The Best Free Online Writing Courses for Creative Writers, Fiction, and Nonfiction
by Tom Corson-Knowles | 63 comments
All of us want to improve our writing skills, hone our craft, and get ahead in our writing careers.
Not all of us can go back to school and get our MFA in writing—heck, not all of us want to!
Thankfully, the internet makes it possible to take great online writing courses for free (no matter where you live, what your circumstances, or your budget).
Taking a writing course online can help you polish your writing to be the best it can be—a critical step before either self-publishing or submitting your manuscript to publishers .
Through these free writing courses, you’ll gain practical tips and strategies to help you improve your writing—both for your current manuscript and for future projects.
Free Online Writing Courses
The more you learn and practice, the easier writing will become and the better your books will be. And that’s key to attracting and growing a devoted audience and becoming a full-time author !
How to Choose an Online Writing Course
You’ll want to choose a course that meets your needs, which means you need to know your needs first.
Identify Your Goals
When picking a course, ask yourself what specific areas you’re looking to improve:
- Do you want to pick up basic writing skills, like improving your grammar?
- Do you want to learn more about how to create gripping plots?
- Do you want to learn to create realistic, vivid characters?
- Do you want to learn how to add value to your nonfiction writing?
- Do you want to turn your life experiences into a book that has meaning for a broad audience?
- Do you want to learn how to earn a living off a specific kind of writing?
- Do you want to dive deep into a specific area of craft, like dialogue construction?
All of these goals—and many more—make good reasons to choose an online writing course!
Set Your Course Budget
Next, you’ll want to ask yourself what you’re willing to commit to a course, both in terms of time and money. There are some great free courses out there, as well as other courses that charge a fee. You might consider starting with a free class to make sure that you can handle the online learning format, then stepping up to a more advanced paid class later.
Pick a Commitment Level
Any course or class, no matter whether it’s online or not, requires dedication to actually make a difference in your life. You’ll need to be ready to listen to lectures, read papers and presentations, follow through on assignments, and engage with your classmates.
Some online courses are completely self-paced, which means you work through the material on your own, taking as long as you like. This is great for people with busy lives, jobs, and family commitments—but it also means you have to take responsibility for structuring your time and doing the work.
Other courses have weekly assignments, sometimes even monitored or graded by an instructor, along with class chat sessions, feedback opportunities, and other ways to have a full classroom experience without actually going to a university.
These types of courses are less flexible, as they often require you to log in at certain times, and they demand that you do your work on time! But they also offer a lot of benefits in terms of helping you manage your time and devote energy to improving your writing and to working with other writers to start forming a community.
Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking to learn, what you’re willing to commit (in terms of time, energy, dedication, and money), and how you think you’ll learn best, you can get started with your writing course!
Of course, you might not be quite ready to take the plunge into paying for an online writing class just yet. Will you be able to keep up with the assignments? How do online lectures work, anyway?
To help you get started in the world of online learning, we’ve rounded up some of the best free online writing courses out there, regardless of your focus: creative writing, fiction, and nonfiction.
Ready to find the right course for you? Let’s check them out!
Free Creative Writing Courses
Creative writing courses are amazing because they can be applied to just about anything you want to write, from memoirs to novels…even nonfiction!
These classes teach you the basic skills you need to write fluidly, fluently, and with style—essential no matter what your genre or field.
More advanced classes help you find your writing voice, learn the secrets of creating an author brand and ecosystem, and improve your technique.
English Composition Class
About the Course
In order to be a great writer, you have to have solid basic writing skills!
Arizona State University’s Introduction to English Composition class will help you master the basics so that you can improve every aspect of your writing, no matter what your focus is.
Over the eight-week intensive course, you’ll learn a variety of useful skills that can serve as the building blocks of your future writing career, helping you gain mastery over the English language and learn to write in a way that others respect and admire.
You’ll be asked to complete several writing assignments, as well as writing a reflection piece on each of them. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage with other learners and get feedback on your work as you develop your skills.
In this course, you’ll learn:
- How to target your writing to your audience’s needs
- How to think critically about reading and writing
- How to use style conventions and techniques to improve your writing
- How to use technology to write more effectively and efficiently
- How to unlock your creativity
- How to develop good writing habits
This is really a class on building the fundamental skills you’ll need to be a successful professional writer—it’s a fantastic resource for anyone, no matter where they are in their writing journey.
Adam Pacton holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition and is a lecturer on creative writing, English, and composition techniques at Arizona State University.
Free! You can also pay $499 to add a “verified certificate” if you want to show the course as a credential on a resume or to an employer, but most writers will do great with the free version.
The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course
The Crafty Writer is a service started by fiction author Fiona Veitch Smith to help teach aspiring and current writers how to master their craft and publish better books that get better results in the market.
As part of that mission, they’ve developed The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course , a self-paced introduction to creative writing. The class walks you through the basics of becoming a dedicated creative writer, including looks at several different styles and genres.
- How to uncover your personal writing style and voice
- The basics of writing a short story
- How to choose an effective point of view
- How to use vivid imagery to bring your ideas to life
- How to find and use writers’ groups, competitions, and communities of writers
- The basics of publishing and marketing your work
There are set assignments and tasks to complete, but you don’t need to attend any live chats or sessions. There’s no individual feedback from instructors or coaches, and you won’t get feedback from other people taking the class, but you’re encouraged to ask questions if there’s anything you’re struggling with. Mostly, you’re given the tools and resources to begin finding and building your own community of support and to assess and revise your own work.
If you’ve always wanted to dip a toe into the writing world, but weren’t quite sure where to begin, this could be the ideal online option for you!
Fiona Veitch Smith is a prolific author whose work includes several novels, a biography, a children’s book series, and more than 100 articles published in magazines as diverse as Sports Illustrated and Plain Truth , where she is the New Writing editor. She holds BA and MA degrees in writing and is pursuing her PhD while also teaching creative writing both online and off.
Free! The class suggests recommended reading that you can buy or borrow from your library.
DIY MFA Writing Class
DIY MFA does exactly what it promises—it helps you learn the skills taught in a formal MFA program at home on your own!
The course walks you through the three major areas that big-name master’s programs focus on: writing, reading, and building a community of fellow authors, mentors, and devoted readers.
Along the way, you learn how to select and read books that can help you improve your own writing, whether because they act as source material, give you an idea of the state of your genre, or help you broaden your horizons and learn from great writers.
You’ll also get practical tips for writing better, including strategies for outlining, hints for how to pace the flow of your book, and ideas for creating memorable phrases in both fiction and nonfiction that will hook your reader instantly.
Founder Gabriela Pereira created DIY MFA after she graduated with her master’s in writing and saw all the other writers struggling to feel like pros without that experience…and realized that she still didn’t feel quite like a pro even with it! Gabriela teaches at conferences and online, and she’s helped hundreds of writers get the MFA experience without having to go to an expensive school.
Free! Just sign up at https://diymfa.com/join to get the free starter pack and begin your online MFA journey. You can also check out great tips and tricks on the site’s blog for more in-depth looks into how to improve your writing starting today.
Free Fiction Writing Classes
If you’ve already started on your career as a novelist and are looking to take your skills to the next level, a fiction-specific writing course might be best for you!
Start Writing Fiction
Looking to start your career as a novelist the right way? This may be the class for you!
Offered through The Open University, a world leader in distance learning, Start Writing Fiction takes you from zero to novelist in eight weeks.
You’ll listen to lectures from renowned novelists, develop your skills through writing prompts and assignments, and get personalized feedback from your classmates and instructor during the class.
- How and why to keep a writing journal
- How to write better dialogue
- How to do better research
- How to structure a plot
- Why reading matters as a writer
- How to self-edit your work
The course is taught by Dr. Derek Neale , an award-winning short story author and novelist whose works include The Book of Guardians . Dr. Neale is the Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University and splits his time between teaching, supervising PhD students, developing new courses, and working on his own fiction projects.
Free! However, you can pay a small fee (£39, or about $50) to upgrade to a version of the course that gives you unlimited access to the lectures and materials after the eight-week session ends.
How to Write a Novel
Ready to write your first novel? Consider taking this class first!
How to Write a Novel will give you the tools you need to actually finish that first draft—and go on to revise it and publish it successfully!
- How to keep track of your fiction ideas
- How (and why) to outline your novel
- Basic worldbuilding techniques
- Character development tips and tricks
- How to create a daily writing habit
By the end of the 10 daily lessons, you’ll be ready to roll with your first novel, crafting worlds and characters that set the stage for your career as a successful fiction author.
Ben Galley is a bestselling fantasy author and self-publishing consultant who helps authors create amazing stories and then sell their books around the world.
Free! Just sign up with your email to start the 10-day class.
How to Craft a Killer Short Story
Whether you’re an established fiction author or just getting started, short stories are a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal as a writer. But they involve some very different skills than writing longer fiction.
That’s where How to Craft a Killer Short Story comes in!
This 10-day email course will show you what you need to know in order to create tight, gripping stories, like:
- How to pick a great short story topic
- How to trim the fat from your writing
- How to edit short stories
- How to sell your stories to literary journals, anthologies, and magazines
Follow along every day and within two weeks, you’ll be ready to tackle the short story in all its glory!
Laura Mae Isaacman is a full-time editor; she’s worked with major authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, T.C. Boyle and Noam Chomsky. She has also lectured on the topics of writing and publishing and is the co-founder of Tweed’s Magazine of Literature & Art.
Free Nonfiction Writing Courses
Ready to hone your skills at turning real-life information, tips, techniques, and situations into enthralling prose that changes your readers’ lives?
Take one of these free nonfiction writing courses!
The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Nonfiction
Writing nonfiction can be very rewarding, but it doesn’t necessarily have the same glow around it as being a novelist.
Still, the skills you’ll learn as a nonfiction author can help you no matter what you write or what you want to do with your career.
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:
- How to get started on your book
- How to do targeted market research
- Tools and strategies to maximize your productivity
- Tips for outlining
By the end of the class, you’ll have a toolbox to help you write and publish your first nonfiction book!
Publishing coach Azul Terronez is the founder of Author’s Writing Academy and has helped dozens of authors make their books a reality. He has also coached seasoned writers like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, and Dana Malstaff of Boss-Mom.com.
Free! Just sign up with your email.
Writing What You Know
Writing a nonfiction book is all about translating the real world to the page, bringing readers with you as you explore a topic, event, or strategy.
Writing What You Know is an amazing introduction to the power of words to translate your experience to something that other people can learn and grow from.
This eight-hour course covers topics including:
- Using life experiences in your writing
- Creating vivid imagery
- Constructing and pacing scenes
- Using memories to structure narrative
- Turning the everyday into the memorable
By the end of the class, you’ll be able to craft engaging narratives capable of transporting your readers to another time, place, or situation—using the power of what you observe every day.
The Open University doesn’t reveal who developed its courses, but their content is on par with the best massively open online courses (MOOCs) in the world. You’ll learn techniques and skills that bestselling nonfiction authors have used to advance their careers and be able to quickly start improving your own writing.
Free! You can even download the course materials in the format of your choice to refer to later.
How to Write a Business Book
If you’ve ever wanted to write a business book, share your journey as an entrepreneur, or help others make money doing what they love, then How to Write a Business Book may be the class you’re looking for!
This 10-day email course will teach you the fundamentals of business writing, including how to make sure that your book resonates with your audience and helps add value to their business or life. This course will help you make your book more than just a business card—it will help you write in a way that changes your readers lives while enhancing your own career. Topics covered during the class include:
- Important questions to ask before writing your book
- How to outline and structure
- How to set manageable goals
- How to build your audience
Alison Jones is a publishing partner for businesses and organizations. She provides executive coaching, consultancy, and training services to publishers and regularly speaks and blogs on the publishing industry.
Start Taking Free Online Writing Courses
No matter where you are on your writing journey, there’s always something new to learn. That’s the great thing about this path—we can learn, grow, and stretch ourselves in new and different ways every day!
One or more of the online writing courses we’ve covered here is sure to help you develop your skills and move to the next level as a writer, regardless of what genre you’re focused on or what your goals are.
Pick a class or two, sign up, and try it out! Apply the new techniques and strategies you’ve learned to your next writing project and see what a difference practice and development can make for you.
Then pick another class and keep on going!
Want to learn more about honing your craft as a writer? Check out these great resources:
- How to Write a Nonfiction Book
- How to Write Better Fiction and Become a Great Novelist
- 11 Writing Tips for Improving Readability and Communicating Better
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.
How to join the free English learning course I have not found any link
I want to develop my email writing skill. Do you have any better solution?
Hi Mirko, we actually have a few posts on how to write an email , but you might also find these business writing courses helpful for writing emails too.
I’m trying to find a class to help me with a book I’m trying to write, but I’m a minor and it’s hard to find one that interests me but I can understand and works around my schoolwork. What would you recommend?
Hi Sierra, have you checked out any of these free courses? They’re online, so you should be able to do them in your free time/around your school work.
I think I will try Start Writing Fiction. Thank you for these great courses!
That’s great, Sierra! I hope you enjoy the courses :)
Thank you very much for providing valuable courses. I will surely pick one of my kind to get in the world of writing.
We’re glad you found it helpful Robin. Best of luck to you!
This article is very helpful for me, thank you so much for sharing this information. And here is also some important information so go here and check.
Glad you found this article helpful! And thanks for sharing the information!
Hi, Kaelyn: Lots of interesting classes here. That many are free is quite a treat.
I’m interested in learning more about creative non-fiction. I write pretty decent memoir and essays, but it’s time to dig deeper.
Would you please steer me on this.
I’m also curious what you may think of this genre in terms of earnings on Medium.
Thank you! Roy
Hi Roy, thanks for your comment! We have a post on creative nonfiction that you might enjoy. I don’t have hard numbers on potential earnings through Medium, but it’s an increasingly popular genre for online writing (and one of my personal favorites), so I think there’s definitely a market for it.
Hi, I have taken beginner creative writing class, now I want improve my creative writing more. So, what should be my next step? Are there any further courses for creative writing.
The ASU English Composition link doesn’t work. Please provide a new one. Or, a similar course.
Thanks Mitch, I updated the link!
I can’t find any link
Sorry, not sure what happened there. should be fine now!
Hi Sushmita, you might try practicing with our creative writing prompts or writing a short story :)
I would like to know if a fee is required for classes and if so how much.
Hi Cathy, the courses listed in this post are all free!
I would like to improve my business and day-to-day writing skills including grammar. Which is the best course for me to take pleae?
Hi Princess, you might actually want to check out our list of business writing courses . sounds like those might suit your needs better! :)
I am a sophomore in high school, I love writing and I want to improve so I can write short stories and poetry. What do you suggest for me? Thank you.
Hi Lena, any of the creative writing classes on this list would be a good start, but practice is also one of the best ways to improve. Consider entering a poetry or short story contest! :)
What about writing feedback? A writing course can only thrive with writing and more writing rather than talking the world out of styles and author-lectures. What is the price for feedback driven courses, if any
Hi Rashul, the ASU and Future Learn courses in this list include feedback from instructors :)
Thank you for all these wonderful recommendations. Can you recommend quality courses aimed specifically at writing for children, free or otherwise?
Hi Anna, thanks for your comment! None of the courses on this list are really aimed at kids, but it would depend on the age and learning level of the child. However, we do have these writing prompts for kids that you might find helpful! I’ll also work on making a list of courses for kids :)
Thank you for listing the free courses, but which one to chose is uncertain. I have worked on my manuscript and thought I was at the point for beta readers, only to find out from their comments I am far from publishing my books. I have the experience of online schooling, for I just received my masters. However, my writing skills need much improvement. I know I have a problem with telling not showing. And yes, I am a fictional writer. I also have a problem with moving back and forth with past and present tense. I am looking for the course that will help with these trouble areas.
Hi Allison, thanks for your comment! I think I would recommend the “Writing What You Know” course for your needs. We also have a post on how to show don’t tell that you might find helpful. And don’t feel discouraged, it’s a beta reader’s job to point out areas for improvement — they’ll help you get one step closer! :) Best of luck!
I am quite happy to have come across this website. I really want to take a short course on writing and acquire a certificate after completing it. Where should I go?
Hi Anthony! The ASU course offers a certificate, but so do a lot of Udemy courses. It depends on what kind of certificate you’re looking for
My writing intent is to share my Spiritual journey of the past 40 years most of which was spent learning and living the Medicines Ways of my Elder. I have a developed intuitive sense but I lack structure, form, and a deeply expanded vocabulary that would better capture in prose what I intuitively ‘feel-see’ but the results often end up being disjointed and lacking in a natural unforced flow which always leaves me not quite satisfied with the end result.
Hi Ron, thanks for your comment! yes, a lot of new writers struggle with structure, but with practice and the insights from some of these courses you can definitely make progress :)
hi do you know any free magazine writing workshops?
Hi Samantha, I don’t know any specifically for magazine writing, but any of the free nonfiction courses here will likely teach you some of the important skills you’ll need for magazine writing too:)
I’m a creative writer, I need work on my grammar ,spelling, ect ,editing my work and I want to write books what’s the best free course or courses?
Hi Jennifer, it looks like the courses on the list don’t really focus on those basic elements specifically, but we do have a lot of grammar posts that I hope you will find helpful. And if you have any specific questions, please let me know, I’m always happy to help!
Your last sentence is a run on sentence. I thought you’d want to know.
Thanks for pointing that out, Barbara. I usually don’t focus on grammar conventions when I’m answering questions. I just try to be helpful and answer as soon as possible. I’ll try to be more conscious of it :)
I am looking for a mentoring program for my 10 yr old who loves to write. Basically somebody who can go through her work and offer feedback. Thanks!
Hi Dharub, that’s so great that your daughter loves to write! you might consider signing her up for a writers’ group, or talk to a writing coach who can guide her :) However, lots of online classes, like those listed above, also feature opportunities for direct feedback from the instructor. I hope that helps!
I have always had a passion for reading and writing. I would really love to write about my life experiences, I just think it might be a little sad. Writing a novel sounds like maybe more fun but I would definitely need help creating characters with depth. I’m wondering what you would recommend as far as some free courses.
Hi Juana, the “How to Write a Novel” course on this list can help you with character development :) We also have quite a few blog posts on the subject, like how to create and use character profiles . I hope that helps :)
I really need to better my grammar. I’m quite rusty.
Hi Amanda, you can try one of these courses, or check out one of our many posts on writing tips and grammar :) I hope that helps!
Interested in Creative Writing
Hi Sonny, that’s great! There are lots of courses on this list that can help you. If you want more practice you can also try these creative writing prompts :)
Hi! I want to help my 10-year-old daughter to read and write with passion, not to write a book, she will see if she likes it, but to have an ease of communication that is not learned in school, there are courses for children ?
In my own research I stumbled across this website. Hopefully this will be of good help to your daughter.
Thank you for sharing this, Janet! :)
Hi Pamela, this Udemy course looks like a great option for kids: https://www.udemy.com/course/theultimatemysterywritingcourseforkids/ , as well as Janet’s suggestions below :)
Your courses are timely for anyone who desires to write books in any genre. But can one register for two or more courses and running concurrently? Please help.
Hi Clement, yes, you can definitely take more than one course at once. I would just recommend you make sure you have the time to dedicate your attention to each one :)
When I was much younger I wanted to be a journalist. The next Nora O’Donnell !! Now that I’m retired I want to write a fiction. I have so many ideas in my head I need to learn how to focus them and put them on paper
Hi Dianne! I can definitely relate – I used to dream of being a journalist too! Luckily, my current work allows me to practice writing, and I’m loving it. I hope you have time now to follow your new dream of writing fiction! You can try a writing course or check out some of the writing tips we share on the blog, such as our post on how to write a novel . If you ever have questions or there are more resources we can send your way, please let us know! :)
I would like to develop my writing skills, I want to learn the pros and cons of writing depending on its specific kind of writing or genre. I he I can find help for free workshops.
Hi Monalisa, here’s a list of writing workshops you might find helpful: https://www.tckpublishing.com/online-writing-workshops/
i would like to take the course on how to write a novel
Hi Dolly, that’s great! You should definitely try it :) best of luck with your writing!
Hello Barron Can you Suggested Me
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13 Best Free Online Writing Courses For Beginners (2023)
Updated on November 1, 2023 by Patrick
Are you just starting out blogging? Or do you desire to write more persuasive marketing copy, impactful business letters, or engaging books?
If yes, then taking an online writing course designed for beginners is the right path to follow. And that’s why we’ve put together the 13 best online free writing courses for beginners (and all levels).
Let’s improve your writing skills.
Best Free Writing Courses Beginners Can Learn Online
1. skillshare: writing for online engagement: fiction in a digital world.
Now, if you’re a beginner who’s interested in fiction writing, there’s no better way to kickstart your writing journey than taking a free online writing course.
But don’t think because this course is free, it lacks content.
The instructor of this course is Rebecca Sky. She’s worked with some of the world’s top companies, including Microsoft, Paramount, Sony, Lay’s, and Kraft. She specializes in writing YA fiction, and she’s an accomplished author at that.
In the 11 lessons spanning 1 hour 8 minutes, Rebecca takes her students through several writing classes to help them;
- Understand how writers can write in the digital age.
- Grasp writing for an audience and grow a community.
- Know how to get into writing serialized fiction.
- Merchandise their stories.
You’ll also get marketing tips to promote your brand and become a successful writer.
And if you’ve been writing fiction without achieving the success you deserve, you can also take the course.
Bloggers and other creative writers can also study her innovative strategies for producing successful books and building an online community of enthusiastic readers.
Another exciting thing about this course is that it’s free for students to learn on Skillshare. For 30 days, you can take this and other writing courses.
- Outstanding online writing course for beginners and experienced creative writers.
- Free for students interested in learning to write fiction.
- An established and published author taught me.
- It teaches you how to grow a community of raving fans and market your work.
- Requires little time commitment.
- Teaches you self-publishing
- Contains interesting projects.
- The classes are designed for only fiction writers.
- It doesn’t issue a certificate of completion.
In all, this is our pick for the best free online writing course in 2023. The free online writing courses help you improve your skills, and they guide you on how you can be a successful writer.
2. Skillshare: Creative Writing for All: A 10-day Journaling Challenge
Many writers struggle to write down their ideas. And this is where classes like this 10-day challenge can help.
First, it helps you overcome writer’s block to get the job done. Second, writing requires consistency and discipline. And this course will take you through some strategies to help you write down your thoughts.
The instructor of this course is Emily Gould, an established author and a co-owner of Emily Books (a bestselling indie project).
Her approach is to use creative writing prompts to nudge her writing mojo. And in 6 short video content that lasts only 26 minutes, she’ll help you;
- Develop your skills in writing personal essays .
- Become more creative by writing for 10 minutes daily and using the creative writing prompt “Today, I noticed…”).
- Get more actionable steps to improve your productivity.
- Write a personal short story in 10 days.
And at the end of the challenge, you’d have produced words you’re happy about and learned a simple technique to commit to writing. And as with other Skillshare courses, you can take this course by activating the platform’s 1-month free trial.
- Get actionable steps to be a more productive writer
- Probably the best free online writing course for beginners.
- Gain access to downloadable course materials.
- You can share your work with other students and get their feedback.
- It is not a certification course.
- It doesn’t teach you about becoming a better writer.
If you’re enthusiastic about fiction and nonfiction writing but find yourself procrastinating or dragging your heels, this course is for you.
3. Open University: Start Writing Fiction: Characters and Stories
If fiction writing is a genre you’re passionate about, then you’ll love this course hosted on Open University.
In the in-depth online writing courses, the instructors will walk you through a series of topics to teach you how to develop ideas and characters for your story.
This course will also train students to have healthy habits like keeping a journal and show you ways to turn past or present events into a plot.
Several established writers teach different topics so you can understand them better. However, one notable instructor is Dr. Derek Neale – one of the Open University’s senior lecturers in Creative Writing. He’s also an award-winning novelist and short story author.
Together with the other writers, they’ll engage you in video lessons for 8 weeks and teach you;
- Introduction to fiction writing.
- How to start your writing journey, adopt a journaling habit.
- Develop your characters
- To create your own space, pick ideas, and learn from other writers.
- To research, develop a plot, and adopt a notebook habit.
- To edit and criticize your work.
It is one of the best free online writing courses for fiction writers as it contains more information than you can get from most other courses on this list.
- Established writers teach these writing classes.
- You’ll understand character development.
- It’s free for students to take online writing courses at Open University.
- It contains extensive topics to make you a great fiction writer.
- Students will develop ideas, research topics, structure a plot, write, and self-edit their work.
- The writing classes are in-depth and take around 8 weeks to complete.
- It is an introductory course.
- Requires a high commitment level.
This course is one of the best free online writing courses for beginners or students looking to kickstart their writing careers in writing fiction.
4. Skillshare: Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact
Have you got a personal story to share but don’t know how to make it impactful? Have you thought about writing a story that people can learn from and make a difference in their lives?
If yes, then this is the online writing course for you.
Your instructor for this class is Roxanne Gay, a professor, editor, and New York Times, bestselling author. In this course, you’ll develop the skills for first-rate personal essay writing. The instructors will also walk you through the stages, from developing ideas to the final manuscript.
In eight lessons spanning 1 hour, Roxanne will teach you how to;
- Connect with your audience using your texts.
- Find your purpose for writing your story.
- Search inward to bring out those personal memories truly you’ll love to write about.
- Research to make your story watertight.
- Avoid mistakes that’ll undermine your work.
You’ll also get tips to revise your essay writing for publishing. The good news is that Skillshare offers you the opportunity to be a great writer with its 1-month free trial.
- Great course for beginners and all study levels.
- A New York Times bestselling author teaches this course.
- You’ll learn to edit your work for publishing.
- You’ll get insights on how to write words that appeal to various audiences.
- A good number of downloadable resources and course materials.
- You’ll get to practice writing essays while receiving feedback on your work.
- It’s not a certification course.
- The short course may not contain the information an experienced writer seeks.
5. Udemy: Secret Sauce of Great Writing
Many writers struggle because they don’t know what makes excellent writing that people love and enjoy reading.
The thought process and techniques that go into creative writing are pretty complex; however, this course distills the ingredients of good writing.
The instructor of this writing course is Shani Raja. He’s a former Wall Street Journal editor who’s also written and edited for other top companies and publications such as Microsoft, PwC, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, etc.
With that wealth of experience, there’s no better person to give you writing classes than Shani. According to him, the four main ingredients for writing great content and stories are;
- And evocativeness.
So in the 45-minute course, Shani promises not to show you writing tips but a system that’ll change the way you write marketing copy. You’ll see how to apply these in your writing so you can;
- Create more engaging and exceptional content or exciting books.
- Spot weaknesses in your writing and improve them.
- Write more compelling and persuasive emails and sales copy.
- Create an impression on HR managers with your cover letter.
The good thing is that the creative writing courses aren’t only for those interested in writing books. You can take the course if you own a blog or desire to improve your writing skills.
Interestingly, this is one of the best free online writing courses. But this course is designed mainly for experienced writers and journalists, not beginners.
- Best for intermediate to more experienced writers.
- Full lifetime access to course materials.
- You’ll learn to write more stylish and exceptional content, whether it’s fiction, blogs, poetry, marketing copy, etc.
- You’ll get a certificate of completion.
- A very experienced instructor that’s written and edited for some of the top companies in the world.
- It isn’t the best free online writing course for beginners.
- The course is not so comprehensive.
6. Wesleyan University: Creative Writing Specialization
If you’ve dreamt of being the author of a short story, an essay, or a nonfiction book like a memoir, this in-depth specialization course is for you.
The creative writing class is offered by Wesleyan University and taught via Coursera. And since it’s a specialization rather than a standalone course, it contains four lessons that four visiting instructors teach from Wesleyan University.
The four modules include;
- The craft of plot: Here, you’ll learn to develop a scheme that’ll arouse readers’ interest in your short story. Plus, you’ll learn to draft an outline that’ll connect the beginning to the middle and the end.
- The craft of character: Here, students will learn to relate experiences from their real lives to develop characters. This way, they can easily create characters with feelings, behavior, and habits to make their story interesting.
- The craft of setting and description: Writers will learn exercises and research to develop realistic and fantastical scenes. It is so they can make their audience read and picture the writer’s imagination.
- The craft of style: The course lecturers will teach you to develop your unique voice using metaphors and imagery. You’ll also learn to make your short story clearer, and you’ll acquire the revision skills needed to finish off a good story.
You’ll also get lots of practice assignments to help you brush up your writing skills.
- It is a free online writing course.
- The in-depth courses are safe-paced and take around 3 – 6 months to complete.
- Earn a shareable certificate.
- You’ll get feedback on your assignments.
- There are subtitles in 12 languages, including English.
- You don’t need to meet any requirements to take this program.
- The time commitment is high
- You’ll have to pay the get the certificate.
7. Alison: Business Communication – Fundamentals of Business Writing
If you’d love to express yourself clearly and efficiently to your employees, bosses, and clients, this online writing course on Alison has got you.
This program will train you to write the kind of cover letter that’ll impact your prospective employer. It’ll also help you write better and more professional business letters, proposals, and reports.
In 3 hours, the expert instructors will guide you through;
- Understanding the how, why, what, who, where, and when of business writing.
- Learn how to plan and write a business document.
- You adopt a writing style that’ll make your business letter easy to understand, persuasive, compelling, and memorable.
- I am writing more valuable reports.
- The structure you can use to write texts in your business communication.
At the end of the course, you’ll earn a certificate of completion from this free course. However, you’ll have to pay a fee to get your certificate. But you can get discounts on the certificates, so it’s worth it.
- This lesson will help you understand the legal implications of business writing.
- Write better reports, cover letters, and other business documents.
- Course assessment leading to certification.
- Professional instructors teach this writing class.
- You’ll have to pay to get certified.
- The course is for beginners to intermediate-level students.
8. LinkedIn Learning: Writing Ad Copy
If you have poor conversions from your social media advertising, there’s a possibility the problem is not with your strategy.
It’s likely the problem lies with your ad copy. The good news is that this course is aimed at helping you write effective ad copy that will increase not only your clicks, traffic, and engagement but also your conversions and sales.
And there’s no other person more qualified to teach this online writing course than a seasoned marketer. The instructor of this course is Mike Duquet, a growth and conversion optimization strategist at Hootsuite.
In this course, Mike takes you through a range of topics to help you understand how ads work on different platforms and how to convert your clicks to sales.
Here’s an overview of the topics and content of this 1-hour course;
- Introduction to crafting your message and picking the right tone of voice.
- The psychological triggers that increase conversion.
- Rules for writing ad copy for your website, email, direct mail, and social media.
- Designing your customer persona
- How to set your copy goals and achieve them
- How to write effective headlines and call to action.
And at the end of the courses, you’d have learned the triggers that encourage online buyers to buy products and services. And your copywriting game would have changed for the better.
We’re excited to announce that you can take this course for free on LinkedIn Learning as they’re offering students a 1-month free trial.
- Teaches learners how to increase conversion by generating the right ideas to write effective ad copy.
- Free training program for you to take.
- You’ll get a recognized certification.
- You’ll be adept at writing marketing copy for the web, emails, social media, and direct mail.
- A marketing director with lots of copywriting experience teaches this course.
- Requires a minimal time commitment.
- Improve your advertising and copywriting skills
- Only teaches students how to write copy that drives sales; doesn’t teach you to become a better writer of other prose.
- The short courses are not so in-depth, so you’ll probably need more courses to expand your knowledge.
9. Alison: English Writing Skills
If you desire to become a better writer who is versatile in writing in several English writing styles, then Alison’s English Writing Skills course is for you.
This writing course will guide you on passing your message across regardless of the type of audience you’re writing for. And at the end of the classes, you’ll be confident in your writing skills.
In this under 3-hour course, the top-class instructors will teach you how to;
- Write engaging content in different types of writing styles; comedy, science fiction, opinionative, thriller, descriptive, poetry, suspense, etc.
- Combine various writing styles into a story.
- Write engaging pieces for your ideal audience.
- Identify the kind and situation of your audience.
So whether you’re interested in learning more about poetry or Sci-Fi, there will be a module (or two) that’ll interest you. You’ll also get a couple of assessments to help you fast-track your learning and writing process.
The good news is that this course is one of the best free online writing courses you can take.
- Structured for almost all skill levels.
- Requires minimal time commitment – 3 hours.
- Seasoned professionals teach this course.
- You’ll get a free certificate of completion.
- Doesn’t teach the classes in-depth.
10. Coursera: Writing in The Sciences
Now, if you’re a scientist who does a lot of research, you may not be interested in fiction and nonfiction writing. And that’s where this class offered by Stanford University via Coursera can help.
Here, this online writing course takes a deep dive into medical writing and other science fields to help you put your research work into proper writing.
The instructor of the writing courses is Dr. Kristin Sainani, an associate Professor in Health Research and Policy. And through lots of video lessons, she’ll guide you through a range of topics to make your scientific writing more effective and impactful.
In 30 hours of on-demand, Kristin will walk you through;
- The introduction and key principles to effective scientific writing.
- Getting a grasp of English grammar; writing with active verbs, using strong verbs, the right punctuations, and making your writing follow a logical structure.
- Tips to make you more organized and ease your writing process.
- Formatting tables and writing sections for discussion.
- How to avoid plagiarism and attend/host interviews.
Each section has got practice writing assignments to make you quickly grasp the concepts. And you’ll also learn peer review and grant writing.
But what we love about this Coursera course is that it’s one of the best free online writing courses for students and lecturers.
- The in-depth classes are free for interested students
- The writing course is easy to understand and created for beginners.
- Coursera issues shareable certificates.
- The online writing courses are self-paced.
- It’s subtitled in English and 8 other languages.
- Compared to the other online writing courses on this list, this class requires more time commitment.
- It’s only for science writing, and not for other writing styles.
11. LinkedIn Learning: Writing with Impact
The basis of writing impactful prose, poetry, or scientific manuscripts lies in how well your content suits the purpose of your words. And that’s what you’ll learn in this LinkedIn Learning online writing course.
The instructor – Tom Geller – will introduce you to concepts that’ll make your writing more appealing to your readers regardless of the genre you’re writing for.
And why should you care about the instructor? He’s a seasoned communicator and trainer who has worked with Apple, Association or Computing Machinery, Nature.com, etc. So, when it comes to writing and evoking a reaction from an audience, Tom is pretty good at it.
In 1 hour, he’ll show you how to;
- Shorten your sentences and paragraphs, making them easier to read.
- Understand your readers and know what they want.
- Write with purpose by finding your reasons.
- Pick the most impactful words that will pair well with your reasons.
- Choose the tone of voice that’ll resonate with your audience.
- And use appropriate grammar and sentence structure to make your content crisp to read.
There are lots of chapter quizzes to make you quickly grasp the concept of writing shorter and clearer. And interestingly, you can activate your free trial on the LinkedIn Learning platform and take this online writing course for free.
- You’ll learn how to find your purpose and write more impactful prose regardless of your genre.
- The instructor has over 20 years of experience as a communicator and trainer.
- This is a certification course.
- A good number of chapter quizzes to fast-track your learning process.
- Minimal time commitment.
- The units you’ll get from this class qualify you for continuing education.
- The course is mostly for beginners.
- The class is not so in-depth.
12. University of California Berkeley (edX): Academic and Business Writing
University programs tend to be more in-depth than other MOOC courses: so let’s explore this writing class for English language learners.
This program takes an easy approach to teaching students the English language to be beneficial to them in their academics and writing careers.
In this course, students will be taught English grammar and vocabulary that’ll help improve their business communication skills. There will also be topics and classes that will center on grasping structuring texts and editing.
In this 5-week online writing class, the College Writing Programs director, Maggie Sokolik, will help you improve your business and academic writing by;
- Acquainting you with different writing styles – whether for business or academic purposes.
- Teaching you how to improve your diction and tone to enhance your communication skills.
- Showing you how to develop an essay.
- Teaching you how to edit, proofread, and revise your words.
A couple of chapter quizzes, readings, essays, and writing assignments encourage you to hone your writing skills.
- There are lots of writing programs on edX, but this one from the University of California is one of the bests.
- It’s free to take this training program.
- Recognized certificate upon completion (paid).
- Self-paced class offered by a reputable university.
- The university programs director teaches this course.
- Lots of downloadable course materials.
- The assignments and exams are graded.
- Requires a high level of commitment compared to most of the other free online writing courses on this list.
- You’ll have to pay to get the certificate.
If you desire a recognized certification from one of the most reputable universities, this one from the University of California will make a great choice.
13. CalArts: Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop
If you’re looking for a dedicated poetry course to help you express your thoughts better, you’ve got that in this program created by CalArts.
In this course taught by Douglass Kearny (an assistant professor in creative writing), you’ll study a couple of contemporary poets and try your hands on a few practice assignments.
The training will last for 6 weeks, and the instructor will engage you with the following topics;
- The importance of line breaks in poetry and how to do it.
- Using abstractions and images to create more empathetic moods and relationships.
- How to use metaphors and other elements to create more poetic effects in your writing.
- The different types of rhymes and how to apply them in your writing.
Each module has quizzes to help you brush up on your knowledge and skill. And it’s free to enroll in this course.
- This is a free course that’ll teach you poetry in-depth.
- It’s great for beginners.
- It’s taught by a top-class instructor and offered by a reputable college.
- It’s a certification course.
- You’ll need to pay to get the shareable certificate.
- You can only access the peer-reviewed aspect of the class.
How can I improve my writing skills online for free?
You can improve your writing skills by taking courses on the internet. There are lots of free courses you can take on Skillshare, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning. There are also paid courses with more in-depth topics and content, but taking the free programs is a great way to improve your writing skills.
After taking an online writing course or more, you can begin writing and editing your words with tools such as Microsoft Word, Grammarly, Hemingway App, Pro Writing Aid, thesaurus, Readability-Score.com, etc.
Can I teach myself creative writing?
Yes, you can learn to write creatively and improve your creative writing skills. And these tips will help you develop your creative writing skills;
- Take one of the best creative writing classes on the internet (check the above-listed courses).
- Read the books or works of some of the best authors that you love their writing style.
- Keep a journal. Describe the places you visited and activities you partook in vividly.
- Write a personal essay or memoir or a story of someone (a friend, relative, or neighbor) close to you.
- Create a story using the snowflake method . In the snowflake method, you come up with a summary or big picture for your story and begin adding more elements as you develop the story.
- Leave your writing for a while. Go outdoors or do something else. You may get inspiration from engaging in other activities.
- Connect with other writers (experienced and amateur).
- Engage in freewriting. Freewriting is when you write without following an outline, structure, or editing your text. Just write as the random thoughts come in without refining them. The unrefined text may not make much sense but this can help you be more creative in the long run.
Writing can be a rewarding career because you have the skill to express your thoughts clearly.
There are rewarding careers worth checking out: data entry clerk, AutoCAD professional. Here are more free courses to help you become a professional. Plus you can take Coursera courses for free by using this guide.
And even if you’re not interested in a writing career, an online writing course can help you write more impactful letters, emails, and sales texts.
- Free Online Courses with Printable Certificates
- Best Online Transcription Courses & Training
- Best Free Online Interior Design Courses
- Best Free Udemy Courses with Certificates
Patrick is a teacher and education enthusiast. He is passionate about online education and always looks for new and innovative ways to learn new skills. He writes about different online courses, career opportunities, and self-improvement with the goal to help others succeed in their journey
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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.
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
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Fiction Writing Basics
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
This resource discusses some terms and techniques that are useful to the beginning and intermediate fiction writer, and to instructors who are teaching fiction at these levels. The distinction between beginning and intermediate writing is provided for both students and instructors, and numerous sources are listed for more information about fiction tools and how to use them. A sample assignment sheet is also provided for instructors. This resource covers the basics of plot, character, theme, conflict, and point-of-view.
Plot is what happens in a story, but action itself doesn’t constitute plot. Plot is created by the manner in which the writer arranges and organizes particular actions in a meaningful way. It’s useful to think of plot as a chain reaction, where a sequence of events causes other events to happen.
When reading a work of fiction, keep in mind that the author has selected one line of action from the countless possibilities of action available to her. Trying to understand why the author chose a particular line of action over another leads to a better understanding of how plot is working in a story
This does not mean that events happen in chronological order; the author may present a line of action that happens after the story’s conclusion, or she may present the reader with a line of action that is still to be determined. Authors can’t present all the details related to an action, so certain details are brought to the forefront, while others are omitted.
The author imbues the story with meaning by a selection of detail. The cause-and-effect connection between one event and another should be logical and believable, because the reader will lose interest if the relation between events don’t seem significant. As Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren wrote in Understanding Fiction , fiction is interpretive: “Every story must indicate some basis for the relation among its parts, for the story itself is a particular writer’s way of saying how you can make sense of human experience.”
If a sequence of events is merely reflexive, then plot hasn’t come into play. Plot occurs when the writer examines human reactions to situations that are always changing. How does love, longing, regret and ambition play out in a story? It depends on the character the writer has created.
Because plot depends on character, plot is what the character does. Plot also fluctuates, so that something is settled or thrown off balance in the end, or both. Traditionally, a story begins with some kind of description that then leads to a complication. The complication leads up to a crisis point where something must change. This is the penultimate part of the story, before the climax, or the most heightened moment of a story.
In some stories, the climax is followed by a denouement, or resolution of the climax. Making events significant in plot begins with establishing a strong logic that connects the events. Insofar as plot reveals some kind of human value or some idea about the meaning of experience, plot is related to theme.
Character can’t be separated from action, since we come to understand a character by what she does. In stories, characters drive the plot. The plot depends on the characters' situations and how they respond to it. The actions that occur in the plot are only believable if the character is believable. For most traditional fiction, characters are divided into the following categories:
- Protagonist : the main or central character or hero (Harry Potter)
- Antagonist : opponent or enemy of the protagonist (Dark Lord Voldemort)
- Foil Character : a character(s) who helps readers better understand another character, usually the protagonist. For example in the Harry Potter series, Hermione and Ron are Harry's friends, but they also help readers better understand the protagonist, Harry. Ron and Hermione represent personalities that in many ways are opposites - Ron is a bit lazy and insecure; Hermione is driven and confident. Harry exists in the middle, thus illustrating his inner conflict and immaturity at the beginning of the book series.
Because character is so important to plot and fiction, it’s important for the writer to understand her characters as much as possible. Though the writer should know everything there is to know about her character, she should present her knowledge of the characters indirectly, through dialogue and action. Still, sometimes a summary of a character’s traits needs to be given. For example, for characters who play the supporting cast in a story, direct description of the character’s traits keeps the story from slowing down.
Beginning and intermediate level writers frequently settle for creating types, rather than highly individualized, credible characters. Be wary of creating a character who is a Loser With A Good Heart, The Working Class Man Who Is Trapped By Tough Guy Attitudes, The Lonely Old Lady With A Dog, etc. At the same time, keep in mind that all good characters are, in a sense, types.
Often, in creative writing workshops from beginning to advanced levels, the instructor asks, “Whose story is this?” This is because character is the most important aspect of fiction. In an intermediate level workshop, it would be more useful to introduce a story in which it is more difficult to pick out the main character from the line-up. It provides an opportunity for intermediate level fiction writers to really explore character and the factors that determine what is at stake, and for whom.
Conflict depends on character, because readers are interested in the outcomes of people’s lives, but may be less interested in what’s at stake for a corporation, a bank, or an organization. Characters in conflict with one another make up fiction. Hypothetically, a character can come into conflict with an external force, like poverty, or a fire. But there is simply more opportunity to explore the depth and profundity in relationships between people, because people are so complex that conflict between characters often gets blurred with a character’s conflict with herself
The short story, as in all literary forms, including poetry and creative nonfiction, depends on the parts of the poem or story or essay making some kind of sense as a whole. The best example in fiction is character. The various aspects of a character should add up to some kind of meaningful, larger understanding of the character. If the various aspects of a character don’t add up, the character isn’t believable. This doesn’t mean that your characters have to be sensible. Your characters may have no common sense at all, but we have to understand the character and why she is that way. The character’s motives and actions have to add up, however conflicted, marginalized or irrational they may be.
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✍️ 100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors
This curated directory of creative writing exercises was conceived thanks to a collaboration between the top writing blogs of 2023. Use the filters to find and practice specific techniques — and show that blank page who’s boss!
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The Hammer and the Hatchet
A stranger walks into the general store and buys a hammer, a hatchet, some rope, and an apple. What does he do with them?
Describe your house - or the dream house you hope to get some day.
It is commonly known that a telephone directory might be the most boring text in the entire world. Here is your challenge: write a page of a telephone directory and figure out SOME way to make it interesting.
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Pick a fiction book from your shelf. Go to page eight and find the eighth sentence on the page. Start with that sentence and write an eight-line poem that connects in some way to your work-in-progress. For instance, write from the POV of a character, or set the poem in a story setting. Don't worry about poetry forms. Just write eight lines of any length that flow and explore some aspect of character, setting, or theme.
- Why are you grumpy? I have a hangover.
- Why do you have a hangover? My friend was in a bad accident and I thought he might die?
- Why did you think he might die? His girlfriend lied to me about how serious the accident was.
- Why did she lie about that? She's jealous of our relationship.
- Why? I think she's insecure and has trust issues.
The ellen degeneres show.
A talk show is scripted to promote the guest and discuss topics with which the guest is comfortable. Imagine your protagonist on the Ellen Degeneres Show (or The Late Show With Stephen Colbert - whichever show you're familiar with). What questions would be asked of your protagonist? What funny anecdotes would your protagonist share? Write down the reactions of both your protagonist and the host.
- You could say it began with a phone call."
- Michael had watched them both for weeks."
- She remembered the way it was the first time she saw the prison."
- Midsummer, no time to be in New Orleans."
- With the dawn came the light."
Thank you to all our contributors: Almost An Author, Alyssa Hollingsworth, Anne R. Allen, Bang2Write, Christopher Fielden, Darcy Pattinson, Elizabeth S. Craig, Flogging The Quill, Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips, Helping Writers Become Authors, Katie McCoach, Lauren Carter, Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Mandy Wallace, NaNoWriMo, Nail Your Novel, Novel Publicity, One Stop For Writers, Pro Writing Aid, PsychWriter, re:Fiction, The Journal, The Writer’s Workshop, Well-Storied, Women On Writing, writing.ie, Writing-World.com!
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Create Your Own Story Online
Create your own story online using our ultimate story creator. Our story creator comes with built-in story starters, artwork and more to inspire writers of all abilities!
Create a story
Ultimate Story Generator
Generate thousands of unique stories using our ultimate story generator. Just enter some words about your story, and press the 'Generate Story' button. You can create a unique story within minutes to share with your friends. Writing stories has never been so easy! Try out our story generator and step-by-step story maker tool now!
Daily Writing Challenges
Our daily writing challenges aim to inspire and encourage young writers to write daily. Each day the challenges will update to show a new inspirational prompt for you to write about. We have special seasonal writing challenges, as well as regular challenges, such as the word challenge, book title challenge, poetry challenge and more!
Create Your Own Forest
Design your own forest online by placing trees, flowers, animals and more from the marketplace. Spend the XP points you gained to grow your forest. The more XP points you gain, the more your forest grows. Visit your friends forest, compete in leaderboards, get regular surprises and more. Watch your virtual forest come to life!
Complete Short Writing Activities
Imagine Forest offers a combination of writing activities and writing games to break down the heavy task of writing a story into small and easy-to-manage activities. Our writing activities aim to inspire aspiring writers to get that winning story idea and even improve their writing skills in the process.
Use Story Starters to Inspire You
Story starters are a brilliant way to fix blank page syndrome (or writer's block). Did you know that 67% of authors say the most challenging part of writing is starting their story? We have thousands of story starters to get you writing in no time! And that's not all, if you're still stuck for inspiration we even have a ton of artwork to inspire you.
Generate Funny Story Ideas
With thousands of story combinations to keep you writing stories every day. Our simple-to-use story idea generator comes with tons of fun and wacky prompts to inspire you. Whether you're into pirates or princesses we got writing prompts to suit every child out there.
Improve Your Vocabulary
Learning new words is not only fun but highly valuable in improving your literacy skills. Our built-in dictionary, thesaurus and rhyming dictionary are brilliant for learning new words and making your stories more exciting.
Imagine Forest for Teachers
Are you a teacher or an educator? Then Imagine forest is the best writing tool for you to use. Not only is it 100% free, but it also has tons of features to make your lessons easy and fun. Some of these features include creating assignments for your students, monitoring their progress and giving badges for the best stories!
Imagine Forest For Parents
Create a parent account with Imagine Forest to keep track of your child's activity and progress on the site. You can even add multiple children under one email address. And publish books in the 'Family' library for the whole family to see! Create a parent account now, and sign your children up for FREE!
100% Safe For Kids
Imagine Forest is on a mission to create a safe creative writing community for kids. We have a number of safety features in place, such as email verification, a strict book moderation process, a predefined commenting feature and more to keep our users safe online. Click the ‘Learn More’ button to see a full list of our safety features
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Imagine forest free?
Yes. Imagine Forest is 100% free. There are no additional costs or subscription fees. All features you see on the site are fully available for free.
How do you use Imagine forest?
To use Imagine Forest simply start by creating an account . We currently have four account options available: Parent, Educator/teacher, Student and Regular. You may need to verify your email address before you can start using Imagine Forest. Once logged in to your account, you can start writing a story by clicking the ‘Write’ link in the main navigation. Then select the type of story you want to write and continue following the on-screen instructions. You can also explore the rest of the site to find some interesting activities and writing resources to help you become a better story writer.
How do I register for Imagine Forest?
To register on Imagine Forest visit the Register page from the main navigation. Registration is 100% free, although you may need to verify your email address before you can use Imagine Forest. There are four account types available:
- Parent : Add multiple child accounts and monitor their activity on the site.
- Teacher/Educator : Create classrooms, add students and create assignments that can be graded on Imagine Forest.
- Student : Complete assignments, read books published by fellow students and write as normal.
- Regular : Write stories, read books by others, complete activities and more.
Regular user features also exist on parent, teacher/educator and student accounts.
Is Imagine Forest safe for kids?
Yes of course. We have a number of safety features and data protection measures in place to keep all of our users safe online. You can view this full list of online safety features for more information.
What is a class code?
A class code is created when a teacher creates a classroom on Imagine Forest using the teacher/educator account. This class code can be used by students to create a free student account on Imagine Forest. If a student does not have a class code, then they should ask their teacher for the class code, so they can sign-up to Imagine Forest as a student. Alternatively, a parent can sign their child up to Imagine Forest without the class code via the Parent account.
Can I view a list of Writing Prompts?
Yes. Imagine Forest has a huge list of writing prompts and story starters. You can view this collection of writing prompts on our blog, in the writing prompts category .
Is it possible to remove the ads?
Yes. Ads are completely removed automatically on the following account types: Teacher/Educator, Student, Parent and Child account. If you are not logged in or have a regular user account then ads will still display on the site. Ads are very important for us, as it helps us manage the costs of running Imagine Forest, and also help us to keep it 100% free for users.
Is it possible to upload my own images?
At this moment in time, no it is not possible to upload your own images. We may bring this feature in the future. The purpose of Imagine Forest is to guide you on how to write a good story. It is an educational tool for helping beginners write stories and poems. We do however provide a huge built-in library of photos, and illustrations to use. You can also request more specific images by contacting our team .
Upcoming Online Fiction Writing Courses
December courses, kickstart your novel, with eman quotah.
How do novelists turn an idea into a published book? Gain the confidence to be a novelist in this transformational 3 hour workshop.
Fiction , Novel
A writerly life: develop a writing routine that works for you, with shelby hinte.
What does a writer's life look like? Build a productive writing habit in this course for writers of all backgrounds.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
Both Fish and Fowl: The Prose Poem
With anna scotti.
A successful prose poem reads like a magic trick. Learn how to wield the powers of poetry in the context of prose in this comprehensive prose poetry course.
Poetry , Short Story
Write Your Novel! The Workshop With Jack
With jack smith.
Get a good start on a novel in just ten weeks, or revise a novel you’ve already written. Free your imagination, move steadily ahead and count the pages!
Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Use Story and Premise Development for Writing Success
With jeff lyons.
The premise line is the only reliable tool that can tell you, BEFORE you start writing, whether or not your story will “work.” In this class participants will learn how to master the process of premise line development—the essential first step in any book or screenplay’s development process.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Stage and Broadcast
The First Fifty Pages of the Novel
With sandra novack.
The first 50 pages sets up plot, characters, and voice, and it lays the groundwork for your book's overall structure and success. Receive critical, supportive feedback on your book's start from novelist Sandra Novack.
Observing What’s Vivid in Prose and Poetry
With marc olmsted.
Learn how to spotlight beauty through fresh, vivid, and surprising language, in this four week mindfulness writing course.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Plot Your Novel with the Three-Act Structure
With denise santomauro.
The 3 act structure gives us the scaffolding we can hang our stories off of. Come away from this class with a fully plotted novel and a plan to write it.
Writing Autobiographical Fiction
Learn to depart from "what really happened," and write compelling fiction from your own life experiences.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story
(Live Workshop) Intro to Screenwriting
With susan pohlman.
In this workshop, you'll learn the ropes of screenwriting and create living pieces of collaborative storytelling.
Fiction , Live Workshop , Stage and Broadcast
Finding Inspiration in Dreams
With amy bonnaffons.
Our dreams are fertile fields of inspiration, meaning, and creativity. Learn how to use your dreams as doorways to future writing.
Crafting a Story or Novel Chapter Using Forward-Moving Tension
How do writers tell stories with tension, action, and emotion? Learn how to write forward-moving tension in this 5 week fiction course.
Fiction , Novel , Short Story
How to Firm Up the “Mushy Middle” of Any Story
Ensure a strong middle throughline for any story. Say goodbye to the "mushy middle," and hello to stories that work.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Humor Is The New Black!
With giulietta nardone.
Ready to add a splash of fun to your writing life? Join us for a four-week humor writing class. We’ll read. We’ll laugh. We’ll write. We’ll experiment.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Plot Your Novel
Over eight weeks, you'll develop a solid basis in the fictional elements—protagonist, setting, secondary characters, point of view, plot, and theme—while you develop the outline of your novel. You'll receive feedback at all stages from your fellow writers and your instructor.
Scene study: strengthen your writing with compelling scenes.
Great stories are constructed with great scenes. Immerse your reader in your stories by learning the ropes of scene development.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Mastering the Elements of Fiction
In this course, you’ll work with the basic elements of fiction--the fundamentals that drive the story and determine the quality of the work.
Even Smaller: Adventures in Short-form Writing
With tina barry.
Less is more in this bite-sized writing class, where you'll learn how to tell complete stories under the tightest word counts.
Fiction , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
From Memory: Writing Fiction or Memoir from Lived Experience
With chin-sun lee.
In this class, you'll use a nearly infinite resource—your own memory—to craft compelling fiction or nonfiction stories.
Crafting the poetry novel for young adults, with kelly bingham.
Even if you’ve never written poetry before, you can begin the rewarding process of crafting a poetry novel for Young Adults. Is there a market for novels written in verse? Are they well received? Yes, there is, and yes, they are!
Fiction , Novel , Poetry
The Next Fifty Pages of the Novel
Only 3 seats left!
So now that you have your opening novel pages, what next? Get detailed, constructive feedback on your work-in-progress, wherever you're at in writing it.
Write your picture book.
Picture books have changed greatly over the last few decades, and the market is wide open for fresh ideas. Join us in this six-week intensive where we’ll take that idea of yours and turn it into a manuscript!
Dread and desire: gothic fiction techniques to lure and horrify your readers, with briana una mcguckin.
This Halloween, learn how to write eerie, haunting moods in this comprehensive course on Gothic writing techniques.
Write your novel in 12 weeks.
In this generative novel writing course, we'll go from writing a strong beginning to writing "The End" on your novel's first draft.
These online writing classes don’t currently have a next session on our calendar, but will soon. If you see a course you’re interested in, use the “I’m Interested” button to let us know, and we’ll follow up with you when the course is on our calendar next.
Want to reach us or our instructors with questions about our online writing courses? Contact us at [email protected] , or visit the contact form .
(Live Workshop) Get Clear on Your Story and Voice
With nadia colburn.
What is your story about? What is your voice? Whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, hone your writing in this 3 hour workshop.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
(Live Workshop) Revising the Novel: Take Your First Draft to the Next Level
With donna levin.
Ready to start revising your novel? Get rolling in this in-depth webinar.
Fiction , Live Workshop , Novel
(Live Workshop) The Art of Love Stories: A Flash Fiction Workshop
With zining mok.
How do you distill love into 1,500 words or less? Zining Mok explains in this love stories flash fiction workshop.
Fiction , Live Workshop , Short Story
(Live Workshop) Writing Beginnings and Endings
With sarah aronson.
How do you write a story that's compelling to start and satisfying to finish? Sarah Aronson explains in this comprehensive one-day workshop.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story
(Live Workshop) Writing from a Strong Sense of Place: A Generative Workshop
With jacquelyn stolos.
Develop powerful and realistic settings in this generative three-hour workshop, with Jacquelyn Stolos.
Fiction , Live Workshop , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity
With rosemary tantra bensko.
Have a grand time with specific physical exercises that honor your health, generate imaginative ideas, explore deeply and make your creative writing entertaining.
*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Somatic Practices to Improve Your Work
*private class | introduction to writing genre fiction.
Take the whirlwind tour! Learn the conventions of eight major fiction genres, try them out, and figure out your niche.
*Private Class | Story Lab: Writing Loglines That Sell
Your logline helps you query agents, market your book, and figure out the story itself. Hone your logline and set your book up for success in this two-part private Zoom workshop.
*Private Class | The Micro-obstacles/Flow Technique
Create new work with fresh language, universal themes, sustained mystery and memorable characters. Stimulate your imagination.
*Private Class | Using Bullet Journaling to Achieve Writing Goals
With rudri patel.
Looking to keep your writing goals organized? Make it happen in our bullet journaling course. Learn the art of the BuJo with Rudri Patel!
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
*Private Class | Writing the Short Story
Fiction , Short Story
Battling the Blank Page: Writing the First Third of Your Novel
With elisa bonnin.
If the blank page daunts you, conquer it in this comprehensive novel writing course, where you'll end with over 1/3 of a first draft written.
Beyond Formula: Writing Love Scenes With Spirit, Passion, Grit And Character Truth
With anya achtenberg.
Write about love beyond trite sentiment and shallow fictions. Work down to the real thing: deep, powerful, destructive, exalted, fundamental.
Fiction , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Block Buster: Turbocharge Your Creativity with Breakneck Writing
With gretchen clark.
Banish writer's block, unearth fresh ideas, and sharpen your storytelling ability with the practice of fast, timed writing.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Boost Your Imagination and Reap the Literary Rewards
It happens to all of us: life gets in the way and our creativity falters. Get back on track with this four-week creativity boosting class!
But What Is Your Story Really About? Finding the Core of Your Short Memoir, Story, or Personal Essay
Take a four-week writing adventure deep into the core of your story, to find the true theme of your personal essay, short story, or short memoir.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Personal Essay , Short Story
Character Transformation Workshop: How to Write Stories that Emotionally Resonate
Learn how to write emotionally resonant journeys that stick with the reader, using the power of character transformation.
Claiming Our Stories: Autobiography, Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction
Turn your experience into fiction, autobiography, or creative memoir. Bring forward stories with a powerful truth at their core. Instructor Anya Achtenberg.
Crafting the Poetry Novel: Advanced Workshop
Want to make headway on your poetry novel? This workshop offers the structure and resources to get it done, with instructor Kelly Bingham.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Poetry
Crafting the Romance Novel
With jeanne de vita.
More than happily ever after. Writing a romance novel is about more than just telling the story of how two characters meet, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset of happily ever after. A romance novel follows the same structure as powerful novels in other genres and employs the building blocks of great…
Creating Narrative in Comics
With aubrey hirsch.
Art and storytelling have a rich relationship to one another. Explore that relationship in this class on writing narrative comics. Open to all artistic skill levels!
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay , Short Story
Creative Writing & Storytelling Techniques For Business Professionals
Good writing helps business connect deeply with the clients they're hoping to work with. Learn how to hone the power of story in your professional career.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness
De Novo: How to Build Your Own Fantasy or Sci-Fi World
Create captivating worlds in this comprehensive worldbuilding course. You'll come away with fantastic settings that make your stories mesmerizing, believable, and real.
Deepening and Organizing Our Stories: Memoir/Creative Nonfiction and Autobiographical Fiction
For writers of memoir, creative nonfiction and fiction, with some experience. Particularly helpful to writers in the midst of a longer work.
Drafty in Here: Write Your Novella in Ten Weeks
Write the entire first draft of a novella-length story, with plenty of feedback from stage to stage, and finish with a plan for revising toward a publishable manuscript.
Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity
Embodied writing: somatic practices to improve your work, find your brave: publishing as an act of courage.
In this fun, transformative four-week program, get tips and techniques to bring out your courage to publish a story in print or online.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Personal Essay , Short Story
Finding the Real Story: Essential Elements of Story in Fiction and Memoir
Address the larger issues of writing story through a look at the essential elements of narrative in fiction and memoir.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Short Story
Finish Your Manuscript: Next-Level Picture Book Mentorship
During this six week program, you will work closely one-on-one with Kelly to finalize, refine, and polish your picture book into a manuscript ready to submit for publication or representation.
Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Novel , Short Story
First Pages That Will Pull Agents In!
With troy wilderson.
Polish your opening pages in this novel intensive, where you'll make your first pages so perfect, your readers will need to know what comes next.
Flash Fiction: Writing the Short-Short Story
With barbara henning.
Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.
Write 1–3-page flash fiction in this online course with Barbara Henning, drawing on classic, poetic & experimental elements. Read the form’s masters.
Get Back to That Book
For any number of reasons, the book we want to write gets waylaid. Get back to it in this motivational two part workshop.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel
Get It Done: Create the Scaffolding to Start (and Finish) a Writing Project
Get your butt in the chair, your mind roaming freely, and your creative juices flowing in this motivational, all-genres writing class.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast
Get That Novel Finished! Tools and Inspiration to Complete Your First Draft
Finishing a novel requires guts, dedication, and stamina. When you find yourself struggling, our 10-week course with Donna Levin will help!
Get Your Book Done Intensive! 4 Weeks to Measurable Progress
The summer is the best time to get the ball rolling on your book. Join us if you really want to get your book into the world.
Graphic Novel Writing Bootcamp
With cristian aluas.
Put pen to graphing paper in this workshop on crafting the graphic novel. By the end of the Zoom call, you'll have an 8 page graphic short story that's ready to illustrate.
Growing Smaller: The Art of Micro- and Short Fiction
Less is more. Learn the ropes of flash and micro-fiction in this 4-week course and hone the art of the short-short story.
How to Write Character-Driven Stories
With lisa c. taylor.
Characters don't just drive the story, they are the story. Learn how to craft character-centered fiction and give life to the people on your page.
How to Write Great Stories
Learn how to combine character, setting, plot, and other elements of fiction to write powerful, compelling stories.
I’ve Drunk Your Poisoned Nectar: Writing with the Goddess
With shankar narayan.
Dig deep into the rich mythology of South Asian goddesses to find new inspiration for your work in this generative, open-genre writing class.
In Bloom: Nature Writing Workshop
With dana de greff.
Want to write about nature like Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, or Annie Dillard? Join us for this six-week nature writing course.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
In Your Own Words: Transforming Life Into Memoir and Fiction
With margo perin.
Learn how to draw inspiration and material from your life experiences or those of people you know, or want to know, to craft compelling, publishable memoirs, personal essays, autobiographical novels and short stories, and/or narrative poetry.
Intro to Fiction Writing
What makes a good fiction story? Learn how to write compelling stories in this eight-week intro to fiction course, with Donna Levin.
Introduction to Writing Genre Fiction
Let it rip: the art of writing fiery prose.
Only 2 seats left!
You'll write prose that gets folks so hot and bothered they won't be able to put it down, even if it isn't about sex.
Look Again: Revision for Novel Writers
With amanda hosch.
Most novels become great through the power of revision. Learn how to turn a rough draft into a swoon-worthy manuscript that readers and publishers will love.
Make Your Prose Sing
With leslie lawrence.
Enrich your prose with techniques from poetry. Bring paper and pens; leave with a better ear and lots of ideas about how to make your prose sing.
Manuscript Review for Children’s Writers: Summer Edition
Instructor Sarah Aronson welcomes all writers who are working on manuscripts for kids and teens. This advanced workshop will focus entirely on the participants' own work in progress.
Manuscript Workshop: Writing For Young Readers
Author Denise Santomauro leads this intermediate/advanced workshop on writing for children. It offers support, structure and detailed feedback on manuscripts.
Overcome Writing Anxiety: Boost Your Storytelling Confidence in Four Short Weeks!
"Who are you to want to write?" Someone great, that's who! Politely ask Mr. or Ms. Fear to step aside while you sign up for this fun, freeing and functional adventure.
Plumbing the Past: Turning Life Experience into Poetry, Flash and Creative Non-Fiction
Dig deep into personal ritual while studying narrative poets, short fiction and non-fiction authors, and food writers.
Creative Nonfiction , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
Poetic Prose: The Prose Poem
Explore the border between prose poetry and flash fiction. For writers of fiction, poetry, essay and memoir.
Fiction , Poetry , Short Story
Rapid Story Development: A Master Plan for Building Stories That Work
In this 10 week story writing class, Jeff Lyons pairs the Enneagram with story development techniques to revolutionize your writing practice.
Roads Into Writing: Opening New Terrain In Your Work
Write like mad, read brilliant books & deepen your craft while exploring new paths to inspiration. With novelist and poet Anya Achtenberg, .
Speculative Fiction: Sci-fi, Fantasy, & More
With tara campbell.
Speculative fiction isn't (only) warp drives and magic wands; it's anything that examines human lives and relationships through alternate realities. In this course, learn how to wield the fantastic in your fiction.
Story Lab: Story Structure 101
Structure is essential to great storytelling. Learn how to roadmap any story in this comprehensive story structure class.
Story Lab: The Story-Subplot Connection
Subplots are key to maintaining narrative pace and tension in a story. Drive your story forward with this deep dive into the elements of good storytelling.
Suspense Sells! Power Up Your Writing With Conflict, Tension and Emotion
Inject suspense into your stories to keep readers turning pages. For writers of all kinds of fiction: thrillers, mysteries, romance, humor, literary and memoir. A four week class with Giulietta Nardone.
Techwashed!: Writing with AI, Data, and Surveillance
Raise a mirror against society's relationship to technology in this two part workshop series where we will learn how to write about tech.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
Ten Steps to Creating Interesting, In-Depth Characters
How do you write about people convincingly? Empower your character development in this workshop filled with exercises and character discussion.
Fiction , Live Workshop , Novel , Short Story
The Cabin In The (Virtual) Woods: Writing Horror Comedy
The line between horror and comedy is a lot thinner than you think. In this class, make your readers laugh in one sentence and cower in the next.
The Chronology of Mind: From Journal to Poem or Prose
Gather material through writing and experimenting with journaling, researching and taking notes to develop into poems or prose works.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Create fantastical worlds with mythical beings in this comprehensive introduction to fantasy and science fiction.
The Elements of Fiction
With jessie roy.
Good fiction writing can feel like juggling as you balance all the different elements of storytelling. By the end of this course, you'll be an expert juggler.
The Five Ws (and One H) of Drafting Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels
Asking yourself these six questions will give you the scaffolding for your next young adult or middle grade novel.
The Micro-obstacles/Flow Technique
The sixth sense: writing horror with a message.
Looking to write the substance of nightmares? Learn the ropes of horror writing in this spine-chilling fiction course.
The Surprising Sentence: Honing Your Prose Style
Great sentences stack up into great stories. Learn how to hone your style and voice at the most basic unit of writing, the sentence, in this workshop.
The Watching Eye/Thinking Mind: Writing Flash Fiction
In this ten-week workshop with poet and novelist Barbara Henning, write tiny fictions while experimenting with first and third person points of view and analyzing how point of view affects the craft of fiction writing. Barbara will provide practical instruction and assignments, suggestions for revision, and lectures and and articles.
Turn Up the Heat: How to Write Good Sex
How do you write sex scenes that are both erotic and realistic? Make your reader's heart race in this webinar on writing good sex.
Untie the Tropes: Write In-Depth YA Protagonists
Do you want to write YA, but you're terrified of teenagers? Learn how to write authentic teen characters without tropes in this generative YA course.
Using Bullet Journaling to Achieve Writing Goals
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Poetry
What to Do When Your Characters Fall in Love: Writing Romance in Any Genre
Relationships are an important feature of fiction—and not just romances! If your non-romance work has love involved, learn the ropes in this 5 week course, open to writers of all genres.
Word Flashes & Eye Snapshots: Sketching Your Life Awake
For any writer wanting to root writing in vision and vision in the body: for poetry, fiction, essay, memoir & pleasure.
Write from the Untamed Mind: Find Your Voice
With susan vespoli.
Join Susan in two writing circles each week: intimate spaces for writers to free-write together, saying yes to whatever shows up, followed by group read-arounds. These writing sessions are spontaneous, intimate, freeing, and transformative.
Write Your Children’s Book!
If you’re looking for accountability, support, enthusiasm, feedback, and a chance to make progress on your Children's Book or YA story, then this is the place for you.
Write Your Novel Draft!
With aatif rashid.
Move far ahead in your novel draft, while learning the craft of novel writing and developing a stronger writing practice.
Write Your Novel: The Art of the Outline
Structure and start your novel in this comprehensive class. You'll come away with a skeleton for your story and at least 20 pages written.
Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Monday/Friday)
Expressive writing can be a powerful elixir for what ails you. Learn and practice tools for writing expressively, including two virtual writing circles each week, turn raw writing into poetry or prose, and come away with a better understanding of how writing can lead toward wellness.
Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story
Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Tuesday/Saturday)
Writing circles: finding community, clarity, poetry, and prose.
Join our writing circle to form a writing community, find clarity in your words, and turn your untamed free-writes into poetry and/or prose.
Lifestyle and Wellness , Poetry , Short Story
Writing for Kids: Entering the World of Children’s Literature
Learn the fundamentals of writing for children in this one day workshop, and write the kinds of stories that kids simply can't put down.
Writing Magical Fiction
In this workshop series, you won't just write using magic in fiction—you'll harness the magic that only fiction can make.
Writing Short Stories with the Empathic Approach
Great fiction brings deeper understanding. Foster a greater sense of connection and supercharge your stories in this empathy-driven fiction class.
Writing Spontaneously: How to Let Your Stories Surprise You
Some of the best stories don't follow a specific plot structure; they develop organically. Learn how to hone spontaneity in your fiction writing and come away surprised by your work.
Writing the Absurd
If you turn on to the absurd in life—to the ironic, edgy, bizarre, and grotesque—this is the course for you. Learn the key techniques of writing absurdist fiction, dark fiction, and satire.
Writing the Short Story
Writing with consistency and courage, with tamara dean.
What makes a successful writer? It's not talent, craft, or even the right connections—it's consistency and courage.
Writing with Tarot
Jump-start your creative juices, and explore a world of divination, symbolism, and imagery right at your fingertips: learn short story and novel writing through Tarot.
Unscheduled Online Fiction Writing Classes
Browse our full fiction offerings below. Let us know which fiction writing courses you're interested in, and we'll contact you with dates when we're ready to put them on our calendar.
Articles on Fiction Writing
Inciting Incident Definition: The “Why” of Fiction
Symbolism in Literature: What Symbolism Is, and How to Use It In Your Writing
NaNoWriMo Tips: Preparing for National Novel Writing Month
Revising and Editing for Creative Writers
How to Write a Novel
What is Theme? A Look at 20 Common Themes in Literature
Flat Character vs. Round Character: Definitions and Examples
Repetition Definition: Types of Repetition in Poetry and Prose
Irony Definition: Different Types of Irony in Literature
Get Back to the Book
Why take an online fiction writing course with writers.com.
- We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
- Small groups keep our online fiction writing classes lively and intimate.
- Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
- Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
- Your course instructor will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.
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Graduate Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing (MFA - Online)
Advance your writing and publishing skills in your chosen genre
online MFA program
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About the Online Graduate Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing Program
Emerson College’s Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing MFA program is one of the first online and asynchronous programs of its kind that prepares students to write professional-level stories and novels. We welcome writers who create stories in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror, mystery, thrillers, young adult—and any exciting combination thereof.
Housed in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing in the School of the Arts, our flexible graduate program allows you to work on your writing from anywhere in the world, with online workshops, literature seminars, and publishing courses that fit your schedule. Become a better writer, explore the history of your genre, and learn how to take the first steps toward publishing.
- 100% online and asynchronous MFA program to fit your schedule
- Develop your writing skills and focus on creating plot and character-driven stories
- Engage in an in-depth review of how books are published and marketed with trade publishing professionals
- Craft a thesis to submit to agents or self-publish, with one-on-one support from your advisor
- Networking opportunities with renowned writers, publishers, and academics
- No GRE requirements to apply
- Full-time and part-time options
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- Creative Writing (MFA)
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