Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Creative Writing, General
Free Fiction Writing Course Info
Online fiction writing courses focus on various aspects of writing fiction, such as story ideas, novel writing, fiction writing terms and fiction writing techniques. The list below is a mix of resources, podcasts and courses, none of which offer academic credit.
Creative Writing Now
Creative Writing Now offers free online writing courses and creative writing classes in addition to free writing tips. In order to sign up for free classes, students have to submit their name and email address.
- How to Write a Story that Comes Alive offers resources that teach students how to write vivid fiction and ways to develop character profiles.
- Endless Story Ideas instructs students on creating story ideas.
- Story Starters and Creative Writing Ideas for Fiction are writing prompts and ideas to help writers work through writer's block.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT OpenCourseWare offers free course materials that include video lectures, essays tips, class assignments and style guides.
- The Creative Spark focuses on the creative process in Western culture and studies the theory of creativity.
- Writing About Literature concentrates on how past authors such as Mary Shelley and Alison Bechdel sampled past works and reshaped them into their own.
The Open University
- Start Writing Fiction is split into three parts: character, setting and genre. The course seeks to teach students about their strengths and weaknesses, the mechanics of fiction writing and a fundamental vocabulary for talking about fiction.
Purdue Online Writing Lab
The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers more fiction writing resources than actual classes.
- Fiction Writing Basics includes common terms and techniques for fiction writing, such as plot, theme, point of view and conflict. Also included are sample assignments and a suggested reading list.
Falmouth University offers 24 video lectures, available on YouTube, that give students a basic introduction to professional writing specializations.
- Introduction to Novel Writing instructs students on the basics of novel writing and allows them to post their work and offer feedback to fellow students.
- Outlines and Treatments course is intended more for screenwriters, fiction writers may find it beneficial to learn how to outline their story while they watch movies and participate in critique sessions.
- Writing for Children may be beneficial to writers attempting to match their work with a certain age group.
The Writing Show
Instead of courses, The Writing Show offers podcasts on a number of subjects, some as long as an hour and others as short as four minutes.
- How Not to Annoy Readers focuses on how to avoid writing mistakes.
- Making the Transition to Full-time Writing focuses on one author's transition from freelance copywriting to full-time novel writing.
- Writing Young Adult Fiction has information about the young adult fiction craze.