8 Useful Online Courses for Writers

useful online courses for writers

Some say that successful writers are born to write. That there’s no way you can learn to become like them. I say that anyone who wants to become a writer and be successful at it can learn, especially if he wants it badly enough.

Whether you’re starting out your quest to become a writer, or you’re already making a living off writing, you’re fortunate that these days, there are so many ways to learn and improve. You may not know anything about the technicalities of writing a novel but if you have one inside you, it will come out. You may just need a little guidance.

And that’s what this list is all about. I’ve looked at eight useful online courses for writers covering various types of writing. I hope you find one that will take your skills to the next level.

Useful online courses for writers

1. Novel Writing Workshop

I have a confession. I’ve always wanted to write a novel (fiction) for as long as I can remember. It started with a dream I had about a girl and dragons. Pretty generic these days, isn’t it? But I know that in that dream, there was something special. I just can’t remember it now! (Excuses, excuses…)

If you actually want to begin working on your novel, this course from Udemy is a good start. It’s got six sections with 28 lectures and quizzes in between.

This is a self-paced course, so you won’t have added pressure when you have a lot of work on your plate.

Price: $199

Learn more here.

2. Start Writing Fiction

This course is being offered by FutureLearn and starts on October 12, 2015. It lasts for eight weeks and requires three hours of study per week. It’s a paid course with certification awarded at the end.

Course description:

This hands-on course helps you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.

Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.

You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.

Learn more here.

3. The Art of Creative Writing

Another useful course for writers who want to enhance their creative writing skills, The Art of Creative Writing “will get you started on the basics of writing a story, including character development, setting, plot, editing, and more.

Whether you want to be a serious writer, are a serious writer, or want to do creative writing as a hobby, this course will enlighten you and guide you through your story, and set you on the path of success!”

This is a self-paced course and no certification given.

Learn more here.

4. Becoming a Writer – Basics of Non-fiction Writing

With this course, you can learn the basics of non-fiction writing in 19 lectures and two hours of video. While the title says “basics”, the course description mentions that writers of all levels will benefit from the lectures and exercises. It’s hands-on so you can gauge your progress.

Price: $30

Learn more here.

5. Business and Marketing Writing

Business and marketing writers are in high demand these days, and often, being a generalist writer just doesn’t cut it. Up your skills with this course and get more writing jobs.

This is an instructor-led course, so it is bound to a schedule, with start dates of Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 09, Jan 13.

Price: $149

Learn more here.

6. A to Z Grant Writing

Another specialized area is grant writing, and not every writer can do this. If you want to branch out into this niche, then consider taking this course.

It’s also instructor-led, so make sure you alot time for the course. Start dates are: Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 09, Jan 13.

Price: $149

Learn more here.

7. Structured Writing for Technical Documentation

Technical writing is not for the faint of heart. While content writers can generally write about a wide variety of topics for the web and print, technical writing is a whole new world altogether. It does command better rates, though.

If you want to expand your writing skills and learn technical writing, this course is for you. It’s self-paced, and on average takes six to seven weeks to complete.

Technical Writing–Seven Challenges

The course is free, but if you want to get a certification, you’ll have to pay $59 (US) and $69 (International).

Learn more here.

8. Writing for a Global Market

The world is our oyster, and we should be able to adjust our writing to various audiences. This course will help you with that.

The core elements of the course are:

  • Globalization – the broad range of processes necessary to prepare and launch products and company activities internationally.
  • Internationalization – developing content that is easily localized; doesn’t include local/regional references.
  • Localization – the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language and culture.

It’s self-paced and costs $59 (US) and $69 (International) for a certification.

Learn more here.

Wrap up

Beginning writer? Experienced writer?

It doesn’t matter. There is always room for improvement, and with these online courses available at your fingertips, there is no excuse to postpone your dream or expand your horizons. In the final analysis, most of these courses (even if you have to pay) will not only make you a better writer but also increase your freelance writing income.

Have you ever taken an online course? How did it help?





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