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Here featured are 8 free online fiction writing courses to learn creative writing, writing fiction, how to write a novel and short stories. These are some of the best free creative writing courses for beginners and new writers.
The following free writing courses in fiction can help you to reach your writing goals, develop writing skills, improve career prospects, and learn various writing tips and techniques.
Check out these creative writing courses and take a free online writing course to study writing fiction and creative fiction writing with professional, established distance learning providers and published authors.
So if you would like to learn creative writing for free, take a look at these 8 free online fiction writing courses.
1. Novel Writing 101 – Reedsy
Taught by bestselling historical and fantasy fiction author Ben Galley, you will learn how to plan your novel together with writing tips to help with productivity.
This 10 fiction writing lessons will guide you on structuring your novel, how to create engaging and believable characters, and tips on sticking to a writing routine so you are productive and reach your writing goals and word count targets.
The free creative writing course is delivered by email each day for 10 days, and each lesson just takes a few minutes. A great starting point to learn creative writing for free.
View course: Novel Writing 101 – Reedsy
See more free online fiction writing courses from Reedsy:
2. Start Writing Fiction – The Open University, UK
From OpenLearn via The Open University this free fiction writing course looks at how to create well-conceived and believable characters, how to establish the setting and its links with the plot, and also the effect of genre when writing your manuscript.
If you would like to demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing, identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction, and discuss fiction using straightforward vocabulary, this course could provide the basics and a solid foundation for you to start writing fiction.
The Open University is a world leader in distance learning, and delivers OpenLearn as a free online learning platform where you can access many foundation or beginner courses to develop skills and increase confidence when learning a new topic. A great option for a new writer looking for free online writing courses in fiction.
The Start Writing Fiction course is self-paced, available to access at any time and you can download the course material/media or print to access offline. There are 12 hours of study, it is classed as Level 1 – Introductory, and a statement of participation is provided upon completion.
View course: Start Writing Fiction – The Open University
More free creative writing courses from The Open University:
3. Endless Story Ideas – Creative Writing Now
Creative Writing Now offers a free online writing course which enables writers to apply the methods learned to "generate story ideas whenever you need them". These can be developed for current and future writing projects.
The course is delivered by email; one lesson is sent each week for 3 weeks.
You can access their Story Starters and Where to Find Creative Writing Ideas sections where there are numerous creative writing ideas, including short story ideas, ideas for characters, “What if” story starters, mystery writing prompts, fiction prompts, and love story ideas, to name a few.
There is also free participation in their Creative Writing Contests and Free Poetry Contest, where participants will have the chance to be published on their website and win a prize (Amazon or cash prize).
Website: Endless Story Ideas – Creative Writing Now
4. Creative Writing Course for Writing Stories – Pearson
From Pearson, this free online creative writing course will "set your imagination free with advice, ideas and motivation to start writing stories".
This course has been created by creative-writing professor and author Janet Burroway. It is based on her book Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. Another great course to learn creative writing for free in the comfort of your own home at your own pace.
The aim is to provide ideas and tips whether you're starting or continuing to write fiction. The 6 units, which are self-paced and available to access at any time, include releasing your imagination through discussions of characters, setting, image, voice, plot and story, before moving on to help with developing, reviewing and, hopefully, publishing your work.
Students will learn how to start writing easily with motivational tips; receive advice on developing the writing habit; explore how to use "show, not tell"; find out about point of view; understand how to create well-rounded characters through their appearance, behaviors, personality, inner thoughts, and dialogue; discover how to plot a story by applying various storytelling devices; and how to use the setting to invoke conflict and mood.
If you’re a beginner writer wanting to kick-start your creative writing, finally finish that draft manuscript, or craft a collection of short stories, this comprehensive free online fiction writing course could benefit you.
View course: Creative Writing – Pearson
5. The Crafty Writer's Creative Writing Course
A free online creative writing course from the creator of The Crafty Writer, Fiona Veitch Smith. Fiona is an author, writing teacher, editor, freelance journalist, screenwriter, and playwright.
This online writing course is self-paced and consists of 8 sessions that offer an "introduction to the basic elements of creative writing, from prose fiction to poetry".
Learn how to use your voice as an author and tips on tapping into your creativity, how to bring your writing to life, advice on writing complex and realistic characters, guidance on writing dialogue between characters, understand how your choice of point of view (POV) has an effect on reader engagement, and also advice on markets, competitions, and opportunities.
Students receive information on recommended books to accompany the lessons along with further useful resources.
If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at creative writing but don't know where to start, this free online writing course could be a great option for you.
As this is a free course, feedback isn’t automatically provided on your writing and exercises, but you can request a professional critique service. The full details on how to contact Fiona and her team for an assessment of your work can be found via the course link below where you can request a quote.
View course: Creative Writing Course – The Crafty Writer
6. Writing Your First Novel – Coursera
Are you a new writer with a story to tell? Does the thought of writing a complete and cohesive book daunt you? 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 to realise your dream of becoming an author.
Even if you are a novice with no idea of how to get started writing a novel, this course program covers all the aspects to help you step by step from start to finish.
The course duration is 26 weeks, and enables students to learn the skills to develop an idea for a novel, plan the plot, create character profiles, divide the novel into chapters, and much more.
This is a beginner-friendly course that is self-paced, can be accessed at any time, and requires 127 hours of study time. Click on the “Enroll for Free” box and select the “Full Course, No Certificate” option to undertake this course for free.
View course: Write Your First Novel – Coursera
7. Mini Fiction Writing – Lead Academy
If you’re looking for a short fiction writing course to kick-start your creativity and get those words flowing, here you will learn how to develop your imagination, tips and tricks to combat writer’s block, and help to enhance your skills specifically in the area of fiction writing.
The Lead Academy is a popular e-learning platform with course material delivered by experts in their field. “As one of the leading course providers and most renowned e-learning specialists online, we’re dedicated to giving you the best educational experience possible. This course is crafted by industry expert, to enable you to learn quickly and efficiently, and at your own pace and convenience."
This online writing course is a great choice if you simply don’t know how to write a novel that sells, if you want to be a writer but find that coming up with ideas and creating a story is a struggle, or you want to gain a thorough understanding of writing fiction.
A fully CPD-accredited course (a certificate can be provided for a fee), it will help to broaden your writing horizons and learn writing skills to enable your creativity to thrive and prosper.
View course: Mini Fiction Writing Course – Lead Academy
8. Free Short Story Writing Course – Christopher Fielden
Here is an online fiction writing course that focuses on short stories, and comprises 5 videos which cover essential short story writing tips, how to avoid the most common mistakes that writers make, and offers “a guaranteed publication opportunity”.
If you’re a beginner to intermediate writer who would like to improve their writing skills and see their work in print, this online writing course could benefit you.
The course instructor is Amazon bestseller author Christopher Fielden who wrote How to Write a Short Story, Get Published and Make Money. He is a competition judge, and award-winning finalist in the Fiction: Short Story category of the International Book Awards in 2019.
This is a self-paced course with unlimited access, so you can take as long as you like to complete the lessons which “focus on the art of the short story and flash fiction writing, with a strong emphasis on getting your work published”.
View course: Free Short Story Writing Course – Christopher Fielden
So don’t delay and take advantage of one or more of these free online fiction writing courses today!
Learning from a professional course can advance your writing further, so taking the time to enroll on to a free writing course could help to increase your confidence and motivation as well as improving your writing skills and storytelling ability to engage readers.
While you keep writing, developing, and learning, even if you can only make the time to write for just a few minutes each day, you’ll soon see how much a difference applying the guidance and advice from a writing course can make..
Good luck on your next step to becoming a writer!
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