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Last updated on May 12, 2021

Creative Writing Classes: 13 Online Courses for Writers

These days, there’s no shortage of ways to learn from the comfort of your own home, and writing is no exception. Creative writing classes abound on the internet, but in such a crowded market, it's difficult to know which are best suited to your skill level, interests, and learning preferences.

Below, we’ve gathered thirteen of our favorite online creative writing classes. These courses range quite a bit in price, time commitment, and writing topics, so there’s bound to be something that will fit your needs and lifestyle.

Reedsy Learning

💲 Cost: Free
👨‍🏫 Type: Email lessons

If you’re struggling to find time for creative writing classes, Reedsy Learning is for you. These bite-sized lessons are emailed to you once a day for ten days and can be read in five minutes or less. But don’t let their compact size fool you — each lesson is packed with practical tips, links to additional resources, and enough exercises to keep your skills sharp. There are also courses on editing, marketing, and publishing for when you’re ready to take your creative writing to the next level.

Creative Writing Classes | Reedsy Learning

Gotham Writers’ Workshop

💲 Cost: $165 - $409 (plus registration fees)
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, live Zoom classes, assignments, critique

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.

Note: Gotham Writers' Workshop has a free course on Novel Revision on Reedsy Learning.


💲 Cost: $0 - $109
👨‍🏫 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. Their primary audience is made up of professionals and students — some of their courses even offer credit toward technical certifications. Their creative writing courses are broad and geared mainly toward beginners, through there are some intermediate courses that get into specific niches.


💲 Cost: $0 - $998
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

Another MOOC, edX was started 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. There are also related courses in journalism, composition, and grammar, among other specializations.

Creative Writing Classes | edX


💲 Cost: Free (Creative Writing Specialization)
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

One last MOOC for our list, this time 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. In addition to general courses, Coursera also offers specializations, a series of courses that work together much like what you’d find in a university. 


💲 Cost: $180/year
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, workbooks

If learning from household-name celebrities sounds like an exciting way to develop your 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, Neil Gaiman, and many more. Work through the lectures at your own pace. Detailed workbooks will give you plenty to do, both during and after the course.

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💲 Cost: $19.99/month when billed monthly, or $99/year when billed annually
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, worksheets, assigned projects

While Skillshare offers some celebrity-hosted courses (want to learn how to write a personal essay from Roxane Gay?), the bulk of their classes are led by enthusiastic 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.

Creative Writing Classes | Skillshare

Writer’s Digest University

💲 Cost: $49.99 - $799.99
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, assignments, critique, 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 artistic skills in poetry or novels, or you’re looking to get creative with blogging, you can browse courses based on the form of writing, your goals as a writer, or the elements of writing you’re aiming to improve. Each course gives you access to a discussion group as well as a private “journal” where you can write notes visible only to you and your instructor.

LitReactor Online Writing Workshops

💲 Cost: $99 - $399
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, assignments, critique

Unlike most of the other courses on our list, LitReactor’s ever-changing roster of online classes only runs for a few weeks at a time— so if there’s one you want to participate in, make sure you sign up while you can. Still, if you can make their schedule work for you, these highly interactive courses could provide you with exactly the boost you need to get into a solid writing habit.

The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers

💲 Cost: $9 - $29
👨‍🏫 Type: Lectures (written and video), exercises

Run by Nebula-award-winning author and two-term former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Cat Rambo, these courses are a treasure trove of highly targeted but widely useful creative writing topics. Need to find time to write in the cracks of your life? There's a course for that. Want to get your hands on nuanced breakdowns of revising, or the finer points of literary prose? You're in the right place. Are you brimming with genre-specific questions on fairy tale retellings or steampunk worldbuilding? Rambo's got you covered.

Creative Writing Classes | The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers

The Creative Penn Courses

💲 Cost: $69 - $297
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, downloadable slides, discussion group

While Joanna Penn is perhaps best known for her advice on selling and marketing your work, she also offers creative writing courses on nonfiction, co-writing books, and crafting novels. Each course is self-paced, and full of Penn’s trademark no-nonsense advice and inspiring, uplifting attitude.

Brandon Sanderon’s lecture series

💲 Cost: Free
👨‍🏫 Type: 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. Widely regarded as a must-watch video series for writers of science fiction and fantasy, Sanderson covers topics ranging from weaving intricate plots and fleshing out a believable fantasy world to writing fantastical short stories. Since it’s available for free on YouTube, many genre writers find themselves revisiting it over and over again.

Reedsy Live

💲 Cost: Free
👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures

Lastly, we have our very own Reedsy Live: a series of webinars presented by a wide range of expert editors across many different genres. These video replays are the perfect way to sharpen your skill in a fun, upbeat environment. Whether you’re looking to write for a middle grade audience, want to learn how to create spine-chilling suspense, or simply want help refining your author “voice,” our editors will walk you through the process with wisdom and experience. (Like what one of them has to say? You can even hire them to edit your work to perfection!) Reedsy Live also covers how to take your creative writing project all the way to publication — and beyond.

Creative Writing Classes | Reedsy Live

With this wealth of resources at your fingertips, there really is no reason not to get out there and pursue your creative writing dreams. We can’t wait to see your work on the shelves someday! 

And that's it! I hoe you