Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published September 25th 2020
Improve Your Writing Skills For Free in Your Own Time
Have you ever wanted to write stories, articles, good web content or even a novel and you're not sure where to start? Maybe you're already a writer and just want to get better at it. There is certainly no shortage of writing courses to help you out. You may have seen some of these advertised, checked them out and shied away from the cost, or maybe you just love a bargain.
These free, yes free courses, are a great place to start and there's more than 70 of them to choose from. Not only are they free, but all can be done in the privacy of your own home so you don't even have to get out of your pyjamas.
ReedsyLearning (54 Courses)
ReedsyLearning's free courses cover a wide range of writing topics. At the time of writing 54 courses are offered across the categories of Writing (18), Editing (5), Design (1), Marketing (17), Publishing (11) and Distribution (2).
Writing courses can be genre-specific such as Children's Books 101, How to Write an Irresistible Romance, or The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction. Some are about technique such as Understanding Point of View or Writing Dialogue that Develops Plot and Character.
Other categories include courses such as Story Editing for Authors, Book Design 101, How to Get Your Book Covered by Mainstream Media, Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing and Pricing Books for an International Audience.
Course presenters vary according to topic and qualification and each course steps through a series of topics often with short exercises to help you grasp how this applies to you. Links to additional references may be provided, giving you the choice to pursue in more detail what interests you most. A course might include 10 lessons, which at its barest minimum might only take minutes each day if you choose not to pursue any of the additional recommended references. Some courses are done on-line and others deliver daily lessons to by email.
Creative Writing Now is not only a great resource website for writers where you will find many writing tips and ideas, it also offers many creative writing courses. The courses vary in length from three days to eight weeks and are delivered by email.
At the time of writing, there were nine free courses on offer. Endless Story Ideas is offered as one lesson per day over three days and the following courses are offered as one lesson per week for eight weeks.
Story Structure Bringing Characters to Life
Essentials of Poetry Writing
Essentials of Memoir Writing
Through Your Characters Eyes
The Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course (1 course)
Designed as an introductory course for beginner writers, The Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course is an eight-session course covering the following topics:
Releasing Your Creativity
How to Write a Short Story
Writing from a Point of View (POV)
Bringing Your Writing to Life
Poetry: How to Write Poems
Markets, Competitions and Opportunities
The free course is offered by Fiona Veitch Smith, a freelance journalist, editor, author, playwright, screenwriter and writing teacher. The course includes exercises, but feedback is not available as part of the free offering. Fiona does offer a paid critique service and can be contacted for a quote via her website.
If you look through the FutureLearn course lists, you may be as gobsmacked as I was to find this wonderful repository of free to learn topics. There are so many general interest courses here as well as professional topics, they have to be seen to be believed and writing is no exception.
Most are completely free, but some have optional paid upgrades and some are fee-paying so double check when you view the course details. In some instances the free access time is limited, for example, an eight-week course may allow ten weeks access unless an upgrade fee is paid.
At the time of writing, there are nine courses related to writing on offer. For example, Start Writing Fiction is an eight-week course of around three hours a week for which five alternate starting dates are currently scheduled over the next twelve months.
Other courses on offer include An Introduction to Screenwriting, How to Write Your First Song, Discovering Science – Science Writing, and Pictures of Youth: An Introduction to Children's Visual Culture.
Every run of a FutureLearn course has a set start date, but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Content is shown on a week by week basis but you can move through the weeks at your own pace although learners are encouraged to complete the courses within two to four weeks of the end date.