10 Online Writing Courses To Step Up Your Writing Game

Here’s something Ernest Hemingway got dead wrong.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

That might work for some kinds of writing. Freestyle fiction, maybe, or personal blog posts where it’s all about you and your opinions.

But marketing copy? Research papers? Blog posts that get 2+ million views?

There’s a whole lot more to it than just ‘bleeding’. 

Here’s the good news, though:

You can learn how to write the kind of copy you want to excel at.

And you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy writing degrees, either. 

There are hundreds of writing courses online – many of which are free – that you can sign up for.

Maybe you’re keen on a professional writing course. Or maybe you want to step up your creative writing. Whatever you’re looking for, here’s a list of the best online courses to get you started. 

What is it you want to achieve?

The first thing you need to do before you sign up for an online writing course is to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with it.

  • Do you want to write more succinct copy?
  • Do you want to write copy that ranks higher on search engines?
  • Do you want to become a better storyteller?
  • Do you want to specialize in creative nonfiction, like memoirs or essay writing?
  • Do you want to ace that job application?
  • Do you want to improve your grammar and punctuation, word usage, and sentence structure?
  • Do you want to write marketing copy that sells?

There’s no single way to become a better writer. Depending on what your experience level is, what genre(s) you write in, and the kind of audience you’re writing for, you’ll have different expectations from the course you sign up for.

The best online writing courses are designed that way. They focus on one type of writing – be it business copy, creative nonfiction, or bestselling fiction – and teach you how to ace it.

So instead of wasting your time (and money) on generic writing courses, choose one that meets your exact needs. 

Here are the top 10 online writing courses to check out today:

1. Masterclass Writing Courses

What is it about?

Masterclass provides you with lessons from some of the world’s most accomplished individuals, and they have an entire section devoted to writing courses. Once you sign up, you’ll get to learn from the best, be it bestselling thriller writer David Baldacci or Booker-winning literary giant Margaret Atwood. 

Who is it suitable for?

Masterclass courses are mostly geared towards creative writing rather than business copy. If you’re looking to write a bestselling novel, you can sign up for Dan Brown’s course. And if you’re an aspiring poet, you can opt for the course led by former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins. 

How much does it cost?

You can sign up for a year’s access to an individual Masterclass for $90. However, for $180, you get a membership that gives you a year’s access to the entire course catalog. 

What’s the catch?

While most of the courses come with their tailored writing exercises, you can rarely if ever get your writing personally reviewed by the class instructor. 

2. CreativeLive

What is it about?

Like Masterclass, CreativeLive provides courses hosted by top-notch celebrities, including bloggers and entrepreneurs. You get to learn the art of succeeding as a writer in today’s world, whether you’re into nonfiction or popular fiction.

Who is it suitable for?

CreativeLive is ideal for writers looking to pick up skills in blogging, marketing, and writing books that sell. It takes more of a real-world approach to writing than Masterclass, which gives you more of the theory of writing.

How much does it cost?

Classes on CreativeLive start at $20 each and go all the way up to several hundred dollars. Once you’ve bought a course, though, you get lifetime access to it. If you’re just starting, there are several free writing classes you can have a look at.

What’s the catch?

Unlike Masterclass, CreativeLive offers an all-access pass only occasionally. Without this pass, accessing multiple writing courses can easily become expensive. 

3. Udemy

What is it about?

Udemy is a one-stop resource for pretty much every skill you can think of, including writing courses. Whether you’re looking to improve your freelance writing strategy or amp up your vocabulary and writing style, there’s something for you here.

Who is it suitable for?

Udemy offers writing courses that cover a wide variety of topics you can choose from. The courses are fairly inexpensive and often come for free, which makes this a good option if you’re new to online learning. 

How much does it cost?

While a lot of the classes are free, paid writing courses on Udemy start at $9.99. Many offer discounts at different times throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those.

What’s the catch?

Udemy allows pretty much anyone to design and upload a course, so you can’t always be sure about the accuracy of the lessons shared. So before you sign up for any course, be sure to read the customer reviews.

4. edX

What is it about?

Learning platform edX helps you build your writing skills through top-quality video lectures. You can get insights from the world’s best universities and improve your craft through assignments that range from quizzes to full-length essays. 

Who is it suitable for?

From grammar to journalism to creative writing to writing for social media, there’s something for everyone on edX.

How much does it cost?

You can watch edX classes for free online. If you want a certificate of completion, you can get one for around $49.

What’s the catch?

Navigating the course lectures can be a bit tough. Plus, a lot of the courses may be archived, which means that they are no longer actively supervised by the instructor. 

5. Coursera

What is it about?

Coursera gives you access to writing insights from some of the top universities around the world. You can access complete course videos for free and do graded exercises when you sign up as a paying member. You can even work on a bundle of courses with a capstone assignment as a specialization. 

Who is it suitable for?

Coursera features courses for different kinds of writing, from creative storytelling to writing for the screen to technical writing. 

How much does it cost?

All the classes on Coursera are free to watch. If you want a course certificate, you can sign up for about $39. Specializations, which are course bundles, cost more depending on how many courses they contain. 

What’s the catch?

While most classes include peer-reviewing for each assignment, you may not always get feedback from the course instructor. 

6. Self-Publishing School

What is it about?

Do you want to see your completed book out on Amazon for sale within 90 days? Your new instructor, US entrepreneur and author Chandler Bolt teaches you how to do just that. Through Self-Publishing School, You’ll learn how to write your book, how to self-publish it for Amazon, and how to make it a bestseller.

Who is it suitable for?

This course is all about completing a book and getting it out there on the market as quickly as possible. Aspiring writers who have ideas that they’re keen to translate into finished e-books will find this course helpful.

How much does it cost?

You can access all the course lectures and writing exercises for around $697. 

What’s the catch?

If you’re serious about your creative writing, you might not relate to the idea of completing a book in 90 days. 

7. Storylogue

What is it about?

Storylogue offers writing insights from popular screenwriter and author Robert McKee. While his in-person coaching can easily cost you several thousand dollars, you get the same insights on storytelling and writing for a fraction of the cost if you do the online course.

Who is it suitable for?

If you’re looking to amp up your business writing, content marketing, or screenwriting, Storylogue is the perfect online course for you. 

How much does it cost?

You can access all the course lectures for an annual fee of $197 or a monthly fee of $19.97.

What’s the catch?

The class materials aren’t as well organized as in some of the other writing courses out there. Plus, the video quality of the classes isn’t that great, as it’s mostly Robert McKee speaking directly into the camera.

8. Writers’ Village University

What is it about?

Since 1995, Writers’ Village University has built an online community of fiction writers who support each other with writing assignments and feedback. They also have more than 200 writing courses on their website, covering topics like essays, thrillers, poetry and more.

Who is it suitable for?

Writers’ Village University is basically the e-version of your neighborhood writing club. So if you’re a writer of fiction and you’d like the support of fellow writers, this is the online course for you. 

How much does it cost?

You can access all of the courses and become a member of the community with an annual fee of $99. If you’d like to try it out first, they offer a 30-day trial for $30. 

What’s the catch?

Writers’ Village University doesn’t offer too many video classes. Instead, you get homework assignments and writing prompts by email for each course that you take up. This might put off authors who prefer more visual learning.

9. Ads for Authors

What is it about?

Bestselling British thriller writer Mark Dawson created this course as a follow-up to his highly successful Self Publishing Formula. In his 10-course bundle Ads for Authors, he teaches you how to sell more copies of your books with online ads, including ads on Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook. 

Who is it suitable for?

If you’re looking to make more money through the books you write, whether you’re a newbie or an established novelist, this course is the one for you. 

How much does it cost?

You can access the full course for $497. 

What’s the catch?

Mark Dawson only opens the doors to his course a few times a year. So you’ll need to sign up for the email list and keep an eye out for when slots are open again.

10. The Novelry

What is it about?

The Novelry offers multiple fiction writing courses run by Booker-longlisted author Louise Dean. With each course you purchase, you get one-on-one guidance calls with Louise Dean to help you structure and complete your novel. You also get to submit your book to literary agents.

Who is it suitable for?

If you know you have a book inside you but don’t know where to start, The Novelry courses guide aspiring writers through the writing process with one-on-one coaching. It’s also great for writers who have a finished first draft and are looking for personalized assistance with their editing. 

How much does it cost?

The courses start at a one-time fee of $330 and go up to $370 a month.

What’s the catch?

The Novelry is geared more towards authors of literary and historical fiction than popular fiction. So if you’re looking to become a bestselling author quickly, this may not be the course for you.

Conclusion

When it comes to online writing courses, there’s no shortage of options out there. Whether you’re looking to brush up your blog writing skills or write your first book draft, there’s a course for you.

Think about what you’d like to achieve through a course, decide how much you’re willing to spend on it, and then check out the options we’ve shared. Happy learning, and happy writing!