Top 7 Professional Creative Writing Courses In The World
In recent times, creative writing has become a popular subject on the internet that helps improve your writing abilities and styles, be it in your academic or professional life. but what is it all about, which are the best creative writing courses in the world, and how can you find the best one for you so keep reading and you will find answers to all your questions. but first, let’s begin with what is creative writing..
What is Creative Writing ?
Creative writing is an artistic form of writing that is not bound to the conventional spheres of academic, professional, and technical writing types. It focuses on elements such as character development, narrative, and plots. Keep reading to explore further the elements of creative writing, thereafter, we will also be looking into the best creative writing courses in the world.
Before we move on to the elements of creative writing, it is important to note that creative writing includes different genres and styles of writing which comes under mainly two categories i.e. Fictional and Nonfictional writing.
Some Examples Include:
- Short stories
- Tv show/movie scripts
In order to make your content worth reading, it is important to include the below-mentioned elements in your writing.
To be called a creative writer, it is necessary to have a story. And a story comes from a unique plot that has to be thought upon very carefully as a plot is what makes creative writing different from other forms of writing. Else, all you’ll be doing is writing facts on a sheet of paper just like a journalist.
Character development is defined as the process of building a character with depth and personality just similar to real-life human beings who go through a series of changes and evolve throughout the story. Therefore, character development is essential to any story as this will make the readers devoted to knowing more about their life/journey.
The underlying theme is the meaning or message the writer conveys to the audience through their story/novel/play. Every story has an underlying theme whether it is intentionally discovered or it is simmering under the surfaces.
Visual description would include everything in your script that would define the surroundings where the story is set in. It provides information about the visual appearances of objects, people, spaces, etc. which help the readers know more about the setting wherein the character of the story lives or is currently.
Point of View:
Point of view is referred to as the “eyes” of the narrative. It is described as the outlook which the writer wants to pass on to the readers be it in either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person.
The Most Common of These is the First and Third-person Views:
- First Person : This point of view uses words like “I”, “me”, and “we”. Here, the narrator plays the role of a protagonist.
- Second Person: This point of view uses words like “you”, “your” or “us”. You will rarely observe the second-person view being used in novels and story writing. Instead, it is more used in instructional writing such as in blogs.
- Third Person: This point of view uses words like “he”, “she”, and “they”. This includes further two types:
OMNISCIENT, wherein the narrator is aware of all the thoughts and feelings of the characters in the story.
And LIMITED, in which the narrator only shares their own thoughts, feelings, and knowledge of the characters and various situations.
Creative writing requires some sort of dialogue between the characters to make it more interactive and support the plot which is dissimilar to non-creative writing wherein the dialogue is not used in the same way (like in interviews).
What makes writing creative is how well you use the language to describe your imagination by including detailed descriptions of the characters, setting, and situations and this can be done by using more anecdotes, similes, metaphors, and figures of speech to make it more appealing.
One of the most powerful writing skills is conveying the right emotion to the reader through your writing. And that is the whole purpose of writing wherein how you make people feel the way you want them to through your story.
Moving Ahead, It Is Important to Answer This Question: What Makes a Good Piece of Creative Writing?
The answer to this simply is that there is nothing like a pre-arranged set of guidelines that can help us create a “good” piece of writing. Creative writing in itself means writing out your own thoughts and imaginations using your own “flair” for writing. Creative writing would never adjust into a single genre and therefore, there would never be an umbrella definition to describe a “good” piece of writing.
Just try comparing the features of a Gothic Short Story to a Romantic Poem, the two of them are so different and it would be totally unfair to judge them together. Nonetheless, there are some fundamental principles that can be followed to make our creative writing skills as authentic and as strong as possible.
Knowing your audience:.
In order to write a great plot, it is essential to know for whom you are writing it. This will allow you to read their thought process and will induce a better connection between you and the reader. For instance, what you will write for readers whose interest lies in action and thriller stories, will be a lot different from those who are more inclined towards romantic and drama plots. Therefore, any creative writing should first begin with mapping out the target audience which will eventually help the writer get a direction and make writing easier.
Write What is Original:
A story worth reading is one with which the reader is able to connect and wants to read more of it. This is only possible when you write what we call as That could either be the writer’s imagination which he uses to come up with a unique plot or could be about his/her own life story. This authenticity is produced when the writer is aware of the various elements of writing and applies them to his own writing style which makes the reader engaged.
Creativity is Essential:
Creative writing is itself built up with the word creative which by default has everything to do with the writer’s imagination and unique ideas which will make a story. This creativity will help the writer think unconventionally and set him/her apart from others in their genre. Also, it is equally important to use literary devices to make your writing fancy by including alliterations, metaphors, similes, adverbs, etc.
Boost Your Imagination:
There is no rule book that can help you in creative writing. It is something that comes from your own thoughts and imagination. It is how far you can push your mind to think innovatively and craft something that captivates the mind of the readers and makes them think about your writing to the core.
Plot a Loose Story Arc :
A story arc becomes essential when creating a plot since it makes your writing easier and reduces the chances of flaws and vague writing which can ultimately scale down the interest of the readers. Pre-planning a loose story arc helps the writer follow the lines and create strong, structured, and engaging content for their readers.
Develop creative writing skills with the top-ranked Online Creative Writing Courses
Now, You Must Be Wondering, Can Creative Writing Be Taught?
The answer to this is Absolute! It is possible to learn creative writing and you must be aware that there are many websites, institutes, and universities that are offering some of the best creative writing courses in the world online, either for free or charging some amount of fees for the learning. We will be exploring the best creative writing courses in the world further in this article. But first, you must be curious to know the Prospects of choosing Creative Writing as a career.
When we think of creative writing as a career opportunity, all that pops up in our mind is journalists or script writers. But with the increasing use of social media and digital platforms, there’s a significant surge in content creation which ultimately would require good writers to produce high-quality content.
So, if you think that you have the potential for good writing and you can write content for companies and brands that is engaging and appealing, then you shouldn’t limit yourself and make a career out of this field. But for that, you will be requiring certification or a degree in creative writing and for that, we will be going through the best creative writing courses in the world which will eventually increase your chances to get hired as a content writer or copywriter or any other related fields you apply for.
There are plenty of job opportunities for creative writers which is a mix of all kinds of innovative works, which include a diverse range of genres, such as fiction writing, blog posts , travelogues, science and technology fiction, and so on. It also comprises script writing for TV shows and movies.
Furthermore, creative writing jobs also include writing for feature news, food blogging and reviewing, writing for online magazines, etc. Apart from this, creative writers can also work as freelancers and help provide consultations or write for their business profiles and company websites.
What Should I Look for While Taking Up an Online Creative Writing Course?
On one hand, online creative writing courses can help you provide the right writing techniques and develop your skills, on the other hand, it becomes essential to enquire properly about the course you take up online. Let us look at some of these factors that should be considered while you search for the best creative writing courses in the world and select the best one for yourself.
A Strong Circle:
This consists of various factors such as the student-student relationship and the student-teacher relationship. It is always preferable to look for courses where the class strength is smaller as this will allow the instructor to pay individual attention to the participants and foster a positive environment. This will also enable the students to get proper feedback and insights on the work they do during the course.
Before you enroll in an online course, it is best to do your research work at the institution that is providing the program. This can be done by first visiting their website and enquiring about the course and its prospects. After which you can visit other websites and blogs that must have reviewed the particular course/institution that is providing the course.
It is important to note here that only institutions that are well known, renowned, and have had positive feedback about the programs they offer would be reviewed by other websites and you would also discover various blogs on the best creative writing courses in the world. So make sure to check that beforehand. Also, it’s a must to read the reviews given by real students who have taken up the courses there.
Before you take up the course, do check out the teaching faculty who will be guiding you throughout the course. The teacher should be well qualified and must have relevant experience in teaching.
When the class is smaller, it would mean the students will get proper and effective feedback for their assignments. This will also help the ones who have previously been writing and want experienced suggestions and feedback for their work to improve their writing.
The teachers with a good amount of experience would be able to point out the slightest of mistakes and help in improvisation. Mostly, the websites that are reviewed under the best creative writing courses in the world contain all the below-mentioned aspects and that is the reason they gain popularity and word of mouth.
Also, check out the excellent Creative writing Courses in India to excel in writing skills for a rewarding career.
Here is a List of Some Career Paths That You Can Take Up After Taking One of the Best Creative Writing Courses in the World:
- Communication consultant
- Digital Copywriter
- Advertising copywriter
- Social media manager
- Ghosh writer
Now, It is Time to Help You Explore the Best Creative Writing Courses in the World That You Can Choose From and Kick-start Your Creative Writing Career. So, Let’s Begin:
1. iim skills:.
IIM SKILLS has the best content writing course online because of the amount of curriculum they deliver to their students. It is by far one of the best creative writing courses in the world. The course will help you master 30 types of writing skills in 140 hours of a learning program.
By the end of the program, you will be able to master various fields of writing including articles, blogs, E-book, business listings, product descriptions, press releases , academic writing, video scripts, brochures, flyers, digital infographics, legal writing, email writing, SEO, creative writing, resume writing, social media writing and much more.
All these modules are taken up keeping in mind the digital era wherein brands and businesses are getting more active in order to gain more audiences and interact with them.
The Insights Into the Content Writing Course Are as Follows:
- 4 weeks of live online sessions
- 3 months of guaranteed internship which is optional
- 30 hours of training which includes (16 hours of lectures + 14 hours of internship sessions)
- Free tools worth 35k
- Freelancing opportunities and a committed placement cell
- Certification of completion accompanied by the preparation of Hubspot content marketing certification (USA) & toles (test of legal English center Cambridge, UK)
Along with this, you will also be writing your first blog during your internship period for TOI (TIMES OF INDIA). And for those who are willing to publish their books, IIM SKILLS will provide them assistance for the same and get it published on Kindle and Google Books.
The Course Fees is 14,900/- + 18% GST
To enroll in the course, you can head on to their website and under courses choose the content writing master course.
IIM SKILLS CONTENT WRITING COURSE MODULES & CONTENT
The skills that you will develop post completion of the course:.
- Get knowledge of various tools such as google analytics, Canva , WordPress, keyword planner, Ubersuggest, etc.
- Understanding to write various content on the web.
- Create your own website and post content as a freelancer.
- Research trending keywords related to your topic and get higher rankings.
- Create SEO-friendly content and optimize your web pages using organic SEO.
- Write engaging content for your audience and master various tools to check for grammatical errors and plagiarism.
- Design copyright-free images for your blogs and other content using designing tools.
The program can be taken up by students, digital marketers, entrepreneurs who want to showcase their brand to the world on digital platforms, and even housewives who are willing to upskill themselves and work from home. IIM Skills comes first in the list of the best creative writing courses in the world.
Professional Courses from IIM SKILLS:
- Digital Marketing Course
- Technical Writing Course
- Financial Modeling Course
- Business Accounting And Taxation Course
- CAT Coaching
Contact: +919580740740, [email protected]
2. British Council of India
If you have a passion for writing, then you can convert your hobby into your full-time writing career with British Council’s Creative Writing Course- Module 1.
The Course Will:
- Develop your art of expressing and style of writing
- Help you give your thoughts a direction
- Enhance your skills and knowledge of literature
- Acknowledge various forms of writing elements and styles
The Course Schedule is as Follows:
- 36 hours of learning spread over 9 weeks
- Online weekend classes
- Digital certificate
- Program Fees 10,000/- Rupees.
Note: Required English Language Level Should Be Upper Intermediate Level I.e Level-B2
Learn more about the best Creative Writing Courses in Delhi
This creative writing specialization course offered by Wesleyan University helps you master three genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. This course will help you master the tricks of a good writer which will eventually help you craft a unique story in a fresh setting using your own vivid style. The level of the specialization is for Beginners and thereby, it can be taken up by anyone, from a short story writer to a novel writing author.
The Course Curriculum Includes 4 Courses Which Are as Follows:
- Course 1: The Craft Of Plot
- Course 2: The Craft of Character
- Course 3: The Craft of Setting and Description
- Course 4: The Craft of Style
And lastly, there will be a capstone project wherein the participants will be drafting a story, narrative essay, or memoir of their genre post which they will be provided with a certificate of completion. There is no time limit to completing the course, hence can be pursued at your own speed. Looking into these benefits, it is again one of the best creative writing courses in the world.
The Skills That You Will Gain From This Specialisation Are:
- Short story writing
- Fiction writing
- And copy editing
This complete creative writing course by Udemy is perfect for those who want to master the skill and learn all the genres of creative writing. The course is inclusive of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction writing which sums up all the genres. It is ideal for those who have a passion for writing and are now wanting to make employment out of it. During the program, you will be able to work on your writing, the use of literary devices, and various styles and elements of literature.
The Course Includes:
- 12 hours of on-demand video (43 video lessons + 37 quizzes on major topics)
- 145 downloadable resources
- Lifetime access
- Certificate of completion
The Course Fee is 389/- Rupees
The Learning Outcomes of the Course:
- Master the four genres of creative writing
- Apply the writing styles and elements to your own writing
- Put your thoughts into proper words that will engage the reader
- Explore various online and offline channels wherein you can post your content and attract readers
- Work on your strengths and weaknesses during various projects
The course is apt for all those who have a hobby to write but lack the theoretical knowledge as to how to write effectively so that you can make writing a career option and explore new fields.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers short courses on varied topics. Here you get to select from varied course options. For instance, there are courses to help you with personal writing, storytelling, character-driven short stories, editing, and proofreading , formatting your Ebook, copywriting, creative blogging, novel writing, and a lot more.
The course can be learned at your own place and you get unlimited access. The students get assignments for the lessons learned during the session. It can be taken up by anyone from a beginner to an expert who would want to upskill themselves.
Here are the top-notch Creative Writing Courses in Pune
6. Future Learn
Very similar to skillshare, Future Learn also provides courses for creative writing. There are in total 17 courses under creative writing from which you can choose the one of your interest and learn the skill at your own place and make progress in your writing career. The courses are conducted by recognized universities that provide one of the best creative writing courses in the world.
Just as Future Learn offers courses from renowned universities, edX is another such e-learning platform where you can find courses offered by universities all around the globe such as Northwestern University, University of Cape Town, University of British Columbia, Arizona State University, and many more. edX is providing 71 different courses on creative writing which will help you gain knowledge on various aspects of creative writing.
So, in all, you get a range of options to choose the best course for yourself and advance your career in writing. Here, it is essential to note that there will be various websites that will help you find the best creative writing courses in the world, but then you should look for courses keeping in mind your preferences and what you wish to gain at the end of your course module.
Also Read: Creative Writing Courses in Bangalore
FAQ About The Best Creative Writing Courses in The World
Q1. i have never written before but have an interest in writing. can i still take up creative writing.
If you are interested in creative writing and want to improve your writing craft, then you can follow the tips below:
Read As Much As You Can: Reading is something that will help you get out the right words for what you are thinking. And this can be done when you read from various other genres and sources available. Your inspiration will come when you read what other writers have written.
Do Journaling: Starting a daily journal will help you release your thoughts and ideas. When you practice on a daily basis, you will gain more confidence to write almost anything and everything. The art of writing can never be learned in a day. So better start today and you will start noticing the improvements.
Brush Up On Literary Devices: Literary devices such as metaphors, similes, alliterations, etc. are quite essential in creative writing. This will enrich your writing and make it more descriptive. Take up a small exercise each day wherein you look around at any random object in your house and describe it using literary devices. This will help you to take your creativity skills to a next level.
Writing is The Key: If you wish to become a good writer, then there is no alternative to writing. All it will do is sharpen your writing skills. It is not important to write a whole novel, start with anything that comes up to your mind and once you start, your creative juices, as well as your vocabulary, will elevate to the next level within a short span of time, provided you are regular with it.
And after all, this makes sure if you want to take up creative writing as a career, then you must get certified in the same to get a job. You can refer to the best creative writing courses in the world suggested in the article above.
Q2. Is freelancing a good option?
Freelancing is good for anyone who would want to take up writing as a career but it requires a good amount of time to establish as a freelancer since you will have to do it all by yourself, be it marketing your work, getting clients on board, or anything for that matter. It is always a good option since it gives you your own identity, but then you also have to work hard for it. Building a client base will largely depend on your previous work and word- of mouth. But at the end of the day, you are your own boss and can do things at your own pace without any interference. So you can surely opt for freelancing but try to get some first-hand experience by doing a job and after gaining some insights and techniques to the industry, you can start to freelance. The best creative writing courses in the world will assist you with this.
Q3. Which companies hire content writers?
In today’s digital phase, every company and brand is going online and creating its own identity to gain as many audiences as possible. And this can only be done when they’ll have good writers who can get into the minds of their audience and attract them. Therefore, all companies, big or small, are hiring content writers to write for their social media channels and websites. Be sure that there will never be a lack of opportunities as a content writer. It totally depends on your interest and understanding of the field.
After reading the article, you must have got an idea of the fundamentals of creative writing and also an insight into the best creative writing courses in the world and how you can go about it. For all those who are looking forward to indulging in creative writing, it is essential to engage yourself in reading as this will always help you improve your writing craft and further try to write and put your thoughts into words using good vocabulary. This will not only help you work on your shortcomings but will also help you identify your points of strength. You can always try to workshop your work and get feedback that will assist you to get better at writing.
The best creative writing courses in the world can help you learn the basics and techniques of writing, but you are the one who has to write and for that, you need to get going from today itself! Even though the digital era today has replaced the traditional forms of writing, there is still a lot you can explore as a writer on the internet and there will always be readers out there who will demand more of great content to read. Above all, the digital world has made everything readily available to us which has made it much easier for writers to produce and publish content on the web and help readers read it anytime, anywhere. So, pick up your ideal training from the best creative writing courses in the world listed above.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
- Business Accounting & Taxation
- Business Analytics
- CAT Preparation
- Content Marketing
- Content Writing
- Corporate Training
- Creative Writing
- Data Analytics
- Digital Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Finance Courses
- Financial Modeling
- Institute List
- Interviews CWMC
- Investment Banking
- Professional Courses
- Search Engine Optimization
- Skill Development
- Social Media
- Technical Writing
You May Also Like To Read
Top 5 digital marketing courses in ottawa with placements, top 4 creative writing courses in gurgaon for professionals, top 10 computer courses after 10th in bangalore, top 15 benefits of data analytics to help your business thrive, top 10 financial modeling courses in dubai with excel training, financial modeling courses near me – 10 best training, top 10 digital marketing courses in kroonstad with placements, top 6 programming courses in pune with placements, best 6 spanish courses in mumbai in 2024, share your contact details.
- Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Download Course Brochure (.pdf)
Request for online demo.
- Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Download Mock Test
Request to speak with mba advisor, take first online coaching, download course brochure, download course brochure (.pdf) & also speak with our expert advisors.
Talk To Our Agent
- Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Request For a Callback
- Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
- Company Name *
- Hiring for * Select Program Content Writer Digital Marketer Data Analyst Financial Modellers Technical Writer Business Accounting & Taxation Search Engine Optimization Investment Banking
- Attach Document * Max. file size: 256 MB.
- Company Name * First
- Select Program Select Program Business Accounting & Taxation Course Content Writing Master Course Digital Marketing Master Course Data Analytics Master Course Financial Modeling Course Search Engine Optimization Technical Writing Master Course
- Select Members Select Mumbers 1 2 3 4 5 10+
- Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
- MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
- University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
- Top Courses
- Join for Free
Learn Writing Online
Whether you're just starting out or already have some experience, we offer various Writing courses designed to fit your needs. Curated from top educational institutions and industry leaders, our selection of Writing courses aims to provide quality training for everyone—from individual learners seeking personal growth to corporate teams looking to upskill. For those pursuing professional advancement, skill acquisition, or even a new career path, these Writing courses can be a valuable resource. Take the next step in your professional journey and enroll in a Writing course today!
Browse Writing Courses
Michigan State University
Write Your First Novel
Beginner · Course · 3 - 6 Months
Skills you'll gain : Creativity, Human Learning, Storytelling, Writing
Beginner · Specialization · 3 - 6 Months
University of Michigan
Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Skills you'll gain : Writing, Communication, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Planning, Resilience
University of California, Irvine
Academic English: Writing
Skills you'll gain : Writing
Writing in the Sciences
Beginner · Course · 1 - 3 Months
English Composition I
Writing in English at University
Beginner · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks
Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order
Skills you'll gain : Writing, Creativity, Resilience
University of Colorado Boulder
Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Business Communication, Critical Thinking, Professional Development, Natural Language Processing, Business Development, Creativity, Decision Making, Reinforcement Learning
Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself
Skills you'll gain : Storytelling, Writing
Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation
Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Creativity, Business Design, Computer Graphics, Design and Product, Graphic Design, Interactive Design, Marketing Design, Visual Design, Visualization (Computer Graphics), Business Communication, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Leadership and Management, Decision Making, Natural Language Processing, Business Development, Reinforcement Learning, Emotional Intelligence
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
Earn a degree
Degree · 2 to 4 years depending on beginning credits and course load
Searches related to writing
In summary, here are 10 of our most popular writing courses.
- Write Your First Novel : Michigan State University
- Creative Writing : Wesleyan University
- Good with Words: Writing and Editing : University of Michigan
- Academic English: Writing : University of California, Irvine
- Writing in the Sciences : Stanford University
- English Composition I : Duke University
- Writing in English at University : Lund University
- Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order : University of Michigan
- Business Writing : University of Colorado Boulder
- Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself : Wesleyan 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.
What are the benefits of taking an online Writing course?
Online Writing courses offer a convenient and flexible way to enhance your knowledge or learn new Writing skills. Choose from a wide range of Writing courses offered by top universities and industry leaders tailored to various skill levels.
What Writing courses are best for training and upskilling employees or the workforce?
Choosing the best Writing course depends on your employees' needs and skill levels. Leverage our Skills Dashboard to understand skill gaps and determine the most suitable course for upskilling your workforce effectively. Learn more about Coursera for Business here .
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. It costs just $10 per month.
Establish Your Goals for an Online Writing Course
Set your course budget, 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, do creative writing courses help, are writing-intensive courses hard, are writing courses worth it, masterclass resources.
What to Do Before Starting a 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.
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.
FAQs on The Best Online Writing Courses
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.
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.
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.
David Lynch Masterclass Review
Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass Review
Margaret Atwood Masterclass Review
Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review
James Patterson Masterclass Review
Steve Martin Masterclass Review
Judy Blume Masterclass Review
Salman Rushdie Masterclass Review
Werner Herzog Masterclass Review
Neil deGrasse Tyson Masterclass Review
David Baldacci Masterclass Review
Malcolm Gladwell Masterclass Review
The Best Online Writing Courses
The Best Masterclass Courses In 2022
How To Watch Masterclass On TV: Step-By-Step
Meet Rachael, the editor at Become a Writer Today. With years of experience in the field, she is passionate about language and dedicated to producing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. When she's not editing or writing, you can find her exploring the great outdoors, finding inspiration for her next project.
View all posts
Choose The Best Online Writing Classes Today
- Work + Money
- Slow Living
- Gift Guides 🎁
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.
The Best Creative Writing Classes
As most established writers will tell you, creative writing classes are invaluable, if not indispensable. As with any craft or trade, we all have to learn writing skills somewhere, and online writing courses are a brilliant option, allowing you to access world-class advice from the comfort of your home, wherever that may be!
Online writing courses aren’t just for beginners; they’re a great way to tighten your process, get handy feedback, brush up on your writing skills or get up-to-date insight into industry trends even for experienced writers.
What’s more, there are great online courses whatever kind of writing you’re into – from literary to genre fiction writing, to popular creative writing courses, non-fiction, plays, scripts, short stories, personal essays...
If you can write it, you can bet there’s a writing course designed to support you.
To help you find the best online creative writing classes for you, we’ve compared a few of the top contenders to find the best online writing courses available right now.
We’ve included some free online writing courses, online creative writing classes you can take at your own pace, some that explore the basic building blocks of story and others that span topics from character development and writing style to how to overcome writer’s block or manage social media for writers.
There are comprehensive courses and quick online writing classes. Whatever you’re in the market for, this article should help you discover the best writing course for you.
So if you’re looking to hone your creative writing skills with one of the best creative writing courses out there, read on!
How we assessed the creative writing classes
Before we delve into our top online writing courses for 2023, we’ll explain our criteria and rationale.
To compare the best online writing classes, we looked at practical criteria and these key student success factors:
- Opportunity for professional feedback on your writing
- Writing community
- Instructor experience
- How prepared graduates are for professional success
Plus, if a writing course has a standout pro or con that’s not part of that list, we’ll let you know!
So without any further ado, here are our picks for the best online writing courses this year.
Best in class for online creative writing courses: The Novelry
The clue’s in the title! If you’re writing a novel, The Novelry is the school dedicated to the form, and recognized by the publishing industry for its leading expertise. Beginners are warmly welcomed too.
You’ll enjoy the program of live online writing classes, one-to-one coaching and the outstanding level of professional editing from publishing professionals formerly of Penguin Random House and the Big Five.
Regarded as better than an MFA at a fraction of the price, you’ll be working with current and quite famous bestselling authors , one on one. The coaching team are natural enthusiasts, taking pride in their students’ achievements and include New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling authors in every genre of fiction.
Every writer is welcomed as an individual regardless of their experience and has the chance to develop a compelling story with self paced lessons created by a Booker-listed author, as well as in-depth, personalised guidance from your very own writing mentor.
Unlike in many of the writing courses we found, The Novelry will engage directly and deeply with your writing style and your story, to make it the best it can be from the get-go saving you years of time and frustrated efforts. It’s a game changer motivationally, knowing you’re writing a great story every time you sit down at the desk!
Rather than focusing on other people’s prose in (what can often be disheartening) workshop-style, or completing generic writing assignments, you’ll be supported in your own writing personally with expert guidance. Unlike other courses, you won’t be required to spend your valuable time critiquing other writers’ work!
There is a true treasure trove of course material available on demand, tailored to differing levels of writing experience. The classes cover everything creative writers need to know, from getting a great idea to honing your pitch, specific writing techniques to the best practices for editing your own work.
Another thing that sets The Novelry aside from other popular creative writing courses is the strong relationships with the leading literary agencies in the world. The Novelry has earned the trust of discerning agents, and had many graduates secure representation and go onto successful publication – just take a look at some of the success stories !
In their glowing reviews writers often mention how they came for a course and stayed for the community. While The Novelry won’t make you read your first draft out loud during workshops, they have a lively, warm-hearted community offering a space with kindly rules of engagement. The live classes every week are great fun and hosted by brilliant authors and editors. The community is a source of new friendships for fiction writers from all over the world, over 75% of whom are in the USA. They share advice, articles, support and massive cheers when another of our group hits a writing goal – be it finishing a chapter or hitting a bestseller list. And when you’re ready, you can share later drafts of your work and receive thoughtful and detailed feedback from your peers as well as your editor.
What makes The Novelry the best?
It’s the only course offering the complete career path to becoming a published author with direct fast-track submission to leading literary agencies.
Take a look over the writing courses to find the one that best suits your needs here .
- PRICE: FROM $125/m
- DURATION: 1 year
- FORMAT/CONTENT: Courses with daily lessons, live classes, 1-2-1 coaching
- FLEXIBILITY: Self paced
- PROFESSIONAL FEEDBACK: Yes
- COMMUNITY: Yes
- CERTIFICATE: Yes
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: Suitable for all fiction writers
Best for a quick introduction: the Secret Sauce of Great Writing on Udemy
If you want a quick, introductory online writing course to all things writing, this 40-minute online writing class is free and you can sign up here .
It’s taught by Shani Raja, a former Wall Street Journal editor, so you’re in safe hands. In just over half an hour, the writing class promises to teach you four crucial ingredients of good writing:
This is one of the best online writing courses if your goal isn’t solely to write fiction.
The tips and techniques Raja goes through apply not only to creative nonfiction but also business writing. In fact, the online course promises to upgrade your corporate communications, helping with everything from cover letters to press releases, marketing copy to sales emails and it can help with something like a narrative personal essay too.
And though this writing class is brief, it is one of the free creative writing courses we’re including, so there’s no harm in trying it out!
Of course, bear in mind that you won’t get any interaction with any instructor or fellow students, any feedback on your writing or that coveted course certificate – it’s just 16 lectures amounting to 40 minutes of video for you to watch.
- PRICE: Free
- DURATION: 40 minutes
- FORMAT/CONTENT: Pre-recorded video
- PROFESSIONAL FEEDBACK: No
- COMMUNITY: No
- CERTIFICATE: No
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: None
Best broad strokes writing course: Writing with Flair on Udemy
If you’re ready to dive into a slightly more comprehensive course, you can also buy Shani Raja’s full course on Udemy.
There’s no fiction writing specialization here or information on how to build a writing career per se, but instead lots of guidance on how to write impactfully whatever your form and genre.
So if you’re interested in freelance writing in a professional setting or working on a narrative essay, if you’re a budding journalist, a passionate copywriter or looking to sharpen up your business writing generally, this is definitely an online course worth considering. Which, of course, is not to say that if novel writing or memoir writing are your bag you won’t learn lots of useful stuff from these online writing classes, too! But this course is less focused on developing long-form story ideas or crafting compelling characters, and more focused on your overall writing style and communication skills.
The paid course brings more than 6 hours of additional material compared to the free taster, as well as three downloadable resources, five articles and that precious certificate. If you’re looking for a good program to learn broadly applicable writing skills, these online classes are a good bet.
Again, there isn’t any opportunity for feedback on your work, any community, or any direct interaction with an instructor. It’s all pre-recorded and waiting for you – which does have the benefit of making it fully self paced.
These online classes cost $99 or £55 as a standalone purchase, or as with many online education companies you can sign up to Udemy for $14.99 or £15 per month and access other courses too.
- PRICE: $99 or £55 as a standalone of monthly membership
- DURATION: 7 hours
- FORMAT: Pre-recorded video, downloadable resources, articles
- PROFESSIONALFEEDBACK: No
Best course for perfecting your grammar: Grammar Lion Refresher
Another good writing course that can help improve people in every form and genre, Grammar Lion is useful for sharpening up your grammar. It’s a wise move to master clear communication and accurate punctuation for your professional use of the Egnlish language.
The course is self paced, but you have only 12 weeks of access.
You get lots of lessons with written assignments, quizzes and downloadable resources to ensure you become a confident writer in the world of grammar.
While you won’t get any feedback on your writing or personalised guidance, you can ask the instructor grammar questions on the forum or via email and buy editorial services at an extra cost. You might also be able to engage with other students in the discussion forum, although how the level of engagement depends on the other students enrolled. Some students like to sign up with people they already know (colleagues, partners, parent/child) and engage with each other.
Although it’s limited to questions of grammar rather than the writing process or creative writing techniques, it is one of the cheaper online courses on the list, coming in at just $67.
- DURATION: 12 weeks access
- FORMAT: lessons, downloadable resources, quizzes, assignments
- FEEDBACK: No
- COMMUNITY: Discussion forum
Best online writing course if you’re not writing a novel: Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University on Coursera
This Coursera writing course is a great bet if you’re interested in memoir writing, short stories or personal essays. The course is made up of four modules, centred around:
- Character development
You can take those in whichever order you like; they aren’t sequential or linked. Throughout the course, you’ll learn through recorded lessons and analysis of your peers’ writing. There’s also a Capstone project in which you have to complete an original piece of writing in your chosen genre, whether you write fiction, that’s a short story, memoir based on your own life or someone else’s, or an extended essay.
If all you’re after is a quick writing assignment, this probably isn’t the one for you, as they’re looking for students to plan, draft, rewrite and edit their work quite extensively. The finished product should total around 8–15 pages.
These are courses taught by professors from Wesleyan University, so the instructor credentials are good.
The course is available year-round, on demand, but the Capstone is only offered four times per year (and is necessary if you want the certificate!).
They estimate that it will take you 6 months to complete, taking a pace of one hour per week. You can, of course, go faster or slower according to your schedule – it’s another great self paced option.
- PRICE: $49/month
- DURATION: Estimated 3-6 months (6 months @ 1h/week)
- FORMAT of course material: lessons, peer critique, assignments
- COMMUNITY: Peer critique
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: memoir, short story, essay
Best course for memoirists: Writing Your Story
If you really want to focus in on the art of writing memoir, you might want to consider Writing Your Story .
The online writing course is taught by the veteran author Joyce Maynard, who is best known for 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.
Through the lessons, Maynard helps you identify your own story and how best to tell it, covering core elements like language, story structure, tension, dialogue, description and editing.
Unlike other courses, she also spends some time on helping you navigate the writing life more broadly, with tips on productivity, writing spaces, handling rejection and finding your audience.
Of course, for those keen for more personalised, one-to-one guidance, and a broader understanding of the secret sauce of storytelling, The Novelry may still be your best bet – and you can have award-winning memoirist Alice Kuipers as your very own writing mentor.
Maynard’s course, on the other hand, doesn’t have the opportunity for feedback on your writing. It is self paced, though, and you can start whenever you like as all the videos are pre-recorded.
You can access it through Creative Live, either buying the class as a standalone for $149, or paying upwards of $13 per month for membership.
- PRICE: $149 standalone class or $13+ per month for membership
- DURATION: 5 hours 19 minutes of class content spread across 26 lessons
- FORMAT: videos
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: memoir
Best free writing course: the Open University
If you want to taste what makes creative writing courses worth investing in, you might want to put a toe in the water and check out some of the free creative writing courses out there like these offered by the Open University.
It doesn’t require a big investment of your time, either, as it’s just 2 hours and 28 minutes of recorded audio, spit into 17 tracks on different subjects and by different instructors. And because it’s audio only, you can treat them a bit like a writing podcast and listen to them as you go about your day, doubling up your productivity!
Of course, there are sacrifices, too, when you opt for a free product. You won’t get any feedback on any of your work, or contact with an instructor or a community of fellow writers.
The material is also quite a bit older than you’d get on a paid course, with the recordings being at least 14 years old. That being said, you do get great insights from celebrated novelists, playwrights and poets like Ian McMillan, Hilary Mantel, Jane Rogers, Dorothy Sheridan and Tanika Gupta.
So if you want to learn broadly about fiction writing from experts, it’s a good starting point.
- PRICE: free
- DURATION: 2 hours and 28 minutes of recorded audio, split into 17
- FORMAT: recorded audio
Best free introduction to writing fantasy: Brandon Sanderson’s Writing Lectures at Brigham Young University
For fantasy fiction writers looking for a free introduction that’s a little more specific, Brandon Sanderson’s lecture series is a good starting point.
Plus, you get over 12 hours of material, spread over 12 lectures, so you can get pretty deep into different SFF topics.
Again, you won’t have any interactive elements like online writing assignments or feedback on your work, and there’s no real community – these are just a series of lectures that have been recorded and posted on YouTube. Sanderson himself has published several SFF novels.
(If it’s a SFF community you’re after, and the potential career path to becoming a published author, consider The Novelry with a specialist Science Fiction and Fantasy department with global bestselling and award-winning science fiction writers and fantasy novelists inlcuding Andrea Stewart, Tasha Suri and L.R. Lam. The Classic Course at The Novelry priced $599 with membership for a year is the classic course for writers seeking to create an ambitious speculative fiction story!)
Brandon Sanderson Lectures:
- DURATION: 12+ hours of recorded lectures, split into 12
- FORMAT: recorded video
Best for workshop style: Gotham Writers Fiction Writing I
While we at The Novelry are not very fond of writing workshops where writers have to share their first drafts and spend their precious time critiquing (and sometimes demolishing!) each other’s work, there are some who are keen on a workshop format.
If that’s you, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a more iconic option than Gotham Writers , especially if you're looking for a writing course in NYC!
Of course, opting for a workshop brings a few restrictions.
Firstly, you’ll be sacrificing flexibility, because of course people have to start at the same point, and meet at set times.
While there are some on-demand options from Gotham, you’d still need to complete set pieces of work within a week, so you’d need to be very confident in the structure of your schedule.
There aren’t any pre-recorded videos for you to work from. Instead, lectures are live and you’ll also learn from writing exercises and critiquing each other’s work. Each writer typically gets two opportunities to present their work during the ten-week course.
And because everyone does need a good chance to have their work critiqued, availability for these courses is tight: only 16 spaces for each group.
Prices for these ten-week courses are higher if you decide to attend the in person writing course in New York, but if you opt for the anytime session or the real-time videoconferencing option, tuition is $419.
- PRICE: $419 remote/$445 in person + $25 registration fee
- DURATION: 10 weeks with one weekly meeting
- FORMAT: lectures, peer critique, writing exercises
- FLEXIBILITY: No
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: fiction (short stories and novels)
Best for a general introduction to writing for children: Children’s Book University
Fiction writers looking to specialise in writing for children are also well-catered for.
Again, The Novelry is a great option here if you're looking for a career path with an expert team who’ve published bestselling and award-winning children’s books and can guide you to make your story the very best it can be and was awarded Best Course for Children’s Literature Worldwide by Intelligent .
The children's fiction department at The Novelry has professional editors who’ve worked in world-famous children’s editorial departments and with household-name children’s authors too.
But there are, of course, other cheaper options if you are aiming to write for young readers. One children’s fiction course that’s quite good value for money is Children’s Book University -- a good bet if you want to spend less time on storytelling, writing and editing techniques, and instead get guidance on illustrating and navigating the industry.
The course is divided into 9 modules:
- Writing and editing
- Book covers
- Pre-launch marketing
- Uploading your book and ebook
- Book launch
- Post-launch marketing
It’s taught by Eevi Jones , who is a young and fun children’s book author and has some insight on all these areas.
It takes a minimum of three months to complete, but it’s entirely flexible so you can take longer if you need. However, you won’t get a strong writing community or any interaction with Jones unless you pay extra for one-to-one support, which is still limited to email exchanges rather than any live conversations or feedback, and only lasts for one year.
- PRICE: 3 payments of $179 or 1 payment of $497. If you want email support for a year, it’s $1497.
- DURATION: Minimum three months
- FORMAT: Videos, templates, scripts
- FLEXIBILITY: Yes
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: children’s fiction
Best for screenwriters: Storylogue
If you want to learn more about writing scripts for television or films, then take a look at Storylogue ! It’s run by Robert McKee, who’s a screenwriter, story consultant, author, and instructor/lecturer. While his background is very much in screenwriting, McKee has a firm understanding of storytelling and how important it is across the board -- he’s even consulted on business storytelling for companies like Time Warner, Nike, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Siemens. And remember that many accomplished writers use elements and principles for screenwriting even in other forms, so don’t write it off if penning a script isn’t your ultimate goal.
Storylogue is more of a library of resources than a structured course, so if you’re looking for a clearly demarcated path with a clear end goal and plenty of milestones and guidance along the way, it may not be right for you. Equally, if you’d really like feedback on your work, or a strong sense of community with fellow writers, this won’t really fit the bill. On the other hand, that does mean it’s very flexible, as you can explore all the resources at will, as and when you like and with no deadlines or assignments. There is even flexibility in the payment plans, as you can opt for the monthly fee of $19.97, or annual payments of $197.
- PRICE: $19.97 monthly or $197 annually
- DURATION: As long as you pay for membership
- FORMAT: Recorded videos, interviews and Q&As, written material
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: screenwriting
Best for short stories: One Story
Writing great short stories takes a particular set of skills often relying more heavily on a unique writing voice. While general storytelling principles and lots of the same techniques might apply, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider some specialised training. That’s where writing courses designed especially for short story writers comes in, and One Story is a good course.
There’s lots of variety on offer at this online writing school, so you can take the approach that works for you. If you like workshops and live classes, you can opt for those. If you want a self-guided, self-paced bundle, that’s available too.
Typically, the individual classes with workshops and instructors are centred around more specific topics, like editing or the best ways to end short stories. But you can purchase bundles to get a broader education into the short fiction form!
Because there’s so much variety, there isn’t one set duration or price. For the most part, though, unless you opt for the self-guided bundle, the courses aren’t flexible and they have set start dates and deadlines. They are usually online, though, so – time zones allowing – you can enrol from anywhere!
A bundle you might consider is the Craft Lecture Bundle. You get on-demand access to seven craft lectures and one author talk, recorded during their 2022 virtual conference. It features:
- Susanna Daniel on beginnings
- Susan Perabo on dialogue
- Lena Valencia on how to submit to literary magazines
- Ayşe Papatya Bucak on building context
- Pitchaya Sudbanthad on setting and place
- Lillian Li on set pieces
- Jai Chakrabarti on time
- A conversation between One Story Editor-in-Chief Patrick Ryan and author Don Lee
It’ll set you back $60, so it’s fairly affordable as online courses go – though not free like other pre-recorded videos and lecture series.
As an example of the live classes, you could look at Write with One Story. It ran from 19th-24th January, and each day one of the editors led a fiction writing practice or exercise designed to help create new scenes, characters, or sketches. The instructor could chat with students about the exercise and about the writing process in general using message boards. These kinds of classes are designed to be done on your own time and at your own pace, and editors can answer questions during just one day of the class period. This course would cost $75.
- PRICE: Varies (self-guided bundle for $60; Write with One Story for $75)
- DURATION: Varies, typically a few days
- FORMAT: Writing exercises; lectures
- FLEXIBILITY: Yes but set start dates and deadlines
- CREATIVE WRITING SPECIALIZATION: short story
Best Masterclass: Margaret Atwood
Most people have come across Masterclass at some point. Our favourite for an all-round education in novel writing is Margaret Atwood’s.
It’s made up of 23 video lessons, amounting to 3 hours and 43 minutes of content covering the former college professor and literary phenomenon’s process for developing strong structures and nuanced characters, handling research and historical context in fiction, and how to revise and edit your writing.
As with any Masterclass course, there are drawbacks when it comes to interactivity, feedback and community. These are all pre-recorded videos, so it’s generic guidance without any opportunity for feedback from either your peers or an instructor. As a result, there’s no sense of community, or accountability.
You need a Masterclass membership to access the course.
- PRICE: Masterclass membership begins at $10 /month or £14/month billed annually
- FORMAT: Recorded videos
- WRITING SPECIALIZATION: novel-writing
If you just want to start a book: litreactor, if you want a tried-and-tested story structure template: save the cat writes a novel, if you want very focused mini-courses: writers.com, if you don’t enjoy live classes: ed2go beginning writer’s workshop.
Get free writing resources
Sign up to receive the world’s #1 writing blog to your inbox every Sunday!
Top 10 Creative Writing Classes (2023): Can These Courses Get You Published?
by Joe Bunting | 0 comments
If you want to transform from aspiring writer to published author, you might be thinking maybe a few creative writing classes would help. But with so many classes out there, which ones should you take? After all, if you're like me, you have a limited amount of time and money to invest in your writing.
Which creative writing classes should you take to give you the best chance of accomplishing your writing goals and getting published?
In this post, we're going to review the top creative writing classes so that you can make an informed decision. We'll also talk about the different types of courses, how to evaluate them, and give you tips to get the most out of the ones you choose to take.
But first, let's talk a little about whether creative writing classes actually work, whether they will really help you get published.
Should YOU Take a Creative Writing Class? 5 Benefits of Courses
I used to believe that no one could teach you to become a better creative writer. You either were a good writer or you weren't one (of course, I was a good writer, and was going to prove it).
But that changed when I discovered the power of deliberate practice.
At The Write Practice, we believe anyone can become a great writer and get published if you practice writing deliberately, and creative writing classes can be a great way to do that.
Classes provide structure, give you the chance to learn new things, and can help you get the feedback you need to get better. Most of all, they can be great sources of deliberate practice.
Deliberate practice has five components, and creative writing classes can be evaluated based on how they help creative writers practice deliberately.
- Theory and Knowledge . A good creative writing course should provide essential information on various writing techniques, storytelling principles, and literary devices. This knowledge will help students understand the craft of writing better and improve their skills.
- Practice and Process. Learning isn't enough, though. You also have to do the work! Good courses include a clear process that can guide you to achieve your writing goals. This might involve breaking down larger projects into manageable tasks, providing templates or outlines, or offering techniques for overcoming writer's block. Good courses also can hold you accountable so you actually follow through with the process and complete your projects.
- A coach. You need a mentor who can show you the process. A good coach can provide insights, share their own experiences, and offer guidance to help students navigate challenges and improve their skills. Interaction with your coach can also be a source of accountability and direction.
- Feedback. We all need feedback on what's working in our writing and what's not, both from professional editors and writing peers. Good courses should offer opportunities for you to get feedback on your writing, whether through peer review, one-on-one coaching, or group workshops.
- A team . Writing is hard, and you need encouragement and support from a community of people to help you keep going. A course that encourages collaboration, peer support, and networking can help you stay motivated, share ideas, and learn from your fellow writers.
If you practice deliberately, you'll grow. You'll become a better creative writer. You'll accomplish your writing goals, get published, and perhaps even become a professional writer.
That's why we evaluated the creative writing classes reviewed in this guide based on these criteria.
By the way, did you know we have creative writing classes at The Write Practice designed specifically around deliberate practice? Check out our community and see if we can help you transform from aspiring writer into published author. Check out our classes here.
Types of Creative Writing Classes
There are many different types of creative writing classes available to suit your unique preferences, learning styles, budget, and goals.
That's why it's so important to think through what aspects are important to you, and how to accomplish your writing goals with the classes available to you and your budget and time constraints.
To help you choose the right class for you (the write class?), we've created a pdf worksheet 10 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Writing Class . You can download it here and use it as you make your decision for your next writing class. Get the worksheet »
Here are the different types of creative writing classes:
- Online Classes: These classes are conducted virtually and can offer flexibility, allowing you to complete coursework and engage in discussions from the comfort of your home.
- Creative Writing Certificate Classes: These programs typically consist of a series of courses focused on developing your writing skills in various genres and styles. They may be offered online or in-person and result in a certificate upon completion.
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in creative writing: These programs are intensive, graduate-level programs that provide advanced instruction and mentorship in various writing genres. They usually require a significant time commitment and culminate in a final thesis or project.
- In-Person Classes: These classes are conducted at a physical location, such as a university or writing center, and often provide more opportunities for face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers.
- Low Residency Programs: These programs combine short, intensive on-campus residencies with online coursework, allowing students to maintain their personal and professional commitments while pursuing a degree or certificate in creative writing.
- Self-Guided Classes: These classes often consist of pre-recorded lectures, reading materials, and exercises that you can complete at your own pace, without direct interaction with an instructor or classmates.
- Writing Type-Based Classes: These focus on specific forms, such as fiction writing classes, poetry, screenwriting, or memoir, and are designed to help you develop skills and techniques relevant to that form.
- Genre-Based Classes: These classes explore the conventions, techniques, and structures of specific genres, such as mystery, science fiction, romance, or historical fiction, helping you hone your skills within your chosen genre.
Which of these class types most interest you? Let us know in the comments!
Of course, there can also be overlap with each of these types. For example, you might take an online fiction writing class that focuses on writing crime short stories, or a low-residency MFA class that's largely online and focuses on memoir.
Each of these types tend to have different cost ranges as well. For example, in-person MFA programs tend to be more costly than online self-guided ones.
However, I will add that just because a class is more expensive or has a larger time commitment doesn't make it better or more effective. For example, in our 100 Day Book program, we work with many writers doing their MFA who despite their advanced curriculum find they need the accountability and support to finish their books. Sometimes a variety of classes can be most effective.
How to Choose the Right Creative Writing Class
When comparing traditional creative writing programs like the University of Oxford and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop with online programs like Gotham Writers Workshop, MasterClass, and community-based programs like GrubStreet, it's essential to consider various factors, including your personal learning style, goals, time commitment, and budget. Here are some points to consider when evaluating these different types of programs:
To help you choose the right class for you (the write class?), we've created a pdf worksheet 10 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Writing Class . You can download it here and use it as you make your decision for your next writing class. Get the worksheet »
- Format: Traditional programs like Oxford and the University of Iowa typically involve attending classes in-person, providing a more immersive and structured experience. Online programs like Gotham Writers Workshop and MasterClass offer greater flexibility, allowing you to work at your own pace and from the comfort of your home.
- Interaction: In-person programs often allow for more interaction with instructors and classmates, which can foster a sense of community, collaboration, and networking opportunities. Online courses may offer limited interaction, depending on the platform and course format.
- Credentials: Traditional programs, particularly those offered by renowned institutions like Oxford and the University of Iowa, carry a certain level of prestige and recognition in the literary world. Completing a well-regarded MFA program can help establish your credibility as a writer. Online and community-based programs may not carry the same weight, but they can still offer valuable instruction and skill development.
- Cost: Traditional programs, especially those at prestigious universities, can be expensive, and may require a significant investment of time and resources. Online and community-based programs like Gotham Writers Workshop, MasterClass, and GrubStreet tend to be more affordable and accessible, making them an attractive option for those on a budget or with limited time.
- Course offerings: Traditional programs may offer a broader range of courses and specialization options, while online and community-based programs may focus on specific genres or writing techniques. Be sure to review the course offerings for each program to ensure they align with your interests and goals.
- Networking and connections: Traditional programs often provide opportunities for networking with professors, visiting writers, and fellow students, which can be valuable for your future career. Online and community-based programs may offer some networking opportunities, but they may be more limited in scope.
Ultimately, the best program for you will depend on your individual needs, goals, and preferences. Take the time to research each option thoroughly, consider reviews and testimonials, and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, so choose the program that best aligns with your personal objectives and learning style.
Top 10 Creative Writing Classes
The 10 best creative writing classes can vary depending on personal preferences and individual learning styles. However, here is a list of some popular and reputable creative writing classes that have gained recognition for their quality and effectiveness:
Some of our favorite authors offer courses on MasterClass, including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Aaron Sorkin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Malcolm Gladwell.
We love Masterclasses because each class gives you behind-the-scenes insight into the writing processes and techniques of some of the most successful authors in the world.
We have lots to say about Masterclass, more than we have time for here, but you can read our MasterClass review of their best creative writing classes here .
And if you're ready to check them out and sign up, you can do that here .
- Format: Online, subscription based pre-recorded writing classes taught by some of the most successful authors in the world
- Interaction : Limited online interaction
- Credentials : None
- Cost : $180 per year
- Course offerings: behind-the scenes look at the processes of top writers ( view our favorite creative writing MasterClasses )
- Networking and connections: limited
Learn more and sign up here.
2. The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop
This MFA program is one of if not the most prestigious in the world, having produced numerous successful authors, including Flannery O'Connor, John Irving, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Cunningham, and Ann Patchett, among many others.
It offers intensive creative writing courses in fiction and poetry, with an emphasis on peer critique and workshopping, taught by accomplished faculty who focuses mostly on literary writing.
Even better, it is fully funded or close to fully funded, with applicants earning their tuition by teaching or winning a fellowship.
Perhaps that's why it's also one of the most competitive writing programs in the world to get into, admitting fewer than five percent of applicants!
Learn more about the Iowa Writer's Workshop here .
Iowa Writer's Workshop Features:
- Format: In-person residency based MFA program
- Interaction : Highly interactive
- Credentials : Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)
- Cost : fully funded (or close to fully funded) through teaching or fellowship programs
- Course offerings: in depth courses in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction
- Networking and connections: high level of interaction with professors and industry insiders
Learn more and apply here.
3. The University of Oxford
Oxford offers a variety of creative writing classes, both online and on-campus, and both for “credit” or not, as part of their Continuing Education program.
You can take their online classes, sure, but a Summer program in Oxford sounds pretty great, right?
Learn more about the University of Oxford's creative writing classes here.
Oxford Writing Program Features:
- Format: Online OR In-person classes taught live, some a part-time Masters program
- Interaction : Varies, from low level online classes to high level in-person programs
- Credentials : Varies from non-accredited to Masters degree
- Cost : Varies, from £535 (~$665) for online classes to £11,446 (~$14,200) per year for a two year Masters
- Course offerings: in depth courses in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction ( view courses )
4. The Write Practice
We're biased, of course, but we think The Write Practice's classes are among the best in the world.
Our writing classes use the power of deliberate practice to help transform you from aspiring writer to published author, combining community-based learning (because you learn most from your peers), practical curriculum (because you need to learn through doing), coaching to help hold you accountable, and workshopping opportunities to help you get feedback.
Check out our classes and programs here .
The Write Practice Features:
- Format: Online classes, taught live and pre-recorded
- Interaction : High-level of interaction and feedback online
- Credentials : Non-accredited (but you will finish a book by the end of our flagship course, 100 Day Book)
- Cost : $49 / month for unlimited writing classes, $99 / month for classes plus book coaching
- Course offerings: classes on the writing process, craft, and publishing industry
- Networking and connections: high level of interaction with team and fellow writers
5. Gotham Writers Workshop
This well-regarded writing school offers hundreds of online (and in-person) courses in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more.
Their faculty is full of usually published and often successful writers, and their courses tend to have a nice balance of theory and practice (although they seem to lean slightly toward theory).
Check out Gotham Writers Workshop here.
Gotham Writers Workshop Features:
- Format: In-person classes taught live or Online, a la carte classes, either taught live or pre-recorded
- Interaction : Medium level of interaction, varies by course
- Credentials : Non-accredited
- Cost : varies, usually between $200 to $500 for online classes
6. The Writers' Studio
This writing school was originally founded in 1987 by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schultz, and began offering online classes in 2001. Their online and in person creative writing classes are taught with different levels of instruction (e.g. Level 1 Poetry, Level 2 Poetry, etc). Like Gotham Writer's Workshop, they have both an in-person experiences—held in New York City, San Francisco, and Tucson—and online classes.
Their extensive faculty consists mostly of former students of Philip Schultz's classes, ranging from Pushcart nominee Joel Hinman to unpublished authors working on their first novels.
Learn more about The Writers' Studio here.
The Writer's Studio Features:
- Format: In-person classes taught in New York City, San Fransisco, and Tucson or Online, a la carte classes taught live
- Interaction : High level of online or offline interaction
- Cost : between $400 to $500 per eight-week class
- Course offerings: classes on fiction and poetry ( view classes )
- Networking and connections: varies, but medium level of interaction in online classes and higher level in in-person classes
7. Skillshare Creative Writing Classes
These budget friendly, self-guided, online creative writing classes are from experienced writers and editors and include project-based learning. There's very little interaction (although it's available), but as with Masterclass, the chance to learn from some of the most successful writers in the world is cool.
I also like that they have assignments for each class, which you can post for peer feedback (although the feedback seems quite sparse).
Check out our full review of Skillshare writing classes or sign up for a free trial here .
Skillshare Creative Writing Class Features:
- Format: Online, subscription based pre-recorded writing classes
- Interaction : Low-level of interaction
- Cost : $19 per month or $99 per year
- Course offerings: various classes on creative writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry ( view our favorite Skillshare writing classes )
- Networking and connections: none
This non-profit, Boston-based writing center offers online and in-person classes in various genres and skill levels, including workshops, seminars, and multi-week courses.
Several notable writers have come out of GrubStreet, including New York Times bestselling Jenna Blum, award-winning author Rishi Reddi, and bestselling author Celeste Ng, who was at the center of a controversy featuring GrubStreet around an incident of plagiarism, documented in the New York Times article “ Bad Art Friend ” and subsequent Twitter revelations.
Learn more about GrubStreet here.
- Format: Online and in-person (Boston) live seminars and writing classes
- Interaction : Medium to high-level of interaction and feedback
- Cost : $80 for one-day seminars to $600+ for multi-week classes
- Course offerings: various classes on creative writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry ( view all of GrubStreet's writing classes here )
- Networking and connections: depends on the class and how involved you get in the community, most (but not all) networking opportunities will be in-person
9. Stanford Continuing Studies
Stanford University's continuing education program offers a variety of online creative writing courses for aspiring writers of all levels.
Learn more about Stanford's classes here.
Stanford Creative Writing Class Features:
- Format: Online live classes or in-person workshops of less than one month
- Interaction : Medium- to high-level of interaction depending on the course and location
- Credentials : They have an “Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing,” although it's mostly an vanity certificate and wouldn't qualify you for professional advancement
- Cost : $300 to $700 per class
- Course offerings: various classes on creative writing and publishing ( view all )
- Networking and connections: Varies depending on the class and format
10. The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop
This annual summer writing program, hosted by the prestigious Kenyon Review literary journal, offers weeklong summer workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, both online and in person. They recently added a winter program as well.
Learn more about The Kenyon Review's program here .
The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Features:
- Format: In-person weeklong writing workshop
- Interaction : high-level of interaction, especially at their in-person events
- Cost : $2,395 for in-person summer workshop, $895 for online
- Networking and connections: high, especially at their in-person workshops
Keep in mind that the “best” course for you will depend on your specific goals, interests, and learning preferences. Be sure to research each option thoroughly and consider any reviews or testimonials to determine which program is the best fit for your needs.
Tips for Making the Most of Creative Writing Classes
These are all great classes and programs. However, even the best classes won't work for you if you don't go into them with the right attitude. Here are my best tips to make the most out of the creative writing classes you sign up for.
1. Set Clear Goals
Before starting a creative writing class, set specific goals for what you want to achieve. This could be anything from completing a short story to improving your writing skills. Having a clear goal in mind will help you stay motivated and focused throughout the class.
2. Participate in Class Discussions
Class discussions are a great opportunity to learn from your peers and get feedback on your writing. Be an active participant in these discussions by asking questions, sharing your thoughts, and listening to others. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of the writing process and improve your own writing skills.
3. Give and Receive Feedback
Feedback is an essential part of the creative writing process. Be open to receiving feedback from your classmates and instructors, and be willing to give constructive feedback in return. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your writing and develop a stronger sense of your own writing style.
Of course we believe in practice! The more you practice writing, the better you will become. Set aside time each day to write, even if it's just for a few minutes. Try different writing exercises and techniques to help you develop your skills and find your voice as a writer.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your creative writing classes and take your writing to the next level. Remember, writing is a journey, and every step you take along the way is an opportunity to learn and grow as a writer.
Ready to Become a Better Writer?
You can become a great writer if you practice deliberately. At The Write Practice, we want to help! Check out these resources below and start transforming from aspiring writer to published author today:
Learn more about The Write Practice's Writing Classes Join 100 Day Book: Finally Finish Your Book in this Online Writing Program Top Resources for Writers
How about you? Which creative writing classes have you gotten the most out of? Let us know in the comments .
Today's post is all about choosing the best class for you. What happens when someone finds themselves in the wrong class? Set your timer for 15 minutes . Write a scene where a character thinks they've signed up for one course, and it turns out that it's not what they expected (in either a positive or a negative way). How will they react? What will they do? Write out the scene.
When your time is up, share your practice in the Pro Practice Workshop here and give feedback to a few other writers. And I hope to see you in class!
Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).
Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.
Join over 450,000 readers who are saying YES to practice. You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts :
Book Writing Tips & Guides Creativity & Inspiration Tips Writing Prompts Grammar & Vocab Resources Best Book Writing Software ProWritingAid Review Writing Teacher Resources Publisher Rocket Review Scrivener Review Gifts for Writers
You've got it! Just us where to send your guide.
Enter your email to get our free 10-step guide to becoming a writer.
You've got it! Just us where to send your book.
Enter your first name and email to get our free book, 14 Prompts.
Want to Get Published?
Enter your email to get our free interactive checklist to writing and publishing a book.