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Online Writing Courses


There are many classes offered online, some with college credit, some without. They range in price accordingly. Some are from Universities and others are from professionals who want to share their passion for the subject.

1.EdX is a site that offers online college courses from a multitude of sources. 

How to Write a Novel: Writing the Draft, University of British Columbia, Whether you’re beginning your novel draft or nearing the end, this course is a unique opportunity to learn the essentials of strong fiction writing from award-winning authors sharing their proven methods and approaches. Cost is $295.

How to Write a Novel: Structure and Outline, In the tradition of the UBC MFA program, this course draws on the work habits of established authors to help writers move quickly toward creating a blueprint for a successful draft. Cost is $295.

English Grammar and Style covers grammatical principles, word usage, writing style, sentence and paragraph structure, and punctuation. Cost is $99.

2. Coursera is another source for online courses priced from $29-$99.

Grammar and Punctuation University of California, Irvine refresher on some tools needed for good writing.   

Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot 

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest

Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description 

Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) 

3. MIT Online offers a variety of online courses by publishing the course materials of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. Here is a brief list of some of the writing related courses.

Course #21W.759 Writing Science Fiction (Spring 2016) Undergraduate Level

Course # 15.269 Leadership Stories: Literature, Ethics, and Authority (Fall 2015)
Graduate level

Course #21A.270 Anthropology Through Speculative Fiction (Fall 2009)
Undergraduate level

Course #21G.010 Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction (Fall 2006)
Undergraduate level

Course #21L.003 Introduction to Fiction (Spring 2002) Undergraduate level

Course # 21L.021 Comedy (Spring 2016) Undergraduate level

Course #21L.310 Bestsellers: Detective Fiction (Fall 2006) Undergraduate level

Course #21L.430vPopular Culture and Narrative: Use and Abuse of the Fairy Tale (Fall 2015) Level

Course #21W.742J Writing About Race: Narratives of Multiraciality (Fall 2008)

Undergraduate level

Course #21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories (Spring 2012) Undergraduate Level

Course #21W.758 Genre Fiction Workshop: Fantasy (Fall 2016) Undergraduate Level

Course #21W.758 Genre Fiction Workshop (Spring 2013) Undergraduate Level

4. Stanford University also offers online courses at a cost of $330 per course. Whether you’re just beginning to write or putting the finishing touches on your first novel, our on-campus and online writing courses offer expert instruction, individual attention, and supportive feedback at all levels, in all genres of creative writing.

Fiction Writing Fundamentals: Discovering and Working with Your Best Material

Eavesdropping: Using Overheard Dialogue in Fiction

Fiction Writing The elements of fiction writing: narration, description, and dialogue. Students write complete stories and participate in story workshops.

Creative Writing Beginner

Creative Writing Intermediate

5. Writer's Digest offers online courses to improve your craft in the $400-$600 range.

12 weeks to a Rough Draft

Character Development: Creating Memorable Characters

Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

Advanced Novel Writing

Storytelling: Story Mapping and Pacing

Fundamentals of Fiction

6. Gotham Workshop classes offer the same quality of instruction as our NYC classes, and, as much as possible, our Online classes replicate the experience of being together in a classroom with a teacher and fellow students.

 Fiction Writing I (10-week Workshop)


Screenwriting I (10-week Workshop)

Article Writing I (10-week Workshop)

Creative Writing 101 (6-week Class)

Hit Send: Publishing Short Nonfiction (Selling Seminar)

7. Stratford Career Institute offers online courses in the $600 to $800 range.


Creative Writing  Learn to create stories and characters that are as real on paper as they are in the mind. Provide settings and create plots that will entice and inspire readers. 

Stratford's in-depth curriculum covers everything from writing structure to character development and self-editing. This thorough and fun program can help you learn fundamental writing technique to spark your best stories yet. 

8. The Writers Workshop offers online classes for $500 each in addition to their regional writing workshops. Classes include: Introduction to Fiction Writing, Intermediate Fiction Writing, Advanced Fiction Writing, and Intermediate Novel Writing.

9. The University of North Carolina offers online continuing education courses for credits:  English Comp, English Comp & Grammar, Introduction to Fiction Writing, Intermediate Fiction Writing, and Advanced Fiction Writing. 

10. Skillshare gathers people who provide video courses to help others.

Writing Standout Opening Scenes

How to Write Short Stories

Write Your First Horror Story

It would be remiss to not add my Story Building Blocks series of books which can take you from "I have an idea" to a carefully cast, soundly constructed novel, and richly drawn story world your readers won't forget. All are available in print and ebook through Amazon. There are also free worksheets and materials on my website and a great deal of information in past posts on this blog.

Story Building Blocks I
has been called a "mini-MFA" course. Helps you decide what promise you wish to make to your reader and how to keep it by structuring your story in ways that meet their expectations based on genres. The fourteen Build A Plot Workbooks offer a fill-in-the-blanks road map for your story.


Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict: Faulty logic and missing motive are plot holes that cause reader disconnect. In Story Building Blocks II, we explore obstacles and responses at scene and overall story level. We find out how your characters navigate the world, who they love and hate, and why they behave and misbehave. The Build A Cast Workbook utilizes the same prototypes to help you create the perfect cast.

Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers helps you eliminate speed bumps and plot holes and present the cleanest manuscript possible whether you submit it to an agent or publisher or go the self-publishing route.

Next week, we take a look at how to name your characters.


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