Here are eleven free online writing classes for aspiring and professional writers!
Whether you are a college student studying journalism or a hopeful freelancer looking to ditch your 9-to-5, online writing classes can help you improve your skills and learn new writing techniques. However, many online courses cost hundreds (and sometimes even thousands) of dollars. In many cases, the cost can be a massive deterrent for people.
If cost is a concern or you’re on the fence, that’s okay—there are still plenty of free online writing classes that can help you take your writing skills to the next level.
I’ve assembled a list of free online courses for new writers and learners of all kind. Whether you’re in a professional business space or looking to learn academic writing skills, I’ve put together a comprehensive list that’ll be sure to appease a wide variety of people.
Since I am a writer myself, I will continue to update this list as new courses become available so be sure to check back for more writing tips!
1. Basic Concepts and Techniques for Copywriting
Maybe writing a bestseller novel isn’t your main goal of yours. Maybe it’s to get paid by writing words that sell.
Basic Concepts and Techniques for Copywriting is a course specifically designed for people currently in marketing or copywriting roles or those who would like to transition into that specialization. No prior knowledge is necessary, and the course promises you’ll leave with all the tools you need to start writing compelling copy in any capacity you desire.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn essential concepts in copywriting and see how these concepts are used in real-world examples. The course is broken down into ten bite-size pieces, making it easy to work through regardless of how busy you are. It also includes hands-on assignments and a course assessment to test your knowledge and help you apply the skills you learn throughout the lessons.
This course is available through the online learning platform Alison.
2. Business Writing Techniques
If you came to this article looking for free creative writing courses hear me out: business writing is an essential communication skill.
Business Writing Techniques is a class specifically geared towards professional writing in the world of business. The course covers different communication styles and discusses the best practices of modern business writing. The class also includes real-world scenarios and applications so students can see how these concepts play out in real life.
This free online writing class is a self-paced, asynchronous setup. Courses are laid out for a total of four weeks of study, and students should plan to set aside five to eight hours for coursework each week.
Business Writing Techniques is offered through the online learning platform edX.
3. English for Journalists, Part 1
Mastering the English language is hard, even for journalists.
English for Journalists, Part 1 isn’t focused so much on the conventions of journalistic writing but more on the skills that most people gloss over. In addition to exploring what a journalist’s day-to-day work life looks like, the class covers topics like ethics, inclusivity, and how your audience impacts your approach. The class also includes lots of helpful information regarding grammar, vocabulary, and writing basics.
English for Journalists, Part 1 is a five-week, self-paced course. You will want to set aside at least three hours per week to complete the course, and it’s available through the edX platform.
4. Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing
When I think of academic writing, I think of peer reviews. Turns out it’s a lot more than that.
If you need help with writing for school, Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing is a great free online writing class focused exclusively on this unique type of writing. The class covers pre-writing concepts like idea generation and structure, thesis development, organizing information, and strong essay writing. It also goes through the revision process and self-editing tips so you can submit the best possible work.
The course includes fifteen video segments that total just over an hour of streamable content. There are also two bonus videos available for free. You can enroll in this free online writing class at any time through Udemy.
5. Mastering the Art of Persuasive Writing
It shouldn’t be too difficult to persuade you to take a free online writing course. Which one to take, however, now that’s a different story.
Mastering the Art of Persuasive Writing is up there on my list of favorite courses. It covers the principles and practices related to persuasive writing. These concepts are exactly what you need to write copy in a way that sells products or services to others. It’s also what makes good narrative writing connect with its audience.
Throughout four modules broken into smaller video segments, the instructors share proven copywriting strategies and formulas and tips and tricks from industry experts. After completing the coursework, you’ll feel inspired to achieve your writing goals and reach your full potential.
This course is available through the online learning platform Alison.
6. Secret Sauce of Great Writing
In Secret Sauce of Great Writing, a former Wall Street Journal editor outlines all the key ingredients you need for good writing: clarity, elegance, simplicity, and evocativeness. He also gives you the tools you need to make your writing stand out from the crowd so you can make a name for yourself in your chosen industry or niche.
The course includes a series of 14 on-demand videos that you can easily watch in a single hour or break up into smaller segments over the course of a week. It also includes a lecture summary so you can review the course material at any time after you wrap up the lessons.
This free online writing class is offered through Udemy.
7. Technical Writing Essentials
Technical Writing Essentials is a free online writing class specifically designed to teach people technical writing basics. Modules cover the main characteristics of technical writing, the complexity of this writing process, strategies to improve clarity and readability, and meet audience needs.
The course is broken down into a series of 33 video segments which are divided into six modules. Each module begins with the learning outcomes and ends with a module summary to help you make sure you understand everything covered in the section. The entire course wraps up with a course assessment, and the class is projected to take you 3 hours of viewing time to complete.
This free online writing class is available through the online learning platform Alison.
8. Writing Articles
Award-winning journalist Starshine Roshell’s free online writing class Writing Articles is well worth the time for anyone who plans to go into journalism or a similar field. Through the course, you will learn how to determine your writing approach, research content, and write your article. The class also covers pitching article ideas to publications, polishing your work, and how to promote your work online.
The class is broken down into a total of five modules with a total of 15 video segments. Most of the segments are five minutes or less, meaning you can easily work through the course in a single day if desired. Writing Articles is available through LinkedIn.
9. Writing With Impact
Writing With Impact is a course designed to elevate your writing from “good” to top-notch. Through this free online writing class, you’ll learn how to make your writing pack a punch, so your words are more impactful. The course instructor, Tom Geller, helps you determine your reasons for writing, then shows you how to use this purpose to influence the structure, word choice, and more.
The course includes 19 short video segments broken into six chapters. Each chapter also includes a short quiz to help you test your knowledge. Tom Geller hosts this free online writing class via LinkedIn.
Wait, I thought this was supposed to be a list of free writing courses. Doesn’t Skillshare cost money?
Great question dear reader. Yes, Skillshare requires a yearly subscription to access their over 35,000 courses. However, they also offer a free 30-day trial, which means you can access online writing classes for free as well.
Classes range from short, 30-minute lessons on a specific topic to longer multi-part courses. Luckily, most courses can be completed in a single day, meaning you can take advantage of multiple short courses before your free trial expires.
A few writing courses you can expect to find on Skillshare are:
- Crafting personal essays with impact
- Creative writing bootcamp: Start a new story
- Creating a children’s book
- Editing and proofreading
Once your 30-day trial is up, you can decide if a Skillshare subscription is worth it.
11. Creative writing courses on MasterClass
I have to preface this section by saying MasterClass isn’t technically free. But if you’ve ever wanted to start writing fiction, work on your character development, or break into screenwriting, MasterClass has dozens of high-quality creative writing classes on its online learning platform.
With each course, you can go at your own pace and follow step-by-step recommendations from some of the best creative writers such as:
Now, I know this article is intended to cover free writing courses. However, for only $15 a month to gain access to the writing legends mentioned above, I couldn’t help but share MasterClass with you.
Besides, MasterClass offers a free 7-day trial which means you can test out “free” writing lessons on their platform and determine for yourself if it’s worth it. And if the writing courses seem too long of a time commitment, MasterClass has a new feature called “Playlists” where they curate the best bits into a condensed, well, playlist.
Not only that, MasterClass offers over 150 other high-quality courses in other creative fields such as acting, filmmaking, and music. So if you’re looking for more in-depth tutorials in various fields, take a look at MasterClass.
Where Will Your Writing Take You?
There’s no denying that a skilled writer can build a successful career. After you take some of these classes, though, there’s no limit to where your writing can take you.
I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career without the generous help of all the writing professionals who shared their industry know-how.
You have the skills you need to go far—all you have to do is put in the work. And, if you’re looking for places to get your writing out to the world, check out these platforms that make it easy for you to promote your content.