reader what to believe. Bonus: If you sign up for MasterClass, you not only gain access to incredible online writing courses, you can listen to all the MasterClass courses, like Gordon Ramsay talking about cooking, RuPaul talking about self-expression, and Hans Zimmer talking about film scoring. Check out my in-depth MasterClass review for more details.
The 100-Day Book Program by The Write Practice gives you a proven process to actually finish your books. Starting a book isn't all that tough. But finishing one — that's a different story. How many unfinished manuscripts are tucked away in desks and forgotten file folders? Although it’s easy to get distracted and difficult to get motivated, the 100-Day Book Program helps you stay on task and gives you the resources you need to finish that book. How much does the 100-Day Book Program cost?
- $49/month for 12 months, OR
- $490 as a one-time payment
It’s worth noting that you get a $100 incentive if you meet all your deadlines and finish your book by the end of the course, which (in 2023) runs from May to September. Utilizing over 100 daily lessons (video, audio, and written lessons), this course covers everything you'll need when putting together your story, including:
- How to structure your novel or non-fiction book
- Character development
- Point of view
- Tone and voice
- Editing and revising
It's not just a technical course; it's also highly motivating. The Write Practice teaches you how to keep writing when writing gets hard, how to beat writer's block, and how to manage your time. If you've ever found yourself struggling to finish your book, you should try this course.
Writing With Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer is a perfect course for writers of all skill levels, but it's especially beginner-friendly. This course is taught by an ex-Wall Street Journal editor with one goal in mind: how to write with style, confidence, and impact. Over 240,000 students have enrolled in this course on Udemy by Shani Raja. He teaches you how to master 4 basic principles of writing:
How much does Shani Raja’s Writing With Flair cost? This writing course costs $94.99, but Udemy often offers discounts, as you see in the screenshot above. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee. Buying the course gains you lifetime access to the 7 hours of on-demand video training. His basics form what he calls his “secret sauce” of writing. As stated above, this course is for writers of all types and skill levels. Even those learning to write English as a second language can form great writing habits with this course. This isn't the only writing course on Udemy. Check out my in-depth Udemy review for more course info.
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Children’s Book University by award-winning, bestselling author Eevi Jones takes a welcoming, comprehensive, and shrewd look at the children’s book self-publishing world. Not only does Jones guide you through the writing process for a children’s story, she even helps with the business side of things. I love reading with my kids, and that's only possible because of dedicated children's book authors like Eevi Jones. Writing a kid's book is more complicated than you would think. Often, books for kids are full of vibrant illustrations, creative fonts, and simple yet gripping storylines. Now imagine getting all of that ready to publish. It's a lot of work. There's a good chance beginners will get lost. That's why Jones’s course is so valuable. She carefully breaks down her process for you from start to finish. It's a critical resource for aspiring children's book writers. As an added bonus, you can go through her online writing classes at your own pace. According to Jones:
“I have interviewed more than 100 aspiring children’s book authors to ensure that this program covers and addresses every single burning question you may have.”
How much does Children’s Book University cost? This course costs $497, as long as you use Kindlepreneur’s link to enroll. This gains you immediate lifetime access. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Typically, Children’s Book University costs $997 — and it's worth every single penny. However, Eevi has given Kindlepreneur an amazing 50% discount on her program! This is a special deal that you can only get here. If you're looking to take your children's book writing to the next level, now's your best chance. Be sure to read Eevi Jones’s guest post on How To Write a Children’s Book , here on Kindlepreneur.
AMS Ads For Books is Kindlepreneur’s free course on how to sell more books with Amazon ads . (AMS stands for Amazon Marketing Services.) This robust course is free , on-demand, and easy to follow. Are you a writer wanting to sell more books on Amazon? Enroll today! Now, I'm not looking to boast here, but I honestly believe that my AMS Ads course is an absolute must if you plan to run ads on Amazon. AMS ads aren't very user-friendly. While they have the potential to send your book sales into the atmosphere, they can also eat up your advertising budget while you get them figured out. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. You just need to learn how to set up your ads, manage your campaigns, and make necessary adjustments. How much do Kindlepreneur’s courses for authors cost?
- Kindlepreneur’s AMS Ads for Books course is free .
- Kindlepreneur’s MailerLite for Authors Email course is free.
- Kindlepreneur’s Mastering Keywords and Categories costs $49.99.
There’s no credit card required for either of the free courses and no hidden fees, ever. Check out my in-depth look at Amazon Ads for Authors if you’re still considering whether to take this free course. AMS campaigns aren't just set-it-and-forget-it. In my free course, I show you how using Publisher Rocket can help you construct your book’s best possible ad campaign. If you're looking to create an AMS ad campaign or even self-publish on Amazon, I highly recommend you head over and check out my course.
Memoirama is the brainchild of Marion Roach Smith — an author featured in The New York Times and on NPR and a professional memoir coach. Smith's approach to teaching memoirs has been likened to a precise mathematical formula. She literally teaches you her writing algorithm. Writing a memoir might seem like an easy undertaking at first. You lived through the facts. It can't be that difficult to write them down. Right? Wrong. Navigating these life events can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to fully explain to a reader. That’s where Marion Roach Smith comes in to ease your mind, guide you through the process, and equip you with the necessary tools to write a memoir. Unlike other click-through courses, Marion teaches her course live. Seats for her class are limited to 30 people. That way, everybody gets to ask questions at the end. How much does Memoirama cost? Memoirama costs $59. It is taught live mostly on Fridays, with a few Tuesdays thrown in for good measure. This is the first of a 4-part series for learning how to write memoirs. It's highly recommended that you take the courses to get the maximum effect. These courses are broken down into easily digestible parts — with the first only 90 minutes long. Whether you're a beginner to memoirs, need a refresher, or looking to have some fun learning, this course is the one for you.
Western Colorado University’s Publishing MA Program is one of the only comprehensive master’s degree programs in the US that offers hands-on experience in the publishing industry, (mostly) from the comfort of your own home. Let me preface this course by stating that it is not entirely held online. You get to spend two weeks in the gorgeous Colorado mountains for summer orientation. After that, you can complete the rest of the course online. Or in the picturesque Rockies, if you decide to move there — your call. Seriously, this is the best course for indie publishers available today. For the first 2 in-residence weeks, you'll go through an intensive training regimen on the basics of publishing. Once that's done, you'll be put to work. Literally. You'll work for a small commercial publishing company, getting paid pro rates to:
- Develop a concept for an anthology
- Solicit submissions
- Read the slush pile and choose what gets published
- Issue contracts
- Edit the piece
- Design and produce the book and book cover
- Publish the book
- Market the book
How much is WCU’s tuition? WCU’s tuition for graduate students is $17,371/year. Like most master’s degree programs, WCU’s Publishing MA Program is a 2-year program. Of course, you may qualify for student aid. Also, great news for any of you Sci-Fi guys and gals out there looking to take this course — it's taught by Kevin J Anderson, a legend in the Science Fiction genre with over 56 national and international bestsellers. This includes his work on Dune , the Star Wars canon, the Seven Suns series, and so much more. Anderson’s personal publishing company, WordFire Press, has released over 350 titles from 95 different authors.
Freedom Machine is a great tool for bloggers who want to make a living by guest posting . If I had to pick just one online course for bloggers, it's this one. Created by one of the world's best bloggers, Jon Morrow, this course is the real deal. I make all of my new hires take this course as part of their on-boarding process. This course covers blogging from start to finish — from how to choose the right opening line to pitching a guest post idea. Morrow really drives home some extraordinary fundamentals of blog writing and guest posting. He also provides you with his “little black book” of websites for guest posting, sites that meet his criteria as great places to guest post. At the end of the course, you get a certificate of completion that carries some weight as a blogging qualification. Morrow makes it abundantly clear that if you don’t put the time and effort into his course, you won't go anywhere with it. You need to buckle down and get motivated, as well as do your daily assignments and homework. This is not a course for quitters or those looking to breeze through nonchalantly. How much does Freedom Machine cost?
- $99.45/month for 12 months, OR
- $999/one-time payment
Freedom Machine’s content and resources are valued at $10,000. For all the value it provides, the company even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Free MailerLite Video Course
Learn how to setup and use your MailerLite account effectively to help sell more books.
Writers of the Future Online Workshop is an amazing course if you're a science-fiction writer or looking to become one. Mind you, this is an intermediate course, not necessarily for writers who are just starting out. How much Writers of the Future Online Workshop cost? This course is completely free. The course is 11 lessons long with 13 videos chock full of priceless information. You also gain access to personal essays from the workshop founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This online writing workshop features 3 top-notch teachers:
- Orson Scott Card
- David Farland
If you're a sci-fi fan, you've heard of at least one of those names, if not all 3. They're legends in the sci-fi community. This is like the ultimate masterclass for science fiction. One of the coolest parts of this course is its associated contest. The Writers of the Future contest is open to beginning writers only — meaning you can't have published more than 3 short stories or any novels or novellas. By the end of the course, you'll have already written your submission. And since this course is free (along with the contest entry), you may actually win $5,000 just by learning and participating.
A Fearless Way to Write Novels is taught by award-winning, 7-time New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre. She uses her experience to teach simple, step-by-step methods to write a great novel. Novel writing is a lot more than simply throwing a story on paper. There’s social media, equipment, software, idea generation, outlining, writing scenes, cliffhangers, copyrights, book blurbs, book descriptions, etc. It can get overwhelming if you don’t have an experienced guide. What I love about Torre’s course is the breadth of topics she covers. From generating story ideas to perfectly typing up a book’s conclusion, this course covers it all with over 75 video lessons. Besides step-by-step lessons, there are also practical writing assignments and bonus content interviews with other bestselling authors. Course lessons include:
- Finding Your Story
- Developing Your Idea
- How to Actually Write
- Your First Chapter
- Rewrites and Final Steps
How much does A Fearless Way to Write Novels cost? This course costs $297, or 3 monthly payments of $100. You gain immediate, unlimited, lifetime access, including future updates, at no extra charge. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Sometimes the best things in life are free. When it comes to the best online writing courses, free does not have to mean bad. Here are a few free online writing courses you can consider:
- Coursera : Founded by Stanford professors, Coursera offers many free creative writing classes, such as creative nonfiction, on top of many other subjects. These free video lectures and online assignments are on-demand at your leisure. Just search “free writing” at the link.
- The Crafty Writer's Creative Writing Course : This course is for anyone interested in creative writing. Discover your personal writing style and how you can use it to build vivid worlds. This course even touches on the basics of publishing and marketing.
- Brandon Sanderson’s lectures : Much revered in the writing community , Brandon Sanderson has made some of his lectures free-to-view on YouTube . They cover sci-fi writing, worldbuilding, and even a little bit of publishing.
- The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction : Offered by Reedsy’s Azul Terronez, this 10-day email course gives you the lowdown on high-quality non-fiction writing. He teaches you how to avoid writer's block, hit word count goals, and stay focused while writing.
- Start Writing Fiction : This free class teaches you everything you need to know about the basics of fiction writing, including journal keeping, plot development, and dialogue. Over 350,000 people have joined this 8-week course. Once 8 weeks pass, you lose access to the lecture materials. However, you can upgrade for $64 to keep the course material for future reference.
- Arizona State University's Introduction to English Composition : Great for all skill levels, this class is about building the fundamentals of writing. Although this course is free, you can pay an extra $499 to get a verified certification. But the course alone is just fine for most.
- Finally, check out my Book Marketing Show Podcast , mainly covering — you guessed it — book marketing . It’s free, fun, and informative (if I do say so myself!).
What’s your favorite online writing course?
Let me know what your favorite online writing courses are. Did I miss any excellent ones? Remember, these courses aren't just for those who don't know how to write. Don't be afraid to go out there and expand your knowledge base, no matter how much experience you have. I believe my breakdown of the best online writing courses will guide you to make the best decision for your individual situation. What's the best online writing course you've ever personally taken? Was it cheating to list all MasterClass courses under one umbrella? Let me know down in the comments below. I keep up with comments long after posts are published.
When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.
Jutoh review 2023: definition, pricing, pros, and cons, thinkific review : pricing, features, and more, livingwriter review for 2023: better than scrivener, sell more books on amazon, how to title a book checklist.
Titling your book can be hard…really hard. As you go through choosing your book title, use this checklist as your guide and make sure you have a title that will sell!
6 thoughts on “ 16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2023 [Free & Paid] ”
What about academic graduate writing courses online?
Haven’t come across one yet. But if you do, let me know.
Thanks Dave … the Marion Roach Smith Webinar was AMAZING. Packed full of information, tips, and advice about getting a memoir off the ground. Thanks for hosting .. and I hope all went well with getting your daughter from college …. crazy times indeed!
You bet…and no kidding!
Hi, I am going through Holly Lisle`s writing classes – in particular her How To Write A Novel class – at the moment and I am finding that she is one of the most thorough teachers in writing craft that I have found on-line. She is a published author with around 30 books and has moved from traditional publishing in the 1980`s/1990`s through to self-publishing today. She has many paid short courses for a small price and also much larger classes. She offers a short (3 week) flash fiction class for free called “How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” so you can test out whether her teaching style suits you and learn new skills at the same time. As a satisfied student I highly recommend her courses to anyone wanting to learn writing craft. Cheers Fae
Yes, my sister took Holly`s class and said it was tremendous. If you get a chance to take a dialogue class from Kristen Higgans, that is all you need for dialogue.
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 170 Free Online Writing Courses to Improve Your Skills
There are a variety of free online courses available for all types of writers and aspiring writers to improve their writing skills.
Becoming a better writer can help you achieve professional and personal goals. Whether you’re preparing for university studies, drafting résumés and cover letters, writing sales copy, or trying to preserve your own memories, you need to be able to communicate through writing. Fortunately, free writing courses abound to guide you in your writing journey.
Want to start writing fiction? There’s a course for that, several actually. There are also free writing online courses that will teach you to write better business emails, create compelling online posts and social media updates, and prepare technical reports. English language learners, teachers, and grammar nerds will also find some courses on this list. In short, whatever it is that you’re writing, chances are you can improve your craft with one or more of the courses below.
And for more resources, take a look at Learn English as a Second Language (ESL) with Hundreds of Courses and Sites .
Quick note: While many of these courses do come with fees, all of the featured courses in this article are available to audit in full or in part. If you want to explore paid courses to help you become a better writer, simply type your topic of interest into the search field or browse our Humanities subjects .
For more courses, browse Class Central’s catalog of over 100K online courses or find all our free certificates articles here . Or visit our Best Courses Guides for writing:
- 10 Best English Grammar Courses to Take in 2023
- 10 Best Email Marketing Courses to Take in 2023
- 8 Best Content Marketing Courses to Take in 2023
- 13 Best Copywriting Courses to Take in 2023
- 10 Best Creative Writing Courses to Take in 2023
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- Résumé Writing Courses
- Screenwriting/Script Writing Courses
- Grant Writing Courses
Free Grammar Courses
Grammar and Punctuation University of California, Irvine via Coursera After completing this course, you will be able to: – identify the correct verb tenses to use – use commas effectively – utilize several different sentence types – write more effectively in English ★★★★☆ ( 33 ratings )
Adjectives and Adjective Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera Adjectives and adjective clauses are very common in English, so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them. ★★★☆☆ ( 5 ratings )
Perfect Tenses and Modals University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will learn about important intermediate verb tenses, including present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, and past perfect progressive. You will also learn about common modal verbs used in English. ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Tricky English Grammar University of California, Irvine via Coursera While it’s easy for non-native speakers to get overwhelmed by confusing grammar rules, in this course, we’ll provide you with tips that will help you understand the rules more easily and give you lots of practice with the tricky grammar of everyday English. ★★★☆☆ ( 3 ratings )
Verb Tenses and Passives University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will review the verb tenses that you learned in beginning English classes and learn about a few tenses you may not know very well. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Conjunctions, Connectives, and Adverb Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will learn about a lot of different ways to join ideas to make more complex and interesting sentences.
Noun Clauses and Conditionals University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this class, you will learn about the advanced grammar concepts of noun clauses and conditionals.
Just Reading and Writing English 2 Tsinghua University via Coursera Do you want to read and write better in English? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: education, manners, personal communication, purpose of living, cultural studies, life science. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of intermediate English reading and writing skills.
Just Reading and Writing English 1 Tsinghua University via Coursera Do you want to communicate with English speakers fluently? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: feelings, staying healthy, learning, university, cultural differences, and cities. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of primary English reading and writing skills in your daily life.
Just Reading and Writing in English | 生活英语读写 Tsinghua University via edX Learn how to read and write in English in the context of lectures and academic texts. 以读促写，以写辅读！掌握正确的阅读技巧和写作技巧，让你实现一次英语读写的飞跃！ ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order University of Michigan via Coursera This course will teach you how to use your written words to become more persuasive. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Writing and Editing: Drafting University of Michigan via Coursera This third course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will give you a number of strategies to help with what is often the most intimidating, even paralyzing part of the writing process: getting started. You’ll learn about the “planning fallacy” and “temptation bundling.” And you’ll continue to benefit, through our ongoing “Good Sentences” and “Takeaways” segments, from the models and advice of a diverse set of writers.
Writing and Editing: Structure and Organization University of Michigan via Coursera This second course in the Good with Words: Writing and Editing series will help you become an effective architect of information, both with your sentences and with your paragraphs. You’ll learn that the traditional advice to “Show, don’t tell” is incomplete and that skilled writers actually switch back and forth between showing and telling.
Writing and Editing: Revising University of Michigan via Coursera This fourth and final course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will help you master perhaps the most important step in the writing process: revising. You’ll learn about the difference between editing and proofreading.
Effective Writing Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee via Swayam The purpose of this writing course is to familiarise students with the nuances of effective writing so that they can better understand the subtle art of writing. It allows them to write with clarity, precision, and subtlety to express their ideas on various occasions while considering the concepts of appropriateness and accuracy. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
English Grammar and Style University of Queensland via edX Learn key concepts and strategies in grammar and style to help enhance your writing and confidently respond to the demand of high levels of literacy in the 21st century. ★★★★☆ ( 34 ratings )
Enhance your Writing with Adverb Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera In the first part of the course, you’ll learn some basic information about adverb clauses. Then, we’ll dive into the categories of ideas that adverb clauses express, and you’ll practice using subordinating conjunctions–the many grammar words that start adverb clauses.
Enhance your Writing with Adjective Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera Do you have a hard time describing things, people, and places in English? This course will show you how to be more descriptive in your writing by incorporating adjective clauses in complex sentences.
Enhance your Writing with Noun Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera This course is designed to hold your hand step-by-step through the most basic concepts of noun clauses all the way to the end goal of writing a paragraph with varied noun clauses.
A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study University of Reading via FutureLearn Learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar. ★★★★☆ ( 23 ratings )
English Grammar Lessons via YouTube
Common English Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them–Sampler via Udemy Master Your Grammar Errors, Master Commonly Confused Words and Phrases, and Achieve Success and Credibility as a Writer
English Grammar and Speaking Course: Essential Verb Tenses! via Udemy Practice using Essential Verb Tenses in Conversation!
English Foundation Course 2022: Grammar and Speaking Upgrade via Udemy Become fluent by improving all your English Skills. Build a strong English foundation in grammar, speaking, and more!
English Grammar via Udemy Learn the English grammar you need to understand and use English today!
Basic English Grammar Course in Hindi via Udemy Level 1 for beginners
Grammar via Independent Grammar is the collection of rules and conventions that make languages go. This section is about Standard American English, but there’s something here for everyone.
Grammar matters The Open University via OpenLearn Grammar matters because, combined with vocabulary choice, it is our main way of making meaning. This free course introduces you to one approach used to understand how meanings relate systematically…
Vocabulary, Phrases, Idioms, Grammar via YouTube ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Free Essay Writing Courses
Getting Started with Essay Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera By introducing you to three types of academic essays, this course will especially help prepare you for work in college classes, but anyone who wants to improve his or her writing skills can benefit from this course. ★★★★☆ ( 17 ratings )
How to Write an Essay University of California, Berkeley via edX An introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. ★★★★☆ ( 26 ratings )
Advanced Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera After completing this course, you will be able to plan and write a more sophisticated argument essay. ★★★★☆ ( 7 ratings )
Writing a Personal Essay Wesleyan University via Coursera This class is the chance to create your personal essay or extend into a full memoir — from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail.
Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader Wesleyan University via Coursera The blank page can be the most daunting obstacle in writing. In this course, aspiring writers will assemble a “starter kit” for approaching the blank page by developing constructive ways to think about the writing process as a whole. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space University of Cape Town via Coursera In this course, we provide practical insights into how to write an academic essay. We show you how to develop the academic skills needed to be a competent academic writer. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Developing Your Research Project University of Southampton via FutureLearn Undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, IB extended essay or any other scholarly research? This guides you step-by-step. ★★★★☆ ( 6 ratings )
Writing Skills for University Success University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you’ll learn how to write effectively in different academic formats, especially essays and longer research papers.
Essay Writing Course (Season 1) via YouTube
Essay Writing via YouTube
Introduction to Research for Essay Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera This is the last course in the Academic Writing specialization before the capstone project. By the end of this course, you will be able to complete all the steps in planning a research paper. ★★★★★ ( 8 ratings )
Essay and report writing skills The Open University via OpenLearn Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This free course, Essay and report …
The PTE 85+ Academic Essay Writing Course via Udemy Mastering the Writing Exam
Free Journalism Courses
Digital Culture and Writing University of Burgundy via EMMA Born from the desire to support a wide public facing the emergence of digital technology, the team of teachers from the university of Burgundy (uB), accompanied by colleagues from other universities, offers its MOOC DCW (Digital culture and Writing) publish and share on the web.” It provides an overview of the potentialities of digital writing and culture, for publish, share and communicate.
English for Journalists, Part 1 University of California, Berkeley via edX Improve your English grammar, vocabulary and writing skills through exciting topics in journalism and world news. ★★☆☆☆ ( 1 rating )
Writing and Disseminating Grey Literature Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) via Coursera If you are a researcher, academic, student, development sector professional or a practitioner who is keen to reach the research-based knowledge you have created to a wider audience, this course is for you. Using formats such as data stories, photo narratives, opinion pieces and infographics, digital, print, and multimedia channels can help researchers reach a much wider audience when they adopt newer writing techniques.
Print And Broadcast Journalism CEC via Swayam This 4 credit, 15 weeks MOOCs course is being offered for Post Graduate students interested in making a career in the field of Journalism. ★☆☆☆☆ ( 1 rating )
What is news? Michigan State University via Coursera This course will guide you through the basic elements of professional journalism and the news values and ethics of covering real-world issues and events. The overview and examples of the types of news coverage helps introduce the different types of journalism, such as social media, multimedia, print, visual and broadcast, and how professional journalists effectively use each format. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Effectively delivering the news to your audience Michigan State University via Coursera You will learn the process, planning, requirements of how journalists develop their news reports. There are many ways to report news reports, and you will learn different forms of how to perform reporting and writing to serve different audiences.
Journalism 101 via YouTube This series covers topics such as Newswriting, finding story ideas, interviewing sources and quoting sources, leading a lead and organising news stories, covering breaking news and ethics in journalism. ★★★★★ ( 3 ratings )
English for Journalism via YouTube
Journalism, the future, and you! Michigan State University via Coursera You will explore areas such as being an international correspondent, self-publishing in journalism, as well as how to freelance in the field. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent This self-directed course page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Investigative reporting in the digital age.” The four-week course took place from February 3 to March 1, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in investigative reporting and data journalism basics, including experienced investigators who seek to deepen their skills on complex investigations, collaborations and data journalism. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Equity & ethics in data journalism: Hands-on approaches to getting your data right Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent During this four-week course, you will learn about tools and techniques that will help you tell data stories fairly and ethically. Specifically, this course will guide you hands-on through the process of learning to identify inequity and hidden bias at seven key stages of the data journalism lifecycle. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools.” The six-week course took place from October 14 to November 24, 2019. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in interested in data journalism and visualization. The course, which was powered by Google News Initiative, was taught by Alberto Cairo, Simon Rogers, and a great team of instructors. They created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes, readings, exercises, and more. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent Produced in collaboration with the W.H.O., UNESCO and UNDP, this course helps journalists to improve their coverage of the pandemic. It’s also offered in French, Spanish and Portuguese. This self-directed course uses the content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future.” The four-week course took place from May 4 to May 31, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in interested in acquiring new knowledge and resources to improve your coverage and understanding of the pandemic.
Introduction to Journalism and Reporting University of Kent via FutureLearn Explore what makes good journalism as you learn about its origins and where news reporting stands today.
English for Journalists, Part 2 University of California, Berkeley via edX Improve your English grammar, vocabulary and writing skills through topics in journalism including free speech, sports, humor and broadcast writing.
Free Creative Writing Courses
Start Writing Fiction The Open University via FutureLearn Get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, with this hands-on course. ★★★★☆ ( 21 ratings )
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end. ★★★★☆ ( 17 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style Wesleyan University via Coursera Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language. We will study the use of metaphor and imagery, and demonstrate how clarity, grace, and inventiveness in word choice are imperative to a story’s success. ★★★★☆ ( 8 ratings )
Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) Michigan State University via Coursera In this project-centered course, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks. ★★☆☆☆ ( 3 ratings )
Transmedia Writing Michigan State University via Coursera In this project-centered course you will develop your own, original, intellectual property (IP) into a transmedia project containing written versions of your IP on various platforms. You will begin your novel, adapt the first chapters of your novel into the opening scenes of a film or TV show and create a game design concept of your IP.
Writing in First Person Point of View Wesleyan University via Coursera If you have always wanted to tell your own story—in a memoir, first-person essay, or any other form of autobiographical non-fiction—but felt you lacked the tools or the framework, this is the class for you.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Writing Stories About Ourselves Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course, creative nonfiction writers will explore traditional storytelling methods, especially those which overlap between fiction and memoir.
Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop California Institute of the Arts via Coursera Why just write poems when you can write better ones? This course is built on the notion that the most exciting writing begins after the first draft. ★★★★☆ ( 19 ratings )
Writing successfully for the Stage University of Cambridge via edX Learn to structure your dramatic writing to a professional standard, as well as develop professionally transferable communication skills. This course will broaden your understanding of how to write engaging and interesting stories in order to attract producers and directors to your work. You will understand how to write effective dialogue, and how to edit your work.
Stand Up!; Comedy Writing and Performance Poetry University of Cambridge via edX Prepare to perform your comic writing and/or poetry to a live audience, as well as develop transferable writing skills and communication expertise that will be relevant in any profession. This course will broaden your understanding how to structure a stand-up comedy set, as well as allow you to understand how to use narrative form in your performance poetry texts. You will also reflect on the ways in which you might enhance the quality of your writing practice by being a performer yourself.
Finding your voice as a playwright University of Cambridge via edX Learn to deepen your creative practice as a playwright, as well as develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional dramatist, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
Write Your First Novel Michigan State University via Coursera Write your first novel.
Creative Writing Brigham Young University via YouTube I’m Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers. Learn about plot, wordbuilding, short stories, character, and publishing. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Video Game Writing Essentials The University of British Columbia via edX Learn the essentials of writing for video games, from how games are developed and what game writers do, to the ways game stories differ from other kinds of stories.
Writing Video Game Characters The University of British Columbia via edX Learn how to make effective, memorable video game characters, from protagonists and antagonists to NPCs.
Writing Video Game Scenes and Dialogue The University of British Columbia via edX Learn the fundamentals of writing cinematics, cutscenes, and in-game dialogue.
Working as a Game Writer The University of British Columbia via edX Learn what it takes to work as a video game writer: from resumes to writing tests to contracts and NDAs.
Interactive Narrative The University of British Columbia via edX Learn how to use player choice and interactivity to create compelling game experiences
Building your Screenplay University of Cambridge via edX Learn to strengthen you skills as a screenwriter, while diversifying your knowledge and understanding of the demands of global film and TV production. Find out how to become a powerful visual story-teller; understand how to build effective structure within your screenplay; develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional screenwriter, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
How to Write Your First Song The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn Get a practical introduction to the mechanics of songwriting and meet established songwriters with this free online course ★★★★★ ( 166 ratings )
Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics Berklee College of Music via Coursera There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out. Now it is. This course is an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight. All it takes is a simple “yes” and you’ll be climbing that windy hill, marveling at the view. ★★★★★ ( 25 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character Wesleyan University via Coursera At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. ★★★★☆ ( 7 ratings )
Creative writing and critical reading The Open University via OpenLearn This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer’s development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas…
Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 1 Month 1 via Udemy Five weeks’ worth of beginnings to create 100+ new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. Plus bonus content.
Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 2 Month 1 via Udemy Five weeks’ worth of keywords to create 100+ new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. Plus bonus content.
Free Copywriting Courses
Copywriting: Improve User Experience One Word at a Time via openSAP In this course, you’ll learn why copy is so important for your users’ experience and how copywriting fits into the design-led development process. Domain experts provide insights and best practices, and by participating in the exercises, you’ll get practical experience in writing copy. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Copywriting Foundations: Sell Using Your Words In 2020 via Udemy How To Listen To Your Target Market & Focus Your Message To Make Your Copywriting 10x As Effective
155 Years of Copywriting Insights Taught In 1.5 Hour Course! via Udemy “This is the most refreshing, clear, straight forward and useful course on copywriting you could wish for.” – Eva ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Copywriting Secrets via YouTube Get tips on how to start your career as a copywriter, write better emails and increase your income as a copywriter ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Learn Copywriting via YouTube
The Science Of Copywriting via YouTube ★★★★☆ ( 2 ratings )
Copywriting for Beginners and Pros Free Course With Exercises via YouTube Copywriting is the practice of composing persuading texts. Copywriting is used to sell products, ideas, ideologies, etc. Copywriting is an important component on web pages, in blog posts, advertisements, social media posts, videos, and podcasts. This video series is the first one in the free online copywriting course Professional Copywriting Made Easy. ★★★★☆ ( 18 ratings )
Free Copywriting Course via YouTube This playlist covers everything you need to know to start a freelance copywriting business in 2021. ★★★★★ ( 4 ratings )
Copywriting 101 – Training Sessions for Freelance Writers via YouTube
Copywriting Persuasion Challenge via YouTube ★★★★★ ( 3 ratings )
Copywriting para Iniciantes via Udemy Descubra o que é Copy, como funciona, para que serve e de que forma utilizar para aumentar suas vendas com persuasão
Free Academic Writing Courses
Writing in English at University Lund University via Coursera This course aims to give you an understanding of the conventions of academic writing in English and to teach you the components and benefits of what is called process writing.
Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal via FutureLearn Learn how to research and write a high-quality research proposal for postgraduate applications.
An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study University of Reading via FutureLearn Improve your academic English skills further, learning about critical analysis, using sources, avoiding plagiarism and more. ★★★★☆ ( 1 rating )
Project: Writing a Research Paper University of California, Irvine via Coursera Welcome to the capstone project for the Academic English: Writing Specialization! This project lets you apply everything you’ve learned and gives you the practice you need for college classes by having you write a research paper.
College Composition Modern States via Independent This course will prepare you to pass the College Board’s CLEP College Composition exam
Writing in the Disciplines Professional Development Course (HE) Excelsior College via Canvas Network This course on Writing in the Disciplines offers a modular curriculum that explores the meaning of genre, why and how to develop genre-based writing assignments, and effective techniques for using writing to enhance learning.
Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners University College London via FutureLearn Develop your academic writing skills in English as a second language (ESL) learner and advance your English writing at university.
论文写作初阶（Academic Writing and Research） Peking University via Coursera 本课面向有志于学术研究和具有论文写作需求的高年级本科生和研究生同学，适合人文社会科学、特别是法学专业的学生学习，也欢迎理工科学生选修。教学内容主要集中于学术研究的基本方法与一般理念，既包括学术论文的提问、选题、谋篇、布局和实际写作，也包括学术资源特别是综合性与专业性数据库的检索和使用。
La recherche documentaire École Polytechnique via Coursera Ce cours vise principalement à permettre aux étudiants d’identifier les sources pertinentes dans un domaine donné, leur apprendre à construire un état de l’art et à évaluer les sources, en particulier celles en accès libre sur Internet. ★★★☆☆ ( 1 rating )
Academic English University of Queensland via edX A practical and introductory course to build your skills in academic writing. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
College Foundations for English Composition University System of Georgia via Desire2Learn English Learning Support Course is an English preparatory course focusing on the skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on exposition, analysis, and argumentation, and also including introductory use of a variety of research skills.
English Composition I Duke University via Coursera You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. ★★★☆☆ ( 19 ratings )
Free Business Writing Courses
High-Impact Business Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera Effective writing is a powerful tool in the business environment. Learn how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow your ideas to be better understood by your readers. ★★★☆☆ ( 8 ratings )
Writing Professional Email and Memos (Project-Centered Course) University System of Georgia via Coursera Want your workplace writing to make a positive impression? At the end of this course, you will be a more confident writer, able to create higher quality professional documents more quickly. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Better Business Writing in English Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera Do you need to write more easily and effectively in English? This course will provide the tools to help you do just that.
English for Effective Business Writing The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents. ★★★★☆ ( 1 rating )
Business Writing University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera This course will teach you how to apply the top ten principles of good business writing to your work, how to deploy simple tools to dramatically improve your writing, and how to execute organization, structure, and revision to communicate more masterfully than ever. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Write Professional Emails in English Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera This is a course to help you write effective business emails in English. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Business Writing Techniques Doane University via edX Business Writing Techniques, will expand on the different communication styles and discuss the best practices of business writing by providing real-world scenarios and applications. Learners will examine how to use the 6 C’s to enhance their business messages. Learners will also discuss the proper etiquette of business writing and examine the use of emoji in business communications.
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking Harvard University via edX Gain critical communication skills in writing and public speaking with this introduction to American political rhetoric. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
English for Doing Business in Asia – Writing The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via edX Introducing strategies for developing your written English communication skills in the context of doing business in Asia.
Redacción de documentos empresariales de gran impacto University of California, Irvine via Coursera En el ambiente empresarial, el saber escribir con eficacia es una poderosa herramienta. Aprende a expresar tus pensamientos de una manera clara y concisa para que las personas que lean lo que escribes capten mejor tus ideas. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
(Business Writing) الكتابة في مجال الأعمال University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera لا شك أن إتقان الكتابة من أهم المهارات التي يمكنك تعلمها بُغية تحقيق النجاح في مجال الأعمال. وقد استخدمت أكثر من سبعين شركة وعشرين ألف طالب – من الكتاب المحترفين والموظفين الجدد والمتحدثين باللغة الإنجليزية لغير الناطقين بها وحتى المديرين المتمرسين – الأساليب المستخدمة في الكتابة في مجال الأعمال لتعزيز قدرتهم على التواصل وإطلاق أفكارهم. ستعلمك هذه الدورة التدريبية كيفية تطبيق المبادئ العشرة الأفضل للكتابة الجيدة في مجال الأعمال على عملك وكيفية نشر أدوات بسيطة لتحسين كتابتك بشكل كبير وكيفية تنفيذ التنظيم والبنية والمراجعة للتواصل بشكل أكثر براعة من أي وقت مضى.
English for Business and Entrepreneurship University of Pennsylvania via Coursera This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in learning more about the global business economy. ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Using Email for Networking in English University of Washington via edX Improve your writing skills. Write effective emails including great subject lines, greetings, and closings. You’ll be more confident as you communicate for business, send messages, expand your network, and search for jobs in English. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Smart English Basics For Professionals | Spoken English | Communication Skills | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube Great Learning brings you this video on “Smart English Basics For Professionals”. This course will help you improve your business communication in a professional environment.
Learn Business English | Learn Business English in 1 Hour | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube
Free Technical Writing Courses
Writing in the Sciences Stanford University via Coursera This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences. ★★★★★ ( 14 ratings )
Discovering Science: Science Writing University of Leeds via FutureLearn What science discoveries will you choose to write about? ★★★★☆ ( 28 ratings )
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course) École Polytechnique via Coursera In this project-based course, you will outline a complete scientific paper, choose an appropriate journal to which you’ll submit the finished paper for publication, and prepare a checklist that will allow you to independently judge whether your paper is ready to submit. ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Writing Skills for Engineering Leaders Rice University via Coursera In this course, you’ll learn essential writing skills that you can apply in your daily activities on the job as an engineering leader.
Writing, Presenting and Submitting Scientific Papers in English | 英文科技论文写作与学术报告 Tsinghua University via edX Learn how to properly write a scientific paper, based on international standards, and effectively make a presentation to submit proposals for funding. 表达与交流是拔尖创新科技人才最重要的综合能力。培养英文科技论文写作与学术报告的能力，帮助你打开世界科坛大门，与国际同行平等交流。 ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Requirements Writing University of New South Wales via Coursera Welcome to “Requirements Writing”. As the title indicates, over the next four weeks, we will be looking at the important task of writing of text-based requirement statements.
Technical Report Writing for Engineers The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn Get an introduction to technical report writing. Find out how to communicate your ideas through well-written engineering reports. ★★★★★ ( 168 ratings )
English Language for Competitive Exams Indian Institute of Technology Madras via Swayam The course aims to help participants develop their English language skills, particularly those planning to appear for competitive exams that test their English language abilities.
Writing Case Studies: Science of Delivery Princeton University via edX Learn how to write “science of delivery” case studies, which help us understand how practitioners implement complex policies or programs.
The Language of Leaders: Learn to Write with Confidence State Bank of India via edX Enhance your leadership role through powerful writing skills. ****
NIeCer 103: Scientific Writing in Health Research AICTE via Swayam Communicating research findings to the scientific community is the responsibility of every researcher. Our course will explain the fundamental concepts in drafting a scientific manuscript to effectively communicate research findings.
Writing READMEs via Udacity Documentation is an important part of the development process. Learn to write READMEs using Markdown so your code can be used by other humans! ★★★☆☆ ( 2 ratings )
ENGL210: Technical Writing via Saylor Academy
Free Résumé Writing Courses
Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters University of Maryland, College Park via Coursera How can you bring your resume to the top of the pile? You will learn how to convert a boring resume into a dynamic asset statement that conveys your talents in the language that an employer understands. ★★★★☆ ( 6 ratings )
How to Succeed at: Writing Applications The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn This free three week course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or course. ★★★★★ ( 427 ratings )
How to Write a Resume (Project-Centered Course) State University of New York via Coursera In this project-centered course, you will craft an essential cornerstone of the modern-day job or internship search: the resume. When you complete the course, you’ll have an eye-catching resume that lets your professional strengths shine. ★★★★☆ ( 14 ratings )
Refresh Your Resume Grow with Google via Udacity Create a targeted resume that gets the attention of recruiters and lands you an interview in tech. ★★★☆☆ ( 2 ratings )
Craft Your Cover Letter via Udacity Write a compelling narrative that showcases your value to the company. ★★★★☆ ( 2 ratings )
How To Write A Winning Resume – Top Resume Writing Tips via YouTube
How To Write A Resume – Animated via YouTube
PRDV102: Resume Writing via Saylor Academy
Comprehensive guide for resume writing via Udemy Resume writing and template creation for all QA professionals. Learn some cool resume writing tricks to maximize calls.
Resume format | How to make a good resume | Resume for jobs | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube Great Learning brings you this video on “How to Build a Good Resume’ where the video starts off by discussing the importance of a CV, followed by discussing six essential steps of writing your resume.
Free Screenwriting/Script Writing Courses
Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television Michigan State University via Coursera Write a Full Length Feature Film Script.
A Screenwriting Masterclass for Beginners via YouTube
Screenwriting via YouTube
Screenwriting Tips via YouTube
The Fundamentals Of Screenwriting Course via YouTube
The Screenwriting Life via YouTube
An Introduction to Screenwriting University of East Anglia via FutureLearn This online course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Free Grant Writing Courses
Grant Writing and Crowdfunding for Public Libraries University of Michigan via edX Learn how to increase your impact, innovate, and overcome often static funding through various fundraising and grant writing approaches.
Grant Writing Texas Instruments via YouTube ★★★★☆ ( 3 ratings )
Grant Writing For Beginners & Newbies via YouTube Grant Writing For Beginners playlist provides you with insight to help you write winning grant proposals that get funded! These videos help you to learn grant writing quickly. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Grant Writing for Nonprofits via YouTube We’ve included some videos on various Grant tips like Walmart Community 1 HR Grants, Grants in a Box and Grant Templates. Other helpful topics revolve around Program Officers, Letters of Inquiry (LOI), Unsolicited Proposals and various other Grant processes. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Amazing People Share Nonprofit & Grant Writing Advice via YouTube
Sabihe Tavakoli 11/2/2014 at 11:26pm
I would like to write children books and I am interested in taking a course to help me with that.
Kiki 4/29/2019 at 10:07pm
Have you ever found any learning resources for that? I would also love to improve my children-book writing skills.
Looking forward to your reply!
Venu 11/12/2019 at 10:18pm
I really enjoyed this course. https://www.coursera.org/learn/writing-for-children
Purushottam Tamang 12/8/2014 at 10:20pm
I would like to improve my English writing skills that helps me for report writing and I am very interested in taking report writing course. please help me with that.
Augustine Kastherody 6/27/2015 at 1:44am
I enrolled already and want to do my master of Science in Infection Prevention and Control through online and I am interested in taking a course to assist me in managing my study.
P. Davis, Sr 5/21/2021 at 8:17am
I am a retired senior citizen [85 years] who enjoys writing. I have a Bachelors’s Degree and plan to enroll in a graduate humanities course that requires heavy writing. My plan is to refresh my writing skills and I am searching for an online [graduate level] academic writing refresher course. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is [email protected] .
roV83 1/22/2015 at 8:55am
I am interested in non-fiction writing and want to learn the basics
J Sheen 5/27/2016 at 8:08pm
Have you found a creative nonfiction course online by chance you’d want to recommend?
mir shaukat ali 2/9/2015 at 2:43pm
Dear sir, I am engineer , i job iptv company but my writing English knowledge is very poor ,please tell me how to improve writing skill such as email writing, mag writing etc, please any body help me
Fatima Camelo 11/26/2018 at 12:39pm
My name is Fátima and I’m also an engineer but my friend you should read more and more because this way you’re going to write beter and will develop your english.
SH 4/27/2015 at 12:07am
This is a great collection. Thank you very much Mr Dhawal.
Nathanel TEGAYOMBI 4/28/2015 at 12:48pm
Dear sir,I appreciate your programs which help a big number of people from different corners of the world.So as a student of school of journalism,I would like to improve my English in terms of writing skills,and I wish you to help me become a future storyteller.Thanks
Cathy Johns 6/10/2015 at 5:32am
Am very intrested in this.
kakar 8/6/2015 at 3:32am
sir we have a lot of problem in English understanding as well as in writing so sir tell us the perfect way that help in all skill of english.
Arvind Ramanujam 8/9/2015 at 11:56pm
Thanks for the info.
Jaylee M Wayne 9/26/2015 at 8:49am
I would like to write a novel and I am also interested in taking coures
Alexiaga 9/28/2015 at 2:07pm
Whatever kind of English you want to write, mastering essential English grammar is essential. Here is a good site wher you can check out the main topics of English grammar, including points not always dealt with in grammars, such as style and sentence-structure. http://linguapress.com/grammar/
jaspreet singh 11/3/2015 at 9:51am
The one which i need to recommend is http://www.pariswritersretreat.com/online-courses.html this is not free but this can help you to enhance your skills
berna gurning 5/30/2016 at 8:41pm
Dear Disqus, i am interested in writing essays so i can write excellent journals, articles, and assignments as well
Mark Sandel 7/8/2016 at 4:43am
Thanks that an awesome course list. I was looking for “how to write better” courses for a long time until finding this one. The list looks reasonable and much longer than I have expected. However, I still have doubts, is it possible to learn how to write better, just interacting with a tutor online (and this is the best option) or watching the video? Well right now, I am pretty concerned with the quality of my writing and readers experience. Starting from the winter, I started to user style checkers http://www.paragraphchecker.com/ . They are a bit unusual for me but undoubtedly helpful.
kilopko 8/27/2016 at 5:12am
Free online courses are the best as well as sometimes it’s very much worthy way out to learn something innovative as well as profession in proper manner. in order to make the move precise as well as professional each stated way out is the key factors to do well in writing the essay part in proper manner so that anyone could get the possible approaches in precise manner.
Alexis 1/12/2017 at 6:22pm
If you’re looking how to make money online as a freelance writer, I highly recommend http:/ecareers.online. It’s a free e-course that teaches you how to get started as a freelance writer online. So far, it’s been amazing and membership is free!
Elisheva Reynolds 2/21/2017 at 7:52pm
I would like to write fantasy/romance/adventure type fiction novels…I would like to be an author, one whose books I would even read.
Damien Clarke 3/1/2017 at 9:12am
I am currently working on developing my writing skills, so as to tackle the various hot topics in my niche, which is technology. Can anyone advise if there are good topics, which work on this specifically ?
Susie Bell 4/30/2017 at 6:39am
I am writing stories for young people and adults. I have a learning difficulty so I can’t do any courses. I am a new writer who is an unsolicited writer, can’t find a literary agent. Susie Bell.
ellaalex 5/10/2017 at 1:30am
Article Snipper Online tool is a one-click article rewriter that requires no signup or registration if you want to use the free version. All you need to do is enter human readable text and you will get human readable text out. check our free article spinner tool: http://www.articlespinneronline.com
Wan Smith 1/7/2018 at 11:00pm
Surely one would be suggested with these online courses to develop a clear sense of writing and develop great story telling vibes in one self. if you lack the major ideas than you should take online classes as above mentioned that these classes provides well information and intense thinking skills.
homework doer 4/2/2018 at 5:05am
Firstly you have to know some basic tips for writer. They are pretty simple but forget about the. Reread on the next day. Many errors don`t come up right away. Re-reading the text immediately after writing will help cross out a couple of errors, but it’s best to do it after a while, ideally – the next day. So you can come up with a fresh mind to check your creativity, and I assure you that you will want to correct and remake a lot.
In the book “”American Psycho”” extensive descriptions of how the main character shaves, applies gel on the body and dresses in a suit from Brioni and shoes from Prada are an artistic feature. You’d better get rid of excess water. Don`t write as much as possible. Short sentences is only what is really needed. There is too much information on the Internet, and nobody will read meaningless paragraphs of the text. To write interesting, you should have interesting life. I came to this conclusion after spending five days at home, not going anywhere and doing nothing. I had no idea in my head, and there was no question of writing anything. You have to try something new, to leave the comfort zone, because without it you will be the same as everyone else. And you don`t want to, do you? Write every day
At least something. Don`t tell yourself that you have no ideas. They are always:
What you dreamed about today. What interesting things did you learn today / yesterday / this week. What would you do if you got a million dollars (you can even dream about a billion). Why this day was good. How could one live this day better. What would you like to change in today’s day. Why do you have no inspiration and what needs to be done to make it appear. What is useful you have done. What would you teach a stranger. Why do we need an appendix
Kathy Bretz 4/12/2018 at 10:13pm
I would like to learn technical writing, can I do this without a certificate or degree? thanks.
Author Thison Schultz 4/29/2018 at 7:12pm
I can’t afford a writing class, is this free? I want to follow my passion to become a writer. I need your advice how to write a novel. I really want to do this. I love to read mystery novels. I can’t do anything else, Except to become a writer. I can’t succeed if I don’t take this writing course. This is my only chance to become a writer. If don’t I will fail of my future. I can’t take this anymore. I really want to become a great writer. I don’t have the money to do it.
Isla 12/12/2018 at 3:03pm
i love to write and i wanna be a writer too
TB 1/10/2019 at 2:39pm
@ Dhawal Shah
I just wanted to point out that not all of these courses are actually free. For example the two UBCx How to Write courses are $295 each with no option, that I could find, to audit or even to take a limited version.
I’m sure there are others from this list as well, particular those on EdX as they (EdX) have been moving away from offering their courses for free.
mamta prasad 2/12/2019 at 11:20pm
great resources keep it up! ! !
Nihal Singh 3/22/2019 at 5:20am
Nice Article, Your article helps to improve the writing skills for all the thesis writers and the students and the online courses are helped to gain knowledge from home itself. Thanks for sharing.
Corpely.com 8/21/2019 at 3:51am
Learning how to write a good essay with a powerful introduction, clear arguments and well-crafted conclusion is a great way to build a foundation of writing skills. This 8-week course starts with the basics of grammar and sentence construction and quickly advances to thesis development and essay writing with tools for creating outlines and editing your work. Dr. Maggie Sokolik of the College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley guides students through this excellent introductory writing course in which participants can get a great deal of practice writing and interact with other students from around the world. Links to optional online textbooks are provided.
David Walker 5/10/2020 at 3:28pm
I’m looking for a writing course that teaches you how to hand write smoothly and legibly. To have flow in writing , that looks elegant on the sheet of paper. Were all the letters are easily read by anyone. The art of writing.
DSW David Walker
David Walker 5/14/2020 at 2:22pm
Do you have a penmanship course?
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The Best Creative Writing Courses to Help You Level Up
Are you looking for a way to level up your creative writing game?
Of course you are, and that’s a good thing! Because you are a passionate creative, you will never stop learning and evolving. Even after publishing a bookshelf full of books, there’s still more that you can learn about the craft of writing.
I’ve been a creative writer for over 30 years and currently write 10,000+ words each week, but I’m constantly learning new things about the creative writing process (and what I learn, I share here with you). So, whether you’re a lifelong writer like me or you’re just getting started, you’ll find value in taking a creative course.
Below, I’ve created a list of online creative writing courses to improve your skills. While I can’t personally vouch for all of these courses, I will say that they all look promising. I’d love to try all of them when I get the chance.
If you’ve taken any of these courses, let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Now, without further ado, here’s a supersized list of creative writing courses:
Online Creative Writing Classes 2021
1. Accelerated Worldbuilding
If your genre depends on world-building, you need a course in how to do it quickly and thoroughly. In this course, taught by Randy Ellefson, you'll learn all about world-building, including the basics of creating life, whether you need to invent religions, draw a map, or come up with languages.
2. Amy Tan Teaches Fiction, Memory, and Imagination
Amy Tan is one of my favorite writers, so adding her to this list is a no-brainer. In 14 video lessons, Tan teaches students how to use real-life events and emotions to write fiction that resonates with the reader.
Included as part of your MasterClass membership (annual membership is $180)
3. Anne Janzer Nonfiction Course
Need help planning and researching your nonfiction book? In this self-paced course by Anne Janzer, you'll learn how to refine your book, own your expertise, and identify the right audience for your message. Also included in this course is a 30-minute consultation about your book.
$80 (Pandemic pricing)
4. COMPLETE Creative Writing - All Genres - THE FULL COURSE!
In this complete creative writing course, you won't just learn fiction. You'll also learn how to write drama, poetry, and creative non-fiction. This 12-hour video-based course will help you discover your unique voice.
5. Creating Complex Character with David Corbett
In this 4-week writing workshop, taught by author David Corbett, you'll learn how to write compelling characters that move your story forward. Corbett teaches the five cornerstones of dramatic characterization and also delves into the character's psychological and sociological nature.
6. Creative Writing Specialization Offered by Wesleyan University
Offered through Wesleyan University via Coursera, this 6-month creative writing specialization covers short story, narrative essay, and memoir. It was created for beginners who want to understand all aspects of creative writing, from plot to character to style.
Included with a Coursera Plus membership at $59 per month or $399 per year
7. Gotham Writers
Gotham Writers is one of the most respected writing schools in New York and online. They offer on-demand workshops in various categories across fiction and nonfiction, including creative writing 101, the art of dialogue, and how to master plotting.
Prices vary based on class and instruction type
8. Joanna Penn's How to Write a Novel
This course by best-selling novelist Joanna Penn is a step-by-step guide to writing a novel. It's a thorough course that teaches you the essential elements of every novel and how to write and edit your manuscript. It also includes bonus interviews with industry experts, such as K.M. Weiland, C.J. Lyons, and Jen Blood.
9. Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
Margaret Atwood is one of the most respected authors of our time and has written thought-provoking stories that continue to shape and critique our world. In 23 video lessons, Atwood shares must-know tips on structuring a novel and bringing characters to life.
10. Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula Classes
Mark Dawson, best-selling author of the John Milton series, has self-published over 20 books and has come up with a formula for success. Choose from multiple courses, including:
Self Publishing 101
Ads for Authors
How to Write a Bestseller
Many of these comprehensive courses also come with exclusive bonuses, such as access to a students-only Facebook group.
11. Ninja Writers' The Plotting Workshop*
In this 4-week course, taught by traditionally published author Shaunta Grimes, you'll learn how to develop and test a story idea, how to map out the hero's journey, and how to create a plot board.
12. The Novelry
In this course, you get access to dedicated, one-to-one tutor sessions with best-selling authors such as Harriet Tyce, Kate Riordan, and Mike Gayle. Your tutor will help you complete a book, whether you sign up for "The Book in a Year Plan" or the Ninety Day Novel®.
Prices start at $170 or £120.
Here’s a list of 25 more creative writing courses to check out. Subscribe to receive this extra resource:
13. ProWritingAid University
When you join ProWritingAid University, your subscription includes access to several courses, including:
Outlining Your Novel: Five Methods for Plotters and Pantsers
Show, Don't Tell: A 30-Day Challenge to Increase the Emotional Impact of Your Writing
Editing Your Manuscript: Go From First Draft to Done
Monthly subscription $49 per month or $499 per year
14. Reedsy Learning: How to Write a Suspense Novel
In this free, 10-day course, taught by award-winning novelist, book editor, and author coach Christina Kaye, you'll learn the art of writing suspense, including:
The different suspense subgenres
How to create characters for suspense
How to nail the twist or surprise reveal
15. R.L. Stine Teaches Writing for Young Audiences
Award-winning novelist R.L. Stine (author of Goosebumps and other faves from your childhood) teaches a masterclass on writing for young audiences. In this class, you'll learn how to come up with ideas, how to turn ideas into immersive plots, and how to overcome the dreaded writer's block.
16. Romance Road Map: How to Write a Romance Novel Step by Step On Demand Course
Would you like pointers to help you write an engaging romance novel? In this course, taught by veteran romance novelist Adrienne deWolfe, you'll learn the successful formula to writing a romance that your readers will love. This course will help you identify the proper narrative structure for your romance and develop intriguing characters.
17. Save the Cat! Online Novel Writing Course
This course, taught by traditionally published author Jessica Brody, makes a huge claim: Learn how to write a best-selling novel in 15 steps. While there's no guarantee that your novel will become a bestseller, this course will provide you with all of the components to a successful outcome. Discover the blueprint of good storytelling by analyzing real-life examples from books and movies. This course will help you craft an outline for your novel from scratch.
$12 per month or $125 per year
18. Start Writing Fiction
In this 8-week, self-paced course from The Open University, learn how established fiction writers approach writing. In this course, you'll successfully develop ideas and learn how to create characters.
Starting from $0
19. The Story Course by Sarah Selecky
In this inspiring course by writer, novelist, and creative writing mentor Sarah Selecky, you'll learn how to unlock the story that only you can tell. Even Margaret Atwood recommends it. It's a self-paced curriculum that offers exercises, assignments, and even an anthology to see lessons in action. The course also comes with an audiobook for those wanting to study on the go.
20. The Story Equation Mini-Course
In this mini-course, taught by prolific best-selling author Susan May Warren, you'll learn how to turn one question into the plot of your next novel. Use these tips to build a taut story with a satisfying character arc.
21. Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
Wired for Story: How to Become a Story Genius
In this popular class by Lisa Cron, you'll learn how to find your story and write a better first draft. This course is meant to boost your confidence as a writer by explaining the steps it takes to write a compelling story.
$99 or join CreativeLive and pay $11 per month
22. Worldbuilding NaNo Prep Course
In this brief but powerful course taught by Rebekah Loper, you'll receive three lessons a week over 9 weeks, taking you through the ABCs of world-building. Learn everything from architecture to zoology.
Free, available in September and October
23. Write a Book! Creative Writing Skills for Beginner Writers
In this best-selling course created by Brian Jackson, you'll spend 17+ hours learning to write a novel or non-fiction book. It goes over the fundamentals of English writing, and helps you tell the story that you're carrying.
24. Write Academy: How to Write Fiction Books
In this beginner-friendly writing course, you'll learn how to write successful novels. The course starts you off with a look at different fiction genres and then moves you from ideation to understanding character, setting, point of view, and story structure. The course also helps you carve out your author voice. By the end of this course, you'll feel empowered to start your career as a writer.
$199 for one-time payment (payment plan is available)
25. Writing Character & Plot with Hannah Kent and Rebecca Starford
Finally, a course about killing your darling characters. In this course, taught by Hannah Kent and Rebecca Starford, you'll learn how to create proper, three-dimensional characters. You'll also discover how to balance these characters with action to keep your story moving forward.
Which of the above classes are you most interested in taking? Let us know in the comments below!
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Best Online Creative Writing Classes
Masterclass is our best overall writing course to learn the art of writing.
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Creative writing is often focused around writing fiction (but may also include nonfiction), which can feature any type of writing from poems to short stories, novels, and more. Online creative writing classes help you learn how to become a better storyteller, produce completed manuscripts, and publish your work. Since the classes takes place over the internet, you can study anywhere. The best online creative writing classes offer a rich curriculum, provide a good value for the cost, and are taught by experienced professionals.
Here, we've rounded up our top picks for prospective students to learn about creative writing from the comfort of their own homes. Some online courses even offer certifications upon completion to pursue creative writing as a career. Compare top options to find the best price range, topics, and class schedule to help you get started.
Best Online Creative Writing Classes of 2023
- Best Overall: Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling
- Best for Beginners: Beginning Writer’s Workshop by ed2go
- Best for Certification: Coursera's Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University
- Best Live Class: Creative Writing 101 by Gotham Writers
- Best for Writing Critique: UCLA Extension’s Introduction to Creative Writing
- Best for Creative Non-Fiction: Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing - You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
- Best Ivy League Class: Harvard's Fundamentals of Fiction
- Our Top Picks
- Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling
- Beginning Writer’s Workshop by ed2go
- Coursera's Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University
- Creative Writing 101 by Gotham Writers
- UCLA Extension’s Introduction to Creative Writing
- Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing - You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
- Harvard's Fundamentals of Fiction
- See More (4)
- Compare Classes
Can I Teach Myself Creative Writing?
Can you make a living off of creative writing, methodology, best overall : neil gaiman teaches the art of storytelling.
- Cost: $180 for annual Masterclass membership
- Length: Approximately 5 hours
- Certificate: No
Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling took our top spot because the course has a robust curriculum and is taught by an award-winning author.
Short, engaging videos
Access content from your computer or smartphone
Easy-to-digest video lectures
No instructor feedback
Masterclass subscription required
No student collaboration
We like this class because students learn many creative writing techniques from a world-renowned fiction writer. The course is a series of 19 short video lectures, which include:
- Truth in Fiction
- Sources of Inspiration
- Finding Your Voice
- Dialogue and Character
- Character Case Study
- Dealing with Writer's Block
- The Writer's Responsibilities
As you watch the nearly five hours of content, you'll learn the fundamentals of writing stories (including how to make your story feel real), find unique angles to explore, develop your writing voice, create compelling plots, characters, settings, and dialogue, and edit and improve your work. You’ll also write short stories, understand different writing genres, and learn tips for getting unstuck when you have writer’s block.
This course of study is self-paced, so you won’t receive any feedback on your writing. You can access the videos on your smartphone or computer.
There are no requirements to enroll. However, you can only access the class if you have a Masterclass subscription, which currently costs $180 for the year. Once you have a Masterclass membership you can take any course offered. If you’re dissatisfied with the learning platform, you can email customer service within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
Best for Beginners : Beginning Writer’s Workshop by ed2go
- Length: 24 hours
Beginning Writer’s Workshop by ed2go gives new writers the foundational information they need to complete a piece of creative work.
Rich curriculum including various genres, literary techniques, the writing process, and more
Instructor and peer feedback
Course access ends after six weeks
Must adhere to a schedule to participate in discussions
Not all course requirements are included in enrollment
We like Beginning Writer’s Workshop because it’s designed to quickly turn a true beginner into a confident writer with a publication-worthy piece. When you finish the six-week, 12-lesson course, you’ll know how to:
- Distinguish between and speak to the different writing genres and subgenres
- Use various literary techniques and devices like similes, metaphors, imagery, etc.
- Develop plots, characters, and other story elements
- Navigate the entire writing process, including pre-writing, drafting, editing, and finalizing a piece
- Peer-edit the creative work of others
- Combat writer’s block
- Go through the publishing process
The class includes 24 hours of instructional content. For the first six weeks, you’ll get access to two new self-paced lessons per week. Lectures include reading material and videos.
There’s also an online discussion board where you can post questions and talk about the lectures. Discussions only remain open for two weeks after a lesson is released. So, while you can study when it fits your schedule, you’ll want to keep up with the work.
The course is facilitated by Carmen Marquez, a journalist, writer, and teacher. They’ll reply to any inquiries you post on the discussion board within 24 to 48 hours. You’ll also have the opportunity to get feedback on your writing from the instructor and other students.
The class costs $149. A new round of the course begins every month, so you can get started when it’s convenient for you.
Best for Certification : Coursera's Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University
- Cost: $0 or $49 per month to unlock more features
- Length: Approximately 11 hours
- Certificate: Yes
Coursera's Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University is our choice for this category because it offers a certificate upon completion, allowing students to use the knowledge gained for their career path. As a bonus, this class is free, so students can access content from the school at no cost.
Access to free content from a well-regarded school
Free trial and "audits" allow students to view material before purchasing
No feedback or interaction without a subscription to Coursera
Does not include lessons on literary style
May take up to six months to complete
The course is hosted by Coursera, an online learning platform. Coursera gives you the option to “audit” the class at no charge, allowing you to view all of the included videos and reading materials without subscribing to the platform.
The specialization includes four classes you can audit:
- Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
- Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
- Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
- Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
- Capstone: Your Story
Each class features a few hours of content, and you can take them in any order and on your own time.
As you go through the lessons, you’ll learn how to:
- Develop a story with a beginning, middle, and end
- Bring the players in your tale to life
- Create a detailed world with your words
- Refine your piece via the editing process
The course of study has multiple instructors, all with backgrounds in English or creative writing.
If you want a more interactive experience that includes writing assignments, access to a discussion board, or feedback on your work, you’ll have to purchase a Coursera membership for $49 per month. The company offers a seven-day free trial, so you can test it out before buying.
Having full access will also allow you to obtain a certificate of completion once you’ve finished the specialization.
Best Live Class : Creative Writing 101 by Gotham Writers
- Cost: $319 plus $25 registration fee
- Length: 18 hours
Creative Writing 101 by Gotham Writers is our best pick for live classes because it features weekly live lectures via Zoom. Students are also offered feedback for their writing while learning about both fiction and nonfiction.
Live, interactive meetings
Writing feedback available
Includes both fiction and nonfiction
Course is somewhat pricey
Registration fee required
No certificate offered upon completion
We like this class since you can learn about creative writing in a fully interactive environment and get your questions answered in real time. The course is designed specifically for newer writers or experienced writers looking for a refresher.
The six-week class meets for three hours a week and features:
- An introduction to creative writing
- A discussion on fiction writing to include types of fiction, components of the genre—such as plot, characters, and point of view—and how to write it
- A discussion on the different types of nonfiction, including narrative nonfiction, memoirs, and personal essays
- Guidance on how to find story ideas, cultivate good writing habits, and get past writer’s block
Between lectures, you’ll also complete writing assignments and get feedback on your work. The course has multiple instructors, all with education and experience in writing.
You must be 18 or older to take the course. The class is offered on various days and times, so you’ll have to look online to see which option fits your schedule.
Creative Writing 101 costs $319 for the online or Zoom classes. The company also charges a $25 registration fee per term, but you might be able to find discounts or promotions to reduce the cost.
Best for Writing Critique : UCLA Extension’s Introduction to Creative Writing
UCLA Extension’s Introduction to Creative Writing is our choice as best for writing critique because the class features small, weekly breakout sessions to workshop student writing.
Small group workshops for detailed feedback
Offers lessons on writing in multiple styles
Limite to 12 students; not always available for enrollment
Requires students to be present for 3-hour weekly class
This class allows you to learn from and work closely with instructors, writing experts, and other students. The course is limited to 12 students and is designed to help learners explore creative writing.
The Introduction to Creative Writing course runs for six weeks and meets live over Zoom for three hours weekly. In each class meeting, you’ll start in a breakout session to discuss the writing assignment and how you’re feeling as a writer. Then, you’ll transition into a lecture with a guest expert about topics like fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and poetry.
Throughout the class, you’ll:
- Experiment with writing in different styles
- Learn how to critique the work of other writers
- Network with other creatives
- Be inspired to write and learn more about the craft
The course has several different instructors who are all accomplished writers.
Since this is a beginner course, you won’t get graded on the writing you produce. Instead, you’ll be evaluated based on assignment completion, the feedback you provide to your peers, and overall participation.
The course costs $485, and if you need to withdraw, you must do so within two weeks of the start date to receive a refund.
Best for Creative Non-Fiction : Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing - You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
- Cost: $19.99
- Length: Approximately 2 hours
Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing won this category because the class specifically focuses on creative nonfiction. While the class is short, it's also the most affordable on our list, and it's a great introduction to the topic for curious students.
Specific focus on creative nonfiction
Most affordable option for beginner writers
Certificate of completion given
No writing feedback available
Only 2 hours of lectures available
Not in-depth on each topic compared to similar courses
If you’re interested in writing true stories rather than fiction but still want that creative element, you might want to consider creative nonfiction, like personal essays and memoirs. We like this class because it helps you dive into the world of creative nonfiction at a budget-conscious price.
The $19.99 course is self-paced and includes nine modules and 26 video lectures. The modules include:
- What is Creative Nonfiction?
- Writing the Vignette
- Using Sensory Language
- Writing in Scenes
- Using a Plot Diagram
- Making the Personal Universal
During the nearly two hours of lectures, you’ll learn the skills required to write creative nonfiction pieces, such as memoirs and essays, the basic building blocks of storytelling, such as plots, characters, and scenes, and several writing techniques and literary devices. You’ll also learn:
- How to find your writer’s voice and be more confident
- How to turn your personal experience into a compelling story that will appeal to the masses
- The revision process
Although you won’t get any feedback from your instructor, the class includes writing projects you can complete independently and quizzes to review your learning. To supplement the lectures, you’ll also have access to downloadable resources like templates and graphics.
Your instructor is the creator of the class, Trace Crawford. Crawford has more than 20 years of writing and teaching experience.
You don’t have to meet any particular requirements to take this course. It’s designed for any curious writer.
In case you’re unhappy with the class, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. When you finish the last lecture, you’ll receive a certificate of completion. You’ll also have lifetime access to the content.
Best Ivy League Class : Harvard's Fundamentals of Fiction
- Cost: $3,100
- Length: 5 months
Harvard's Fundamentals of Fiction is designed for intermediate to advanced writers interested in applying their skills to creative fiction. This is not a course for beginners, but rather an in-depth study that concludes with each student finishing their own short story or the first chapter of a novel.
Students learn creative writing from Ivy League professors
Offers formal experience in creative writing
Students will complete their own short story or the first chapter of a novel by course end
Intended for graduate students with strong writing skills
Considerably more expensive than others
Students must enroll in degree program
Harvard's Fundamentals of Fiction course is a great choice for graduate-level students to focus on their creative writing skills. The course covers several topics, including:
- Plot analysis
- Structure analysis
- Fundamentals of character
- Fundamentals of dialogue
- Showing versus telling
- Point of view
- Building a narrative foundation
- Using scene structure to craft stories
The course is split into two sections: Students study plot and structure in various creative writing works, then apply this knowledge in the second half of the course to write their own short story or the first chapter of a novel.
As an Ivy League class, online students receive all the benefits of professor feedback and student collaboration that they'd receive in-class. However, students must enroll with the Harvard Department of Continuing Education to register.
There are countless online creative writing classes available, so it may be hard to choose the best course for you. Investigate any online creative writing class before you enroll to select an option that can help you finish and publish your creative masterpiece.
However, Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling is an excellent place to start your search. The content comes from an award-winning author and is designed to inspire you, help you develop your voice, and teach you new creative writing techniques.
Compare the Best Online Creative Writing Classes
Frequently asked questions, what do you learn in an online creative writing class.
Creative writing classes teach topics like genres of writing, outlining ideas, developing a plot and characters, and storytelling. Specific classes vary from course to course, but many include lessons about editing your work and establishing productive writing habits. The class may also include a peer-critique component to improve your own editing skills by reviewing other writers' work.
Should New Writers Take an Online Creative Writing Class?
New writers can and should take an online creative writing class. Some classes are designed especially for beginners so that learners can get the foundational information that they need. Taking an entry-level class can help you decide if creative writing is right for you and what direction to take as a writer.
How Can an Online Creative Writing Class Help Me Improve My Writing?
An online creative writing class can help you improve your writing in several ways. You'll learn about new literary techniques, refresh your knowledge about writing basics, find your unique voice, overcome writer's block, refine your work, and establish productive habits. An online creative writing class may also include personalized feedback from the instructor to hone your skills further.
How Much Do Online Creative Writing Classes Cost?
Online creative writing classes vary in cost. You can access some courses for free, while others are priced at several hundred dollars or more.
Are Online Creative Writing Classes Worth It?
Depending on your career goals , online creative writing classes can be worth your time, effort, and money. If you’re a hobbyist writer, it probably makes sense to stick with short, budget-friendly courses. But if you’re a writer by trade or would like to become a professional writer, it may be worth investing a more substantial number of hours and dollars into your development.
It's possible to teach yourself the fundamentals of creative writing when it comes to practicing narratives and storytelling, and many writers start without a formal education. However, creative writing classes can help you hone in on skills like developing characters and plots, writing in different styles, editing your work, and more.
Many writers and authors make their living from creative writing. Creative writers may focus on producing books, or they may write poetry, short stories, biographies, and other fictional or non-fictional works. The best creative writing classes can also teach you about submitting your work to publishers to develop a career .
We closely evaluated 10 online creative writing classes before making our selections. We considered the course curriculum, instructor credibility, and value. We also accounted for any unique features.
All of our choices offer a rigorous course of study for a fair price and are designed to help creative writers hone their craft and get ready for publication.
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Compare the best online writing courses.
Published on December 10, 2021 - Written By: Lars Lofgren
Want to jump straight to the answer? The best online writing course for most people is Masterclass or Write of Passage .
Whether you want to write the next great American novel, improve your blog, or pick up a new skill that will help you earn some money on the side, an online writing course is the solution.
You can take an affordable writing course from the comfort of your own home and go at your own pace. Use this guide to find the best writing course for your goals.
- Taught by big name writers
- Instructors include Neil Gaiman, James Patterson, and more
- Access to all Masterclasses
- Costs just $15/month
The 5 Best Online Writing Courses of 2022
- Masterclass – The Best Online Writing Course(s) Taught By Pros
Write of Passage – The Best Online Writing Course for Audience Building and Networking
- Copyschool by Copyhackers – The Best Online Copywriting Course
- The 90 Day Novel – The Best Online Writing Course for Writing Novels
- Gotham Writers Workshop – The Best Online Writing Course Community
Keep reading for our in-depth review of each course.
Masterclass – The Best Online Writing Course(s) to Learn from Pros
Ever wonder how Dan Brown seems to magically get you to keep turning the pages of his thrillers?
Or how Margaret Atwood develops rich and compelling characters?
Or maybe how David Sedaris crafts such witty and poignant essays?
Masterclass has your back.
The online compendium of literally any lesson you could possibly want from guitar lessons from Carlos Santana, to tennis lessons with Serena Williams, also offers writing classes from your very favorite authors including:
- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television
- James Patterson Teaches Writing
- David Sedaris Teaches Storytelling and Humor
- Billy Collins Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry
- David Baldacci Teaches Mystery and Thriller Writing
- Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling
- Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers
- Joyce Carol Oates Teaches the Art of the Short Story
- David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing
- Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing
- Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
- R.L. Stine Teaches Writing for Young Audiences
- Judy Blume Teaches Writing
And there are more big names being added regularly.
The classes themselves are broken up into a multi-video lesson plan and lasts anywhere between 3-5 hours. Along with the videos taught by the writers themselves, you’ll also get access to a community of students also taking the course, as well as homework assignments. Some of the teachers have been known to pop in the student forums to take part in their learning as well!
Pricing wise, Masterclass is unique. For one they bill you annually at $15 / month for a total of $180. Once you subscribe, you not only get access to every writing course, but you also are able to take part in Masterclass’s entire catalog of courses. For the money you pay, it’s an incredible deal especially when compared to some other online writing courses out there.
Of course, there are some downsides. If you’re looking for a personalized experience, you’re not going to get much of that. After all, your teachers are big name professionals who can’t be at your beck and call for every question. Also, some of the lessons can lack the actionable steps you’re looking for if you want to improve your writing.
However, it’s a solid choice if you ever wondered about the process behind some of your favorite stories and storytellers. Learn more .
- 5-week digital writing course
- One of the best courses out there
- Great community
David Perell is a writer, entrepreneur, and the host of the North Star podcast. He’s also the founder of one of the most lauded online writing courses out there.
Write of Passage is a five-week online writing course that’s helped hundreds of students across the world learn how to build an audience and write online.
It’s split up into seven different modules—each one focusing on a different topic:
- Module 1: The Age of Leverage covers how writing online helps your career as well as introduces you to the course.
- Module 2: Make Your Serendipity Vehicle covers how to build a habit of coming up with writing ideas.
- Module 3: Create Your Online Home covers building a website that attracts an audience.
- Module 4: Set Up Your Distribution System covers building a newsletter and other methods of distributing your writing
- Module 5: Learn to Write Clearly and Persuasively covers the nuts and bolts of good writing itself.
- Module 6: Connect with Anyone teaches you how to use your writing effectively network and connect with people.
- Module 7: Build Your Personal Monopoly shows you how to use your knowledge and skills to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Overall, this is a perfect choice if you’re a professional looking to make stronger connections in your industry, or if you’re looking for new opportunities through your writing.
Each cohort also gets access to templates, writing assignments, writing templates, and feedback with other members of your cohort.
One downside: The pricing is expensive.
The Essentials Course which includes the the 7 modules, writing workshops, live sessions, and the student-only forum is $4,000. While the Premium Course which includes more tutorials and live interviews is $6,000.
However, based on everything I’ve heard about Write of Passage, the price is well worth it.
Copy School by Copyhackers – The Best Online Copywriting Course
- Best for copywriting
- Learn about sales pages, social media ads, and more
- Instant access to 7 courses
- One-time payment of $2,997
Founded by copywriter extraordinaire Joanna Wiebe in 2011, Copyhackers offers a massive repository of copywriting resources.
They’ll help you learn the basics of copywriting and improve your marketing efforts for any goal you’re looking to crush.
On top of their free resources, they also include the Copy School . This gives you instant access to all of their writing courses:
- 10x Sales Pages
- 10x Web Copy
- 10x Funnels
- 10x Launches
- 10x Landing Pages
- 10x Facebook & Instagram Ads
Each of those courses individually costs $1,000 – $2,000. All told it’s $9,000.
But Copy School allows you to get it for a one-time payment of $2,997. You can also $297 per month for 12 months, but you save $567 by paying it all at once.
Alternatively, you can purchase Copy School for a team of three. In which case it’ll cost you 12 monthly payments of $697. There are one-time payments available though the price is obscured on the site.
Copy School will help you improve your copywriting skills across all those topics. Each course includes the modules and actionable insights you need to elevate your writing to the next level. Most are hosted and taught by Joanna Wiebe, but a few include some other great marketing pros such as Wahida Lakhani and Ry Schwartz.
Overall, it’s a perfect choice for any copywriter looking to boost their skills.
The 90 Day Novel – The Best Online Writing Course for Novels
- Best for writing novels
- 100+ actionable lessons
- Learn to plot, outline, and create characters
- Prices start at $269/month for 3 months
Looking to finally write and/or finish that Great American Novel you’ve been working on? The 90 Day Novel helps you cross the finish line with a book you can be proud of at the end of three months.
Brought to you by Novelry, an online writing school, the 90 Day Novel helps you write and finish your novel through more than 100 actionable lessons. They’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to finish your book as well as online mentorship sessions with a tutor.
That means you’ll get an experienced writer showing you the ropes and helping you get your writing off the ground. All the tutors are published authors who you can choose based on your needs and wants.
From plotting, to outlining, to genres, to actually sitting down and putting words to paper, this online writing course shows you everything you need to know about creating a novel. The best part is that it’s great for whether you’re a complete beginner or if you have had writing experience before.
The course itself is split up into six phases, with each phase lasting anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks:
- Week 1: Inspiration and Preparation. Students learn the importance of writing habits and how to come up with a novel idea.
- Week 2-3: Construction. You learn the importance of building characters and plot to find the emotional core of your store.
- Weeks 4-6: The Swim. Having established your writing habit, you now break down the craft of writing.
- Week 7: The Heat Phase . You learn how to raise the stakes of your story as well as pushing past mental roadblocks.
- Weeks 8-10: Enlightenment. The course breaks down a successful novel and shows you how and why it works.
- Weeks 11-12: Home. You wrap up your novel and learn how to push through to finish it once and for all.
Pricing is not too bad either. The way it works is you pay a certain amount depending on which tier you choose over the course of three months. The difference between each tier comes down to how much tutoring and live coaching sessions you’d like. The more live tutoring, the more you’ll have to pay, with the Intensive Plus plan including feedback on your novel as well.
Gotham Writers Workshops – Best Online Writing Course Community
- Legendary writers workshop in NYC
- Online writing classes and Zoom workshops
- Guided instruction
- Fantastic community of writers!
Since 1993, the Gotham Writers Workshop has helped untold amounts of writers hone their craft and become the best writers they can be.
Though they’re based out of New York City, you don’t have to be in the Big Apple to take part. In fact, they offer two types of online writing courses that you can take anywhere with an Internet connection:
- Online Writing Classes. These are 10 week workshops that allow you to learn at your own pace. That means anytime and anywhere.
- Zoom Classes. These are more involved classes where you meet with a cohort of writers and instructors to replicate an in-person writing workshop. As such, you must meet at a specified time.
The Gotham Writers Workshop is a NYC institution and not enough can be said about what they have done for the writing community as whole. If you’re looking to improve your fiction, essay, screenwriting, poetry, or playwriting chops, this is the place for you.
Pricing varies depending on what you’re looking for but a typical Fiction Writing course is going to cost $409.
Choosing an online writing course
Before we dive into the best courses, you should know why you want to sign up for one.
After all, this is going to be an investment of your time and–depending on which course you choose–money as well. You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the course you go with.
To that end, the most important thing you should decide on first is your goals. Why exactly are you looking for a writing course?
Do you want to write a fiction best seller?
Do you want to learn the basics of copywriting for your career?
Are you looking to create the next Oscar winning screenplay?
Whatever your decision, it’s important to know your goals before you choose. Writing is a HUGe topic. It covers a range of things from screenwriting, to novel writing, to journalism, to content marketing.
Come up with your goals first. Once you do, keep reading to find the writing course that helps you achieve those goals.
What to look for in an online writing course
While the course you ultimately choose is up to you and your goals, there are a few things that separate the good courses from the bad ones.
Here are the criteria we used when deciding which courses we should include on this list.
There’s an old saying: Those who can’t do, teach.
When it comes to online writing courses, the saying should go: Those who can do, teach.
That’s why we looked towards the background and credentials of the instructors who are teaching these online writing courses.
If your instructor isn’t published or experienced in the writing topic they’re setting out to teach you, I highly suggest you look elsewhere. After all, if they couldn’t get published or craft good stories themselves, why would they be able to show you how?
When looking at online writing courses, investigate your instructors background. Where have they been published? What is their experience like outside of the classroom?
Amount of lessons
Usually, quality beats quantity. But this is an area you want to make sure you’re getting a lot of reps in.
You can’t teach someone how to write great stories or copy in a single lesson. You can’t do that in a few lessons. That’s why when you’re taking a look at which writing courses to take, you should also consider the amount of time you’ll actually spend learning.
If it’s just a one-day workshop, you’ll actually might get more value by turning elsewhere that offers comprehensive multi-week long courses. That way you know you’ll at least be able to keep a habit of writing and learning, rather than making it a one off thing.
The best way to improve as a writer is to get consistent and constructive feedback. How else will you know what’s working and what isn’t working?
Try to find an online course that offers good feedback and critiques on your writing. This can come in a number of different forms. Perhaps the best way is when an experienced writer and instructor can give you personalized feedback. A few courses above offer that–however, most don’t.
Instead, courses rely on community feedback from your peers in the class. This can be especially helpful as other students can keep you motivated and in check when it comes to your writing habits. Teaching someone how to do something is a great way to learn yourself. That means when you read and critique work, it inadvertently improves your own writing as well.
The Top Online Writing Courses in Summary
There are tons of great writing courses out there. But the best online writing course for you depends on your goals and skill level.
A beginner that wants to learn the basics likely won’t enroll in the same course as an advanced writer sharpening their skills before their next book. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you can find the perfect online writing course from top picks in this guide.
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