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If you’re looking for online creative writing courses, here are 20 best novel writing courses online, free and paid, whether you’re a new writer wanting to know how to write to a book or if you have a manuscript you would like to finish.
Check out online novel writing courses from published authors, how to start writing a book, how to structure a novel, essential fiction writing skills, a step-by-step guide on how to write a novel, and much more from these online courses in creative writing.
These 20 best novel writing courses online are a mix of self-paced, instant access, free book writing courses, certification upon completion, and a novel writing diploma course.
So read on whether you’re looking for the best creative writing courses, free online novel writing courses, or the best online writing classes.
1. Novel Writing Courses Online from Published Authors – MasterClass
The writing classes to help you write your novel include courses from Dan Brown, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, Judy Blume, and Salman Rushdie.
New lessons are added on a regular basis. See the link below for all the writing courses currently on offer from MasterClass and details of their subscription cost and current free trial offer. These video lessons offer some of the best online creative writing courses available.
View all current writing courses from MasterClass: Novel Writing Courses Online from Published Authors
2. The Ultimate Novel Writing Course – Jericho Writers
Jericho Writers provides a range of writing courses and resources to help writers from across the globe, whether a beginner or more advanced, to improve their skills and achieve their writing goals.
As per Jericho Writers' website, "This year-long course combines online mentoring, weekly tutorials and editorial feedback, literary agent feedback and an exclusive online networking event. Start with a work in progress – end with the tools and contacts you need to get published."
This novel writing course runs from April 2023 to March 2024, and includes personalized one-to-one mentoring, comprehensive feedback on your manuscript, interactive workshops with top-tier instructors, and assistance in presenting your work to literary agents.
View Course: The Ultimate Novel Writing Course
Click here for a full list of creative writing courses from Jericho Writers.
3. How to Write a Book Online – Writers Write
Writers Write is an excellent resource that is run by writers, for writers. Situated in South Africa, they provide a range of online writing courses that allow you to study from any international location.
This course How to Write a Book Online assigns you a writing coach, talks you through every aspect of character, plot, and world building, and provides real-life feedback on how you are doing as you go. Your coach will be Mia Botha, with whom you can schedule 45 minute sessions to discuss your work.
If you’re looking to start your first online novel writing course, this could be a great option for you.
View course: How to Write a Book Online
4. Begin Your Novel – Creative Writing Ink
If you’re ready to start that novel you have been planning for a while, this Creative Writing Ink course is ideal. Complete with PHD and MA tutors, tutored by a novelist named Kerry Hadley-Pryce, this online writing course has set course dates and has a duration of six weeks.
Among a class of 10, you will be taught through email correspondence so you can work at a pace that suits you. The online writing classes cover plotting, character creation, and all the necessary techniques you need to build a working novel.
As per Creative Writing Ink's website: This six-week course will show you techniques and guidance to get going and keep going. Each week a new module will build on the week before using tasks, assignments and resources to keep you on track and help you find your characters, work on your plot and develop your voice. More importantly, it will help you to think like a novelist. Your tutor will provide you with personal feedback on the assignments you submit each week.
If you’re looking for a book writing course online, this course could be the ideal option to get you started.
View course: Begin Your Novel
5. Novel Writing 101 [FREE] – Reedsy
The Novel Writing 101 course is one of Reedsy’s learning’s online writing courses. These courses are completed by performing five minutes of study for a ten-day block. These can be sent to your email address in the morning so you can learn them when you have a few minutes to spare, such as your lunch break.
It’s a nice take on modular learning. The course takes you through all the basic aspects of novel writing and is considered to be introductory.
Reedsy provide what are considered to be some of the best free online writing courses for new writers, so if you’re looking for free courses on writing a book, this could be the perfect choice for you.
View course: Novel Writing 101
Find more free online creative writing courses from Reedsy:
Click here for a full list of free courses from Reedsy.
6. Writing a Novel Courses – CreativeLive
It is also worth noting that the price is often discounted. Courses are various prices, or you can get a pass to access all CreativeLive courses for a monthly fee.
Check out the latest courses from CreativeLive listed below:
7. Write a Novel – UK Writers College
The UK Writer’s College has been providing online training courses since 2005. This online writing course has been put together to equip you to write roughly 20,000 words of your novel over 12 modules.
It is self-paced, allows for tutor feedback, and at the end of this online novel writing course you should have a completed pitching manuscript that you can send to publishers or literary agents.
View course: Write a Novel
8. Online Novel Writing Course – City Academy
The City Academy’s Online Novel Writing Course is ideal for those writers who are big procrastinators. It sets feedback given in response to meeting deadlines, driving you to be better at actually performing the act of writing and reaching those word count goals.
A pro writer will take you through these online lessons for writing a novel. There is also a level two course available for you to work toward. This is an interactive video course for all levels of writers.
View Course: Online Novel Writing Course
9. Creative Writing: How to Write a Novel – Udemy
This How to Write a Novel course is from world-renowned e-learning platform Udemy. It comes in at an excellent price for what you receive.
It teaches you how to keep a narrative structure that hooks your readers, and how to create characters that are equally as interesting and engaging. It’s also probably the most fun course on our list, which is something to keep in mind for those who need engagement and stimulation when learning.
View course: Creative Writing: How to Write a Novel
Udemy also provide the following novel writing online courses:
10. Write Your First Novel [FREE] – Coursera
Long-time e-learning platform Coursera has come up with a free Write your First Novel course that helps those who just don’t know where to start.
Featuring free enrollment and a shareable certificate on completion, this course is given by Instructor David Wheeler and has its roots in the teaching used at Michigan State University.
This course takes 127 hours to complete, at the end of which you come away with a full novel of 50,000 words. Just click on the ‘Enroll for Free button’ and then select the ‘Full Course, No Certificate’ option to undertake this course for free.
If you’re looking for free courses on writing a book, this course could benefit you.
View course: Write Your First Novel
11. How to Write a Novel: Structure and Outline – edX
When looking to answer the question how can I learn to write a novel, this instructor-led course from UBCx via edX is “designed to take your novel from concept to completion”. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel or you’ve started to write a book but lost motivation partway through, this online novel writing course could benefit you.
Some of us struggle with the structuring aspect when writing a novel. We build our characters first and let them loose on the page, not thinking about plot until the end of the book when we have to bring it all together. Whereas, other writers are more adept at storyboarding the plot and not lifting a typist’s finger until the book is completely researched. Both styles need structuring help.
This comprehensive ‘how to write a book’ course requires four to six hours a week for six weeks, and is considered of intermediate difficulty.
View course: How to Write a Novel: Structure and Outline
12. Novel Writing Diploma Course – Centre of Excellence
The Novel Writing Diploma Course offered by the Centre of Excellence is a fully accredited course that consists of 19 modules. In exchange for CPD points/hours, you accumulate learning skills enough to gain a diploma in writing a novel.
If you’re looking for a course that covers idea generation, writing dialogue, learning about point of view, understanding descriptive writing, how to build suspense and tension, and much more, this novel writing course could benefit you.
View course: Novel Writing Diploma Course
13. Writing Fiction Online – University of Oxford
The prestigious establishment of Oxford University offers a few novel writing courses, each of which will add weight to your name as a professional writer. The Writing Fiction Online course is a great starting point for any novelist or writer of short stories.
This course has set start dates, which usually runs for 10 weeks, and it teaches you how to actively generate ideas, essential characterization tips, story telling techniques, and much more. This is online learning at its finest. This course aims to take students "from the blank page to revision and polishing, and what comes after".
View course: Writing Fiction (Online)
14. Finish Your Novel - Six Months – Curtis Brown Creative
This advanced 6-month writing course is for people who are serious about writing a novel. As well as being packed with useful content, it’s flexible so you can write and study at times to suit you. You'll join a group of 15 students for interactive online learning."
As per Curtis Brown's website, what you'll learn: Across 14 teaching modules, videos and notes will be made available on our learning platform, covering a range of topics such as plotting, characterisation, point-of-view and rewriting. All delivered by our expert tutor team
Across the course, you'll get three dedicated workshops centring on 3,000-word extracts from your novel-in-progress. These sessions offer in-depth feedback from your student group and tutor, and are also designed to help develop your self-editing skills.
Special live Zoom sessions will help demystify publishing. Leading literary agents, authors and publishers will discuss writing, editing and the submissions process – they will draw on their experience of real-life publication journeys. There will also be opportunities to ask questions.
View course: Finish Your Novel - Six Months
See all Curtis Brown Creative's Creative Writing Courses for a comprehensive list of online courses available.
15. Starting Your Novel – City Lit
This online course is by educators City Lit, who have a fantastic rating on TrustPilot. This course is designed to help you sit down and focus on your novel, without all the bells and whistles that are likely to distract you.
If you are the kind of writer who doesn’t care what the technical names for their word choices are, for example, this online writing a book course is for you. It’ll teach you all the techniques, but the focus is always on what works for you.
This course has set start dates and the tutor is Natasha Bell, who is a novelist and creative nonfiction writer. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths and has taught Creative Writing to both adults and children.
View course: Starting your Novel
16. Write a Bestselling Novel in 15 Steps (Writing Mastery) – Udemy
"Discover the secret storytelling code behind all successful novels and use it to outline, write, or revise your own."
As per Udemy's website, what you'll learn:
Throughout this course, certified instructor Jessica Brody will:
View course: Write a Bestselling Novel in 15 Steps
Find more Novel Writing Courses from Udemy.
17. Novel Writing and Longer Works – City, University of London
The University of London has a growing online platform that lets you learn how to write a novel. The course lasts for 10 weeks and takes about two hours a week in the evenings.
For this time, you gain guidance on how to write a sustained piece of fiction in a long-form idea.
This course is best taken before you start your novel as it contains helpful information on how to get through those tricky middle sections, for example.
View course: Novel Writing and Longer Works
19. How to Write a Novel – Unthank School
Unthank School of Writing offers a wonderful How to Write a Novel course of their own creation. The course contains over 30 optional writing tasks, gives you detailed feedback on form, construction, and writing technique, and supports learning every step of the way – right through to publication.
Your tutor will be a published novelist, and you will have the peer input of a whole class should you need it.
View course: How to Write a Novel
If you’re seeing this course but the start date has passed, check out more online writing courses from Unthank School for their up-to-date offers.
18. The Finished Novel Writing Course – The Novelry
Based in the UK, The Novelry is an internationally recognized name in the world of writing. They create elegant courses that focus on cultivating a carefully nurtured environment over the study of techniques, forms, and styles.
"Our comprehensive novel writing program, with structured, carefully paced course content, writer coaching, intensive feedback and a full manuscript assessment is available as a one-year or two-year program."
As per The Novelry website: With The Finished Novel Course, you’ll develop the advanced creative writing skills you need to complete a work of fiction to get published; step by step, in safe hands, with professionals and experts. Even if you’re a complete beginner.
If you’re looking for a book writing course online, this course could benefit you.
View course: The Finished Novel Writing Course
If you are already an author, The Novelry team still have more online creative writing courses to offer, such as the 90 day novel writing course, which helps you to craft a full novel in as little as three months.
20 – Novel Writing – Learn Direct
Learn Direct is a big name in digital training. They have an interesting Novel Writing course that seems to stray a little from the expected norms.
If you are an aspiring writer that just wants to write a single book for the fun of it, then this course takes you through from start to finish.
Its modules include characterization, fiction foundations, emotion, theme, viewpoint, dialogue, style, and structure. It even takes you through the publishing process in the latter stages.
View course: Novel Writing
Learning from a professional course will advance your writing further, so undertaking one of these courses will increase 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 writing your novel!