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, 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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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. 

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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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10 Free Creative Writing Courses Online with a Certificate 

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Anyone can take creative writing courses online. These courses are meant for beginners who want to give a chance to their creative flair. After completing a creative writing course, students can find career opportunities in journalism , editorial, copywriting , blogging, advertising , proofreading, ghostwriting, screenwriting , and book writing. Most of the creative writing courses can be completed in a day or a few weeks. Moreover, they are available free of cost. The virtual lessons cover tips and tricks that can be useful in the creative journey of an individual. Keep reading to learn more about free creative writing courses online. 

This Blog Includes:

Sharpened visions: a poetry workshop, creative writing specialization, national centre for writing online courses , the craft of storytelling, how to write a novel: structure & outline, script writing: write a pilot episode for a tv or web series , skillshare online creative writing classes, oxford online courses in creative writing, start writing fiction, free online creative writing courses, top 10 free creative writing courses online.

Here is a list of the 10 free creative writing courses online. Some of these courses come with certifications and others do not. We have provided the fee details, course level, etc for your reference.

CalArts is offering one of the leading creative writing courses online. This Poetry Workshop covers a total of 6 modules in which students will learn about metaphor and other formulas of difference, abstraction, image, rhyme, rhythm, poetic lines, and revision strategies. The course is meant for beginners and can be completed within 8 hours. A certificate is available. However, payment has to be made for the same.

Website: https://www.coursera.org/learn/poetry-workshop

Check out the top universities for creative writing courses 

Wesleyan University ’s Creative writing course is one of the top creative writing courses online. This is a 5 module series that consists of topics such as Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot, The Craft of Character: The Craft of Setting and Description, Craft of Style, etc. The course ends with a capstone project that students must complete. The course is meant for beginners. The drawback? The certificate is only available post-payment.

Website: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/creative-writing

The National Centre for Writing is offering one of the finest creative writing course online. All of these courses are self-paced and can be completed within a short period. Some of the free courses available on this platform are First Steps in Short Form Poetry, New Ways with Short Form Poetry, How to Write Unreliable Narrators, How to Write Young Adult Fiction: Characters and Conflicts, and Writing Science Fiction: World Building. The drawback? These courses do not come with a certificate.

Website: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/

The University of Alaska is offering another excellent free creative writing course online. This a 4-week course that helps a student learn to tell stories that the audience wants. The curriculum includes topics such as Finding good stories, Using The “Ice Road Trucker” effect, Building the dramatic arc, Designing story structures, Strategizing delivery, ending the story, etc. The course is self-paced and its audit is available for free.

Website: https://www.edx.org/learn/storytelling

Check Out These Book Writing Courses that Will Make Your Imagination Flow! 

The University of British Columbia is offering the course ‘How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline’ The program is best for those who want to learn the fundamentals of story structure. The curriculum includes topics such as Character and World-Building, The Big Architecture: Story and Structure,  Three-Act Structure and Scene Design, Troubleshooting Common Problems, and Transition to Writing. The program includes a writing assignment and a final task that students must complete.

Website: https://www.edx.org/learn/novels/

Michigan State University is also offering a free creative writing course online. The course is best for those who want to learn scriptwriting skills for a TV or web series. A total of 5 modules are available in this course. Students will learn everything from developing a TV concept and writing the pilot episode to polishing their script. Any basic word processor is sufficient to take this course. Students will need to dedicate 1-2 hours of study, and  30+ hours of active project work.

Website: https://www.coursera.org/learn/script-writing

Skillshare is another great platform offering free creative writing course online. People can choose a creative writing class based on their interests. All of these courses are taught by experts in the field. Some of the available courses include Copywriting For Beginners: How To Write Web Copy That Sells Without Being Cheesy, Character-Driven Story Development for Your Novel or Screenplay, and Storytelling 101: Character, Conflict, Context & Craft, among others. No certificate is available after course completion. 

Website: https://www.skillshare.com/en/browse/creative-writing?sort=popular&page=1

Want to learn business writing skills? Read About the 7 Free Online Business Writing Courses with Certifications 

The Oxford University Department of Continuing Education is offering one of the best free creative writing course online. Students can choose from a short online course in creative writing and a Diploma in Creative Writing. The short courses have live-time weekly classes. The credit earned from this course is transferable toward the  Certificate of Higher Education – a part-time undergraduate course. On the other hand, the Diploma in Creative Writing can be completed in 2 years. It covers 4 areas of literary activity. For example, prose, drama, etc. 

Website: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/online-courses-in-creative-writing

The Open University Start Writing Fiction course is a free creative writing course online. The program is meant for those who want to learn the strategies for writing fiction. The curriculum includes topics such as character development, setting, and genre. This is an introductory course that requires 12 hours of study. A certificate of participation is available post-completion of the course.

Website: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/creative-writing/start-writing-fiction/

Alison is one of the top websites offering free creative writing course online. These courses are meant for beginners and can be completed in a few hours. Some of the creative writing courses available on this platform include Understanding Poetry Writing, How to Write and Publish a Novel, Creative Nonfiction Writing, Screenwriting, and Writing for Young Readers. The course comes with free certifications.

Website: https://alison.com/tag/creative-writing

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The British Council is offering a course called ‘Creative Writing for Adults – Module I’. This course is completely online and can be completed within 9 weeks. A B2 English level is needed to take this course. The fee is INR 10,000.

There are several free writing courses for beginners. For example, Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop by CalArts, and Wesleyan University’s Creative Writing course. Alison also offers several free writing courses for beginners.

Harvard University only offers 1 free online creative writing course. This is called the ‘Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking’. This is an introductory course that requires the student to dedicate  2 – 3 hours per week. The course audit is free. 

Hope this blog provides you with all the important details, for more information about such courses, visit our online courses page .

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Blessy George

Blessy George works as a Content Marketing Associate at Leverage Edu. She has completed her M.A. in Political Science and has experience working as an Intern with CashKaro.

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Home / Book Writing / 16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2024 [Free & Paid]

16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2024 [Free & Paid]

Table of contents.

  • Best Overall Online Writing Courses: MasterClass
  • Best Course to Help Finish Your Book: The 100-Day Book Program
  • Best Writing Course for Beginners: Writing With Flair
  • Best Course for Children's Book Writers: Children's Book University
  • Best Course for Amazon Self-Publishers: AMS Ads for Books
  • Best Online Memoir Writing Course: Memoirama
  • Best Course for Indie Publishers: WCU's Publishing MA Program
  • Best Online Course for Bloggers: Freedom Machine
  • Best Course for Sci-Fi Writers: Writers of the Future Online Workshop
  • Best Course For Writing a Novel Step-by-Step: A Fearless Way to Write Novels
  • Best Free Online Writing Courses of 2023

What is the best online course for writers in 2024? In this article, I’ll cover the highest-quality online classes that are free…and not so free. How can I improve my writing skills online? You can improve your writing skills using online classes that push your creative writing, business writing, and academic writing skills to their maximum potential.

A writer needs to keep improving his or her craft. Online writing courses aren't just for amateurs or writing hobbyists; they're for all writers. However, all online writing courses are not created equal. Some courses available are a waste of money, while others are the best money can buy. (Some of the best courses are free .) When looking at the prices, try not to think how steep the cost is. Think of the money you will make if you take the course. Think of how much it would cost to earn an MFA for a specialization in creative writing. These are (often tax-deductible) investments in your career. I've devised a comprehensive list of my favorite online writing courses in 2024, including their cost and what type of course they are. This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into when you enroll.

  • Best general online writing courses
  • How much each course costs
  • Best genre courses for writing sci-fi, children’s books , memoirs
  • What free , high-quality courses Kindlepreneur offers
  • Best free online classes (in case you're on a tight budget)

Links in this article may give me a small commission if you use them to purchase products. There’s NO extra cost to you, and it helps me continue to write handy articles like this one. This does not detract from the quality of the courses; there's a reason I affiliate myself with them. It's because they're awesome!

If you’re specifically interested in self-publishing courses, check out my article on the Best Self Publishing Courses .

MasterClass is a massive archive of online courses providing training in specific subjects by titans of that particular industry. MasterClass features the biggest names in writing, such as Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, and Dan Brown. What course should I take to become a writer? MasterClass is the best use of your money as an online course to become a writer . Learn from the best. MasterClass courses are the best overall online writing courses because bestselling authors teach them. Plus, your monthly subscription fee gives you access to all of the fantastic MasterClass courses. The courses are self-paced, comprehensive, insightful, geared toward an “intermediate and above” student, and undeniably invaluable. How much does MasterClass cost? MasterClass costs $180/year ($15/month, billed annually). You can also pay $90 for a single class. They seldom offer discounts or coupon codes. MasterClasses features big-name authors, such as:

  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Joyce Carol Oates
  • James Patterson
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Margaret Atwood
  • David Sedaris
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • Aaron Sorkin (for screenwriting)

Which writing MasterClass is the best? I recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s writing MasterClass. It is the best course for finding the story you need to convey, instead of just telling the reader what to believe. Bonus: If you sign up for MasterClass, you not only gain access to incredible online writing courses, you can listen to all the MasterClass courses, like Gordon Ramsay talking about cooking, RuPaul talking about self-expression, and Hans Zimmer talking about film scoring. Check out my in-depth MasterClass review for more details.

The 100-Day Book Program by The Write Practice gives you a proven process to actually finish your books. Starting a book isn't all that tough. But finishing one — that's a different story. How many unfinished manuscripts are tucked away in desks and forgotten file folders? Although it’s easy to get distracted and difficult to get motivated, the 100-Day Book Program helps you stay on task and gives you the resources you need to finish that book. How much does the 100-Day Book Program cost?

  • $49/month for 12 months, OR
  • $490 as a one-time payment

It’s worth noting that you get a $100 incentive if you meet all your deadlines and finish your book by the end of the course, which (in 2023) runs from May to September. Utilizing over 100 daily lessons (video, audio, and written lessons), this course covers everything you'll need when putting together your story, including:

  • How to structure your novel or non-fiction book
  • Character development
  • World-building
  • Point of view
  • Tone and voice
  • Editing and revising

It's not just a technical course; it's also highly motivating. The Write Practice teaches you how to keep writing when writing gets hard, how to beat writer's block, and how to manage your time. If you've ever found yourself struggling to finish your book, you should try this course.

Writing With Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer is a perfect course for writers of all skill levels, but it's especially beginner-friendly. This course is taught by an ex-Wall Street Journal editor with one goal in mind: how to write with style, confidence, and impact. Over 240,000 students have enrolled in this course on Udemy by Shani Raja. He teaches you how to master 4 basic principles of writing:

  • Evocativeness

How much does Shani Raja’s Writing With Flair cost? This writing course costs $94.99, but Udemy often offers discounts, as you see in the screenshot above. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee. Buying the course gains you lifetime access to the 7 hours of on-demand video training. His basics form what he calls his “secret sauce” of writing. As stated above, this course is for writers of all types and skill levels. Even those learning to write English as a second language can form great writing habits with this course. This isn't the only writing course on Udemy. Check out my in-depth Udemy review for more course info.

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Children’s Book University by award-winning, bestselling author Eevi Jones takes a welcoming, comprehensive, and shrewd look at the children’s book self-publishing world. Not only does Jones guide you through the writing process for a children’s story, she even helps with the business side of things. I love reading with my kids, and that's only possible because of dedicated children's book authors like Eevi Jones. Writing a kid's book is more complicated than you would think. Often, books for kids are full of vibrant illustrations, creative fonts, and simple yet gripping storylines. Now imagine getting all of that ready to publish. It's a lot of work. There's a good chance beginners will get lost. That's why Jones’s course is so valuable. She carefully breaks down her process for you from start to finish. It's a critical resource for aspiring children's book writers. As an added bonus, you can go through her online writing classes at your own pace. According to Jones:

“I have interviewed more than 100 aspiring children’s book authors to ensure that this program covers and addresses every single burning question you may have.”

How much does Children’s Book University cost? This course costs $497, as long as you use Kindlepreneur’s link to enroll. This gains you immediate lifetime access. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Typically, Children’s Book University costs $997 — and it's worth every single penny. However, Eevi has given Kindlepreneur an amazing 50% discount on her program! This is a special deal that you can only get here. If you're looking to take your children's book writing to the next level, now's your best chance. Be sure to read Eevi Jones’s guest post on How To Write a Children’s Book , here on Kindlepreneur.

AMS Ads For Books is Kindlepreneur’s free course on how to sell more books with Amazon ads . (AMS stands for Amazon Marketing Services.) This robust course is free , on-demand, and easy to follow. Are you a writer wanting to sell more books on Amazon? Enroll today! Now, I'm not looking to boast here, but I honestly believe that my AMS Ads course is an absolute must if you plan to run ads on Amazon. AMS ads aren't very user-friendly. While they have the potential to send your book sales into the atmosphere, they can also eat up your advertising budget while you get them figured out. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. You just need to learn how to set up your ads, manage your campaigns, and make necessary adjustments. How much do Kindlepreneur’s courses for authors cost?

  • Kindlepreneur’s AMS Ads for Books course is free .
  • Kindlepreneur’s MailerLite for Authors Email course is free.
  • Kindlepreneur’s Mastering Keywords and Categories costs $49.99.

There’s no credit card required for either of the free courses and no hidden fees, ever. Check out my in-depth look at Amazon Ads for Authors if you’re still considering whether to take this free course. AMS campaigns aren't just set-it-and-forget-it. In my free course, I show you how using Publisher Rocket can help you construct your book’s best possible ad campaign. If you're looking to create an AMS ad campaign or even self-publish on Amazon, I highly recommend you head over and check out my course.

Memoirama is the brainchild of Marion Roach Smith — an author featured in The New York Times and on NPR and a professional memoir coach. Smith's approach to teaching memoirs has been likened to a precise mathematical formula. She literally teaches you her writing algorithm. Writing a memoir might seem like an easy undertaking at first. You lived through the facts. It can't be that difficult to write them down. Right? Wrong. Navigating these life events can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to fully explain to a reader. That’s where Marion Roach Smith comes in to ease your mind, guide you through the process, and equip you with the necessary tools to write a memoir. Unlike other click-through courses, Marion teaches her course live. Seats for her class are limited to 30 people. That way, everybody gets to ask questions at the end. How much does Memoirama cost? Memoirama costs $59. It is taught live mostly on Fridays, with a few Tuesdays thrown in for good measure. This is the first of a 4-part series for learning how to write memoirs. It's highly recommended that you take the courses to get the maximum effect. These courses are broken down into easily digestible parts — with the first only 90 minutes long. Whether you're a beginner to memoirs, need a refresher, or looking to have some fun learning, this course is the one for you.

Western Colorado University’s Publishing MA Program is one of the only comprehensive master’s degree programs in the US that offers hands-on experience in the publishing industry, (mostly) from the comfort of your own home. Let me preface this course by stating that it is not entirely held online. You get to spend two weeks in the gorgeous Colorado mountains for summer orientation. After that, you can complete the rest of the course online. Or in the picturesque Rockies, if you decide to move there — your call. Seriously, this is the best course for indie publishers available today. For the first 2 in-residence weeks, you'll go through an intensive training regimen on the basics of publishing. Once that's done, you'll be put to work. Literally. You'll work for a small commercial publishing company, getting paid pro rates to:

  • Develop a concept for an anthology
  • Solicit submissions
  • Read the slush pile and choose what gets published
  • Issue contracts
  • Edit the piece
  • Design and produce the book and book cover
  • Publish the book
  • Market the book

How much is WCU’s tuition? WCU’s tuition for graduate students is $17,371/year. Like most master’s degree programs, WCU’s Publishing MA Program is a 2-year program. Of course, you may qualify for student aid. Also, great news for any of you Sci-Fi guys and gals out there looking to take this course — it's taught by Kevin J Anderson, a legend in the Science Fiction genre with over 56 national and international bestsellers. This includes his work on Dune , the Star Wars canon, the Seven Suns series, and so much more. Anderson’s personal publishing company, WordFire Press, has released over 350 titles from 95 different authors.

Freedom Machine is a great tool for bloggers who want to make a living by guest posting . If I had to pick just one online course for bloggers, it's this one. Created by one of the world's best bloggers, Jon Morrow, this course is the real deal. I make all of my new hires take this course as part of their on-boarding process. This course covers blogging from start to finish — from how to choose the right opening line to pitching a guest post idea. Morrow really drives home some extraordinary fundamentals of blog writing and guest posting. He also provides you with his “little black book” of websites for guest posting, sites that meet his criteria as great places to guest post. At the end of the course, you get a certificate of completion that carries some weight as a blogging qualification. Morrow makes it abundantly clear that if you don’t put the time and effort into his course, you won't go anywhere with it. You need to buckle down and get motivated, as well as do your daily assignments and homework. This is not a course for quitters or those looking to breeze through nonchalantly. How much does Freedom Machine cost?

  • $99.45/month for 12 months, OR
  • $999/one-time payment

Freedom Machine’s content and resources are valued at $10,000. For all the value it provides, the company even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Free MailerLite Video Course

Learn how to setup and use your MailerLite account effectively to help sell more books.

Writers of the Future Online Workshop is an amazing course if you're a science-fiction writer or looking to become one. Mind you, this is an intermediate course, not necessarily for writers who are just starting out. How much Writers of the Future Online Workshop cost? This course is completely free. The course is 11 lessons long with 13 videos chock full of priceless information. You also gain access to personal essays from the workshop founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This online writing workshop features 3 top-notch teachers:

  • Orson Scott Card
  • David Farland

If you're a sci-fi fan, you've heard of at least one of those names, if not all 3. They're legends in the sci-fi community. This is like the ultimate masterclass for science fiction. One of the coolest parts of this course is its associated contest. The Writers of the Future contest is open to beginning writers only — meaning you can't have published more than 3 short stories or any novels or novellas. By the end of the course, you'll have already written your submission. And since this course is free (along with the contest entry), you may actually win $5,000 just by learning and participating.

A Fearless Way to Write Novels is taught by award-winning, 7-time New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre. She uses her experience to teach simple, step-by-step methods to write a great novel. Novel writing is a lot more than simply throwing a story on paper. There’s social media, equipment, software, idea generation, outlining, writing scenes, cliffhangers, copyrights, book blurbs, book descriptions, etc. It can get overwhelming if you don’t have an experienced guide. What I love about Torre’s course is the breadth of topics she covers. From generating story ideas to perfectly typing up a book’s conclusion, this course covers it all with over 75 video lessons. Besides step-by-step lessons, there are also practical writing assignments and bonus content interviews with other bestselling authors. Course lessons include:

  • Finding Your Story
  • Developing Your Idea
  • How to Actually Write
  • Your First Chapter
  • Rewrites and Final Steps

How much does A Fearless Way to Write Novels cost? This course costs $297, or 3 monthly payments of $100. You gain immediate, unlimited, lifetime access, including future updates, at no extra charge. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sometimes the best things in life are free. When it comes to the best online writing courses, free does not have to mean bad. Here are a few free online writing courses you can consider:

  • Coursera : Founded by Stanford professors, Coursera offers many free creative writing classes, such as creative nonfiction, on top of many other subjects. These free video lectures and online assignments are on-demand at your leisure. Just search “free writing” at the link.
  • The Crafty Writer's Creative Writing Course : This course is for anyone interested in creative writing. Discover your personal writing style and how you can use it to build vivid worlds . This course even touches on the basics of publishing and marketing.
  • Brandon Sanderson’s lectures : Much revered in the writing community , Brandon Sanderson has made some of his lectures free-to-view on YouTube . They cover sci-fi writing, worldbuilding, and even a little bit of publishing.
  • The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction : Offered by Reedsy’s Azul Terronez, this 10-day email course gives you the lowdown on high-quality non-fiction writing. He teaches you how to avoid writer's block, hit word count goals, and stay focused while writing.
  • Start Writing Fiction : This free class teaches you everything you need to know about the basics of fiction writing, including journal keeping, plot development, and dialogue. Over 350,000 people have joined this 8-week course. Once 8 weeks pass, you lose access to the lecture materials. However, you can upgrade for $64 to keep the course material for future reference.
  • Arizona State University's Introduction to English Composition : Great for all skill levels, this class is about building the fundamentals of writing. Although this course is free, you can pay an extra $499 to get a verified certification. But the course alone is just fine for most.
  • Finally, check out my Book Marketing Show Podcast , mainly covering — you guessed it — book marketing . It’s free, fun, and informative (if I do say so myself!).

What’s your favorite online writing course?

Let me know what your favorite online writing courses are. Did I miss any excellent ones? Remember, these courses aren't just for those who don't know how to write. Don't be afraid to go out there and expand your knowledge base, no matter how much experience you have. I believe my breakdown of the best online writing courses will guide you to make the best decision for your individual situation. What's the best online writing course you've ever personally taken? Was it cheating to list all MasterClass courses under one umbrella? Let me know down in the comments below. I keep up with comments long after posts are published.

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

Related Reviews

Autocrit review for 2024: read this before purchasing, the best writing apps (for mobile) every writer needs to use in 2024, plottr review [2024]: best plotting software, sell more books on amazon, how to title a book checklist.

Titling your book can be hard…really hard. As you go through choosing your book title, use this checklist as your guide and make sure you have a title that will sell!

6 thoughts on “ 16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2024 [Free & Paid] ”

What about academic graduate writing courses online?

Haven’t come across one yet. But if you do, let me know.

Thanks Dave … the Marion Roach Smith Webinar was AMAZING. Packed full of information, tips, and advice about getting a memoir off the ground. Thanks for hosting .. and I hope all went well with getting your daughter from college …. crazy times indeed!

You bet…and no kidding!

Hi, I am going through Holly Lisle`s writing classes – in particular her How To Write A Novel class – at the moment and I am finding that she is one of the most thorough teachers in writing craft that I have found on-line. She is a published author with around 30 books and has moved from traditional publishing in the 1980`s/1990`s through to self-publishing today. She has many paid short courses for a small price and also much larger classes. She offers a short (3 week) flash fiction class for free called “How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” so you can test out whether her teaching style suits you and learn new skills at the same time. As a satisfied student I highly recommend her courses to anyone wanting to learn writing craft. Cheers Fae

Yes, my sister took Holly`s class and said it was tremendous. If you get a chance to take a dialogue class from Kristen Higgans, that is all you need for dialogue.

Comments are closed.

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RBE | Short Stories | 2023-02

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Creative Writing Prompts

When the idea to start a weekly newsletter with writing inspiration first came to us, we decided that we wanted to do more than provide people with topics to write about. We wanted to try and help authors form a regular writing habit and also give them a place to proudly display their work. So we started the weekly Creative Writing Prompts newsletter. Since then, Prompts has grown to a community of more than 450,000 authors, complete with its own literary magazine, Prompted .  

Here's how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted on our Reedsy Prompts page.

Interested in participating in our short story contest? Sign up here for more information! Or you can check out our full Terms of Use and our FAQ page .

Why we love creative writing prompts

If you've ever sat in front of a computer or notebook and felt the urge to start creating worlds, characters, and storylines — all the while finding yourself unable to do so — then you've met the author's age-old foe: writer's block. There's nothing more frustrating than finding the time but not the words to be creative. Enter our directory! If you're ready to kick writer's block to the curb and finally get started on your short story or novel, these unique story ideas might just be your ticket.

This list of 1800+ creative writing prompts has been created by the Reedsy team to help you develop a rock-solid writing routine. As all aspiring authors know, this is the #1 challenge — and solution! — for reaching your literary goals. Feel free to filter through different genres, which include...

Dramatic — If you want to make people laugh and cry within the same story, this might be your genre.

Funny — Whether satire or slapstick, this is an opportunity to write with your funny bone.

Romance — One of the most popular commercial genres out there. Check out these story ideas out if you love writing about love.

Fantasy — The beauty of this genre is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Dystopian – Explore the shadowy side of human nature and contemporary technology in dark speculative fiction.

Mystery — From whodunnits to cozy mysteries, it's time to bring out your inner detective.

Thriller and Suspense — There's nothing like a page-turner that elicits a gasp of surprise at the end.

High School — Encourage teens to let their imaginations run free.

Want to submit your own story ideas to help inspire fellow writers? Send them to us here.

After you find the perfect story idea

Finding inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. Next, you need to refine your craft skills — and then display them to the world. We've worked hard to create resources that help you do just that! Check them out:

  • How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
  • Best Literary Magazines of 2023 — a directory of 100+ reputable magazines that accept unsolicited submissions.
  • Writing Contests in 2023 — the finest contests of 2021 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays, and more.

Beyond creative writing prompts: how to build a writing routine

While writing prompts are a great tactic to spark your creative sessions, a writer generally needs a couple more tools in their toolbelt when it comes to developing a rock-solid writing routine . To that end, here are a few more additional tips for incorporating your craft into your everyday life.

  • NNWT. Or, as book coach Kevin Johns calls it , “Non-Negotiable Writing Time.” This time should be scheduled into your routine, whether that’s once a day or once a week. Treat it as a serious commitment, and don’t schedule anything else during your NNWT unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Set word count goals. And make them realistic! Don’t start out with lofty goals you’re unlikely to achieve. Give some thought to how many words you think you can write a week, and start there. If you find you’re hitting your weekly or daily goals easily, keep upping the stakes as your craft time becomes more ingrained in your routine.
  • Talk to friends and family about the project you’re working on. Doing so means that those close to you are likely to check in about the status of your piece — which in turn keeps you more accountable.

Arm yourself against writer’s block. Writer’s block will inevitably come, no matter how much story ideas initially inspire you. So it’s best to be prepared with tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track before the block hits. You can find 20 solid tips here — including how to establish a relationship with your inner critic and apps that can help you defeat procrastination or lack of motivation.

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Start writing fiction

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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.

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After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction
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  • discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.

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ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini: Which is the best AI chatbot?

maria-diaz

Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed how we work and play  in recent months, giving almost anyone the ability to write code , create art , and even make investments . 

Special Feature

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The Rise of Generative AI

A new wave of AI tools has taken the world by storm and given us a vision for a new way of working and finding the information that can streamline our work and our lives. We show you the ways tools like ChatGPT and other generational AI software are making impacts on the world, how to harness their power, as well as potential risks.

For professional and hobbyist users alike, generative AI tools, such as  ChatGPT , offer advanced capabilities to create decent-quality content from a simple prompt given by the user. 

Keeping up with all the latest AI tools can get confusing, especially as Microsoft added  GPT-4 to Bing  and renamed it to Copilot,  OpenAI added new capabilities to ChatGPT , and Bard got plugged into the Google ecosystem  and rebranded to Gemini.

Also: Microsoft Copilot Pro vs. OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus: Which is worth your $20 a month?

Knowing which of the three most popular AI chatbots is best to write code , generate text , or help build resumes is challenging, so we'll break down the biggest differences so you can choose one that fits your needs. 

Testing ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini

To help determine which AI chatbot gives more accurate answers, I'm going to use a simple prompt to compare the three: 

"I have 5 oranges today, I ate 3 oranges last week. How many oranges do I have left?"

The answer should be five, as the number of oranges I ate last week doesn't affect the number of oranges I have today, which is what we're asking the three bots. First up, ChatGPT.

You should use ChatGPT if...

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1. You want to try the most popular AI chatbot

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI and released for a widespread preview in November 2022. Since then, the AI chatbot quickly gained over 100 million users, with the website alone seeing 1.8 billion visitors a month. It's been at the center of controversies , especially as people uncover its potential to do schoolwork and replace some workers.

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The free version of ChatGPT, which runs on the default GPT-3.5 model, gave the wrong answer to our question.

I've been testing ChatGPT almost daily since its release. Its user interface has remained simple, but minor changes have improved it greatly, like the addition of a copy button, an edit option, Custom Instructions , and easy access to your account. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT

Though ChatGPT has proven itself as a valuable AI tool, it can be prone to misinformation . Like other large language models (LLMs), GPT-3.5 is imperfect, as it is trained on human-created data up to January 2022. It also often fails to comprehend nuances, like it did with our math question example, which it answered incorrectly by saying we have two oranges left when it should be five. 

2. You're willing to pay extra for an upgrade

OpenAI lets users access ChatGPT -- powered by the GPT-3.5 model -- for free with a registered account. But if you're willing to pay for the Plus version, you can access GPT-4 and many more features for $20 per month.

Also: How to write better ChatGPT prompts for the best generative AI results

GPT-4 is the largest LLM available for use when compared to all other AI chatbots and is trained with data up to April 2023 and can also access the internet, powered by Microsoft Bing. GPT-4 is said to have over 100 trillion parameters; GPT-3.5 has 175 billion parameters. More parameters essentially mean that the model is trained on more data, which makes it more likely to answer questions accurately and less prone to hallucinations.

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ChatGPT Plus, which runs using the GPT-4 model, did answer the question correctly. 

As an example, you can see the GPT-4 model, available through a ChatGPT Plus subscription , answered the math question correctly, as it understood the full context of the problem from beginning to end.

Also: I tried Microsoft Copilot's new AI image-generating feature, and it solves a real problem

Next up, let's consider Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing chat) , which is a great way to access GPT-4 for free, as it's integrated into its new Bing format. 

You should use Microsoft Copilot if...

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1. You want more up-to-date information

In contrast to the free version of ChatGPT, which is limited to being an AI tool that generates text in a conversational style with information leading up to early 2022, Copilot can access the internet to deliver more current information, complete with links for sources. 

Also: How to use Copilot (formerly called Bing Chat)

There are other benefits, too. Copilot is powered by GPT-4, OpenAI's LLM, and it's completely free to use. Unfortunately, you are limited to five responses on a single conversation, and can only enter up to 2,000 characters in each prompt. 

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Copilot's Precise conversation style answered the question accurately, though other styles fumbled.

Copilot's user interface isn't as straightforward as that of ChatGPT, but it's easy to navigate. Though Bing Chat can access the internet to give you more up-to-date results compared to ChatGPT, I've found it is more prone to stall at replying and altogether miss prompts than its competitor. 

2. You prefer more visual features

Through a series of upgrades to its platform, Microsoft added visual features to Copilot, formerly Bing Chat. At this point, you can ask Copilot questions like, 'What is a Tasmanian devil?' and get an information card in response, complete with photos, lifespan, diet, and more for a more scannable result that is easier to digest than a wall of text. 

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All about the Tasmanian devil on Microsoft Copilot.

When you use Copilot, you can also ask it to create an image for you. Give Copilot the description of what you want the image to look like, and have the chatbot generate four images for you to choose from. 

Also: How to use Image Creator from Microsoft Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator)

Microsoft Copilot also features different conversational styles when you interact with the chatbot, including Creative, Balanced, and Precise, which alter how light or straightforward the interactions are. 

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Both the Balanced and Creative conversation styles in Microsoft Copilot answered my question inaccurately.

Finally, let's turn to Google's Gemini, formerly known as Bard, which uses a different LLM and has received some considerable upgrades in the past few months.

You should use Gemini if...

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1. You want a fast, almost unlimited experience

In my time testing different AI chatbots, I saw  Google Bard catch a lot of flack for different shortcomings . While I'm not going to say they're unjustified, I will say that Google's AI chatbot, now named Gemini, has improved greatly, inside and out.

Also: How to use Gemini (formerly Google Bard): Everything you should know

Gemini is speedy with its answers, which have gotten more accurate over time. It's not faster than ChatGPT Plus, but it can be faster at giving responses than Copilot at times and faster than the free GPT-3.5 version of ChatGPT, though your mileage may vary. 

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Gemini answered accurately, like GPT-4 and Copilot's Precise conversation style.

The previous Bard used to make the same mistake as other bots on my example math problem, by incorrectly using the 5 - 3 = 2 formula, but Gemini, powered by Google's new Gemini Pro, the company's largest and latest LLM. Now, Gemini answers the question accurately.

Also: Apple's new AI model edits photos according to text prompts from users

Gemini is also not limited to a set amount of responses like Microsoft Copilot is. You can have long conversations with Google's Gemini, but Bing is limited to 30 replies in one conversation. Even ChatGPT Plus limits users to 40 messages every three hours. 

2. You want the full Google experience

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Google also incorporated more visual elements into its Gemini platform than those currently available on Copilot. Users can also use Gemini to generate images, can upload photos through an integration with Google Lens , and enjoy Kayak, OpenTable, Instacart, and Wolfram Alpha plugins.

Also: 6 AI tools to supercharge your work and everyday life

But Gemini is slowly becoming a full Google experience thanks to Extensions folding the wide range of Google applications into Gemini. Gemini users can add extensions for Google Workspace, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Flights, and Google Hotels, giving them a more personalized and extensive experience.

Artificial Intelligence

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ChatGPT vs. Copilot: Which AI chatbot is better for you?

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Google reportedly rebranding Bard to Gemini, adding 'Advanced' subscription service

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How ChatGPT (and other AI chatbots) can help you write an essay

IMAGES

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    7 free online creative writing courses that you can enrol in right now Quarantined and trying to be more productive? Tap into your creative mind and enhance your writing skills with these virtual courses By Megha Sharma 26 April 2020 Luis Monteiro

  11. Creative Writing Specialization [5 courses] (Wesleyan)

    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.

  12. Comprehensive Guide to Creative Writing

    Master the craft of storytelling to find your voice and become a creative writer with this free online course. Do you enjoy writing but find it difficult to structure your ideas into a compelling piece? This course takes you through the fundamental concepts and practices that separate creative and technical writing.

  13. Online Courses: Creative Writing

    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.

  14. Free online English Literature / Creative Writing courses

    Updated Friday, 23 April 2021 Discover these free English Literature and Creative Writing courses on OpenLearn. Creative writing and... This free course, Creative writing and critical reading... Learn more to access more details of Creative writing and critical reading Free course 8 hours Level: 3 Advanced Writing what you know

  15. 10 Free Creative Writing Courses Online with a Certificate

    What are the free online creative writing courses at Harvard? Harvard University only offers 1 free online creative writing course. This is called the 'Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking'. This is an introductory course that requires the student to dedicate 2 - 3 hours per week. The course audit is free.

  16. 70+ Creative Writing Online Courses for 2024

    Skillshare. 33 minutes. On-Demand. Free Trial Available. Load the next 15 courses of 57. Best online courses in Creative Writing from The Open University, Wesleyan University, University of Newcastle, Manchester Metropolitan University and other top universities around the world.

  17. 16 Best Online Courses for Writers in 2024 [Free & Paid]

    Best Free Online Writing Courses of 2023. Sometimes the best things in life are free. When it comes to the best online writing courses, free does not have to mean bad. ... Coursera offers many free creative writing classes, such as creative nonfiction, on top of many other subjects. These free video lectures and online assignments are on-demand ...

  18. Free Online Creative Writing Courses

    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 ...

  19. DeepL Write: AI-powered writing companion

    Type or paste text to see ideas for improvement. Click any word for alternatives or to rephrase a sentence. Improve your writing in just one click with DeepL Write beta. Fix grammar and punctuation mistakes. Choose your tone of voice. Be creative and rephrase entire sentences. Express nuances through Write suggestions.

  20. 1800+ Creative Writing Prompts To Inspire You Right Now

    1800+ Creative Writing Prompts To Inspire You Right Now WEEKLY WRITING PROMPTS Join (probably?) the world's largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts. Sign up Sign in with Google Facebook Showing 2074 prompts Write a story about two people falling in love via email. LIVE - Valentine's Day

  21. Free Writing Courses

    On FutureLearn, you'll find a wide variety of learning methods. When it comes to writing, you'll find a selection of writing courses, as well as online degree options. Courses give you a shorter learning experience, typically lasting a few weeks. With a degree, you can take a far deeper examination of the key principles and learning areas.

  22. Writing

    Writing.Com is the online community for writers of all interests. Established in 2000, our community breeds Writing, Writers and Poetry through Creative Writing Help, Online Creative Writing Portfolios, Poetry, Writers' Tools and more.

  23. Start writing fiction

    This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genre s for fiction. Course learning outcomes

  24. Prime Video: Miller's Girl

    A precocious young writer becomes involved with her high school creative writing teacher. IMDb 5.5 1 h 33 min 2024. X-Ray HDR UHD R. Comedy ...

  25. ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini: Which is the best AI ...

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