Free Writing Courses available Online
As a writer the need to grow and increase your own knowledge is key. Some people get so caught up on research for their book that they neglect the basics – learning to write well.
In truth “English” or “Writing” classes have always been my favorite and I mange to do quite well in them, but outside of school and college I didn’t think much about expanding my knowledge with additional courses. The only time I ever heard about a writing course has been through emails from those “online guru’s” but those are often just super slick marketing campaigns that cost too much and offer very little.
Recently I’ve been looking into free writing courses via online websites, personal offers from other writers, and free online college courses. I found some really great options across various interesting subjects and I wanted a place to keep this information as well as share it so of course I had to create another LONG blog post about it.
Directories of Open Online Courses
There are several websites that offer directories of Free Online Courses. These aggregators are a great way to find a grouping of like sites while limiting the time you use to search for specific locations, languages, and subject matter. Below I’ve listed a few I’ve come across and think will be helpful.
MOOC List – this aggregator provides a “complete” list of Massive Open Online Courses. It allows you to search by keyword, University, Country, Language, and a few other options. It is a great place to start your search for free online writing courses and may even provide courses in other subjects you might be interested in.
OEDb – this is another directory offering +10,000 online free course links. It is called the Open Education Database and has fantastic connections to many different colleges and their open courses. You can search for full courses, audio and video courses, text articles, as well as mixed media classes.
Free College Courses
If you’ve not yet taken the time to explore the free online courses available from various colleges then you’re missing some great opportunities. Below I’ve listed a few places to get started with courses offered from higher education institutions, many of which you may already know.
If you’re in Australia there is a specifc site that might interest you as it is country specific and offers a number of online courses. You can find the database here at the Open Colleges website.
For UK residence there is also a country specific site called Alison which offers a number of courses at various colleges as well as certifications.
Another great site offered out of the UK is FutureLearn – they offer some great online courses for distance learning from many of the larger institutions. It is still in beta mode and one of the upcoming courses is being offered by Derek Neale for an 8 week Fiction Writing Session – you can check that out here.
For some of the more popular US colleges there is openculture.com. This is another treasure trove of great links offering everything from archaeology to philosophy. As a writer you can never stop learning and this site can provide you with courses that can enhance your expertise.
Free Online Course Sites
There are other sites that offer free courses on their sites rather than sending you to other sites and a few are listed below:
Coursera – they do offer free as well as paid courses and if you are interested in creating your own course this is a great place to list it. There are real-world courses that can help you in various subjects on writing as well as things related to your writing career.
Udemy – offers both free and paid courses. A mix of text, video, and other training options for various writing courses are available as well as courses in marketing that are specific for writers.
Open Culture – I added this one to the list again because you REALLY need to check it out. With so many different subjects, it’s not just a great site for writers, it’s a site that anyone can use to further their education. I want to state that this would be an excellent way to get started in learning subjects that can then be traded in for college credit if you were to take a CLEP test. It’s a much cheaper way to get a college education and it’s a lot faster, why spend 3-4 months in a classroom everyday and pay $1000’s of dollars when you can learn online for free then take a test for under $100 at your local library or testing site? There are a number of text books, films, audio, video, and other mixed media options for learning. You can find various different subjects to study and writing is just one of them.
Writer2Writer – this site offers a page with links to free and nearly free courses on writing. They do update it so keep this in your favorites and check back often to see what they offer.
Additonal Free Writing Courses
Holly Lisle offers a 3 Week Flash Fiction Course. While she does offer other courses for a small fee, you can sign up on her site to join and never pay a dime.
Steven Barnes has taught a 9 week writing course at UCLA for years and offers a modified version for free. You can download the entire course from his website for free.
Audrey Owen is a professional editor with a passion for teaching and giving back to the writing community. If you search her website you will find various free learning opportunities as she teaches what she knows and helps people to become better writers.
There are a number of different writers communities around the web but I wanted to list a few that offer free courses to their members. These are free communities to join all you need to do is sign up.
WritersCafe.org – Free to join. They offer the community of other writers and opportunities to hone your writing skills with submissions, edit sessions, and free courses.
AuthorsDen.com – Free to join. This community has been around for years and offers a wonderful community for authors. The site has many opportunists to learn and interact with other writers, it also allows writers to showcase their books as well as free ebooks as well.
Writing.com – Free to join. A well known site for authors/writers to communicate and learn better tradecraft with input from people on all levels of writing.
WeBook.com – Free to join.A great site that allows you to connect to other writers and it is geared toward getting the new and emerging writers engaged with people in the field. They also offer resources for freelance writers and workshops.
I hope you’ve found this post to be helpful and I’d love it if you’d share it with others. Please feel free to comment and tell me about other sites that should be added to this post.