Novel Writing 101

Novel Writing 101

Taught by: Tom Bromley

So, you want to write a novel ? In this free course, author and ghostwriter Tom Bromley will introduce you to all the essential steps you'll need to take before you start writing your novel's first draft.

With practical exercises in every lesson, this course will guide you through the planning stages of your novel and teach you essential elements of novel writing, including:

  • Creating characters and choosing your point of view
  • Bringing your setting to life
  • Building enough of a structure to draft your manuscript
  • Developing your unique voice as a writer

Sign up and get your first lesson right away.

Brought to you by Tom Bromley

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As an editor and publisher, Tom has worked on several hundred titles, again including many prize-winners and international bestsellers.  

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Explore online writing courses and programs

Why learn writing skills.

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

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

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

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Browse online writing classes

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

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

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

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

Explore writing jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to start a career in writing 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last updated January 2024

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Start writing fiction

Start writing fiction

Course description

Course content, course reviews.

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

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

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

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 14/05/2018

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

6 Free Online Writing Courses You Can Start Today

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

creative writing class - story ideas

Endless Story Ideas

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

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

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

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

What you'll learn:

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

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

cat watching goldfish, illustrating suspense writing course

Suspense Techniques

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

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

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

Other ways of creating suspense:

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

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

Beginnings, Middles, Endings

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

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

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

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

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

two women embracing, illustrating character development writing course

Intro to Character Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

shadows, representing mystery writing course

Intro to Mystery Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

butterfly representing description writing course

Intro to Description Writing

Good description writing is the secret to vivid stories.

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

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

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

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

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

Browse more online creative writing courses .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Table of contents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Evocativeness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free MailerLite Video Course

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

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

  • Orson Scott Card
  • David Farland

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite online writing course?

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

Dave Chesson

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

Related Reviews

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

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

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

What about academic graduate writing courses online?

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

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

You bet…and no kidding!

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

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

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Upcoming Online Fiction Writing Courses

February courses, even smaller: adventures in short-form writing, with tina barry.

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

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

Even Smaller micro writing course

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.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story

Writing fiction and nonfiction from memory course

Rapid Story Development: A Master Plan for Building Stories That Work

With jeff lyons.

In this 10 week story writing class, Jeff Lyons pairs the Enneagram with story development techniques to revolutionize your writing practice.

rapid story development enneagram writing course

Character is the Key: Unlock Your Best Stories

With jessie roy.

If you want to tell a good story, you need to write good characters. Learn how to unlock your best stories in this one-day character development workshop. 

Fiction , Novel , Short Story

Character writing course

March Courses

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.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

the surprising sentence writing course

Comics for People Who Can’t Draw!

With aubrey hirsch.

Can't draw? No problem! In this workshop, learn how to tell complete stories in publication-ready comics, no matter your artistic background. 

Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay , Short Story

comics for people who can't draw

Writing (and Reading) the American Short Story

With vincent scarpa.

In this workshop, we will read and celebrate the American short story, while writing our own fiction that honors this literary canon. 

Fiction , Short Story

American short story writing course

Poetic Prose: The Prose Poem

With barbara henning.

Explore the border between prose poetry and flash fiction. For writers of fiction, poetry, essay and memoir.

Fiction , Poetry , Short Story

free fiction writing classes online

Get Your Book Noticed: 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 Zoom workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

Log line writing course

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

free fiction writing classes online

Onward: Writing the Novel-in-Process

With sandra novack.

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.

Fiction , Novel

Online novel writing class: Fifty Pages of the Novel

April Courses

Let it rip: the art of writing fiery prose, with giulietta nardone.

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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!

free fiction writing classes online

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!

how to write a children's picture book

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.

free fiction writing classes online

May Courses

The first fifty pages of the novel.

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.

First 50 Pages of the Novel

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.

free fiction writing classes online

June Courses

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.

Fiction , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

cabin in the virtual woods writing horror comedy

The Elements of Fiction

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.

free fiction writing classes online

September Courses

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.

dread and desire gothic writing workshop

November Courses

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.

Write Your Novel in 12 Weeks!

Unscheduled Courses

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

get clear on your story writing class

(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

screenwriting course

(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

revising the novel webinar

(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

how to write love stories flash fiction workshop

(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

beginnings and endings

(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

a sense of place

*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.

embodied writing interview | writing and the body

*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.

genre fiction writing | many hats

*Private Class | The Micro-obstacles/Flow Technique

Create new work with fresh language, universal themes, sustained mystery and memorable characters. Stimulate your imagination.

free fiction writing classes online

*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

learn bullet journaling course

*Private Class | Writing the Short Story

beyond convention how to write wild fiction

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

living a writerly life course

Advanced Fiction Workshop with Emily Adrian

With emily adrian.

Build a feedback group and sharpen your novel or short stories for publication in this workshop-oriented fiction class. 

Look again: Novel revision course

Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Use Story and Premise Development for Writing Success

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

free fiction writing classes online

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.

Write the First Third of Your Novel

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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

writing prompts for writers block

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!

boost your creativity writing class

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

Both Fish and Fowl: The Prose Poem

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

what is your story about

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.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

character transformation workshop

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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.

conflict in writing forward moving tension

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

advanced poetry novel workshop

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…

romance novel writing course

Creating Narrative in Comics

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

creating narrative in comics

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

Writing for Business Professionals

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.

worldbuilding in science fiction and fantasy

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.

Henri Rousseau Le centenaire de l'indépendance (1892)

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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

Find Your Brave: Publishing As An Act Of Courage

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.

Finding inspiration in dreams writing course

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

free fiction writing classes online

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

children's picture book manuscript workshop

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.

First Pages that Pull You In

Flash Fiction: Writing the Short-Short Story

Write 1–3-page flash fiction in this online course with Barbara Henning, drawing on classic, poetic & experimental elements. Read the form’s masters.

Pete's Lounge - WikiCommons

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 back to that book

Get It Done: Create the Scaffolding to Start (and Finish) a Writing Project

With eman quotah.

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

scaffolding a writing project

Get It Done: Fast-Draft Your Novel in 13 Weeks

Write a complete first draft of your novel in this 13-week intensive, where you'll learn everything you need to write a successful story. 

get it done novel intensive

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!

finishing the novel course

Get That Novel Started: A Two-Week Writing Workshop

Take the plunge! Put your ideas to paper, write and share the opening pages of your novel, and create a plan for writing a full first draft.

Get that Novel Started writing course

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.

write your book class

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.

Graphic Novel Bootcamp

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.

microfiction short fiction writing course

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

How to Firm Up the “Mushy Middle” of Any 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.

character writing workshop

How to Write Great Stories

Learn how to combine character, setting, plot, and other elements of fiction to write powerful, compelling stories.

Fiction Fundamentals: How to Write Great Stories

Humor Is The New Black!

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.

laughing from

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.

goddess writing course

In Bloom: Nature Writing Workshop

With dana de greff.

Only 3 seats left!

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

online nature writing course

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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.

intro to fiction writing

Introduction to Writing Genre Fiction

It starts with play: get (back) into writing, with janée baugher.

Harness the joy of creativity in this inspiration-focused class, where we'll uncover new ideas for writing projects and draft loads of new material. 

It Starts with Play writing course

Kickstart Your Novel

How do novelists turn an idea into a published book? Gain the confidence to  be a novelist in this transformational 3 hour workshop. 

kickstart your novel

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.

make your prose sing writing course

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.

free fiction writing classes online

Manuscript Workshop: Writing For Young Readers

With denise santomauro.

Author Denise Santomauro leads this intermediate/advanced workshop on writing for children. It offers support, structure and detailed feedback on manuscripts.

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.

free fiction writing classes online

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

observing what's vivid in prose and poetry

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.

how to gain confidence writing

Penning Passion: Finish the First Draft of your Romance Novel in Ten Weeks

In this comprehensive class, you'll learn the ropes of romance writing and finish a first draft of your romance novel. 

Romance novel writing course

Plot Your Novel with the Three-Act Structure

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 Stories with the Three-Act Structure

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

free fiction writing classes online

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, .

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.

scene writing course

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.

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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 story structure 101

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.

Story Lab: The Story-Subplot Connection

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.

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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.

techwashed writing course

Teen Writers’ Workshop: Discover the Writer You Want to Be

With cara stevens.

Give your teens the power of writing and community in this two part workshop, where teen writers will learn the skills to become professional authors.

Teen writers' workshop

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

character development workshop online

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

A_Wilde_time Wiki Commons

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.

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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.

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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.

horror writing course

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Writing Autobiographical Fiction

Learn to depart from "what really happened," and write compelling fiction from your own life experiences.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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free fiction writing classes online

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor towles, everything you need for every book you read..

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

A Gentleman in Moscow: Introduction

A gentleman in moscow: plot summary, a gentleman in moscow: detailed summary & analysis, a gentleman in moscow: themes, a gentleman in moscow: quotes, a gentleman in moscow: characters, a gentleman in moscow: terms, a gentleman in moscow: symbols, a gentleman in moscow: theme wheel, brief biography of amor towles.

A Gentleman in Moscow PDF

Historical Context of A Gentleman in Moscow

Other books related to a gentleman in moscow.

  • Full Title: A Gentleman in Moscow
  • When Written: 2009-2016
  • Where Written: New York City
  • When Published: 2016
  • Literary Period: Contemporary
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Setting: The Metropol Hotel, Moscow, 1922-1954
  • Climax: The Count escapes from the Metropol
  • Antagonist: The Bishop; the Bolsheviks
  • Point of View: Third person omniscient

2020 Outreach Courses

A grid of images suggesting people writing, reading, using laptops to work, and joining a Zoom call for a conversation.


11/5/2020—12/22/2020 (Near East and Northern African regions, though open to all)

This short course series contains six one-hour courses (each with a 30-minute lecture and two 15-minute assignment sections). Courses are captioned/subtitled in Arabic and in English. Each course is taught by a different disabilities writer/activist.

The courses in the series are released on a weekly basis. To view the course series on your own schedule, please click here:

Instructors include Sheila Black , a poet, writer, and disabilities activist and currently director of development at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the main professional organization for creative writing programs; Ron Marz , comic book writer known for the Green Lantern and the Silver Surfer, but also for an international creative collaboration  project in 2012 where he and others, at the invitation of the Syrian government, created the Silver Scorpion, a Syrian-American teenage superhero who is wheelchair-bound; Elsa Sjunesson , Hugo, Aurora, and British Fantasy awards winner, and an activist for disability rights; and Melody Moezzi , writer, lawyer, and disabilities activist, a United Nations Global Expert and an Opinion Leader for the British Council's Our Shared Future initiative, and who, several years back, was part of an ECA program involving young American-Muslim leaders.


6/15/2020 through 8/1/2020   (Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia)

The Movement sessions of this course work with aspects of meaning-making in dance, with establishing context and point-of-view, and with generation of movement and experimentation with structure. These sessions form the starting point of each Word session, which are in creative writing workshop format. Participants experiment with form and with language, fusing responses, insights, and reactions from the Movement sessions into their creative writing.

View text galleries of some of the course projects and assignments submitted by the Russian-speaking and Latvian-speaking participants here:

(AFTERNOTE: This course’s emphases on diverse perspectives and on resiliency, occurring as it did in the midst of an unexpected global pandemic, both echoed and intersected with the myriad types of virtual artistic and issue-oriented collaborations appearing across the United States during this time.)


4/15/2020 through 10/15/2020  (Argentina, Botswana, Colombia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Somalia, South Africa)

This project furthers already-established connections in the IWP's Women's Creative Mentorship (WCM) Project ,  broadens international networks and collaborations, and amplifies the many threads of conversation established by the mentor-mentee groups. A series of professional practice seminars anchored and applied these topics.

Participants were invited to create digital collages of their work in this project, and, given the COVID-19 pandemic, their work beyond it.

Click below to view the WCM participants' short videos, their texts and images, and their writing resource lists in response to being asked to describe their past few months, including the balancing/un-balancing of life, COVID-19, writing, and global and local concerns:

Upcoming Events

  • Jan 28 — May 26 Write at the Stanley: A Generative Writing Workshop Location: Stanley Museum of Art , Visual Classroom -->
  • Feb 03 — Dec 05 Art & Write Night Location: University of Iowa Museum of Natural History , Hageboeck Hall of Birds (Bird Hall, third Floor) -->
  • Mar 10, 7:08 pm BMindful Holy Days: Ramadan (Islam) Location: University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion -->
  • Mar 20 BMindful Holy Days: Nowruz/Naw-Ruz (Baháʼí) various ethnicities worldwide Location: University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion -->
  • Lines & Spaces
  • Fall Residency
  • Between the Lines
  • Summer Institute
  • Crafting the Future
  • Women’s Creative Mentorship Project
  • International Conferences
  • Life of Discovery
  • Silk Routes
  • US Study Tours

Happening Now

Ranjit Hoskote ’s speech at the 2024 Goa Literary Festival addresses the current situation in Gaza.

In NY Times, Bina Shah worries about the state of Pakistani—and American—democracy.

“I went to [Ayodhya] to think about what it means to be an Indian and a Hindu... ”  A new essay by critic and novelist Chandrahas Choudhury .

In the January 2024 iteration of the French/English non-fiction site Frictions, T J Benson writes about “Riding Afrobeats Across the World.” Also new, a next installment in the bilingual series featuring work by students from Paris VIII’s Creative Writing program and the University of Iowa’s NFW program.

in NYTimes , Sanam Maher examines a new book about women defending themselves when the justice system in their country won’t.

Find Us Online


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    In 2013, after publishing Rules of Civility, Towles retired from finance and began to devote himself to writing full time. He published A Gentleman in Moscow in 2016, which also made it to the New York Times bestseller list. Towles continues to write in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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