Now updated for 2021
There are many opinions about creative writing courses. Does a real writer need a course at all? The argument goes that if engineering students can study engineering and artists can study art, then why not writing? A course in writing could open a student’s eyes to the fundamentals of plot, dialog, characterization and themes. Talking to fellow writers expands horizons and critiques can help your work at times. Though the final judgment of the work is yours and your editor’s, talking about writing can put you in a zone that will help nurture your writerly instincts.
What should you take into account before going ahead with a course?
- The University/Mentor offering the course: Know where it is that you are applying. Find out more about the university or the credentials of the mentor who is running the program you want to participate in.
- Recommendations by students who have done the course: Previous users of the course will mostly share their opinions of the course, either as reviews or on social media. Going through these will give you an idea about what you can expect.
- Familiarity with the Coursework: Writing has many facets. You may want to learn more about how to write a good narrative or you may have trouble with genre writing. You may want to improve the pace of your writing or the momentum of your plot. You may want to understand more about book marketing. See if the course you choose can offer you exactly what you need at this point in your writing journey.
- Group work or one-on-one: Now that most courses are online, you can also opt for courses that are live and those that you can retrieve videos of and work on at your own pace. Some courses offer interactive forums where you can discuss with your peers and some offer one-on-one feedback.
- Certification: Does the course you are opting for provide certification? Is that essential for your writing skills to progress? Many MOOCs offer certificates once the payment is made; otherwise, the content on offer is free.
Writing Courses in India
- Ashoka University: For those of you who want to study creative writing, there is a B.A. course in English and Creative writing at Ashoka University.
- IGNOU – Diploma in Creative Writing in English (DCE): This diploma includes training in writing features, short stories, TV/Radio scripts and poetry.
- Diploma Course in Creative Writing in English (DCWE) | SCDL: This autonomous program trains writers with an eye on journalism, communication and publishing.
Writing Workshops in India
- Bound: At Bound, there are plenty of online writing workshops held throughout the year, with top-notch mentors in fiction writing, screenplay writing, essay writing, etc.
- Anita’s Attic: Anita Nair runs Anita’s Attic in conjunction with Penguin. The program is structured over 12 weeks and is limited to 12 students. Admission for 2021 is closed.
- Creative Writing Short Term Course at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication: This course has been running for the past eight years and over 25 courses have been conducted so far. The onus is on creativity and writing in all its forms.
- Dum Pukht Writers’ Workshop: This is a two-week, in-residence workshop for fiction writers headed by Anil Menon, Parvin Saket and Akshat Nigam. The workshop was canceled in 2020 but will resume this year.
- Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW): This is a critique based workshop in Bangalore. Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW) was founded by Bhumika Anand and Rheea Mukherjee in December 2011. Courses range from the literary to the journalistic.
- Young Author Program (YAP): The Young Author Program is a creative writing workshop for young writers. The work of selected young writers will be published in an anthology.
Online Writing Courses
- Udemy: All learners are familiar with Udemy. There are over 200, 000 students studying creative writing alone at this venue. You can check out their moderately priced creative writing courses on writing books, characterization, plotting, poetry, etc.
- Coursera: This American massive open online course provider has many free writing courses such as:Creative Writing: A course that teaches short story, narrative essay, and memoir. Techniques provided include characterization, plotting, etc. You learn to analyze and constructively evaluate peer writing. You draft, rewrite, and complete a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing.
Write Your First Novel: This is a course provided by the Michigan State University. You will learn how to write and complete a full-length novel of 50,000 words from start to finish. You will have a finished manuscript in hand at the end of the course.
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest: This course offers video lectures, exercises, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors.
- Masterclass: It’s worth the investment to do MasterClass with world-class writers. So for the fast-paced writing of thrillers, listen to James Patterson, to understand the nuances of sci-fi and fantasy think Neil Gaiman, for plotting think Dan Brown…you get the picture. You will have to shell out an annual cost; there is no monthly subscription.
- Skillshare: Want to learn how to write character-driven stories from famous authors? You can sign up for a free trial at Skillshare before you decide to take the available courses.
- MIT OpenCourseWare: There are many valuable free courses available pertaining to creativity, in-depth writing and reading and grammar. You can go through available syllabus links and videos. Some links to creative writing courses include The Creative Spark, Writing and Experience, Writing and Reading Short Stories, Advanced Essay Workshop and Grammar matters
- How to Write a Novel: Writing the Draft | edX: A paid course from the University of British Columbia that deals with the entire mechanics of fiction.
Disclaimer: The above-mentioned courses should not be treated as recommendations, but only information. The reader should verify the quality and suitability of the courses before enrolling in one.