5 Free Online Creative Writing Courses


While you’re scouring job ads for the creative position of your dreams, you can still be doing something to further your writing skills. There are hundreds courses available online to help you develop your talents and make the most of your free time.

Online courses are a particularly useful way to get started in creative writing. What’s more, many of them are free, so they’re ideal for the creative job seeker.

Here are 5 free online courses to help you develop your creative writing skills.

Endless Story Ideas

The Creative Writing Now website offers a wide range of paid online courses for creatives to sign up to. The site is  also offering a free course called Endless Story Ideas. This course is designed to help you learn how to come up with new storylines so that you can flex your creative muscles and develop your stories with ease.

By the end of the course you’ll have a few ideas for you to take away and develop in your own time – ideal for short story contests or the annual NaNoWriMo event.

This course is conducted by email; the students will receive three lessons over the course of three days.

Start Writing Fiction

Start Writing Fiction is a free course available through the Open University website. The course looks at how writers create characters and settings for their ideas. It’s designed to help you understand what your writing strengths and weaknesses are, and to help develop your general awareness of fiction writing.

If you have not yet tried your hand at writing fiction, this course is a great place to start. It’s from a reputable organisation and you certainly can’t argue with the price tag.

The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course

This course is a free online course presented by Fiona Veitch Smith. Fiona is a freelance author and writing teacher. She co-wrote the Creative Writing Coursebook and helps to run this online course for free.

The course comprises of 8 lessons and will give you an introduction to the basic elements of creative writing. The course is designed to be self taught and Fiona doesn’t critique any of your work. However, if you do want personal help and support, you can get both at a price.

Introduction to Fiction

This writing course is available through MIT Open Course Ware. The course discusses the boundaries of fiction and covers a range of novels and writing styles. This includes western and non-western styles, and it covers both traditional and innovative writing.

Towards the end of the course, the lessons start to focus on the relationship between art and war in literature, giving writers a useful insight into how some of the greatest works of fiction are composed.

Steve Barnes’ Free Writing Class

Steve Barnes is a writer and lecturer. He offers the same course he teaches at UCLA in an online format for anyone to download for free. The course consists of 9 lessons; he encourages you to take one week at a time.

This course is dense and full of information that will help you sharpen your skills and progress in your writing career. In return for the course, Steve encourages you to buy his books to say thanks. That’s a pretty good deal.

Where Next?

If you have ever wanted to make a career out of writing fiction, now is the time to start. Creative writing can be a truly rewarding job, and developing your skills is an essential part of the process.

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By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a creative writer and journalist. He is currently working with Brand Republic.

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