Writing is not a skill you can “master.” It is a constant, never-ending process of improving and learning. Of course, not everyone has time to go to an in-person class. Luckily, there are tons of online classes and workshops available for a range of skill-levels and topics.
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
34 Best Online Writing Workshops
Here are 34 online writing classes and workshops you can sign up for. We listed prices when they were available. You might also be interested to learn more about what writing workshops are.
Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry Workshops
24PearlStreet’s classes cover poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and craft. Each course is capped at fifteen students, which helps ensure that each student gets the attention they need. Their teachers are all nationally recognized writers, who will help you achieve the goals set forth in their syllabi with discussions, writing assignments, and critiques.
2. Catapult Classes
With Catapult classes, students are workshopped at least twice for most multi-week workshops. Catapult’s online creative writing program offers a variety of courses in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for writers all over the world. They also offer a variety of generative day-long master classes and intensives focused on the practical aspects of the writing life.
3. Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character led by Wesleyan University via Coursera teaches how to build and bring to life complex, vivid, and unforgettable characters. Written exercises aim to improve a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques for creating well-imagined characters. Students will study the choices a writer makes to bring characters to life on the page.
4. Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot led by Wesleyan University via Coursera teaches how to outline and structure a plot and discusses narrative arc, pacing, and reversals.
5. Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description led by Wesleyan University via Coursera teaches writers how to create convincing settings, from realist to fantastical. Writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail.
6. Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style led by Wesleyan University via Coursera focuses on creating a personal style through the use of metaphor and imagery. Taught by Salvatore Scibona, the workshop syllabus includes putting pressure on your words so that they mean what you intend, writing with nouns and verbs, balancing the drive to get at ideas and feelings, and other basic but important skills.
7. Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge
Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge is a paid workshop that offers a 1-month free trial. This is a workshop via Skillshare with Emily Gould. Creative Writing for All provides examples, observation prompts, and revision tricks to help improve and develop your writing prowess.
8. How To Make A Poem
Led by Manchester University, How To Make A Poem is a workshop to help students create their own poetry by exploring different poetic techniques and styles. It is available via FutureLearn. The workshop, taught by Michael Symmons Roberts, will guide you through the process of writing your own poetic work step by step.
9. Now Novel
Now Novel offers a variety of courses, guides, and email lessons, depending on what type of education you’re after and how in-depth you’d like to go. It also offers tools to help you craft your novel as you write.
10. Start Writing Fiction
Start Writing Fiction is a workshop via FutureLearn. The workshop is led by The Open University and is a hands-on course focusing on the central skill of creating characters.The likes of Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts, and Monique Roffey make their appearances in this workshop. Students in this workshop will have the opportunity to review the work of fellow writers and receive comments on their own, learning to read as a writer and respond to feedback.
11. Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft
Led by Daniel José Older, Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft is a 40-minute dive into the fundamentals of narrative storytelling. It is a paid workshop available via Skillshare which offers a 1-month free trial. It is a self-paced workshop to help give life to your story-telling.
The Writers Studio offers a series of workshops in fiction and poetry for beginning and experienced writers. The faculty for Writers Studio go through a three-year training program and have experience in both fiction and poetry. Students are encouraged to complete four levels. However, you can take as few or as many as you choose.
Writer’s Digest University covers every aspect of writing, from getting started all the way to getting published. They also offer boot camp courses spanning a few days focusing intensely on a specific topic. Usually, workshops last at least a month.
Grammar, Composition, and English Language Learners Workshops
14. A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study
A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study focuses on developing writing skills, vocabulary, and grammar for school. Aimed at non-native speakers who have studied some English, the course aims to help develop proficiency in key areas of ‘academic’ grammar. You’ll also learn the stages of essay writing and produce an essay of your own. This workshop is led by the University of Reading via FutureLearn.
15. Advanced Writing
Advanced Writing is a workshop via Coursera. It centers on planning and writing a more sophisticated argument essay, including identifying and preventing plagiarism. The workshop is led by the University of California, Irvine.
16. Adventures in Writing
The Adventures of Writing workshop by Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx is a series of graphic-novel style learning modules. The workshop is designed to help students learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills.
17. English Composition I
English Composition I focuses on careful reading, accurate citation, writing effective arguments, understanding the writing process, engaging with others’ ideas, and crafting powerful prose. The workshop is Led by the Duke University via Coursera.
18. English Grammar and Style
We might think that we are fully equipped when it comes to grammar and sentence construction, but there is no harm in brushing up, especially when starting a new book or other writing venture. Led by the University of Queensland via edX, English Grammar and Style discusses key concepts and strategies in grammar and style to help improve your writing.
19. Grammar and Punctuation
Led by the University of California, Irvine via Coursera, Grammar and Punctuation offer a review of basic grammar, including conjunctions, compound sentences, comma usage, and verb tenses. UC Irvine also offers several additional grammar courses on more specific topics like “Noun Clauses and Conditionals” and “Tricky English Grammar.”
20. Tell Your Story in English: Reading & Writing Skills for Language Learners
Tell Your Story in English: Reading & Writing Skills for Language Learners is a workshop via Canvas Network. This workshop, by the University of Oregon, is aimed at developing English language skills through reading and writing personal stories. Some of the objectives of the course: to read and discuss short stories, increase vocabulary, improve accuracy in sentence structure and past tense use, and learn how to write and revise a story.
21. Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest is a writing workshop via Coursera, It guides students with a combination of video lectures, online readings, and peer reviews. This workshop is led by Commonwealth Education Trust and also involves some appearances from famous writers.
Journalism and Essay Workshops
22. Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools
Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills, and Tools is led by the European Journalism Centre via Canvas Network. this workshop is a 5-module online introductory course that gives you the essential concepts, techniques, and skills to effectively work with data and produce compelling data stories. It is a paid workshop with a free introductory course.
23. How to Write an Essay
How to Write an Essay is led by the University of California, Berkeley via edX. It focuses on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. The course materials include readings and videos. The five-week course includes a review of basic grammar terminology and understanding, writing effective sentences and paragraphs, introductions and conclusions, strategies for writing longer texts, and thesis statements.
24. Journalism for Social Change
Journalism for Social Change is a workshop led by the University of California, Berkeley via edX. The workshop aims to use solution-based journalism to impel positive social change. The goal of this online course is first to teach you how to use journalism and media as an instrument of social change, and second to allow you to become an effective agent of change.
25. Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader
The Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader workshop helps writers develop a constructive way to think about the writing process as a whole. It is led by Wesleyan University via Coursera. This course offers ways to think about the writer’s relationship to her or his material, with the aim to ultimately develop a writing style that is uniquely her or his own.
26. Writing a Personal Essay
Writing a Personal Essay aims to help students create a personal essay or extend an essay into a full memoir, from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail. Led by Wesleyan University via Coursera.
27. Writing in First Person Point of View
Writing in First Person Point of View is a workshop focused on writing a memoir, first-person essay, or any other form of autobiographical non-fiction led by Wesleyan University via Coursera. In this workshop, students will learn how successful first-person writing is structured to offer the reader a sense of dynamic motion and is guided by a narrator who is purposefully written.
Multimedia Writing Workshops
28. Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth
Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth is a paid workshop with a 1-month free trial. This workshop is available via Skillshare. It is an 80-minute deep dive class about step-by-step structure for creating compelling blog content led by Eric Siu.
29. Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series
Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series is a project-centered course that teaches students how to break down the creative process into components. The structured process allows students to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in a short time. Led by Michigan State University via Coursera, students will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for their own unique television or web series.
30. Media Writing and Editing
The Media Writing and Editing workshop is led by Ohio State University via Canvas Network. It focuses on reporting, writing, researching, and multimedia techniques for all news media platforms. It digs deeper into how social media, community-centered journalism, and multimedia elements can enhance coverage.
31. Transmedia Writing
Transmedia Writing is a workshop by Michigan State University via Coursera. Transmedia Writing is focused on developing your own, original, intellectual property (IP) into a transmedia project containing written versions of your IP on various platforms.
Online Writing Communities
32. Gotham Writers Workshop
The Gotham Writers Workshop does not take place in “real time,” so you can participate in class any time, day or night. The classes advance week-by-week, allowing you seven days to complete tasks. They also have an optional weekly one-hour chat session.
33. Inked Voices
Inked Voices is a community of small online writing groups. You can search for and join a group that meets your needs, then get feedback on your pieces and provide critiques to others in your group. This is a great way to share ideas and learn from your peers.
Price: $10 monthly or $75 for annual membership
Scribophile is an online community of writers. Members can post work to their forums to receive feedback from the community and, in turn, can offer critiques for others’ work. There are specific interest groups based on genres so you can choose what fits your writing best. There are also contests you can enter, as well as lots of free resources for writers, including posts on writing fundamentals and interviews with professional authors.
Read more related articles on improving writing, writing conferences, and workshops:
- What Is a Writer’s Workshop? An Insider’s Guide to Attending Writing Events
- List of Writer’s Conferences and Workshops in North America: Updated for 2019
- The Best Paid Online Writing Courses for Creative Writers, Fiction, and Nonfiction
- 5 Writing Skills to Increase Your Income
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.