If you’re looking for a list of the best online novel writing courses, the following compilation has been put together especially for you.
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Louise Dean is the founder of The Novelry, which caters to a lively online community of novelists and has offices in New York and London. She authored four novels including Becoming Strangers, which won the Le Prince Maurice Prize and was nominated for the Booker Prize.
Furthermore, Louise made “The Novel Kickstarter” course to help even complete beginners realize their first draft. There are tons of videos, more than 40 live sessions each month, and 155 lessons for students to study at their own pace. You will learn about story planning, character mapping, pacing, and tension.
Each student gets six one-on-one sessions with their preferred writer. The coaching team has bestselling authors in genres like literary fiction (Rachel Joyce), romance (Libby Page), and YA fiction (Alice Kuipers).
The Novelry’s novel-writing course costs $1,699 for a full year. This comes with a seven-day money-back guarantee — and you can pay in installments of $169/month.
Reedsy is known for its big community of writers and other professionals in the publishing industry. But did you know that the London-based platform also offers an online class for aspiring fiction authors?
The “How to Write a Novel” course lasts 101 days and is led by Tom Bromley. He is a veteran in the field: an editor of over 100 books, copywriter, publisher, instructor, and traditionally published novelist behind Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Half A World Away.
Throughout 15 weeks, you will learn to effectively start writing your draft — and provide an ending that will leave readers in awe. Apart from more than 20 hours of videos, the course includes weekly meetings with coaches and authors and a one-year access to a writing forum. Plus, eager students can read tons of supplementary learning materials and fulfill optional exercises.
This comprehensive online class is regularly priced at $1,250 but is discounted to $1,000 as of writing. Click on “Claim your spot” to begin your journey with Reedsy Learning.
Headquartered in New York City, the Gotham Writers Workshop has been teaching the art of storytelling since 1993. Part 1 of the “Novel II First Draft” class lasts 10 weeks and is focused on helping you to create your first draft through a combination of weekly objectives, worksheets, and online lectures.
Instead of one instructor, you get four teachers, all of whom are published novelists: Arlaina Tibensky (And Then Things Fall Apart), Katherine Taylor (Valley Fever), Christine Meade (The Way You Burn), and Benjamin Obler (Javascotia). With their guidance, you will learn about character writing, plot structure, subplots, and worldbuilding.
The novel-writing class costs $439 for new students and $409 for those who’ve previously taken a class at the Gotham Writers Workshop. Either way, there’s also a $25 registration fee to be paid every term.
You don’t have to go all the way to East Lansing to receive an education from Michigan State University. Through Coursera, people can take its “Write Your First Novel” course online, which is suitable for new writers.
David Wheeler is the instructor of this digital class. He is part of the creative research faculty and heads the university’s Media Sandbox program. Likewise, he is the founder of four media companies and has experience in writing, cinematography, and direction.
Each module in the 26-week course includes at least one video (transcripts are available as well). Some have readings and quizzes. After settling on your story idea and character profiles, you will start writing one chapter a week. Two weeks before the end of the course, you’ll already be writing the final chapter.
The course is free. However, learners who want a certificate upon completing it have two choices: pay for a Coursera Plus subscription ($59/month or $399/year) or the certification mode of this particular course ($49).
Based in San Francisco, California, Udemy hosts one of the most affordable yet insightful online courses on fiction writing. Officially titled “How to Write and Publish a Novel”, it was created by Marissa Burt, an exceptional teacher and author of the novels Storybound, The 12 Dares of Christa, and three other titles.
With nine hours of on-demand video content and unlimited access to all materials, the course allows its students to take their time in reviewing every element from characters and setting to dialogue and plot. Melissa’s course goes beyond the goal of writing 50,000 words: It educates about the drafting, editing, and publishing stages as well.
This beloved novel-writing course typically costs $69.99. Luckily, Udemy frequently offers limited-time promos that can lower the price to just $14.99. Go to the course page to make a purchase.
The idea that a living legend in fantasy fiction would teach storytelling to anyone willing to pay just $10 a month sounds ridiculous. Yet MasterClass, which operates in San Francisco, California, made this a reality in 2019 with Neil Gaiman.
Neil created the universally acclaimed The Sandman graphic novel series, which became a Netflix series. His other award-winning novels, Coraline and Good Omens, have been adapted into a movie and series, respectively.
As such, his nearly five-hour class—divided into 19 lessons—is a rare peek into the mind of a genius. Neil will teach you about genres, worldbuilding, characters, dialogue, story development, humor, finding your voice, and the secret to writing outstanding prose.
MasterClass has three paid annual membership plans: Individual ($120), Duo ($180), and Family ($240). Keep in mind that the cheapest option does not include the offline-viewing feature. Feel free to sign up anytime you want.
Through the edX platform (based in Lanham, Maryland), institutions of higher education can reach a broader audience. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, for one, teaches creative writing to eager students no matter their location.
As the course title implies, “How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline” is designed to assist learners with outlining and story structure. Instructors Nancy Lee and Annabel Lyon are professors of creative writing at the university. The former authored The Age while the latter wrote the acclaimed bestseller The Golden Mean.
This six-week online course has weekly assignments and Q&A sessions with instructors. You are free to discuss what you learned from the videos, essential readings, and author interviews with other students.
Are you ready to kickstart your novel-writing journey? Head to the course page to sign up and pay the $295 enrollment fee.
Back in the 1990s, the Goosebumps franchise took over the world with its signature horror stories. There were multiple TV and movie adaptations — and the novels have since sold more than 400 million copies. Now, R.L. Stine, the man behind the global sensation, welcomes you to learn how to write novels for YA readers.
His online course is available at MasterClass, headquartered in San Francisco, California. You’ll discover 28 video lessons clocking in at nearly four hours.
The class begins with sharing how and where writers can find ideas for their novels. After, it dives into rich explanations of outlining, cliffhangers, plot twists, and how to appeal to audiences across different age brackets.
Every course on the MasterClass platform becomes accessible upon paying an annual membership. This starts at $120 (Individual) and goes up to $240 (Family).
If you’re struggling to write a single page a week, consider enrolling in Aatif Rashid’s “Writing Your Novel Draft”. This course is hosted at Writers.com, an online learning platform and writers’ hub based in Santa Cruz, California. Aatif wrote the novel Portrait of Sebastian Khan and an assortment of short stories and nonfiction too.
The eight-week course requires dedication. Writers must attend live video sessions on Zoom each week to learn lessons—such as writing dialogue and creating tension—and talk about accomplished activities.
As you learn more from the Zoom meetings, you will craft chapters and scenes. The goal is to write five new pages a week so that you’ll have a 40-page draft to build upon after the course.
Are you interested in Aatif’s novel draft-writing course? This two-month class is available for $495.
Jessica Brody isn’t a stranger to writing novels and teaching the art of it as well. Situated in Vancouver, Washington, she’s the author of many traditionally published women’s fiction and YA fiction. The Chaos of Standing Still and My Life Undecided are a couple of her novels.
Interestingly, this “Save the Cat!” course shares its name with her two best-selling nonfiction books for fiction writers. The course contains 21 activities and 51 videos, the latter of which explores the 15 major aspects (or “story beats”) of great novel writing. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of plot, structure, revisions, and outlining.
Access to the course is similar to MasterClass and Skillshare. That is, you pay for a membership plan that opens up all classes. For $15 a month, members can complete this course and other related lessons such as how to revise novels and write drafts.
11. Writing a Novel
Based in London, Faber Academy was established in 2008 to help budding writers online and offline. It is part of Faber and Faber Limited, one of the oldest and most respected independent publishers in the UK. Moreover, “Writing a Novel” is the academy’s crown jewel when it comes to writing courses.
This is a seven-month course divided into 14 sessions lasting two weeks each. While there are live Zoom sessions, tutorials, and webinars, Faber Academy can provide downloadable learning resources and early access to video content if you cannot attend them.
Each small group of writers will receive guidance from one of many tutors, all of whom are accomplished creative writers. For this particular session (as of writing), the course will be led by Sarah May, acclaimed and best-selling author of The Internationals and Becky.
At £2750 or around $3.4k (as of writing), the Faber Academy course is far from affordable to the average individual. Still, its exceptional value to aspiring novelists cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, you can either pay all of it at once or in installments.
The October session already ended its application period. Visit the page for novel-writing courses in the future for the new schedule.
Steve Alcorn’s online course is another noteworthy pick on San Francisco’s Udemy platform. As a writer of novels (Everything In Its Path) and nonfiction (How to Fix Your Novel), his literary experience is highly sought after.
The “Novel Writing Workshop” has attracted more than 17,000 students. It offers five hours of videos and 20 learning materials that you can view whenever you like. Steve’s course has six main sections: planning, characters, story structure, creating a manuscript, refining a manuscript, and the publication process.
This course is priced at $109.99. If that seems too expensive, you can view the course page some other time and wait for limited discounts. Currently, it’s only $19.99 — that’s over 80% off the standard rate!
Like Neil Gaiman and R.L. Stine, Margaret Atwood is another legend in novel writing that barely needs an introduction. Many of her works have been adapted into series and films. She’s the recipient of multiple accolades including not one but two Booker Prizes.
Her online course for MasterClass in San Francisco, California, delves into her tried-and-tested approach to storytelling. It has 23 video lessons — nearly four hours of priceless teachings. For example, Margaret illustrates why classics and historical tales are useful foundations for stories and complex narratives. She will also delve into the styles and textures of novel writing.
MasterClass offering will cost at least $120 for a yearly membership. Of course, the good thing here is that you can take all three classes (and many more) for one premium MasterClass plan — so make the most of it!
Some More Top Online Novel Writing Courses
Can you complete a novel in three months? Briana Una McGuckin believes anyone can — and she’ll help them achieve it. Hosted on Writers.com in Santa Cruz, California, “Write Your Novel in 12 Weeks” aims to encourage people to write at least 5,000 words each week.
Aside from written materials and assignments, each week will have a Zoom meeting. This live session is for students to further discuss lessons, activities, and their respective drafts with Briana and one another. The syllabus tackles writing concepts like premise, structure, backstory, pacing, and fixing plot mistakes.
Overall, prospective students have to shell out $695 for the three-month course. Simply click on “Enroll Now” to pay online.
Founded by Anna Davis in 2011, Curtis Brown Creative is the learning platform of London’s iconic Curtis Brown agency. Budding writers who want to transform their promising ideas into a novel should enroll in the “Starting to Write Your Novel” course taught by the founder herself.
She’s been a literary agent, journalist, and university teacher. Anna is also a published author with five titles under her name including the historical romance novels The Jewel Box and The Shoe Queen.
Her six-week online class will help you generate story ideas and understand character writing, narration, plotting, and the key to writing an effective opening. The course will utilize case studies, recommended readings, weekly assignments, student forums, and pre-recorded videos.
This digital class is priced at £220. For an extra £145, an editor can provide feedback on your final writing assignment. Feedback from an editor and a 30-minute tutorial costs an additional £240.
Are You Looking for a Free Novel Writing Course?
Would you like to join our very own free novel writing course called Novice to Novel? You can get 52 free lessons via email (1 lesson per week) to help you write a novel in one year! You can find out more and sign-up at this page.