Free Online Writing Courses

Free online writing and journalism courses can be completed from anywhere
Free online writing and journalism courses can be completed from anywhere. Marianna Massey / Taxi / Getty Images

Whether you want to become a famous novelist or just make your way through college English, these free online writing courses and journalism courses can help. Learn the basics of English grammar, the poetic form, strategies for journalists, and how to make your business documents stand out from the crowd.

StoryMind (Dramatica)

With over a hundred short videos, this course takes fiction writers through the process of creating characters, framing action, focusing on a theme, developing their plot, and writing for a specific audience.

English Writing and Composition (Arizona State University) 

In this 8-week introductory English class, you’ll learn the basics of academic writing and set yourself up for a successful college career. 

NewsU (Poynter)

This highly-respected journalism organization offers quite a few free online courses in addition to their paid options. Free courses include: “Core Skills for the 21st Century Journalist,” “Covering Islam in America,” “Covering Poverty in the Suburbs,” “Document Mining,” and more.

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest ​

With assignments, video lectures, and interviews with well-known authors, aspiring children’s authors will love this course. Figure out your own writing identity, develop the structure of your work, learn editing basics, and consider your publishing options. You’ll finish the course with a handful of writing samples ready to become your portfolio.

High Impact Business Writing 

If you’re looking to up your game in the workplace, this no-nonsense business writing course can help. Learn how to create the most commonly used business documents, edit your work, and even effectively communicate through social media.

Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop ​(California Institute of the Arts)

Poets (and aspiring poets) will appreciate this free online course’s emphasis on craft. Learn how to follow the rules of poetry…then learn how to break them. Throughout this 7-part course, you’ll discover dozens of hands-on tools to make your own work better.

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Mt. Saint Jacinto College) 

If you want to start from the beginning (or just need a refresher), this is the course for you. Learn the various parts of speech, the uses of subjects and verbs, and the ways that phrases and clauses can combine to create compelling sentences. This 5-unit course will help you understand how a solid grasp of English grammar can dramatically improve your writing.