Best online Creative Writing Courses
Beginners to advanced writers find the perfect course for you
Creative writing is any writing that is not professional or journalistic or academic or anything else that doesn’t involve one’s own imagination. Creative writing is a form of self-expression, and that is why some say that it cannot be taught.
It seems like just a matter of practice. You just need to sit down and write every time you can.
But that’s the catch! We never seem to have the time or chances to practice! This is where creative writing courses come to the rescue. You have a schedule to stick to, you have guidance from your teachers, you have feedback from other writers.
Why online courses are perfect for creative writing
A lot of universities and academies out there developed courses for aspiring writers. The trouble is they are often too far away, to expensive or just too slow or too long to be of any use.
None of these problems affect online courses. They are easier to follow, you can go at your own pace and it is easy to find one that goes at your preferred pace.
I don’t need to tell you all the benefits of online courses, you already know them all. What I am here to talk to you about is where to find creative writing courses and why they are worth it.
Whether you are just starting to get your writing habits straight or you are a seasoned writer. There is always an online course to get you to the next level.
In this guide, I will take you on a journey from being a wannabe writer to a published one.
If you just want some guidelines or don’t want to commit to a whole course, then you are spoilt for choice. You can choose from a list of classes with the duration that goes from as short as 15 minutes to as long as several days. Although not all at once...
From tips on how to create your own writing habits to how to get published.
From general discussions on what makes a good reading to tips on how to develop a character.
You can find whatever you need to start your own writing.
Starting your journey
You’re there, sitting with a blank paper in front of you. You bought all this stationery to help you create the atmosphere. You have that cup of coffee to make you look like a serious writer. You might even have an old typewriter in front of you.
But what now? How do you start to write?
These lessons will guide you through all the fundamentals of narrative storytelling, that you will then apply when writing your own project.
You’ll start this Skillshare course by reading a piece by the teacher, and you’ll want to learn everything from him.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn how to construct your story starting from the basics of storytelling: character, conflict, context, and craft.
At the end of the course, you’ll have enough skills and inspiration to write your own story.
LEVEL: Beginners who need to know where to start from.
DURATION 42 minutes, with 9 lessons going from slightly more than 1 minute to more than 5
COST Just sign up to Skillshare* - there is a free trial after which you will have to pay
*As you might have already read in our general review, on Skillshare you can choose to take individual classes or to take part in a workshop with other students at the same time. At the time of writing (Oct 2019), there is the possibility to sign up only to one writing workshop, including two different classes, after each one you are invited to upload your own work and have feedback from the community.
Learning from a qualified teacher, you will get excited about writing your own pieces. You will have plenty of chances to practice what you will learn in every lesson, with assignments, quizzes, and projects that will help you quickstart your writing journey.
The struggle of aspiring writers is often not knowing which genre they can write. The real treasure of this Udemy course is knowing enough of each genre to know which way to go. At the end of each chapter, you’ll know how to write your own piece.
This is the perfect course to get you excited about writing with your own style and voice.
Level Beginners who still need to know which way they want to go.
DURATION About 12 hours, divided into 6 chapters with lectures going from slightly more than 1 minute to 11 minutes, including quizzes and assignments
COST £19,99 on Udemy (with frequent discounts)
This FutureLearn course will help you start writing.
You’ll be guided through some writing exercises that will help you keep the focus on your writing. You will also know about the experiences of established writers from when they where in your exact position. During the course you will be encouraged to revise other writers’ works. This will let you gain the important skill of reading as a writer.
At the end of this course you will have all the needed skills to write and edit your own work.
Level: Those who need to keep their focus on their writing and need advice on how to edit their work.
DURATION 24 hours, divided in 8 weeks.
COST Free on FutureLearn
You have it now! The perfect writing habit for you.
You are starting to be more confident in what is running out of your pen. But you feel there is still something missing. Your writing is missing that the solid structure or dashing spark.
If you can’t figure out what it is, let’s see if the next courses will help.
Sometimes the main reason to go take a creative writing course is to get inspiration when writer block strikes. This is the perfect Skillshare course for overcoming your block and start creating great stories & characters.
The teacher will give you prompts, strategies and advice to write a compelling story.
Level Intermediate students who want to level-up their writing
DURATION 47 minutes, with 8 lessons going from 3 minutes to almost 10
COST Just sign up to Skillshare (first month free)
If you struggle to make steady progress through your new idea then this course is for you. You will learn how to develop your writing idea in order to have a source to look at every time you get stuck.
What we sometimes lack when we write is planning ahead. To start writing a good novel or a series, we need to start by sitting down and break the story into chapters or episodes.
How? That’s why you need this Udemy course. Don’t let a huge project scare you away from writing.
This course will leave you more confident in your ideas and on how to manage them.
The benefits of going through these classes, even if you don’t upload your project (which is always recommended, as the feedback from other writers is highly beneficial), is that you will always end up with a great deal of inspiration!
Level Intermediate students who need a little prompt to develop their ideas.
DURATION 25 minutes, divided into 4 chapters, with lectures from 1 to 3 minutes, including quizzes and assignments.
COST £99 on Udemy (with frequent discounts)
Creative Writing: the Craft of Setting and Description
Sometimes the story you have in mind might happen in a part of the world you are not too familiar with. Or in a time you are not too familiar with.
That’s why you should take this Coursera course. You’ll get tips and advice on how to avoid missteps. And at the end of each week, you’ll have an assignment to exercise what you’ve been learning.
This course will give you a real understanding of how to develop your writing.
Level Those who need to develop better their settings.
DURATION 12 hours, divided in 4 weeks.
COST Free with the audit option on Coursera
Ready to publish
You’ve done it! You wrote your book, proofread it, adjusted it in the best way. It’s time now to get it published! But, how? Where do you start from? Let’s see what the following courses can teach you!
Find out what the next courses can help you achieve!
Unfortunately, your book isn’t going to sell itself. You’ll need to propose it in the right way to the right agent or publishing house.
This CreativeLive course will give you the right tips and teach you the essential elements for a solid book proposal.
You’ll also get the important views of two literary agents. They will give you significant insights into what a book proposal should be about and how to best grab their attention.
FOR WHOM Those who have their manuscripts ready to be considered for publication
DURATION 1 hour and 23 minutes, with 11 lessons going from 3 to 11 minutes
COST $26 individually, $25/month with full access to the CreativeLive courses
From the unique view from both a writer and an editor, you’ll get the fundamental knowledge of how to get your book published.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first time attempting to publish, or you are used to submitting your works.
You’ll find valuable insights and will gain new confidence in what you are doing in this Skillshare course.
FOR WHOM Those who want to get published and don’t know where to start, and those who know where to start but might need more information
DURATION 59 minutes, with 11 lessons going from 3 to 10 minutes
COST Sign up to Skillshare and you’ll have all the courses they offer
Once you get confident in your own way of writing, it’s interesting to see how other writers do it.
Especially published writers.
Even better, best-sellers authors!
In this Masterclass course you’ll get to see how a great writer, Margaret Atwood, works, and what tips and advice she can give.
She will guide you through all the steps from the first idea to finding an agent, going through plot building, research, characters, and all you need and even more.
Level Those who are confident in their own creative process, but might benefit from seeing other ways to go through it.
DURATION 23 lessons.
COST Subscribe to Masterclass with the plan that best suit you, and get access to all their courses.
This is not like the courses you’ve seen so far in this guide.
You won’t have to find a quiet place to watch the lessons.
You won’t have to give up if you forgot your headphones at home and realized when you were already at the library.
You will just need to focus 5 minutes a day. Reading.
Yes, just reading.
In this Reedsy Learning course, you will find out how to self-publish your book, reading a newsletter. Delivered straight to your inbox so you can easily find it and keep on top of your progress.
Just focus on discovering the best practices to self-publish.
LEVEL Those who want their work out there.
DURATION 10 weeks. 5 minutes a day.
COST Free on ReedsyLearning
Blogs about writing, to get tricks and advice
Well done! You’ve published your book!
But what now?
I know you will not stop just at the first book! You might even want to experiment with different genres.
If you find that inspiration is missing sometimes, have a look at these sources and keep writing!
Books to read, to never lose the habit
On writing, Stephen King
The forest for the trees, Betsy Lerner
Exercises in style, Raymond Queneau
Liked this guide? Liked a specific course? Let us know on Twitter! @the_school_bell
Once you have found your next course check out our top tips on how to make the most of it!