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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. How to Start Writing a Book – 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.
The result of this space is an accentuation of the creative flow. New writers struggling to start writing their novel will love this course, but old hands who are losing inspiration will adore the ideas to be found here.
If you’re looking for a book writing course online, this course could benefit you.
View course: How to Start Writing a Book
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.
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 12, you will be taught through email correspondence so you can work at a pace that suits you. The online writing classes cover plotting, character building, style development, and all the necessary techniques you need to build a working novel. The only thing it doesn’t give you is the motivation; you will have to bring that for yourself.
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. Writing Your Novel in Three Months – Curtis Brown Creative
For 3 months, you can learn how to start, write, and finish a polished novel, courtesy of the esteemed Curtis Brown Creative agency. A well-known industry name, this online book writing course is run by acclaimed novelist and experienced tutor Simon Ings.
You will also learn how to approach literary agents, have access to notes, videos, and other resources, and you will receive group and individual feedback on your work.
View course: Writing Your Novel in Three 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. How to Write a Novel: Step-by-Step – Simpliv Learning
If you are a fledgling writer with a novel idea and nothing else, you want someone who is going to hold your hand and nurture you through the creation of that content. This is a self-paced course with lifetime access and you receive a certificate on completion.
This step-by-step How to Write a Novel course lasts for a little over an hour and covers all the key points. If it is essential to novel writing, it is in included in this course.
View course: How to Write a Novel: Step-by-Step
For a more in-depth how to write a novel online course, there is also a fuller novel writing course, too.
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
18. Kickstart Your Novel – Faber Academy
The Faber Academy brings a regularly updated course that runs at intervals throughout the year. It is estimated that this platform has launched over a hundred careers, regularly helping committed writers to reach their writing potential and accomplish their literary goals.
This online novel writing course takes place over eight weeks and will help you to flesh out storyline ideas for your book, hone your craft as a writer, and explore your potential as a serious, publishable novelist. The aim of this course upon completion is to have written the first chapter and a synopsis to take forward to finish your manuscript.
You will receive a one-to-one chat with your tutor where you will discuss your story idea and synopsis, and how to take the book to the next stage.
View Course: Kickstart Your Novel
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.
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!