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Are you looking for free online creative writing courses and free creative writing classes to take your writing skills to the next level, to enhance and polish your writing to pen the next bestseller, or to improve your career prospects? This list of best free creative writing courses may help you.
Whether you want to find online creative writing courses or start to learn creative writing with free writing courses online, check out What Do You Learn in a Creative Writing Course to find out what to expect in a creative writing class, what you will learn by undertaking creative writing courses and the benefits of studying creative writing.
Find the best free online writing courses for creative writers fiction and nonfiction from these 30+ best free online creative writing courses and free creative writing classes.
Find free online writing courses for writing fiction or nonfiction.
Here featured are some of the best free creative writing courses, classes and workshops for new writers as well as those with experience who are looking to create impactful and engaging prose, learn pace and flow, master point of view, improve descriptive writing, how to show and not tell, and much more.
1. Endless Story Ideas – Creative Writing Now
This free online writing course from Creative Writing Now helps writers utilize methods to "generate story ideas whenever you need them", which can then be developed for future projects.
A student review for Creative Writing Now online classes:
"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!"
2. Start Writing Fiction – The Open University
A free online creative writing course from The Open University via FutureLearn, students will "discover the rituals and approaches that successful fiction writers use".
The topics covered in this free writing course include creating fiction characters and generating stories from them; writing practice – creativity, research, observation and editing; the importance of exchanging work; and more. This course is ideal for beginner writers and/or authors wanting to improve their writing of fiction.
3. Secret Sauce of Great Writing - Udemy
This free writing tutorial teaches you "how to make your blogs, books and business writing sparkle". Great for beginner writers, this online creative writing course is the same quality as their paid courses, but without the certification or access to instructors.
Former Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja teaches the four key elements of good writing: clarity, simplicity, evocativeness and elegance. If you want to write fiction or nonfiction, this course will help your writing to stand out among your peers.
More free beginner online writing courses from Udemy include:
4. Creative Writing Course – Free Training Tutorial
From Free Training Tutorial, this free creative writing course covers the purpose of creative writing, how to create a character, how to create a setting, the theme of a story, and point of view writing.
This online creative writing course aims to "help you find that inner writer". All the course content is available on the website with no registration required.
5. The Best Free Online Screenwriting Course – Screenplay.today
One of the best online creative writing courses, this self-titled screenwriting course by Screenplay.today on how to write a movie/film is free to access and no registration is required.
With over 30 articles, when it comes to writing a screenplay, everything is covered on this free online writing course, from turning an idea into a screenplay, creating your screenplay's theme, writing exposition, how to write the first turning point, rising action and advancing the plot, and a screenplay template – how to write a script, and much more.
6. Creative Writing Course – The Crafty Writer
This is a free online creative writing course from The Crafty Writer and run by Fiona Veitch Smith, who is an author, freelance journalist, editor, playwright, screenwriter and writing teacher.
This eight-session course provides an "introduction to the basic elements of creative writing, from prose fiction to poetry".
7. Use Show Don't Tell to Improve Your Writing – Udemy
Check out this free writing course online on one of the most difficult aspects authors need to master: how to show, not tell.
If you want to know how to avoid "information dumping" to your reader and what "show don't tell" is, together with why and how to use it, this course could benefit you.
More free online creative writing courses from Udemy, for all levels of writers, include:
8. An Introduction to Screenwriting – University of East Anglia
This two-week online screenwriting course by the University of East Anglia via FutureLearn covers the key aspects involved in the process of scriptwriting.
Whether you are beginner or experienced writer, this free creative writing course aims to provide the skills to write an effective screenplay and the understanding of terminology associated with this style of writing.
9. Writing What You Know – OpenLearn
From OpenLearn via The Open University, this free online writing course is for beginner writers or authors whose creativity and writing needs a boost.
This free online creative writing course aims to hone perceptive abilities and develop the use of memory, observation and the senses via reading and writing activities. This style of writing can be utilized in fiction writing, poetry and life writing.
10. Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy – Jeffrey A. Carver
For aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers of all ages, this free content from science fiction writer Jeffrey A. Carver covers a plethora of topics in this genre.
Learn getting from idea to story, world building, creating human characters, aliens and other creatures, conflict and plot, language and style, the seven deadly perils of style, research and believability, getting published, and much more.
11. The Craft of Character – Wesleyan University
This free online creative writing course from Wesleyan University via Coursera is all about characterization, bringing your characters to life and how they can create more impactful and engaging stories.
This free writing course online is ideal for beginner writers and/or authors wanting to improve the forming of characters and dialogue, etc. in their fiction writing.
12. 10 FREE Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger – Udemy
This "ultimate blogging tools course" from Udemy aims to "increase your blogging and writing creativity".
The 12 lectures include finding blogging inspiration, creating effective blog headlines, recommended tools on error-free writing, and more.
So if you're a blogger, write content for websites, a small business entrepreneur or wanting to know the tips and tools for writing online content, this free online blogging writing course could benefit you.
13. Writing Short Stories – Toby Litt
From Toby Litt, a free short story writing course. Toby is an English author who teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College, London. His published works include Wrestliana, Lilian's Spell Book, and Patience.
This 10-lesson course provides the basics of writing short stories whether you're beginner or a writer who wishes to improve their craft. If you would like to write better stories, this free short story course could benefit you.
14. Writing for Young Readers – Coursera
This is an online writing course from Coursera which is a "combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors".
Once enrolled onto this course you will look at establishing effective writing habits, how to use your own experiences in your writing, experimenting writing with different viewpoints, watch many videos including interviews with children's authors, understand the variety of genres when writing for young children, and much more.
15. Free Short Story Writing Course – Christopher Fielden
This free short story course “focuses on the art of the short story and flash fiction writing, with a strong emphasis on getting your work published”.
The course instructor is Christopher Fielden who is an award-winning and Amazon bestseller. He was an award-winning finalist in the Fiction: Short Story category of the International Book Awards in 2019.
16. How to Show and Not Tell in Short Stories – Writers Write
This free writing course highlights the importance of “show, don’t tell”, which is even more essential when writing a short story due to the limited word count.
This course was created by Mia Botha, who founded the 12 Short Stories in 12 Months and the 12 Poems in 12 Months challenges. She is also the author of Write the Crap Out of It and Other Short Story Writing Advice. Since becoming a teacher, she has been guiding and sharing her knowledge for nearly 10 years.
17. Write a Feature Length Screenplay for Film or Television – Coursera
This online screenplay writing course will enable writers of all genres to write a "polished and pitch-ready script".
Participants will learn the tools and techniques to create a screenplay in this practical, motivating and highly recommended course. No previous script-writing experience is required to enroll, so this course would suit beginners as well as professional writers.
The video lessons cover a 20-week period and include creating the idea, creating your character profile/s, the three-act story arc, screenplay formatting and software, how to structure each act, and more.
18. Writing Stories and Creative Non-fiction – Pearson
A free online creative writing course from Pearson aims to "set your imagination free with advice, ideas and motivation to start writing stories and creative non-fiction".
The aim of this course is to provide ideas and tips whether you're starting or continuing to write fiction, a memoir or even poetry. The units cover releasing your imagination through discussions of characters, setting, image, voice, plot and story, before moving on to guidance on developing, reviewing and, hopefully, publishing your work.
19. Writing Science Fiction – National Centre for Writing
This free science fiction creative writing course is aimed at anyone looking to write in the sci-fi genre, you will find this course full of advice and information on world building and verisimilitude!
The instructor for this course is Ian Nettleton, author of the science fiction anthology Angles, and the novel The Last Migration. With a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia, he teaches creative writing at the Open University (undergraduate and MA) and the University of East Anglia.
20. Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop – Coursera
If you want to dive into an in-depth learning program on poetry writing, this is a comprehensive online poetry course from the California Institute of Arts via Coursera which serves that purpose.
This online poetry writing course provides the ultimate knowledgebase for poets that can be helpful in producing literary gems.
21. Start Writing a Book – Reedsy
If you want to write a book but you’re not sure where to begin, or you’ve made a start but need some guidance to keep going or to complete it, this free online writing course from Reedsy could help you.
The instructor for this course is Jennie Nash who is the author of three memoirs and four novels. She is also a private book coach whose clients regularly receive national self-publishing awards, are signed up with top New York agents, and have book deals with publishing houses such as Simon & Schuster, and Random House.
For more FREE creative writing courses from Reedsy, check out the following:
Click here for a full list of free courses from Reedsy.
22. Writing Your First Novel – Coursera
Do you aspire to become a novelist? If so, this writing course from the University of Michigan via Coursera could be a great opportunity for you.
Even if you are a novice with no idea of how to get started writing a novel, this course program covers all aspects to help you to start from scratch.
23. Writing for Young Readers – Commonwealth Education Trust
If you are passionate about writing fiction pieces for a younger audience, this course from the Commonwealth Education Trust is for you to excel further in your preferred genre. For those who possess creative inspiration for this particular target market, this course can help to write specifically for children and teenagers.
As well as becoming acquainted with various cultures, you will learn to deal with the technical elements of story writing such as creating characters, structuring the plot for a great story, creating dialogue, and much more.
24. Unseen Poetry and the Creative Process – FutureLearn
Do you want to master the art of putting your thoughts into beautiful rhymes? If the answer is yes, this course from the University of Reading via FutureLearn could benefit you.
It is an elementary course program for new writers wanting to master the art of writing poetry and verse. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to create beautiful poems worthy of publication.
25. Comedy Writing and Performance Poetry – edX
This is another free online creative writing course from the University of Cambridge via edX. Here you can "prepare to perform your comic writing and/or poetry to a live audience, as well as develop transferable writing skills and communication expertise that will be relevant in any profession".
This is an intermediate, instructor-led course where students will discover the specialized aspects in writing for stand-up comedy and performance poetry, the key performance components required for this writing discipline, script-editing skills, and much more.
26. Transmedia Storytelling – Coursera
If you have the urge to write big and bold narratives such as Star Wars, Marvel films, and similar, the skills in transmedia storytelling can help you achieve such goals.
This course from UNSW Sydney via Coursera will help you to nurture your talent in the sphere of creating multidisciplinary narratives for films, books, games, and so on.
You will learn everything about the transmedia audience, how to craft your ideas into well-structured and exciting narratives, how to create complex worlds, the essentials of absorbing storytelling, the use of VR and AR technologies, and you will also interact with the instructors.
27. Supercharge Your Productivity – National Centre for Writing
This free online course from the National Centre for Writing is full of information and advice to help you examine your writing habits (the good and the bad!) and identify how you can supercharge your productivity.
If you've always wanted to write but don’t know how to start or you’d like to stop getting distracted and never finishing projects, this course could help you.
28. Finding Your Voice as a Playwright – edX
On this free online creative writing course from the University of Cambridge via edX, students "will be looking in depth at how to find your own distinctive dramatic voice as you develop as a playwright".
On this instructor-led course, you will learn the forms and traditions when writing for performance, understand the market demands of entertainment industries, discover the essential performance components within this discipline, script-editing skills, how to create effective structure within scenes, and much more.
More FREE screenwriting courses via edX include:
29. Storytelling for Social Change – FutureLearn
A free online creative writing course from The University of Michigan via FutureLearn where students will "discover how crafting an engaging story can deliver a message that inspires audiences and effects real change".
The tutor for this course is Anita Gonzalez (Ph.D.), who is a Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean at the University of Michigan. Anita promotes engaged learning, internationalism in the arts, and interdisciplinary research.
The topics covered in this free writing course include harnessing the power of storytelling and improving your communication skills, learning how storytelling can communicate powerful ideas, and utilizing the power of visual storytelling. If you would like to learn the top tips and advice for writing an impactful story, this course could benefit you.
Website: Storytelling for Social Change
30. Exploring Books for Children: Words and Pictures – OpenLearn via The Open University
On this FREE writing for children course from OpenLearn via The Open University you will understand how images communicate to children readers, how pictures and words can either reinforce or contradict each other, what it means to create books for the specific audience of children, and more.
On this online writing course "you will learn how children’s fiction, ranging from classics such as Beatrix Potter to contemporary authors like Anthony Browne, combines images and text in remarkably sophisticated ways to communicate with young and old".
Website: Exploring Books for Children: Words and Pictures
Learning from a professional course will advance your writing further, so taking advantage of a free writing course will enhance your motivation and confidence as well as improving your writing style and storytelling ability.
Also, there are additional benefits such as connecting with other writers and discussing ideas or asking for feedback and advice.
While you keep writing, learning, and developing, you’ll soon see how much a difference practice and utilizing the information from a writing course can make.
Good luck on your next step on your writing journey!