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How to Write a Novel (Premium)

Write a novel in three months in this premium course led by author and ghostwriter Tom Bromley. Join our next class, September 2023.

Taught by Tom Bromley

online creative writing course free

Poetry: How to Spark Creativity with Verse

Curious about poetry but don’t know where to start? Join us for 10 days of easy poetry exercises and get your creative juices flowing.

Taught by Emma Murf

online creative writing course free

How to Write Mind-Blowing Fantasy Fiction

Want to become the next Frank Herbert or N.K. Jemisin? With this free 10-day course, you can learn the basics of writing fantasy.

Taught by Campfire

online creative writing course free

How to Master the 'Show, Don't Tell' Rule

Learn how to follow the golden writing rule in this free 10-day course from the Reedsy team.

Taught by Reedsy

online creative writing course free

How to Turn Up the Heat in Your Romance

Ready to steam up your romance? Kelly Palmer's free course takes you through the essentials of hot writing: from creating tension to writing appealing sex scenes!

Taught by Kelly Palmer

online creative writing course free

How to Write an Irresistible Romance

Romance editor Kate Studer presents this amazing course that will get you started on of the most popular genres in publishing.

Taught by Kate Studer

online creative writing course free

How to Write YA That Sells

In this free 10-day course, YA author and editor Blair Thornburgh will take you through how to write YA that you can actually sell to a publisher.

Taught by Blair Thornburgh

online creative writing course free

How to Write for Middle-Grade Readers

Learn how to write for middle-grade readers from Judy Goldschmidt, a YA and MG editor whose credits include numerous NYT best-sellers and prize-winners.

Taught by Judy Goldschmidt

online creative writing course free

Understanding Point of View

Learn how to master each of the major points of view. With the help of writing exercises, you'll hone your ability to write from every possible perspective.

Taught by Gabriela Pereira

Creative writing courses delivered straight to your inbox

Whether you’re a new writer or a published author, there’s no such thing as a writer who can’t learn something new about their craft. Reedsy Learning’s online writing courses make it easy for anyone, regardless of skill level, to improve their craft, build better routines, and pursue the creative writing life they’ve always longed for.

Learn from the best in the business

Our online writing courses are taught by professionals, including bestselling fantasy author Ben Galley and former Simon & Schuster editor Kate Angelella. Topics include:

  • Writing a novel
  • Writing short stories
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Crafting a children’s book
  • Using dialogue to further your plot and develop your characters
  • Creating an iron-clad writing routine

We’ve got you covered on all these topics and more. Each 10-part course is delivered to your inbox, making these the most convenient creative writing courses on the internet. By saving both time and money, you’ll be able to reinvest in your dreams and get one step closer toward making them a reality.

How much does it cost?

Every writing course we offer is free. At Reedsy, we believe that knowledge shouldn’t be limited to those who can afford to pay for it — if you want to be a great writer, we want to help you achieve that.

Reviews for Reedsy’s free online writing courses

“I'm hooked. As a writer just starting out, this course was exactly what I needed. The lessons were short and sweet, so I wasn't intimidated when I opened my emails.” — Amy S.

“A very comprehensive course, especially considering that it's been delivered fully in an email format. I felt like I was there in the classroom with the teacher.” — Lucy T.

“These writing courses manage to cover a lot of ground in a minimal amount of time and space.” — Aisha P.

“The information you provided was exceptional. So much packed into one bite-sized email each day is definitely what time-strapped people need when trying to jump the hurdles that keep them from writing. These lessons have helped me push through several roadblocks that have kept my writing books closed and my pens in the box.” — Paul D.

“The lessons are short and divided into smaller topics, which makes it so much easier to keep track of what you’re learning.” — Cindy L.

“I am a short fiction and poetry writer who’s been writing for 50+ years. I found these courses to be invaluable as a refresher and a source of new insights. Thank you!” — Steve M.

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Explore online writing courses and programs

Why learn writing skills.

The ability to write well is a foundational skill for communication in both personal and professional settings. Writing allows you to express thoughts, opinions, ideas, and emotions. It facilitates connections between people and allows them to engage in the type of discourse that can lead to discovery and progress. 

Clear and concise writing that conveys information both accurately and precisely can help guide people’s decision making and actions. The style of writing can express the importance and sense of urgency behind a message. The flow of writing can change the emotions that people feel when reading those words.   

Whether you are writing a script for a podcast, crafting an email to your colleagues, or penning a message to a family member, strong writing skills can significantly improve how the communication is delivered and how it is received.

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Browse online writing classes

Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, online writing course curriculum.

With online writing courses, any learner can master the skills needed to become a strong writer. Start with the fundamentals in an online grammar course, where you can learn about the different parts of speech, punctuation, conjugation, and sentence structure. Or more advanced writers can practice their storytelling and persuasive writing skills with an essay writing course. Develop your own style by reading and analyzing the works of other writers, and explore how to write in different formats and tones in creative writing courses. 

You can even find courses that teach writing for specific contexts. For example, a business writing class may cover how to relay tough feedback or how to adjust your tone to build consensus. 

For learners interested in advancing their knowledge in a variety of subjects, edX offers a range of educational opportunities, including boot camps , as well as bachelor's degree programs, and master’s degree programs. Explore how online education can help you build the critical skills you need and get started learning today.

Explore writing jobs

Clear writing and communication skills are assets in nearly every industry. Regardless of whether you work as a lawyer or a mathematician, you will likely need to be capable of crafting a well-written message. 

But for those who enjoy writing, there are careers that can leverage their talents, including: 

Journalist: Writes news or feature articles for video, online, or print publications. 

Novelist or author: Focuses on storytelling by writing longform fiction and nonfiction. 

Copywriter: Writes marketing-driven copy such as advertisements and emails. 

Communications or public relations specialist: Delivers strategic messages on behalf of a client or an organization. 

Speech writer: Crafts speeches for individuals including leaders or lawmakers.

Screenwriter: Develops scripts for movies, television shows, and other visual media.

Editor: Reviews and revises written materials for accuracy, clarity, and style.  

How to start a career in writing 

Writing takes practice. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field, it’s important to ensure that you have a mastery of the fundamentals of writing. You can build those skills through instruction and coursework in which you have to apply what you have learned. That means responding to prompts, writing essays, and critically reviewing your work to better understand how you can improve. 

Writing also requires expertise. While you can be a general writer, somebody who wants to pursue a technical writing career, for example, will need background knowledge of that field in order to be able to understand what they are reporting on or writing about. A strong understanding of how to research, interview, and source can also be beneficial for aspiring professionals in this space. 

If you dream of being the next great writer, begin honing your craft with online courses delivered through edX.

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Master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, writing faq.

Effective writing is clear and accurate and provides enough context to engage readers and help them understand the message you are trying to deliver. For example, journalists provide context by focusing on the “who, what, when, where, and why” of a situation. 

There are many different types of writing including, but not limited to: persuasive writing, creative writing, poetry, script writing, journalism, nonfiction, academic writing, speech writing, and song writing. 

Learners develop writing skills at their own pace. Developing mastery takes practice and time. 

Sometimes grammatical rules are not universally applicable, which can make them difficult to remember. Everyone has different learning styles and speeds. Memorization can help, but practice is key.

There are online courses that can help you learn how to organize your ideas and develop your voice for a business setting. You can practice writing effective emails, reports, and presentations. 

Aspiring creative writers can develop their skills by taking classes that not only teach them about the essential elements of storytelling, but also give them opportunities to practice writing and critiquing both their own work and the work of other writers. 

Last updated June 2023

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7 free online creative writing courses that you can enrol in right now

By Megha Sharma

creative writing write a novel online courses books authors

As a form of expression , a means to escape the reality, and a medium to communicate a larger ideology, the act of writing can serve different purposes. And no matter what your reason to put pen to paper, or keys to screen, these virtual lessons could help you develop the techniques you will require on your creative journey. Here, find out all the free online courses you can join to begin now.

Creative Writing Specialisation

Covering three major creative writing genres—short story, narrative essay and memoir—the course will help you master the techniques of putting your ideas on paper as clearly as possible. So if you’ve been meaning to work some engrossing features in your already existing plot, or better highlight the setting of your story, or simply articulate in a stronger fashion, let this lesson be on your shortlist. In case you’re just starting out, the course is equally rewarding.

Write Your First Novel

Have you been wanting to pen down your thoughts and weave them into a well-written novel? Go for this virtual course where you will learn an end-to-end approach to producing a work of fiction. Through a stepwise process that will culminate in your individual production of a 50,000-word book, the learning course will provide you all the important pointers right from the top.

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest

Complete with video lectures, online readings, peer reviews and guest appearances from renowned authors, the course will offer an all-inclusive guide to creative writing for students and young aspirers. Apart from that, you will also explore the cultural significance of notable works , analyse the ways in which art and words interact, and become familiar with standard elements of a narrative, that include dialogue, point of view, theme, plot and so on.  

Write A Feature Length Screenplay for Film or Television

Whether your point of interest is serious dramas, romantic comedies or thrillers , the free virtual course will zoom in on every aspect of screenplay writing so you’re able to pursue the genre you want. Following in a well-structured process, you will have produced a pitch-ready script by the time the four-week programme is over. Along with learning how to create a basic idea and write loglines, you will be studying the Three Act Story Arc, and much more.

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Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialisation

Here, four published memoirists and essayists let you in on the tricks and tools of writing about yourself. Be prepared for professional tips, prompts, reading challenges and exercises among other interactive activities. Unlike many other courses where you will be producing a large body of work at the completion of the programme, here, you will be constructing a portfolio of work to use as valuable components later.

Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

These lessons support the school of thought that poetry isn’t just a means of expression. Rather, using it for just that, is like “using the internet just for email”. If you too are willing to think beyond that, and take up the art to bring about a change in people’s thought and ideologies, the course is for you. Learn to use the several tools of poetic composition, study the works of contemporary poets and, of course, try your own hand at the skill.

Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences

In a world that believes in not just up-skilling, but also cross-skilling, this transmedia course serves to be an extremely well-rounded one. The description on the website states, “Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing , sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms - for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change.” So learn to develop expansive narratives and optimise your writing for mobile devices, social media communities, virtual and augmented realities and more.

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Creative Writing Courses: Best Online Classes for Writers

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Hannah Yang

Creative writing courses

It’s great to be constantly learning and improving as a fiction writer. But going back to school to get a Master’s degree in fine arts just isn’t plausible for most writers. Luckily, there are a ton of great courses you can take online.

How do you know which ones are worth your time and money? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best online courses for fiction writers.

17 Best Online Creative Writing Courses

Creative writing courses: faqs, 1. prowritingaid academy.

Brilliant writers aren’t born, they’re made. Writing is a skill that can be developed, just like any other, and ProWritingAid’s brand new learning platform is here to help.

With a ProWritingAid Academy membership, you get a unique combination of:

  • Self-paced courses
  • Live monthly 30-day writing challenges with daily exercises
  • Exclusive live training workshops
  • Support, inspiration, and constructive feedback from a community of like-minded students and instructors

Here’s a peek at our course library!

ProWritingAid Library

2. The Novelry’s Online Writing Courses

Go from zero to finished novel in one year. The Novelry’s Book in a Year course is a year of complete guidance and support to write your novel and fulfill your ambition to become an author. In it, the team at The Novelry will lead you through the creation of a sound and appealing story idea, then onto writing the novel, then revising and editing your first draft. You will complete and hold in your hands a manuscript to professional standard ready to pitch to literary agents.

Looking for something else? The Novelry has dozens of courses about everything from writing children’s books to pitching to help you get started.

3. Jerry Jenkins’ Your Novel Blueprint

Are you overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a whole book? Jerry Jenkins’ Your Novel Blueprint is the course for you. Jerry has written 195 books and has made the New York Times’ Bestseller list 21 times!

His blueprint isn’t a formula, and it allows for your own style. But it covers everything from overcoming fear, to actually writing, to preparing your elevator pitch. The course is 58 modules long, and you get lifetime access. Plus, you can get access to a mastermind session with Jerry, an exclusive Facebook community, and video feedback on your story idea from the man himself, as well as the first ten pages of your manuscript critiqued by an author he trusts.

It’s pricey because it’s an investment in your career. But when you consider that an MFA costs over $30,000 and one college course might cost you $3,000, it doesn’t seem that bad. It rings in at $1,997. We think it’s totally worth it.

For a taster of Jerry’s expertise, watch the replay of Jerry’s webinar with ProWritingAid all about aggressive self-editing. You’ll pick up some great tips!

4. 100 Day Book by The Write Practice

100 Day Book is an online program that will guide you through the book-writing process. At the end of the 100-day program, you will have a finished book, and you will have internalized a process you can use again and again to write books in the future. Some of the unique features of this program: daily writing inspiration, encouraging feedback from the 100 Day Book community, a dedicated book mentor to help you problem-solve, and a $100 incentive if you meet your weekly deadlines and finish your book. Need we say more?

5. Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors

Mark Dawson of Self Publishing Formula is a guru of self-publishing. He provides so many great resources to independent authors on everything about the business. It was hard to choose just one of his courses, so we picked the one on the most difficult subject: advertising.

Advertising books and using social media ads isn’t quite like advertising anything else, but Mark has it down to a science. You’ll learn how to actually advertise without breaking the bank and instead secure a good return on your investment.

It’s one of his pricier courses, but if you want to make a living off self-publishing, it’s worth every penny. It’s $849 and he offers monthly payment plans. This class only opens a few times a year, so you can sign up for the waiting list .

6. MasterClass

MasterClass is an amazing site full of classes on all sorts of subjects, taught by the greatest minds in their respective fields. There are several writing courses, and they are all taught by some of the biggest names in fiction.

Margaret Atwood’s is one of the most popular. But you can also learn from crime writer James Patterson, young adult author Judy Blume, fantasy author Neil Gaiman, and TV writer Shonda Rhimes. That’s just a few of them! There are so many more.

You used to be able to purchase individual classes for $99. However, a membership is only $180 a year, and you get access to over 80 classes. Who knows? You might pick up an additional hobby like photography or cooking.

7. Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

We get it. Money is tight, especially for us starving artists. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a ton about writing. Coursera is full of online classes, and The Craft of Plot is a great choice. This course is provided through Wesleyan University, and the reviews are amazing.

In about ten hours’ worth of video modules, you’ll learn everything you need to know about plot structure. This course will teach you how to craft a solid plot for your entire story, as well as structuring and writing powerful scenes.

This isn’t the only free course on Coursera. Wesleyan University offers many more options on different elements of fiction writing.

8. Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher

So it’s been a while since you were diagramming sentences and learning about predicates and clauses. Grammar doesn’t have to be a barrier to writing. Sure, there are great programs out there like ProWritingAid to help proofread. But you’ll make fewer mistakes if you actually understand the rules of grammar.

Grammar Lion offers several classes on grammar, including a couple of free ones. But if you need a refresher on all the rules of the English language, this is the course for you . There are explanations and quizzes, and it’s estimated to take twelve weeks to complete. Plus, you get a Grammar Guide—a real person who will answer any questions you have through email.

This course is a must-have for any writer who struggles with grammar. It’s normally $199, but at the time I wrote this article, there was a quarantine special for $79.

9. Curtis Brown Creative

Curtis Brown Creative offers a variety of courses to suit everyone. From writing crime novels, to writing your novel in three months, there are helpful options for every type of writer.

They launched in 2011 with the aim of finding talented writers and helping them to develop and publish their novels. The courses range in price from ÂŁ125 to almost ÂŁ2,000, depending on the the number of sessions offered.

10. Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing 101

Self-Publishing 101 is an extensive course with everything you need to know from the moment you type THE END on your manuscript. It’s a straightforward, easy-to-follow guide that will take all the guesswork out of how to publish your book and to get your indie author career off to the best possible start. Suitable for beginner to intermediate levels, fiction and non-fiction.

11. Lauren Ranalli’s Think Beyond the Book

Marketing is one of the hardest parts of being an author. We’re creatives, not advertising experts! But it’s also necessary. Think Beyond the Book is the course that finally made me stop dreading marketing. Lauren Ranalli is an independent author who made $10,000 in the first three months of publication, and she didn’t even sell on Amazon!

Think Beyond the Book is a monthly membership at $34. That’s because it’s not just one set course. You will get access to all of the modules about different aspects of marketing your book, but Lauren offers new content every month.

The best part of Lauren’s courses is that she gives you specific action steps. The most relevant ones for me were when she broke down how to plan six months of social media content. I was able to plan out three posts a week for six months, and it only took me a couple of hours. I also learned how to establish my brand. Plus, Lauren is incredibly helpful in the exclusive Facebook group.

12. Build Your Author Platform by WritePublishSell

There is nothing worse than doing all the things to have a well-written, edited, fantastic book only to watch it sell only a handful of copies on launch day. The biggest reason for "failure to launch" for authors is not having an author platform—a fan base—that is ready to go when you launch. WritePublishSell’s program, Building Your Author Platform , teaches the steps to creating and growing that fan base.

13. C.S. Lakin’s Emotional Mastery for Fiction Writers

If we don’t succeed in making our readers feel something, we fail. If they don’t feel what we want them to feel, we fail. To be effective writers, we must master the emotional challenge of our stories. It won’t do to hope we will move our readers in some way. It won’t do to hope we get across our characters’ emotions. We have to become masters of emotion.

That’s where C.S. Lakin’s course, Emotional Mastery for Fiction Writers , comes in. Learn how to become an emotion master.

14. Creative Writing Specialization

Coursera’s Creative Writing Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir . In the course, you’ll master the techniques that good writers use to compose a bracing story, populated with memorable characters in an interesting setting, written in a fresh, descriptive style. You’ll also analyze and evaluate peer writing, as well as drafting and completing a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing. Check it out now!

Coursera creative writing course

15. Bookfox’s Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book

It seems like there are tons of courses about writing for young adults and adults. But what about those of us who want to write a children’s book?

Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book has you covered. This course includes 30 video lessons on everything from the writing process to copyright law. Plus, you can post questions, and the instructor, John Matthew Fox, will answer them personally.

It’s also much more affordable than many courses. It’s only $149, and there is a three-month payment plan option. If you want to break into writing children’s books, this is the class for you.

16. Pandemic University

Pandemic University is a pop-up writing school made for and by locked-down and quarantined writers. Pandemic University offers suites of short and affordable creative writing classes online. By taking their classes, you’re helping support artists who’ve suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can purchase courses a la carte on varied topics ranging from demystifying the publishing process to how to write topical satire, to how to read like a writer.

Want to try Pandemic University for yourself? They’ve been generous enough to offer members of the ProWritingAid community 25 percent off using the code PROWA25.

17. Conquer Writer’s Block

What if you could sit down in front of the blank page every day feeling optimistic and full of ideas? What would writing a blog post, article, or book chapter consistently do for your career? What if you had a writing system that helped you achieve all this and so much more?

That’s what Bryan Collins of Become a Writer Today can help you do. His course, Conquer Writer’s Block , gives you the skills you need to conquer the blank page in front of you.

Here are our answers to some common questions about how to pick a creative writing course.

Creative Writing Classes for Adults: How to Choose One

With so many options to consider, you should make sure you’re choosing the best online writing courses for your own goals as a writer. You should ask yourself:

  • Is there a specific skill you’d like to learn more about (e.g. plotting, character development, grammar, publishing, marketing, etc.)?
  • Do you want a class with set meeting times, or a self-paced class where you can have a flexible schedule?
  • Would you prefer a class with a lot of students or fewer students?
  • Do you want to receive feedback on your own writing?
  • Do you need an instructor who will be available to answer questions?
  • How much money are you willing to invest in a writing course?

Selecting a creative writing course

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you narrow down the list of options. After that, you can read reviews online and see what other students are saying about each course to help you decide which one best suits your needs.

Which Creative Writing Courses Are the Best for Beginners?

There are plenty of online creative writing courses for beginners. If you’re new to writing, ProWritingAid Academy is a fantastic place to start. You get access to writing lessons suitable for all levels, and you can work your way through them as you learn more.

You can also start with a free course on Coursera, like The Craft of Plot . Taking a free class can be a great starting point. Down the line, you can always choose a more advanced course to invest your money in.

Is a Creative Writing Course Worth It?

Creative writing classes are a great fast-track for improving your skills. They can help you hone specific aspects of your writing craft. They’re also a great way to meet other emerging writers so you can learn and grow together.

Benefits of creative writing courses

If you choose the right course for you, an online writing class can be well worth your time and money.

What are your favorite writing courses? Let us know in the comments.

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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Online Creative Writing Courses Offered Free by Top Universities and Educational Websites

About this article

Free Creative Writing Courses

Creative writing requires the application of hard work, discipline and much practice. Use these free creative writing courses online to hone your skills and become a better writer.

Open University

Open University offers a plethora of writing courses, on topics such as poetry and fiction. Read through these lessons on the website or download them as a single eBook.

  • Writing What You Know
  • Start Writing Fiction
  • Approaching Prose Fiction
  • What is Poetry
  • Approaching Poetry
  • What is Good Writing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers courses in fiction, editing and publishing, in addition to courses on writing essays. The fiction course has required reading with titles like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Textbooks for the writing and editing course include Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers by Maasik, Sonia and Jack Solomon and Easy Writer: A Pocket Guide by Lunsford, Andrea and Frank Horowitz. The advanced essay workshop entails readings from literary magazines and the science essay course assigns eight sets of readings on topics like literary techniques and public health.

  • Introduction to Fiction
  • Writing, Editing and Publishing in Cyberspace
  • Advanced Essay Workshop
  • The Science Essay

Purdue University

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers free online writing lessons. Subjects include poetry and proofreading. These quick lessons can be downloaded and printed.

  • Pattern and Variation in Poetry
  • Proofreading Your Writing

Yale University

Yale University offers a free online course in modern poetry. Texts include The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Vol. 1, Modern Poetry, in addition to selections from the course packet, with readings from The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Selected Poems from Ezra Pound. Students can choose from 25 audio lectures, on poets like Williams Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, and more.

  • Modern Poetry

The Crafty Writer

This free online tutorial offers individuals text lessons in the form of an article on topics like writing short stories, character development, poetry, and more. Lessons also recommend books for purchase.

  • Intro to Creative Writing

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing

This science fiction and fantasy writing course is offered online for free by science fiction writer, Jeffrey A. Carter. A multitude of lessons are available, in a variety of subjects like language and style, creating characters, rewriting, alien creatures, conflict and plot, and much more.

  • Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Creative Writing Prompts

This website offers free writing prompts. Use this as a resource to get your writing started.

  • 200 Creative Writing Prompts


This website offers two questionnaires for writers. Answer questions about characters in order to help your development process for writing.

  • Character Questionnaires from Fiction Writing Workshop

Free Online Creative Writing Courses At a Glance

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  • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
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Start writing fiction

Start writing fiction

Course description

Course content, course reviews.

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and setting s. You will also be able to look at the different genre s for fiction.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction
  • demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing
  • discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 14/05/2018

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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

online creative writing course free

Michigan State University

Write Your First Novel

(285 reviews)

Beginner · Course · 3 - 6 Months

online creative writing course free

Wesleyan University

Creative Writing

Skills you'll gain : Creativity, Human Learning, Storytelling, Writing

(5.8k reviews)

Beginner · Specialization · 3 - 6 Months

online creative writing course free

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

(2.3k reviews)

online creative writing course free

University of California, Irvine

Academic English: Writing

Skills you'll gain : Writing

(22k reviews)

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Stanford University

Writing in the Sciences

(8.1k reviews)

Beginner · Course · 1 - 3 Months

online creative writing course free

Duke University

English Composition I

(1.1k reviews)


Lund University

Writing in English at University

(554 reviews)

Beginner · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks


Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

Skills you'll gain : Writing, Creativity, Resilience

(1.8k reviews)


University of Colorado Boulder

Business Writing

Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Business Communication, Critical Thinking, Professional Development, Natural Language Processing, Business Development, Decision Making, Reinforcement Learning, Strategy

(4.5k reviews)


Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself

Skills you'll gain : Strategy, Writing

(397 reviews)


Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation

Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Business Design, Computer Graphics, Creativity, 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, Strategy, Business Development, Reinforcement Learning, Emotional Intelligence

(10.9k reviews)


Georgetown University

Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

Earn a degree

Credit Eligible

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 . ‎


  • How to write a story
  • How to write a novel
  • How to write poetry
  • How to write a script
  • How to write a memoir
  • How to write a mystery
  • Creative journaling
  • Publishing advice
  • Story starters
  • Poetry prompts
  • For teachers

6 Free Online Writing Courses You Can Start Today

These free online writing courses will help you quickly build your skills as a writer, and have fun doing it.

creative writing class - story ideas

Endless Story Ideas

E-mail course. Students receive one lesson per day for three days.

There are three elements that a story needs: a character, a setting, and a conflict.

In this course, you'll learn about each of these elements, and how they fit together into a story plot.

You'll learn how to come up with ideas for characters, settings, and conflicts, and how to develop those into story ideas!

What you'll learn:

  • the essential elements of a story
  • how to come up with story ideas whenever you need them

Fill out the form below to take this course for free.

cat watching goldfish, illustrating suspense writing course

Suspense Techniques

E-mail course. Students receive one lesson per day for two days.

By building suspense into your stories, you can make them more exciting and harder to put down.

You can create suspense just by developing a character readers care about and putting that character in trouble.

Other ways of creating suspense:

  • Slowing down a scene at dramatic moments.
  • Foreshadowing, when you hint at what's coming.
  • Raising questions in the reader's mind and delaying the answers.
  • Cliffhangers, where you end a chapter or a scene at crucial points... and the reader has to wait or turn the page to find out what happens.
  • Dramatic irony, where the reader knows something the character doesn't... so the reader waits for the other shoe to drop.
  • How to build suspense into your stories through character development, narrative point of view, and description.
  • How to control pacing to increase tension.
  • How to strategically delay information to build curiosity.

figure on mountain, representing free online writing course on story structure

Beginnings, Middles, Endings

The beginning of your story is where you capture reader's attention and make them decide to keep reading.

The middle of your story is where you develop your plot. It can be challenging to maintain energy and momentum throughout the middle of a story, but this course will show you how!

The ending of your story needs to seal readers' satisfaction with your story. A great ending will leave readers thinking and maybe talking about your story long after they've finished reading.

  • What to put in the beginning, middle, and end of your story.
  • How to pull readers into your story and keep their interest through the middle.
  • How to write an ending that leaves readers satisfied.

Fill out the form below to take this course for free.

two women embracing, illustrating character development writing course

Intro to Character Development

If readers care about your characters, they'll care about your story.

The key is to create interesting, three-dimensional characters, and then make readers feel like they actually know them.

Readers can get to know your characters the same way we get to know people in real life; based on:

  • what they do.
  • what they say and how they say it.
  • how other people react to them.
  • their habits, clothing, homes, possessions, et cetera.

If you're writing the story from a particular character's point of view, you can also show that character's thoughts.

  • How to develop characters.
  • Tricks for making your characters more interesting.
  • How to use "showing" instead of "telling" to bring your characters to life.

shadows, representing mystery writing course

Intro to Mystery Writing

Most mystery novels are about someone trying to solve a crime; i.e., they're trying to find out who did it.

The person trying to solve the crime might be a professional sleuth such as a police detective, or an amateur sleuth -- for example, a small-town librarian who discovers a dead body in the stacks and decides to find out whodunit!

A mystery can be a kind of puzzle or game where the reader "competes" against the sleuth to try to to figure out the answer before the sleuth does.

But it should also be a well-developed story, with three-dimensional characters and a vivid setting.

You can add interest to a mystery plot with red herrings, twists and turns. And you can suspense with techniques like foreshadowing and cliffhangers, and by raising the stakes for your sleuth.

A great ending to a mystery often manages to surprise the reader at the same time that the reader thinks, "I should have known!"

  • How to develop a story idea for a mystery.
  • How to come up with the character of your sleuth.
  • How to structure a mystery plot.

butterfly representing description writing course

Intro to Description Writing

Good description writing is the secret to vivid stories.

Instead of just reading words on the page, readers feel like they're inside the story's world, seeing and hearing and experiencing everything first-hand.

This course will show you a trick for imagining your story's details more vividly so that you can make them vivid for your reader.

Then it will show you how to choose details and words to bring your scenes to life in the reader's imagination.

  • How to invent and choose details for your story's descriptions.
  • How to write descriptions from your character's point of view.
  • How to choose the right words for your descriptions.

Free Online Writing Courses - Next Steps

Join our Advanced Notification List to stay informed when new free online writing courses become available.

Questions about our free online writing courses?  Email us , and we'll help you.

Browse more online creative writing courses .

"I am so enjoying the course. I have always wanted to write and have found, over the years, every excuse under the sun to not write. After reading through your material and the wonderful tips and suggestions I began on my three characters. I actually had to drag myself off to bed, reluctantly. I just couldn't stop." - Laura McCarthy

"There is so much to learn, and had I not done this course my writing would still be at the starting gate." - Josephine Webster

"Both courses I have taken have with Creative Writing Now have been amazing. Each time I have learned something new. The one thing I love, you take everything apart and give examples." - Katlen Skye

"I feel a weight has been lifted off my creative muscles." - Christine Laputka

I recently completed my first novel - 67,400 words. It derives from two separate assignments posted from two of your courses. I had turned both into short stories which I then combined and extended. Currently exploring publication offers - all thanks to Creative Writing Now! - John Butler

"As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. Thanks so much for the great courses." - Kitty Safken

"This course helped me to come out of my writer’s block." - Rachel Giordano

"I really have learned many things that have changed the way I think about writing. I've taken many college, even Masters level writing courses, and must tell you that I have learned much more from your courses than I have from any of those classroom courses." - Prue Prentice

“Essentials of Fiction proved that I could indeed write and I wrote every day, much to my boyfriend's dismay (waa sniff).” - Jill Gardner

"This course is amazing – definitely the most beneficial class that I have taken." - Kimberly Daroogar

"I'm enjoying the weekly email course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. Thank you for offering a basic, no nonsense basic poetry course at a reasonable price." - Michele

"This course has given me the courage and the confidence to finally start the book I have wanted to write for years!" - Patricia Birchfield

"Thank you for all the material in this course. I have learnt so much." - Jacqueline Tasik

"I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lessons and feel they were very helpful in introducing new ideas and perspectives to my writing. I am sure I will go back frequently to review them for reference during many of my future writing projects. Thanks again!" - Jenny Jacks

"Thanks very much for this course. It's been really helpful and well-explained. I look forward to any more courses you run." - Robin Gott

"I'm learning so much. This course is amazing." - Karl Tobar

"Thank you so much!! You're always there... The course is great. You are always looking forward to the next lesson like a good novel!!!" - Nuria Alberti

"Thank you for a course that builds writing skills with direction to excellence. Everything was included, possibly more than college courses can offer." - Janett Lee Wawrzyniak

"This course has provided me with structure, creative thinking, and confidence. My writing has really blossomed and found its footing. " - Heatherly Kates

"It was a nice journey for me to be able to write in answer to your e-mail lessons. Being able to post the answers on WordPress is exciting. I had not done that before taking your writing class. I plan to take another of your e-mail class, either the 8-week descriptive or the new poetry class." - James Sciullo

"I thought my starting to write was just a hobby; it has definitely become more. Thank you Nancy for giving us all that great opportunity." - Caroline DiMatteo

"I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!" - Bill Lane

"Writing every day and the tips this course gave improved my writing 100%." - Gila Segelov

"The Irresistible Fiction course is going well. I see why it's a bestseller. I can't wait for the next email." - Kayode

"Thank you so much for putting together this writing course. It was of good value to me as it got me started thinking more deeply about my characters. I don't have a lot of time to write, working two jobs, but I am doing the ten-minute exercise with each lesson, and each evening, trying to get in the habit of sitting myself down to write... I would recommend the course to anyone." - Barrie Creamer

"I did enjoy every aspect of the course and did learned quite a lot. Thank you!… It has motivated me to further work on a novel that I left in the revision stage three years ago." - Nair del Vecchio

"This was an amazing experience. If you are having roadblocks with your dream of being a writer, take this class." - Michelle Denier

"Must say I'm SOO glad I opted into this class, it's been eye-opening on many levels." - Courtenay Schurman

"I will add the comment that I love this course, I have taken it several times. The first time I took it was after a time I had stopped writing for several years, and the course really re-ignited my writing spirit!" - Mary Ellen Hancock

"This course has jump started my daily writing and made me excited to write every day. I wake up happy and brimming with ideas to start my writing for the day." - Katherine Brand

"This was the best course I’ve taken. It allowed me to enjoy the experience of writing." - Jeff Killian

"I want to thank you for all of your support and the wonderful writing lessons that you provide. I have learned so much about the craft of writing and I am finally doing what my heart desires." - Dorothy Anderson

© 2009-2023 William Victor, S.L., All Rights Reserved.

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Writing Courses

  • Social Sciences


Business Rhetoric

This course helps business professionals improve their writing so they are better equipped to accomplish their educational and professional goals

Advanced Fiction: Writing Horror


Seeing Nature in the Twentieth Century

In this course, students survey important American contributions to modern American environmental nonfiction

Introduction to Fiction Writing

A workshop for writers with little or no experience in writing fiction


Advanced Fiction: Writing Suspense Fiction

Learn how techniques used in suspense fiction—structure, pace, tension, and plot—can be applied to your own writing

Advanced Screenwriting

Writing the screenplay for the next box office smash or successful independent film requires inspiration; it also requires knowledge of the screenwriter's craft.

Fundamentals of Fiction

This intensive, immersive course is designed for graduate-credit students with strong writing skills and an interest in becoming fiction writers but little formal experience, students who would like to develop a solid foundation in story and scene structu

Writing the Coming-of-Age Film

Writing the Coming-of-Age Film

This advanced screenwriting course explores the inevitable process of growing up, including the adolescent's path toward adulthood and their new understanding of themselves and the world around them.

The Art of the Pitch

You have an idea, or you've created a brilliant piece of work: a novel, a screenplay, a concept for a TV series—maybe even a scripted nonfiction podcast

Fundamentals of Dramatic Writing

This course is designed for students with strong writing skills who have an interest in writing plays and/or screenplays, but little formal experience.


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    The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Nonfiction walks you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of writing, publishing, and marketing nonfiction books. In this 10-day course, you'll get an email each day walking you through some critical aspect of writing and publishing nonfiction, covering topics like:

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    Creative writing courses delivered straight to your inbox. Whether you're a new writer or a published author, there's no such thing as a writer who can't learn something new about their craft. Reedsy Learning's online writing courses make it easy for anyone, regardless of skill level, to improve their craft, build better routines, and ...

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    Jewel & Auret. 4.0 (231) $29.99. Professional Writing : build a freelance business. Number 1 top rated professional writer shares insights on working with online freelance writing platforms.Rating: 4.4 out of 5220 reviews1 total hour14 lecturesBeginnerCurrent price: $34.99. Damien Walter.

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    Creative writing course curriculum. Online writing classes can unlock creativity and improve learners' writing technique. For example, a class that focuses on writing novels can teach individuals how to ideate, outline, and execute on a large project. Learners can study different forms of writing, such as American poetry, long-form journalism ...

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    Online writing course curriculum. With online writing courses, any learner can master the skills needed to become a strong writer. Start with the fundamentals in an online grammar course, where you can learn about the different parts of speech, punctuation, conjugation, and sentence structure. Or more advanced writers can practice their ...

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    So learn to develop expansive narratives and optimise your writing for mobile devices, social media communities, virtual and augmented realities and more. Enrol here. Also read: 6 free online history courses to take while you're self-quarantined from Harvard University and more. 6 free online music courses you can enrol in while you self-isolate

  10. Best Creative Writing Courses for Beginners [2023]

    In summary, here are 10 of our most popular creative writing courses. Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University. Creative Writing: Wesleyan University. Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television: Michigan State University. Introduction to Psychology: Yale University.

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    Whether you want to get your creative juices flowing, improve your storytelling abilities, or even work on your reading comprehension, a writing course can be the ideal choice for you. And, by studying online, you get a whole host of benefits. Online writing courses give you the freedom to study whenever and wherever you want.

  12. Comprehensive Guide to Creative Writing

    Outline the technique of writing realistic dialogues in horror, thriller and murder stories. Lay out the basic principles and strategies of writing for children. Highlight techniques used to write poetry. State the benefits of critical thinking. Discuss the structure and formats used in proposal and business writing and outline some key tips.

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    This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer's development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas from examining other writers' methods, as well as enhancing your critical reading skills. Examples will cover the genres of fiction, creative ...

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    Specialization - 5 course series. This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. You will master the techniques that good writers use to compose a bracing story, populated with memorable characters in an interesting setting, written in a fresh descriptive style.

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    17 Best Online Creative Writing Courses. 1. ProWritingAid Academy. Brilliant writers aren't born, they're made. Writing is a skill that can be developed, just like any other, and ProWritingAid's brand new learning platform is here to help. With a ProWritingAid Academy membership, you get a unique combination of:

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    These free online creative writing courses will teach you how to craft original and self-expressive writing. Creative writing encourages writers to exercise their creative minds and use their imaginations. It helps improve memory function and promote greater feelings of happiness among other benefits. It is also a great way to jumpstart a ...

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    The Online Creative Writing Program makes it easy to take courses taught by instructors from Stanford's writing community. Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, these courses can be taken anywhere, anytime—a plus for students who lead busy lives or for whom regular travel to the Stanford campus is not possible. These courses are ...

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    Yale University offers a free online course in modern poetry. Texts include The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Vol. 1, Modern Poetry, in addition to selections from the course packet, with readings from The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Selected Poems from Ezra Pound. Students can choose from 25 audio lectures, on ...

  19. Start writing fiction

    Course learning outcomes. After studying this course, you should be able to: identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction. demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing. discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.

  20. Best Writing Courses & Certificates Online [2023]

    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.

  21. 6 Free Online Writing Courses

    E-mail course. Students receive one lesson per day for three days. There are three elements that a story needs: a character, a setting, and a conflict. In this course, you'll learn about each of these elements, and how they fit together into a story plot. You'll learn how to come up with ideas for characters, settings, and conflicts, and how to ...

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    This intensive, immersive course is designed for graduate-credit students with strong writing skills and an interest in becoming fiction writers but little formal experience, students who would like to develop a solid foundation in story and scene structu

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