12 Best Free Online Writing Courses For New Writers

No one will tell you this, but no writer has had it easy with their first book or editorial piece.

Structuring words and characters to communicate ideas for a compelling story takes mastery of storytelling practices. Most writers don’t have these skills at the beginning of their writing careers.

Suffice it to say you must start your writing somewhere. Thankfully, several online writing courses can help you sharpen your writing skills and, most importantly, get you to write your first page without doubt or fear.

Come with me as we explore the following free writing courses, which you can sign up for to learn the 1,2,3’s of writing your first piece.

  • Start Writing Fiction on OpenLearn
  • Secret Sauce Of Great Writing on Udemy
  • Alpha Academy’s Comprehensive Guide To Creative Writing on Alison
  • XSIQ Education’s English Writing Skills on Alison
  • Writing For Young Readers on Alison
  • Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing on Udemy
  • Writing with Impact on LinkedIn Learning
  • Write Your First Novel on Coursera
  • How to Write A Mindblowing Fantasy Fiction on ReedsyLearning
  • Write a Feature Length Screenplay For Film or Television on Coursera
  • Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop on Coursera
  • Mastering The Art of Persuasive Writing on Alison

Start Writing Fiction on OpenLearn

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You can sign up for this course at no cost on the OpenLearn Platform by The Open University. 

Why this course?

  • It introduces you to the fundamentals of writing a good fiction novel
  • It explores the mechanics of character and set building
  • It teaches you how to define fiction using basic vocabulary in your writing
  • It offers you a glimpse into the subgenres of fiction
  • Its teaching material is derived from an award-winning publication. 

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 12h
  • Level: Beginner
  • Rating: 4.3 stars
  • It offers you a statement of participation upon completion

Pros:

  • It allows you to pace your lessons to suit your schedule
  • The lessons are structured to meet the learning needs of new writers

Cons:

  • It teaches basic fiction writing concepts
  • No statement of participation provided for some learners

Sign up to start learning today if you want an informative course to jumpstart your writing career.

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If you want to learn the secret ingredients of writing, you can with this free course. This course was created and presented by seasoned Ex-Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja and is available on Udemy.

Why this course?

  • This course teaches you the tools and tricks of good writing from an editor’s point of view.
  • It introduces you to writing prose in a clear and informative manner
  • It teaches you how to use basic vocabulary to write evocative stories.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 44m
  • Level: Beginner
  • Contains 16 lectures
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

Pros:

  • You can learn the lessons in this course at your own pace
  • The lessons are well-structured for easy comprehension.

Cons:

  • It teaches basic and obvious writing concepts

Sign up for this course if you want to learn what editors and publishers look for in good writing.

Alpha Academy’s Comprehensive Guide To Creative Writing on Alison

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This course may be what you need to bring forth the writer in you. This comprehensive guide is the creation of Alpha Academy and is available on the Alison learning platform.

Why this course:

  • It introduces different storytelling genres and helps you find one that suits you best.
  • It teaches you how to structure your ideas into an interactive piece of writing.
  • It teaches you the difference between creative writing and technical writing.
  • It teaches you how to create a motivating and productive writing process to suit your preferred genre.
  • A professional will assess you after completing the lessons in this course.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 1.5-3h
  • Level: Beginner
  • It contains 2 modules
  • It offers you a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited certificate on completion
  • Rating: 5 stars

Pros:

  • This course is available on mobile
  • The lessons are well-structured and articulated.
  • You can pace your lessons to suit your schedule.

Cons:

  • A certificate for this course is only available on purchase.

Sign up for this course to learn all there is to creative writing today.

XSIQ Education’s English Writing Skills on Alison

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Are you doubting your English writing skills? This course by XSIQ Education on Alison can help you.

Why this course?

  • It teaches you all the important English writing styles.
  • It teaches you how to express yourself clearly in writing
  • It teaches you how to use grammar and punctuation properly in your writing
  • You get a professional assessment of your learning at the end of the course.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 1.5-3h
  • Level: Beginner
  • You get a CPD (Continuing Professional Development ) accredited certificate on completion of this course.
  • Rating: 5 stars

Pros:

  • The lessons in this course are well-structured
  • You can pace your learning to fit your schedule.
  • This course is available on mobile.

Cons:

  • This course teaches you basic English writing skills.
  • The certificate for this course is only available for a fee.

Sign up for this course to polish your English for your writing career.

Writing For Young Readers on Alison

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Have you always dreamed of writing books for young children? If yes, this course by The Commonwealth Education trust is for you.

Why this course?

  • This course introduces you to the fundamentals of writing for young readers.
  • It teaches you how to structure your words and images to communicate with children and adults.
  • It teaches you how to proofread and edit your writing before publication.
  • You get a professional assessment of your learning at the end of the course.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 1.5-3h
  • Level: Beginner
  • This course offers you a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited course on completion of lessons.
  • Rating: 5 stars

Pros:

  • You can take the lessons in this course at your own pace.
  • You get to learn new skills and habits for your writing career.

Cons: 

  • The certificate is only available upon purchase.

Click here to begin learning how to write effectively for young readers.

Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing on Udemy

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This course targets first-time essay writers and is available for free on Udemy.

Why this course?

  • This course introduces you to the concept and requirements of writing essays and thesis papers.
  • It teaches how to use academic language and structures to write a clear essay or thesis.
  • It teaches you how to proofread and edit your essays to perfection.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 1h 14m
  • Level: First-time school or college essay writers
  • You get an optional certificate upon completing the lessons in this course.
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

Pros:

  • You can learn each lesson in this course at your pace.
  • It contains quizzes and writing activities for lesson practice.

Cons:

  • It has long quizzes.
  • It offers a certificate of participation at a fee.

Click here to learn how to write a point-earning academic paper for free.

Writing with Impact on LinkedIn Learning

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This course teaches you how to write effectively for business or self-development. It was created by communication specialist Tom Geller and is available on LinkedIn Learning.

Why this course?

  • It teaches you how to become an impactful wordsmith in business or creative writing.
  • It offers you a free 1-month trial
  • You get to test your knowledge by practicing writing and answering five quizzes at the end of every lesson.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free for 1st month
  • Duration: 1h 1m
  • Level: Beginner 
  • You earn a shareable LinkedIn Learning Certificate on completion of this course.
  • Rating: 4.6 stars

Pros:

  • This course is available on mobile
  • It allows you to learn the lessons at your own pace.

Cons:

  • This course teaches basic business writing concepts.

Click here to learn impactful writing for free.

Write Your First Novel on Coursera

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This course by renowned scriptwriter David Wheeler is free for new writers on Coursera.

Why this course?

  • This course teaches you how to structure your seemingly simple ideas into a novel.
  • It helps you to master storytelling from scratch.
  • It gives you a step-by-step guide on overcoming writer’s block and starting work on your novel.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 127h
  • Level: Beginner
  • It offers a shareable certificate upon completion.
  • Rating: 4.2 stars

Pros:

  • You can take the lessons and assignments on this course at your own pace
  • This course provides peer-reviewed feedback

Cons:

  • This course lacks in-depth content on writing
  • Slow and unstructured peer-reviewed feedback
  • No tutor feedback provided

Sign up for this course for motivation and step-by-step guidelines on how to start writing your first book.

How to Write A Mindblowing Fantasy Fiction on ReedsyLearning

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This fantasy writing course by Campfire is free on the Reedsy Learning platform.

Why this course:

  • This course teaches you how to generate ideas for fiction fantasy.
  • It teaches you how to develop a fantasy world around your characters.
  • It introduces to you the two types of fantasy writing systems
  • It covers the publishing options for fantasy books.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 10 lessons
  • Level: Beginner

Pros:

  • You can learn writing at your own pace with this course.
  • The lessons in this course are short and straight to the point.

Cons:

  • No certification is provided for this course.

If you are considering fantasy fiction writing for your first book, click here to start learning the ropes in this course.

Write a Feature Length Screenplay For Film or Television on Coursera

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This course by David Wheeler on Coursera introduces you to the world of screenwriting.

Why this course?

  • It teaches you how to develop your idea into a script for film or television.
  • It teaches you how to proofread and edit your idea before pitching it for filming.
  • It requires you to practice screenwriting on your idea and script.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 93h
  • Level: Beginner
  • You earn an optional certificate on completion of this course.
  • Rating: 4.6 stars

Pros:

  • Well-structured and interactive course
  • It provides for self-paced learning.
  • It allows for peer group learning and reviewing.

Cons:

  • It teaches basic screenwriting concepts.
  • No instructor support is available.

Learn the basics of screenwriting today by signing up for this free course. 

Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop on Coursera

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This course is for new and aspiring poetry writers looking to make a mark in writing. It is authored and presented by award-winning poet and author Douglas Kearney.

Why this course?

  • It helps you develop ideas into award-winning poetry.
  • It teaches you the tools and tricks of poetry composition.
  • It introduces you to the different styles of writing modern and contemporary poetry.
  • It prompts you to start writing your poems as you progress with learning.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 8h
  • Level: Beginner
  • You get an optional certificate on completion of this course.
  • Rating: 4.8

Pros:

  • This course allows you to learn poetry writing at your own pace.
  • It allows for thorough peer-review feedback
  • It prompts you to write poems through practical assignments

Cons:

  • Certification for this course is only available at a fee.

This course is the first step on your journey to writing award-winning poetry. Sign up to begin your free lessons today.

Mastering The Art of Persuasive Writing on Alison

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This course by YouAccel Training is available for beginner writers for free on the Alison learning platform.

Why this course?

  • It teaches you the principles and practices of exemplary writing.
  • It teaches you how to use persuasive writing to sell products and services.
  • It gives you a step-by-step guide to becoming a freelance and published writer.

Course details:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Duration: 3-4h
  • Level: Beginner
  • You get a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited certificate upon completion of this course.
  • Rating: 5 stars

Pros:

  • Well-structured and detailed lessons.
  • It provides for course assessment on the completion of lessons.

Cons:

  • Certification for this course is available at a fee.

Sign up for this course to master the art of persuasive writing.

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