Columns > Published on July 8th, 2024

10 Creative Writing Classes to Educate and Inspire You

Are you considering taking a creative writing class? We applaud your initiative — taking the time to develop your craft, learn from pros, and experiment is crucial to improving your writing skills and, hopefully, your career as well.

Below you’ll find a selection of both free and paid courses offering something for every type of student, depending on what you’re looking for at the present moment. Flip open your trusty notebook and let’s see what options you have.

1. How to Write a Novel in 101 Days

πŸ’² Cost: $1,249 (multiple scholarships available)
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, live webinars, critiques, community forum
πŸ“† Dates: Rolling admissions; see page for dates.

With expert guidance from novelist and ghostwriter Tom Bromley — plus a supportive writerly community around you — this class will help you write the first draft of your novel in just three months! It’s designed for writers of all levels, backgrounds, and genres, so no matter your experience or writing ability, this course will help you harness your creativity and actually finish writing a novel.

As you work through 101 days of daily lessons, you can use Reedsy’s members’ hub to meet other authors in your genre, exchange feedback, and discuss each lesson. To support and inspire you, each week of the course brings a live webinar with Tom, featuring a deep dive into a craft topic or guidance from a writing coach, as well as interviews with successful authors who’ll share their best advice with you. Click here to enroll today.

2. Gotham Writers' Workshop

πŸ’² Cost: $300-$2,000 (for one-on-one workshops)
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, live Zoom classes, assignments, critiques

The largest adult-education writing school in the US, Gotham Writers has been helping budding authors hone their skills since the 1990s. Based in New York City, they offer in-person classes as well as a variety of online options for students all over the globe.

With self-paced courses, live Zoom lectures, write-ins and several free events per term, Gotham Writers emulates the university feel wherever possible. These classes may be particularly useful for authors who want to narrow in on a particular aspect of the craft, like character development or writing dialogue — and they even offer one-on-one classes for those who prefer a highly personalized experience.

3. Udemy Online Courses

πŸ’² Cost: $50-$100
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Lectures (videos, slides, and text)

Founded in 2010, Udemy is a massive online open course (MOOC) platform, created to provide an alternative to in-person, university learning (definitely ahead of their time in that respect!). Their primary audience is made up of both professionals and students — some of their courses even offer credit toward technical certifications.

These creative writing courses are otherwise broad and geared mainly toward beginners, through there are also some intermediate courses that get into more specific niches, similar to Gotham. Udemy is especially well-suited for content and business writers looking to sharpen up their practical skills, so if that sounds like you, make sure to check them out.

4. Writer's Digest University

πŸ’² Cost: $70-$900
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, assignments, critiques, discussion group

Run by Writer’s Digest, these new “University” courses are aimed at students with a wide range of skill levels and career goals. Whether you just want to practice your creative skills or keep things concrete with blogging, you can browse classes based on format, type of writing (e.g. fiction vs nonfiction), or the elements of writing you’re aiming to improve.

Each course offers access to a discussion group as well as a private “journal” where you can write notes for you and your instructor. The timelines here are also super flexible, with classes ranging from self-paced courses to intensive two-week “bootcamps” for those who really want to get their writing on track fast.

5. Reedsy Live Webinars

πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures (with live chat available)

Over at Reedsy, we run a series of webinars presented by a wide range of expert editors across various genres. These live webinars (and their video replays!) are the perfect way to sharpen your skills in a fun, upbeat environment. Whether you’re looking to write for a middle grade audience, create more spine-chilling suspense, or simply to refine your author “voice,” our pro editors will walk you through the process with great wisdom and experience. Subscribe on YouTube or register for the next Reedsy Live right there on the page (upper left module).

6. Brandon Sanderson's Lectures

πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures

Speaking of stellar video lectures: if you’ve ever dreamt of sitting in on a college-level course taught by a prolific bestselling author, look no further. This lecture series is literally just a recording of Brandon Sanderson’s creative writing course that he teaches at BYU, but many writers attest its the best instruction theyve ever received. Sanderson covers topics ranging from weaving intricate plots and fleshing out a believable fantasy world to writing fantastical short stories. If you’re a big genre writer, and especially a writer of science fiction or fantasy, you won’t want to miss out.

7. MasterClass

πŸ’² Cost: $150-$300 per year (different subscription tiers)
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, workbooks

If learning from household-name celebrities sounds like an exciting way to develop your writing skills, MasterClass is perfect for you. Each Masterclass course is taught by renowned professionals — which, for writers, means learning from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, and many more. Work through the lectures at your own pace, and enjoy “getting to know” some of your favorite authors during their courses. Detailed workbooks will also give you plenty to do, both during and after the course... and for those with the Premium subscription tier, you can even download videos to watch later at your leisure.

8. Skillshare

πŸ’² Cost: $100 per year
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, worksheets, assigned projects

While Skillshare offers some celebrity-hosted courses — such as personal essay writing with Roxane Gay — the bulk of their classes are led by lesser-known experts ready to share their knowledge with a hungry audience. In addition to the videos, Skillshare courses provide students with a course-long assignment to complete, which then gets reviewed and discussed with the course instructor. Skillshare is also arguably a better deal than MasterClass for most writers, as the latter trades on name recognition, but both have a similar level of class variety and depth.

9. Coursera

πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

Another MOOC platform, this one was founded by several Computer Science professors from Stanford University. But don’t let its history fool you — Coursera offers humanities classes as much as science and technology. Coursera also has “specializations,” a series of courses that work together much like what you’d find majoring at a university. Speaking of which, Coursera may be especially good for those looking to improve their academic writing or screenwriting skills — and they certainly offer a diverse range of class lengths, allowing you to choose anything from “two hours or less” to “1-4 years” for the truly committed.

10. edX Classes

πŸ’² Cost: Free, but costs $50-$300 for certifications
πŸ‘¨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

Another MOOC, edX began as a collaboration between Harvard and MIT, but these days boasts classes from a wide variety of respected universities. Like Udemy, some of their courses also offer college credits. edX’s courses are weekly, consisting of short videos, interactive learning exercises, and online discussion groups. Their writing courses cover everything from novels to stand-up comedy to digital content; they also have related courses in journalism, composition, and grammar, among other writerly niches.


For those in search of the writing classes previously hosted on Litreactor, we’ve taken them offline for the time being. However, if you are a former instructor (or aspiring instructor) who is interested in reactivating or teaching a new Litreactor course through Reedsy, don’t hesitate to reach out at litreactor@reedsy.com.

In any case, whether you’re a writing student, teacher, or somewhere in between, we hope this post has given you a few opportunities to think about — and if you’re looking for even more classes to expand your knowledge, check out this extensive directory of nearly 600 writing classes for writers of all genres, preferences, and experience levels. Best of luck!

About the author

 

Savannah Cordova is a writer from London. Her work has been featured in Slate, Kirkus, BookTrib, DIY MFA, and more. She loves reading and writing short stories, and spends much of her time analyzing literary trends into the ground. You'll often find her with an iced vanilla latte, a book, and a furrow in her brow.

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