6 Best Creative Writing Courses

For many English writers, creative writing courses provide the right push to take their writing from bland to brilliant.

If you are a serious writer who wants to hone and polish your skill, creative writing courses may be the right way to do it. Yet choosing the one to invest your money in is not always easy. Here is a guide to some of the best courses out there for creative writers.

1. MasterClass

Who It's For: Masterclass is for anyone who wants to learn about writing, but it has quite a few fiction writers. It works for novelists, short story writers, screenwriters, bloggers, and nonfiction writers. 

Creative Writing Courses: Masterclass
MasterClass allows you to hone your writing skills while learning from some of the best-known people in the writing world

When you join Masterclass, you can learn from some of the best fiction writers in the world. These writers will talk about their particular genres and how you can write in them. You learn through streaming online classes in video format.

MasterClass allows you to hone your writing skills while learning from some of the best-known people in the writing world. This is one of the top creative writing classes available online. 

The cost for MasterClass is just $180 a year. With the subscription, you can learn from well-known names like Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, James Patterson, and Judy Blume. Find classes that spark your interest and plug in to start learning.

Check out our guide to the best Masterclass courses.

Pros
  • Videos are short, five to ten minutes on average
  • Self-paced program
  • Constant addition of new authors and teachers
Cons
  • Little one-on-one feedback from instructors
  • Some writing courses are quite general

2. Gotham Writers Creative Writing 101

Who It's For: Creative Writing 101 is for those who are new to novel writing and fiction writing. Though nonfiction writing is covered, the primary focus is on the fiction world.

Creative Writing Courses: Creative writing 101
Creative Writing 101 covers both fiction and nonfiction prose

Some creative writing courses work best for seasoned writers, but Creative Writing 101 is ideal for new writers who need to learn the basics of fiction writing and character development.  

The instructors for Creative Writing 101 are published fiction and novel writers. Though each session has a different teacher, they all provide strategies and tools writers can put to work right away to become professional writers.

Creative Writing 101 covers both fiction and nonfiction prose. It provides feedback on writing exercises and assignments, so students can see if they are applying what they are learning well. It is a six-week course that requires a $25 registration fee and $309 for online sessions.

Pros
  • Instructors are accomplished, published writers
  • Weekly assignments keep students on track
  • Can be self-paced within the six-week class
Cons
  • Does not guarantee any particular instructor
  • Not for experienced writers
  • Less affordable cost

3. Writing Your Story On CreativeLive

Who's It For: Writing Your Story is for writers who want to learn how to write their own story in memoir form.

Creative Writing Courses: CreativeLive
Joyce Manyard, teaches you how to celebrate your own life story by transforming it into your own work

Writing Your Story is a 26-lesson course on memoir writing taught on CreativeLive. The instructor, Joyce Manyard, teaches you how to celebrate your own life story by transforming it into your own work.

Manyard believes everyone has a story to tell, and she uses that belief to teach others how to develop a story through dialogue, character development, descriptions and editing. She focuses on not only writing skills, but also storytelling.

Writing Your Story has 6 lessons. The cost is $149 for the entire class. Students can also purchase a CreativeLive Creator Pass to get access to this as well as other courses.

Pros
  • Course addresses common misconceptions about memoir writing
  • Course focuses on writing techniques specific to memoirs
  • Revising and editing are included
Cons
  • Does not discuss how to publish a memoir
  • No writing assignments are included
  • Not specifically about writing skills

4. The Novelry

Who's It For: If you are serious about writing your novel and want to learn from a bestselling author, then this course is for you. It explores the methods used by some of the best authors on the New York Times bestsellers list and teaches you how to apply those to your own writing. 

Creative Writing Courses: The Novelry
Through The Novelry, you can learn fiction writing from a bestselling author

If you are looking for help with novel writing, one of the best fiction writing courses is The Novelry. Louise Dean, an internationally famous novelist, teaches this course. It includes instruction and writing prompts for a Ninety Day Novel, teaching writers how to write a novel in just three months. 

Through The Novelry, you can learn fiction writing from a bestselling author. You can get over the fear and start writing your novel. The guidance you receive may transform it into the next bestseller. 

The Novelry offers all of its lessons for $365. Students who want to take part in the Ninety Day Novel program pay an additional fee for the coaching and 12-month membership. Dean also offers a Book in a Year Plan for $1,999.

Listen to our interview with Louise Dean

Pros
  • Students get personalized feedback from Dean
  • Suitable for writers of all skill levels
  • Writers leave the course with a story idea and plot ready to go
Cons
  • Potentially expensive
  • Must pay additionally for editing and memoir courses or personalized coaching
  • Does not discuss self-publishing

5. Character-Driven Short Stories

Who It's For: This course is for writers who are looking for help with short stories and who want to build strong characters into their stories. 

Creative Writing Courses: Character-driven short stories
Character-Drive Short Stories by Yiyun Li teaches you to focus on the characters of the story

Short fiction can be more difficult to write than a novel or book. You have to work in plot and character development and create believable, likeable characters in just a few paragraphs. Character-Drive Short Stories by Yiyun Li teaches you how to do this. 

This course is an eight-video course that explores how to condense a situation into a short story. The main focus is on the characters because these serve as the most important part of the story. 

Character-Driven Short Stories is available on SkillShare. This costs $99 for one year of access to this course as well as other online writing courses on the platform.

Pros
  • The instructor is a UC Davis professor and MacArthur Fellow
  • Writing assignments include writing a 3 to 5-page short story
  • Great option for beginning writers interested in writing fiction
Cons
  • A relatively short course of just 47 minutes
  • Focused on just one genre of writing
  • Limited writing prompts for the course's assignment

6. How To Write A Nonfiction Book

Who It's For: This course is for writers who want to write a nonfiction book.

Creative Writing Courses: How to write a non-fiction book
The course covers topics like research and editing as well as practical skills for writers

How to Write a Nonfiction Book is a course by Joanna Penn that teaches nonfiction writers how to write inspiring works. The course covers topics like research and editing as well as practical skills for writers like dictation and staying focused while writing.

Penn's course will discuss brainstorming and marketing as well. Students also learn how to save time and effort when writing a creative nonfiction work.

Interested nonfiction writers can get 16 hours of course material, divided into five videos, for $297.

Listen to our interview with Joanna Penn

Pros
  • Discusses the business model of writing
  • Focuses on productivity
  • Discusses publication and marketing
Cons
  • Only discusses nonfiction writing
  • No writing prompts or assignments
  • Does not evaluate writing skills

A Final Word On The Best Creative Writing Courses

All writers, from screenwriters to those who love writing poetry, are creative people. Sometimes they just need a little help to tap that creativity.

By signing up for one of these creative writing courses, you can improve your writing skills and finish a book that you're proud of. 

Want more? Check out our guide to the best online writing courses.

FAQs on Creative Writing Courses

Are creative writing courses worth it?

Creative writing courses taught by published, successful authors can give you insight into what it takes to be successful as a writer. They are a wise investment if you want to improve at your craft. Plus, you can easily take one from the comfort of your own before or after work. 

Should I take a creative writing class?

If you want to become a better writer or publishing creative works, a creative writing class can help you overcome any roadblocks you have about the process. Take one if you want to learn skills like storytelling or writing a novel.

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Author

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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