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Have you been thinking of taking up writing or want to improve your general writing skills? It can be difficult to find the perfect course for you. However, fear not because we have compiled the 12 best online writing courses so you don’t have to!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Benefits of Taking the Best Writing Courses Online
“I’m not a professional journalist and I don’t plan to write a book, so what’s the point?” Even if you have a bookshelf full of books that you have written, there is still more you can learn about the art of writing.
You might not realize how much you use writing on a daily basis – from work emails and texting to writing thank you notes at Christmas – writing is everywhere, and knowing how to write well can make all the difference.
Improving Your Skills
From learning new vocabulary to working on different writing styles, a writing class offers a learning curve for everybody.
Writing also helps your literary skills. A good writer makes for a good reader. Understanding different literary ideas such as foreshadowing and alliterations, or improving descriptions and dialogues is important when writing and important when reading.
Learning to read as a writer helps you understand why a writer might choose to write a passage in a certain way or to analyze better what’s happening in a storyline.
Since reading and writing go hand in hand, if you’re also looking to improve your reading skills, take an online course on speed reading.
Are you always thinking you’ll take up journaling or finally jot down some family memories? This is your chance. A good writing class should motivate you to not only write during the class but keep you writing after it ends.
A class should work like a great “how to write” book – rather than just giving insight and tips on how to write well it should also inspire and motivate you to write yourself and apply the wisdom the book gives – or, in this case, the class.
Feedback and Guidance
A good writing teacher acts like a tour guide. They direct you to areas that you need to focus on so you’re not wandering alone and lost.
It’s hard to improve when you don’t get feedback, as well. Giving yourself feedback can be helpful but when it comes to writing, it can be difficult – it always helps to have a second pair of eyes and another way of thinking to look over your material.
With constructive feedback, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses which you can work on in future writing material.
How to Choose the Best Writing Course for You
There is no one-size-fits-all writing course. The best online writing course for you depends on your learning style, goals, budget, the format of the course, and the quality of the course.
Everybody learns differently and ensuring you’re in a course that teaches how you learn is essential – otherwise, you’re just wasting time.
Take a moment to reflect or take a test to measure how to learn. Do you prefer written instructions (visual learner), interactive exercises (kinesthetic learner), or videos (audial learner)?
Why do you want to take this course? Are you looking for a course to help your business writing when it comes to memos and professional jargon or are you looking for an academic writing class to help you with your papers and publications?
Do you want to try getting out of your shell with a creative writing class or bring out your inner dark side with a thriller and horror course?
The most expensive courses aren’t always the best course. There are some wonderful free online resources like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), some courses that provide unlimited courses for a monthly bill (like Masterclass), and some great pay-by-the-course classes.
Different courses come in different forms. Are you looking for a course that is stricter with deadlines and follows a more structured format or for a course that you can take at your own pace and leisurely?
This may seem obvious, but check out the reviews before starting a course. Just because it seems fun and looks effective from the marketing doesn’t mean it is.
Take a look at what past participants have thought to give you an idea of what to expect from the course and to see if the course is quality and worth your time.
The Best Online Writing Courses Ranked
Best Writing Course Online Overall
Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author who writes everything from audio theater to comic books to novels.
His course covers the foundation of storytelling from fleshing out your characters to finding your true voice in your writing.
Check out this in-depth review of one of the best writing workshops online.
Best Online Writing Courses for New Writers
It’s hard to start writing – it’s much more than sitting down with a pen and paper and putting words on a page.
Simon Van Booy’s course makes writing feel more approachable by teaching about writing styles, creating writing routines, and acting on inspiration so that you can successfully build a long-term writing process and write well.
This is a great course to start off with since it covers many basics of writing making it one of the best online writing courses for new writers.
Once you’re done with that course, check out Clare Lynch’s Writing With Confidence: Writing Beginner To Writing Pro on Udemy to take the lessons and routines you learned in Simon Van Booy’s course and apply them to different types of writing from emails and speeches to news writeups and presentations.
Best Online Creative Writing Courses
Creative writing comes in so many different forms that we created multiple categories to showcase the different types and courses to take with each.
Creative Online Writing Course
This Masterclass on creative writing covers the A-Z on creative writing and general points of interest that writers should keep in mind from how to start a story, develop characters, continue it through the middle hump, and address writer’s block.
Read a review of the course here to make sure it’s the best course for you.
Thriller Online Writing Course
If you’re looking for a course that gives you more insight into how to build your characters, structure your stories, and provide intriguing backdrops for them with a thriller mindset, this online writing course is for you.
Check out this review of the course so you know what to expect.
Humor Online Writing Course
This course is not only a great humor-filled writing course that covers tips and tricks of satirical writing, but it also doubles as a low-key therapy course by teaching students how to find humor in the darkest moments of their lives and write about it.
Fantasy and Science Fiction Online Writing Course
NK Jemisin is an acclaimed fantasy and SciFi author who gears this course toward creating a very detailed and believable fantasy world from scratch and fleshing out characters that are relatable to the reader – even in a science fiction setting.
After this course, another class to check out is Salman Rushdie’s MasterClass on Storytelling and Writing. It concentrates on creating believable surrealist worlds and taking fantastical ideas and making them cohesive.
Poetry Online Writing Course
Poetry is a difficult writing field to break into but Billy Collins does a great job of making writing poetry feel more attainable.
He works on rhythm and words, different types of poetry, and even incorporates his students into his lessons for a more in-person class feel.
Get a more in-depth review of the course here.
Storytelling Online Writing Course
Besides Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass on the Art of Storytelling which was ranked the best online writing course, it makes for a great general storytelling course, too.
That said, there are so many great storytellers out there whose classes you might love, too, and we have to mention them.
Roxane Gay’s Masterclass focuses on Social Change and Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact. Gay also has a short Skillshare course on crafting impactful personal essays from start to finish.
Other great storytelling courses are Joyce Carol Oats’ MasterClass on the Art of the Short Story and Daniel José Older’s Skillshare course on Storytelling 101: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft.
Best Multimedia Online Writing Course
If you’re into script-writing or at least want to try, this award-winning author gives a fantastic 30-lesson Masterclass of script structure, authentic dialogue, editing, and compelling characters.
Beyond writing, Rhymes goes into what it’s like breaking into the TV industry and running shows (such as Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal).
Although, if you’re a fan of Issa Rae, her Masterclass is also a great option – it’s just really short.
Best Journalism Writing Course
Malcolm Gladwell is a renowned bestselling author and journalist who, in 24 lessons, guides the writer to find, research, and write stories that capture the big picture.
Gladwell also reflects on his own work and creative processes to show you his thought process along the way to his success.
He also works on engaging your readers more by using imperfect arguments and direct questions. Take a look at the course review, too.
If you love investigative journalism, also check out Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism on Masterclass. You can read the reviews here.
Best Creative Nonfiction Writing Course
Writing a history textbook is different from making an interesting history textbook while sticking to all of the facts.
This course takes nonfiction writing to the next level by helping the writer make their own creative process shine while still offering true history and facts along the way.
Best Young Adult Writing Course
Judy Blume, a best-selling author of over 25 novels, dives into writing for a young reader’s crowd by offering advice on how to develop ideas and create plot structures for a different generation.
It also goes into how to pitch book ideas and deal with rejection.
Which writing MasterClass is the best?
There is no one way to choose the absolute best writing Masterclass. Each class covers a different genre from journalism and dramatic writing to comic books and poetry. And each class is taught by a professional who makes their living writing that genre.
So, depending on what your goal of learning to write better is, you can’t go wrong. What’s also great about Masterclass is that their courses are for everyone – regardless of your writing background.
What are the best free writing courses?
There are many great free writing courses online that can transform your writing in songwriting, public speaking, business, and more.
Which online course is best for content writing?
The Udemy Writing Tools & Hacks: Copywriting/ Blogging/ Content Writing is a great course to work on your content writing skills.
It offers the skills to form your ideas into great works of modern art by teaching necessary tools that help writers research and brainstorm new ideas, write great headlines, and marketing copy among much more.
Now you know – everything there is to think about when it comes to choosing the best online writing courses for you. With time and effort, you’ll be writing in no time!