For today’s authors, the stereotype of the writer starving in their garret while waiting for inspiration is far from the truth. Writers work in various fields, and the best of them are educated and practiced professionals. A good writing class will include a knowledgeable instructor and opportunities to practice their teaching skills. We’ve sifted through the top options and reviewed the 10 Free Online Courses in Creative Writing below to help you figure out which one is right for you.
10 Free Online Courses in Creative Writing
1. Secret Sauce of Great Writing
Udemy, one of the more well-known names in the online education industry, offers both paid and free courses and had more than 40 million students as of April 2021. As you might expect from such a large undertaking, the products will be of varying quality. The Secret Sauce of Great Writing is one of the company’s many writing courses. The class, which Shani Raja teaches, a former Wall Street Journal editor, focuses on what Raja considers to be the four ingredients of good writing: simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness.
Raja claims that knowing and applying these four ingredients will elevate your writing from the mundane to the inspirational. And it’s free at this price! — and it’s a great way to boost your writing and possibly learn some techniques that can improve your output, whether you’re writing press releases or your autobiography, with a minimal time commitment (the course lasts less than an hour).
2. An Introduction to Screenwriting- University of East Anglia’s School of Arts and Media
This is a free creative writing class that can help you understand screenwriting concepts and fundamental principles. This online course is for you if you’re a new scriptwriter or an experienced writer who wants to take their scriptwriting to the next level. This course will assist you in developing a common vocabulary for dealing with scripts. It will also serve as a springboard for future courses in dramatic adaptation, crime screenwriting, and other genres and abilities. You will have a solid understanding of the essential concepts required to write an effective screenplay and will be proficient in the vocabulary used to describe the form after completing this writing class.
You can also be confident in creating a good story pitch and comprehending the fundamental principles of the screenwriting process and the screenplay format’s essentials.
3. Start Writing Fiction- Open University
This course is for you if you want to write fiction or improve your fiction writing skills. Start Writing Fiction at the Open University is one of the best online writing courses available for any writer looking to improve their writing skills. The rituals of writing are revealed in this free online course. This class will teach you how to develop your ideas, reflect on your writing, and edit your work. You’ll also have the chance to look at other authors’ work and get feedback on your own, allowing you to learn how to read like a writer and respond to criticism. After completing this course, you will be able to write fiction and create stories using characters. You can boldly investigate notions of writing and develop your awareness of editing in developing your style and presentation vocabulary based on your experience.
4. Playing with Poetry: Creative Writing and Poetics -University of Newcastle, Australia
This is one of the best creative writing classes because it teaches you how to write various types of poetry and how to experiment with various poetic ideas. The course is more of a hands-on experience that allows students to study basic poetry standards and then decide how to apply those guidelines best to have a fun, creative writing experience. It also teaches you how to use lyrics, alienation, and the fundamentals of poetry. These will assist you in gaining a thorough understanding of the techniques and theories used to shape a poem.
5. Make Your Writing Stand Out in Eight Easy Steps – Udemy.com
This free online writing class from Udemy teaches you how to hone your style and craft effective writing. This course will teach you how to use effective word order and sentence flow, implement proactive sentence structure, and write great intros, conclusions, and paragraph order. All you need for this free writing class is a good internet connection, word processors, old writing drafts, a basic understanding of American cultural references, and a desire to learn and grow.
6. On Writing- Udemy
Are you a new writer with no experience or a seasoned writer trying to break through a stumbling block? You are the target audience for this free online writing course. This is a 20-minute writing course that will give you the boost you need. This course will provide you with the motivation or inspiration you need to write, whether you are a novice or a seasoned author. Enrolling in this course will essentially teach you the “why” behind your writing. It will also provide you with helpful hints and techniques for writing fantastic stories.
7. Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television- Michigan State University via Coursera
The ‘Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television’ course at Michigan State University is the next free online writing course on our list. This course will teach you how to write a full-length feature screenplay for film or television, whether it’s a serious drama, a romantic comedy, or something in between. By the end of the course, you’ll know how to break down the creative process into components and develop an organized strategy for producing a polished and pitch-ready script. Additionally, completing this online course will assist you in developing confidence in your own ideas and abilities. After completing this online course, you’ll be ready to pitch your first script and move on to the next one.
8. Creative Writing: The Craft of Style- Wesleyan University via Coursera
Coursera offers a free creative writing course called Creative Writing: The Craft of Style. This online writing course will assist you in developing your writing style. You will learn how to apply pressure to written languages during this course. You’ll also learn how to tell stories using imagery and metaphor and how to choose words. You must also balance the need to grasp concepts and feelings with the story’s constant demand for concreteness and realism. In addition, conveying thoughts in the form of physical objects in a narrative world results in a style that speaks to both the senses and the mind.
9. Writing in English at University- Lund University via Coursera
Do you want to improve your academic research and writing skills? This is the class for you! This is one of the best online writing classes available, and it will help you develop the writing skills you’ll need in both your academic and professional lives. This course covers the fundamentals of academic writing in English and the components and advantages of process writing. It will also help you put together your own “toolbox” of academic writing skills and give you the chance to put these tools to the test and reflect on your own growth as a writer. You’ll use video lectures and reading assignments, quizzes, reflective self-assessment questions, and peer review activities throughout the course. You can use these tools to communicate with other course participants.
10. Creative Writing Sample Lesson- Udemy
Do you enjoy creative writing? Then get the writing course ‘Creative Writing Sample Lesson.’ This is one of the free creative writing online classes that demonstrates a completely new way of looking at Setting, Plot, and Character through a series of short, basic actions that can dramatically improve your writing. Take our free sample session and enjoy creating a piece of writing that’s rich, detailed, and will truly come to life in the hands of readers, whether you’re new to writing or simply seeking a different perspective on story creation.
You’ll learn about the importance of character development, how to write based on details and development, and how to break down the plot into manageable chunks during the course. To enroll in this course, you must access the internet and a functional device. You’ll also need a printer to print worksheets and suitable on-screen editing software to edit worksheets, and a creative mind digitally.
Where to Sign up for Free Online Creative Writing Courses
The following are some of the platforms that offer free online writing courses:
- Coursera is an online learning platform that offers a variety of courses for various levels of learners. Coursera offers both paid and free courses.
- FutureLearn: This platform offers both free and paid courses on a wide range of subjects, including writing.
- MasterClass: Offers a variety of paid courses on a variety of subjects. Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman’s courses are included.
- Skillshare offers both free and paid classes on a wide range of subjects. (With a yearly subscription, they usually give away a certain number of months for free.)
- Udemy: Offers paid courses on various topics (has a regular bargain).
How to Get the Most out Of Free Online Creative Writing Courses
But how do you know if a writing class is “worth it”? What can you do to make sure you get the most out of a writing course? Here are a few things to consider:
1. Consider the price.
The cheapest option is free, while the most expensive is nearly $2,000. In general, the more one-on-one time you spend with an editor or instructor, the more you’ll pay. LitReactor, for example, has a thriving online community and regular instructor feedback and costs $350 for a four-week course. When you sign up for one of our options, you can pay for it all at once. On the other hand, only a few charge by the month or year, as Coursera does. Keep in mind that some of our recommendations, such as MasterClass, include access to all courses as part of the membership fee. So, if you have the time and interest, your $180 annual MasterClass fee could get you access to dozens of courses on various subjects.
Work in the communications industry or any other industry that values good, clear writing skills. You may be able to get your employer to pay for all or part of your writing course fees significantly if you can demonstrate how the course will benefit them. It’s a good idea to ask your boss or HR supervisor if they can help with the costs.
2. Get your technology in order.
You shouldn’t need any special software or hardware to take an online writing course. A good internet connection and a computer with the most recent version of your preferred browser and system files are required. The majority of courses are designed to work on both desktop computers and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. The company’s Video Speed Controller, which allows you to speed up or slow down HTML5 video as needed, is a useful app if you use Google Chrome.
3. Make use of the appropriate study resources.
A good style guide is one resource that many writers swear by. There are several of these, and you can usually find out which one your company uses by asking the marketing or communications department a simple question. The following are the most common:
- The Associated Press Stylebook is the granddaddy of them all, now in its 55th edition. It’s popular among journalists, and it’s also used for a lot of web writing and some academic work.
- The 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style contains chapters on grammar and usage, a glossary of troublesome words, and extensive information on citing sources.
- The American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual, now in its seventh edition, is widely used by researchers, scientists, and healthcare professionals.
4. What will you get out of the free online writing class?
Before enrolling, knowing your requirements is the best way to ensure that a writing course is “worth it.” Examine the course materials to ensure the course you’re considering will allow you to learn about the topics you’re passionate about.
5. Level of Commitment
Nothing kills the thrill of starting a new course faster than realizing you won’t be able to devote the necessary time. Cramming for tasks at the last minute can add unnecessary stress to the course and taint the overall experience. Consider taking a day or half-day course if you are short on time.
6. Compare the value of your gain to the cost.
Make sure you understand what you want to get out of the course before deciding whether it meets your needs at a reasonable price.
7. Is Your Tutor Aware of What They’re Discussing?
Choose a course with a tutor who specializes in the course area or can provide insight, as bad writing guidance can do more harm than good. Look up the instructor’s name on the internet to see if they’re well-known in their field of writing.
8. What Are the Reviews Saying?
Examining how others felt about the experience is an excellent way to determine whether or not a course is worthwhile. Although a course’s packaging may be appealing, reviews will tell you whether the content is worthwhile. Most courses will include some testimonials to read, and reviews will be available beneath the course description for online interactive courses.
Other free Online Creative Writing Courses
1. Effective Writing- Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee via Swayam
This online writing course is designed to introduce students to the complexities of good writing. Allowing them to understand the subtle art of writing, allowing them to write with lucidity, accuracy, and originality, allowing them to express their thoughts on various occasions with the concepts of adequacy and accuracy.
2. Creative Writing Specialization- Wesleyan University via Coursera
Do you want to learn how to write a unique story? Do you want to write a great short story, novel, or creative piece? You should take this writing specialization course. This is one of the free online creative writing classes that can help you become a better writer. The short story, narrative essay, and memoir are the three major writing genres covered in this Creating Writing specialist course. This course will teach any successful writer skills to create a story with memorable characters. This beginner’s writing workshop will also teach you how to assess and evaluate peer writing constructively.
3. Writing Ad Copy- LinkedIn
Writing Ad Content is an online course that will teach you how to write ad copy that will effectively represent your brand while also driving traffic and converting clicks into sales. This course will teach you how to adjust your message and tone based on the characteristics of your target audience and customers. This course will also teach you some common dos and don’ts and explain what the future of advertising holds for copywriters and creative strategists.
On a general note, every writer wishes to improve their writing skills and become more proficient but is often limited by one major obstacle: the cost. Fortunately, some online learning platforms now offer free online writing classes that can help you polish and improve your writing and authoring skills. This article discussed the best 13 free online writing classes that can help any enthusiastic writer advance in their writing career. Please keep in mind that some of these classes are certification classes, and you will need to pay to receive your certificates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Online writing is any text created with (and usually intended for viewing on) a computer, smartphone, or another digital device. Also referred to as “digital writing.” Online writing includes texting, instant messaging, emailing, blogging, tweeting, and making comments on social media sites like Facebook.
Few people make a living as full-time authors. However, the vast majority of professions, from law to health care, demand that people be able to write clearly and concisely. A full-time writer earns an average of $67,120 per year, according to the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, but you can earn significantly more depending on your job skills and professional area.
Yes. Udemy, which offers a wide range of free courses, is one of our top ten recommendations. However, the old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true in most cases: the best, most well-designed courses will almost always come at a cost.
Online writing courses can last anywhere from an hour to a year. You can do them whenever you have time because most of them have a flexible schedule. Remember that, in addition to the lectures you’ll be watching or reading, you may have exercises to complete, which will take time.
They have the potential to be. You will get as much out of it as you put into it, as with many things in life. All of our recommended courses should be beneficial to you if you are taking a course for personal enrichment. If you’re looking for a way to advance your career, a course with a certificate of completion may be a good option, as you’ll be able to show the certificate to your boss once you’ve completed it.
There are probably hundreds of online writing courses available; for this review, we looked at nearly 75. The courses we’ve listed above are the best online writing courses. What you want to get out of a writing course will determine which one is best for you. If you’re going to write a best-selling children’s book, Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass might not be the best option. Instead, you should go with a program like The Novelry’s or John Matthew Fox’s Bookfox.
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