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The 10 Best Online Creative Writing Courses (2023 Rankings)

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By Fatima Mansoor

best online creative writing courses

With the best online creative writing courses, you can learn the techniques and skills you need to become a better writer.

Do you feel like your writing has hit a plateau?

Are you struggling to convey your ideas and bring your stories to life?

Are you tired of staring at a blank page?

It is normal for writers to feel stuck, discouraged, and doubt their writing skills.

In the past, the solution was to enroll in a creative writing class at your local college or join a writing group. But these options are often either expensive, time-consuming, or inconvenient — or all of the above.

These days, though, there are lots of great creative writing courses online that let you learn from some of the world’s top experts all from the comfort of your own home.

You can learn how to write compelling stories, craft convincing dialogue, create vivid characters, understand structure and pacing, and much more, while enjoying the flexibility, convenience, and affordability of online learning.

Whether you’re looking to become the next bestselling author or you just want to write for fun, these courses will give you the tools you need to take your writing to the next level.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best online creative writing courses based on a number of key criteria, including content, instructor credentials and experience, price, student reviews, and more.

This guide is fully updated for 2023 to include the best current course options so you can make an informed decision for investing in your writing passion.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.


How We Chose the Best Online Courses for Creative Writing

With hundreds of online creative writing classes out there, we wanted to help people like you find the ones that are truly the best of the best.

We reviewed dozens of creative writing courses online, and ranked them based on the following criteria:

  • Curriculum quality–We carefully reviewed the curriculum of each course to make sure it was up-to-date and comprehensive.
  • Instructor reputation–We checked the background and reviews of the instructor to gauge whether or not they had the experience and expertise needed to teach a great creative writing course.
  • Student reviews–In addition to forming our own opinions of these courses, we also looked carefully at the reviews and ratings left by other students to get a feel for what others had to say.
  • Value–Finally, we compared the cost of each course to the quality of instruction to determine which ones had the best value for what was being offered.

After going through this in-depth process, we came up with a list of what we believe are the 10 very best online creative writing courses available today.


What are the Best Online Creative Writing Classes?

Here are our picks for the top creative writing courses online in 2023…


1. Creative Writing Bootcamp: Start a Brand New Story (Skillshare)

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Skillshare offers a One-Month Free Trial. After that, a Skillshare subscription is around $165 per year for unlimited access to all courses. See our Skillshare review for more info.


14 video lessons, 1 hour

This course is designed to help aspiring authors of all skill levels launch their creative writing careers. Myla Goldberg, a renowned author, teaches this course, covering everything from character and plot development to dialogue writing.

Students will participate in various interactive activities and writing prompts throughout the course to evaluate their current performance and navigate their way upwards. Each lesson builds on the previous one, guiding students through creating a completely new story from start to finish, from idea generation to writing captivating opening lines.

Students can take advantage of Myla’s guidance on overcoming writer’s block, her insights into the publishing industry, and how to get their work noticed by agents and publishers.


2. Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact (Skillshare)

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Skillshare offers a One-Month Free Trial. After that, a Skillshare subscription is around $165 per year for unlimited access to all courses.


11 video lessons, 1+ hours

This course by Roxane Gray gives you the tools to tell your story with impact. It will help you craft compelling personal essays whether you’re looking for an introduction to essay writing or an experienced writer needing a refresher course.

You’ll learn how to brainstorm essay topics, structure your essays for maximum impact, and revise your work so it’s polished.

The course also emphasizes the importance of storytelling and using specific, vivid details to bring essays to life. It will give you useful strategies for engaging your target audience and making a lasting impression, whether you write for personal or professional reasons.

Overall this course comprises a step-by-step process for writing a personal essay that captures your unique personality. You’ll also develop the skills and self-assurance you need to keep writing and hone your craft.


3. The Creative Writer’s Toolkit: Writing a Character Study (Skillshare)

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Skillshare offers a One-Month Free Trial. After that, a Skillshare subscription is around $165 per year for unlimited access to all courses.


5 video lessons, about 30 minutes

If you’re looking for rigorous training related to character development, this course will be the right fit for you! It is taught by a famous Wattpad writer, Lindsey Summers, who provides a detailed guide in translating vague ideas into interesting characters.

Over the course of 5 insightful video lessons, Lindsey will discuss the core aspects of character development, such as using an archetype in the right context and using character flaws to drive the story.

Whether a novice or an aspiring author, you can sign up for this course to study character creation and upskill yourself to use unique approaches in different scenarios.


4. Teaching Writing For Television (Masterclass)


Plans starting at $15/month billed annually


30 video lessons, about 6.5 hours

Shonda Rhimes’ Masterclass course on writing pilot scripts is another empowering and informative course.

Rhimes has been working in television for over 20 years and has created some of the most popular shows on TV today, including How to Get Away With Murder, The Catch, Grey’s Anatomy, etc. Her experience working with writers of various genres qualifies her to teach you how to write a catchy pilot script.

The course covers everything from developing your idea into a pitch to writing your first draft.

Rhimes walks you through each step of the process, providing clear instructions and examples from her own experiences and those of other writers with whom she has collaborated over the years. All these real-life examples give you a good head start, shed light on common pitfalls, and accelerate your growth as compared to learning on your own. She also gives you time estimates for each section of your script so you can plan accordingly.

This course is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about writing television shows but is intimidated by the process or lacks access to an experienced professional who can provide feedback on their work.


5. Creative Non-Fiction Writing – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! (Udemy)


Regularly priced at $19.99


27 lessons, 1 hour and 50 minutes

If you’re a writer who’s fond of writing biographies, history, and philosophy, this course will make you a pro at the non-fiction genre. Led by the mastermind of the non-fiction genre, Trace Crawford, this course will teach you the primary concepts of creative non-fiction writing.

You will learn to develop story plots, use literary devices to make content more impactful, and structure a narrative. Trace believes comprehending practical aspects of the non-fiction genre makes you an outstanding writer. Topics such as primary and secondary research and navigating ethical concerns when writing about people and events are all crucial to convey your work to the target audience.

Apart from the core concepts, this course includes skills such as pitching, submitting work to publishers, and using the right medium to create your brand in the market.

In essence, this course is an excellent opportunity to learn non-fiction writing, whether you want to pursue it as a side hustle or a profession.


6. Secret Sauce of Great Writing (Udemy)




41 minutes

Do you feel like your mediocre writing is holding you back? Look no further than the “Secret Sauce of Great Writing” course on Udemy by former Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja!

Shani teaches you the insider secrets to great writing that only a seasoned professional could know. He discusses the four main ingredients of great writing: simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness. With his years of experience in the industry, Shani knows exactly what it takes to write content that hooks your readers.

You’ll also get the chance to brush up on some basics, such as sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, style, tone, and storytelling. With Shani’s guidance, you’ll become a pro at writing informational and commercial content.


7. Creative Writing Specialization (Coursera)


Included with 7,000+ other courses with Coursera Plus subscription ($59/mo). Try Coursera Plus free for 7 days.


About 10.5 hours of video lessons

Are you a budding writer yearning for a community that values the art of creative writing and supports your journey of self-expression? This Creative Writing Specialization on Coursera is the perfect course for you.

You will learn different forms of creative writing, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. What makes this program unique is the exceptional instructors who are experts in their fields and passionate writers.

The program’s peer review process enables participants to share their work with other writers and get regular feedback. Such interactive lessons foster a sense of belonging and the opportunity to grow no matter your proficiency level.

You’ll also learn how to create engaging stories that capture readers’ attention, write poetry, develop characters, develop intriguing dialogues, and write descriptive settings that readers can relate to.

The program’s main learning outcomes include gaining a deep understanding of the different genres of creative writing and developing the necessary skills to write effectively within each genre.

You’ll also learn practical tips on how to get published and build your portfolio.

Overall, this specialization on Coursera is more than just an online course; it’s a community of writers who understand the struggles and joys of creative expression.

Students have the option to audit the course for free. However, you’ll have to pay a fee if you want a certificate upon completing the class.


8. Writing Your Story (CreativeLive)


Plans starting around $13 per month


26 video lessons, 5+ hours

Another area of non-fiction writing is memoirs. Many people are willing to write about their personal experiences and memorable moments. This is where Joyce Maynard comes in and sheds light on the skills needed to write a profound memoir.

The primary motive of this course is to discuss the outline of memoirs and the right methodology to inculcate drama, relevance, and authenticity. Joyce teaches how to organize your writing and use sensory devices to make your memoirs engaging.

Overall, this course gives you all the knowledge needed to pen down your personal perspective. You’ll be able to write a memoir that strikes a chord with the audience and leaves a lasting impression.


9. Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher (Grammar Lion)




100+ lessons

Essentially, this course covers the fundamental English grammar lessons to enable budding writers to polish their language and avoid frequent mistakes. After all, a competent writer must be proficient in grammar.

Students will learn parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation. They will also learn how to compose sentences and paragraphs and rectify common grammar mistakes.

Apart from grammar, you will also improve your analytical and critical thinking abilities via various case studies, which can be useful in both academic and professional situations.

This is the perfect course for anyone wishing to enhance their communication and writing skills in general.

Overall, these lessons will provide the foundation necessary to write with clarity, precision, and assurance.


10. Creative Writing: How to Start a Writing Habit (Skillshare)


Skillshare offers a One-Month Free Trial. After that, the Skillshare price is around $165 per year for unlimited access to all courses.


7 video lessons, about 11 minutes

Becoming a proficient, creative writer requires effort, determination, and guidance. If you are just getting on the bandwagon and looking for a well-defined roadmap, this course on Skillshare will be a worthwhile investment.

A renowned writing coach, Whitney Strong, offers actionable advice to help you hone your creative thinking skills and gives you direction to develop a writing habit.

Strong encourages students to maintain a notebook from the beginning of the course. In this way, one can establish a writing routine that fits their lifestyle and goals and learn techniques for writing down impactful ideas.

The abundance of practical advice by Strong makes this course stand out. She does not only focus on the methodology of writing engaging stories or dialogues but also emphasizes conceptual learning.

She discusses abstract concepts and provides students with specific writing exercises and prompts to help them overcome common writing obstacles and develop their writing voice. Whitney also shares her writing experiences, providing insights into the creative process and the challenges that all writers face.

The course is appropriate for writers of all levels, from novices looking to improve their skills to seasoned writers looking to establish a writing practice.


A Final Word on the Best Online Creative Writing Courses

With so many great online creative writing classes, it’s easier than ever to study from acclaimed authors, receive insightful comments, and interact with a community of professional writers who share your interests.

Remember, most of these course providers offer free trial periods, giving you a great chance to check out classes at no cost to see which ones you like best.

Have any questions about our guide to the best online creative writing courses? Leave a comment below to let us help.

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