Best Creative Writing Courses
Creative writing is the art of writing with the intent to express thoughts, feelings, and emotions, rather than writing for academic or technical purposes. Creative writing can help you to share your experiences with others in a way that is entertaining, inspiring, or reflective. If you want to write personal essays, plays, poems, songs, fiction, or memoirs of your life, one of these creative writing courses can help.
Writing the Novel II
This is part of the Creative Writing Certificate track offered by the University of Toronto. Other creative writing courses that may be of interest to freelance writers include “Food Writing”, “Freelance Science, Medicine, & Public Health Writing”, and “Freelancing the Feature”.
How You Can be a Successful Writer:
This is a comprehensive home-study creative writing course offered by The Writer’s Bureau. Providing writing courses since 1989, the Writers Bureau is a member of the (BILD) or British Institute for Learning and Development. Their creative writing courses come with a 15-day money back guarantee.
Gotham Writers began as the “Gotham Writers’ Workshop” taught by two great writing teachers who teamed up to teach by renting space in a church. Gotham Writers and their “Gotham Box” (a yellow box of newsprint catalogs) are now a household name in New York City and across the globe. Best known for their creative writing courses such as Creative Writing 101 and Creative Nonfiction 101, Gotham Writers have teamed up with New York Times, Teen Ink magazine, and Barnes & Noble for previous projects. After twenty years, Gotham Writers still believes that every writer has a story to tell.
Writer’s Digest University:
This one offers several different creative writing courses and freelancing courses for the serious writer. Most of the courses require a significant financial investment but the detail and attention from instructors is unparalleled and definitely worth the price. They offer a wide variety of additional courses including ones on blogging, poetry, and memoirs.
Creative Writing for All-A 10 Day Journaling Challenge:
Offered through SkillShare, this is a membership site with a number of creative writing courses. SkillShare does offer a 14-day free trial. Users rave about courses but warn about less than stellar customer service by SkillShare. Once you’re a member or during your free trial, this is a free online course by Emily Gould, internationally acclaimed author. A great way to break out of a period of writer’s block or for any new writer to get into the routine of writing daily.
How Writers Write Fiction:
Offered by class-central through the University of Iowa, this takes an engaging and interactive look at creative writing through a collage of fifty different authors.
Writing What You Know:
Created by the Open University, this creative writing course was established in 2006 to offer free learning. Designed to help you improve your ability to perceive the people, places, and things around you in a way that enables you to use your own personal stories as fodder for your creative writing.
The Writers Workshop:
This one contains a treasure chest of creative writing courses. Whether you want to write creative fiction or non-fiction, you’ll find a course here that will interest you.
Creative Non-fiction and the Personal Essay:
Created by Gretchen Clark, this one is available through www.writers.com. They do weekly creative writing courses complete with feedback that helps you to use real life experiences as inspiration. Many of the alumni of writers.com are repeat students, having already taken a number of courses. Repeat customers mean happy customers so this site is definitely worth checking out.
Start to Write:
Created by Richard Skinner, author of The Red Dancer, this is a creative writing course offered through Faber Academy in London. Beginner writers have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on workshop located in one of the most well-known publishing houses in the world.
Creative Writing Specialization:
This one was created by Coursera. It is is a series of online creative writing courses in short story, memoir, and narrative essay form. You take the courses one at a time in any order you choose with a final capstone course to finish out the specialization. Coursera offers the most expansive course list among online courses. Carefully weigh the benefits and structure differences between a certificate track and auditing an actual college course to ensure you get the best learning outcome for you.
How to Choose the Best Creative Writing Courses
Although we’ve made every attempt to list only quality creative writing courses, like with any investment, you will need to do your own research to determine which creative writing course meets your needs. Since some of these courses require a significant investment of money and time, please take the time to know what you are getting into with the course you choose.
Ask questions or read reviews by actual students to make sure that you are clear about exactly what the course will provide, how it will or won’t work, and what you can expect to learn. Some courses will provide feedback on your assignments or actual writing, others will not. Some courses are held in-person, others are completely online in a webinar type format, and some are simply done via lessons emailed to you regularly.
Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in a Creative Writing Course:
- What is the background and credentials of the instructor for the course?
- Has the instructor been published? Where? How recently?
- Will the instructor provide one-on-one feedback on assignments or writing?
- How many students are in the class at any given time?
- What is the structure of the course like? How long is it?
- What happens if I miss a class?
- What kinds of activities or exercises can be expected?
- Does the instructor have a professional website with sincere testimonials from students?
- Are articles and reviews about the instructor or course positive?
- Does it appear reviews and articles come from reputable organizations or are clearly independent (don’t originate from their own website or company)?
- Do reviews from students mention specifically what they learned or what the course did for their writing or career?
Regardless of the type of creative writing course you are searching for, taking the time to thoroughly research it in advance is crucial. Not every creative writing course will be legitimate and not every instructor will be an experienced professional writer. Make sure you understand the purpose and structure of the course and that you research and analyze reviews from former students so you can choose the best creative writing courses for your needs.