Best Creative Writing Courses Compared

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Taking a creative writing course will help you to become a better writer. It will teach you how to tell a story, write descriptively, and produce publication-worthy work. The best creative writing courses offer a robust curriculum, include assessments to measure your progress, and are taught by industry experts. We spent dozens of hours comparing hundreds of courses to bring you the cream of the crop. We found the best option for most people to be Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling due to its impressive curriculum, value for money, and award-winning instructor. 

The Best Creative Writing Course for Most

MasterClass logo

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling

Best for Most

Two words will tell you why you want to take this course: Neil Gaiman. He’s one of the biggest storytelling titans of the last 30 years and one of the most well-known fantasy authors alive. And he’s your teacher. Enough said.

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling by MasterClass is hands-down the best course for most. Taught by award-winning author Neil Gaiman, this course takes you on a journey to unleash your creative writing talents. You’ll walk away with a complete understanding of the key fundamentals of creative writing. You’ll learn how to find your unique voice, develop original ideas, and bring your characters to life. 

This course is self-paced and the content is delivered over five hours of video learning. A MasterClass subscription is required to undertake this course, but once subscribed, you’ll have access to the course content for one year, alongside the opportunity to take on other expert-led courses. 

The Best Creative Writing Courses to Consider

  1. Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling (MasterClass) — Best for Most
  2. Creative Non-Fiction Writing – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up (Udemy) — Best for Creative Non-Fiction
  3. Beginning Writer’s Workshop (ed2go) — Best for Beginners
  4. Creative Writing Specialization (Coursera) — Best Free Course
  5. Creative Writing 101 (Gotham Writers) — Best Live Experience

When It Makes Sense to Invest Into a Creative Writing Course

Many people think that creative writing courses are only for those who want to write novels or fictional stories. But the truth is, creative writing courses focus on exploring underlying principles of good writing. They can teach you how to write just about anything, better. Whether you’re writing a blog post, newsletter, business plan, screenplay, script, social media content, or advertisement, your writing capabilities are crucial to the success of that piece. 

If you’re not sold on whether a creative writing course is a worthy investment, there are some great free courses out there to get you started. However, as with anything free, these courses can be somewhat limited. 

With this in mind, if you’re serious about improving your writing skills, investing in a course is important. A few occasions where it will make sense to invest in a creative writing course include: 

  • When you’ve taken a long break from writing and need to be reacquainted with writing basics
  • When you’ve started a new role in which you’re required to write content you’ve never written before
  • When you need help organizing and outlining your ideas
  • When you’re pivoting from nonfiction report writing to a creative genre of writing
  • When you’re moving from full-time employment to write as a freelance or contract writer
  • When you need assistance overcoming writer’s block and would like to establish better writing habits

#1 – Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling – MasterClass — The Best for Most

MasterClass logo

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling

Best for Most

Two words will tell you why you want to take this course: Neil Gaiman. He’s one of the biggest storytelling titans of the last 30 years and one of the most well-known fantasy authors alive. And he’s your teacher. Enough said.

MasterClass is an online learning platform featuring courses from world-renowned experts. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, Alicia Keys teaches songwriting and producing, and Serena Williams teaches tennis. You get the point. Your instructor is not only a true expert in their field but also someone who is widely respected in their industry. 

With this in mind, where better to learn creative writing than MasterClass, specifically from Neil Gaiman and his course on The Art of Storytelling. Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author who teaches his students his personal approach to imaginative storytelling. 

This course is our top pick due to its robust curriculum that explores the key fundamentals of writing over nearly five hours of video content. You’ll learn how to make your story feel real, where to find inspiration, and how to find your voice. You’ll even learn how to edit your own work and how to find the balance between humility and confidence in your writing.

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling is a self-paced course so you can start it at any time and work at your own pace. It does mean that you won’t receive any feedback on your writing directly from Neil Gaiman. However, you will gain access to the Neil Gaiman MasterClass community which reportedly offers a moderate level of engagement and encouragement from other writers.

To gain access to this course, you will need a MasterClass subscription, which currently costs $120 for the year. However, once subscribed, you’ll have access to:

  • All 100+ classes and categories
  • PDF workbooks for every class
  • Audio-only lessons
  • Watch on your desktop, phone, or TV
  • Downloadable content to watch offline
  • New classes that are added every month

Although Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling is our top pick from MasterClass, there are plenty of other great writing courses that would also make your subscription well worthwhile. 

There is no risk in signing up. If you’re unhappy with the platform, you can receive a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Get started with MasterClass today!

#2 – Creative Non-Fiction Writing – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! – Udemy — The Best for Creative Non-Fiction

Udemy logo

Creative Non-Fiction Writing

Best for Creative Non-Fiction

From travelogues to true crime stories, creative nonfiction is taking off these days. For a quick but thorough overview of creative nonfiction, taught by a writer with over two decades of experience, check out this Udemy course!

If you’re interested in writing true stories rather than fiction but still want to let some creativity shine through, consider enrolling in Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! 

This course is an excellent introduction to the world of creative nonfiction. It’s designed on the basis that the secrets to good storytelling apply to all types of writing, not just fiction. It’s suitable for writers of any level who are interested in writing about true crime, memoirs, travel, food, and more. 

Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing course is a fun and practical writing course taught by Trace Crawford–a writer with over 20 years of teaching experience. You’ll be tasked with a series of authentic writing projects designed to target the skills you need to write creatively. It will also teach you: 

  • What exactly creative nonfiction is and what it isn’t
  • What makes a great storyteller across any genre
  • How to effectively utilize descriptive language in your writing
  • The importance of making personal experiences feel universal
  • How to discover and perfect your own writer’s voice

The only downside to this course is that the video content provided is quite short, totaling just 2 hours of lessons. But where it lacks video content, it provides tons of resources such as actionable assignments, online quizzes, and graphics, notes, and templates, to emphasize your learning. 

One of the things we love most about this course is how cost-effective it is. You can enroll in Udemy’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing course for only $19.99.

#3 – Beginning Writer’s Workshop – ed2go — The Best for Beginners

ed2go logo

Beginning Writer’s Workshop

Best for Beginners

Never put pen to paper, but dreaming of authorship? ed2go’s Beginning Writer’s Workshop will get you ready to write in just six weeks, and even includes peer feedback and editing. All for only $115!

If you’re a complete beginner to the world of creative writing, we have the perfect course for you. The Beginning Writer’s Workshop by ed2go is designed to turn a complete beginner into a confident writer with a publication-worthy creative piece within 6 weeks. 

It’s constructed like a true writing workshop. The course includes 24 hours of instructional content delivered over the 6 weeks, with two lessons released each week. Some of the things you’ll learn about include:

  • Literary techniques and devices
  • The steps required to take your work from the prewriting stage to editing and final revision
  • How to create meaningful dialogue
  • How to determine the genre of your writing

What we love about the Beginning Writer’s Workshop is that you’ll have the opportunity to gain some constructive feedback from your peers. An entire section of this workshop is dedicated to peer review and editing. Not only will this help to improve your writing and editing skills, but it also provides an opportunity to connect with other writers in your community. 

The only thing we don’t like about this course is that you don’t get lifetime access to the content. Once the lessons are released, you only have 2 weeks to complete those lessons before they are closed off. Furthermore, you must complete the lessons to open up any future lessons. With this in mind, this course is only for those who can wholeheartedly commit to the learning process. 

You can enroll in the Beginning Writer’s Workshop for $115, with each new course kicking off at the beginning of each month.

#4 – Creative Writing Specialization – Coursera — The Best Free Course

Coursera logo

Creative Writing Specialization

Best Free Course

Offered in association with Wesleyan University, this Coursera course is a fantastic offering on the fundamentals of writing, including short stories, memoirs, and narrative essays. Audit for free or get full access with your $49 Coursera membership.

Creative Writing Specialization by Coursera offers you the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of creative writing for free. The course is run by Wesleyan University and provides a beginner-level insight into the world of creative writing over approximately 25 hours of course content. 

This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoirs. With this in mind, it’s an ideal option for those looking to work as an author, essayist, or blogger, but realistically, the foundations of the course can be put to good practice under most creative writing uses. 

Coursera offers you the option to “audit” the class for free, meaning you can view all of the included videos and reading materials without subscribing to the platform. The upside of this is that you have a great free course which provides insight on how to:

  • Develop a story connecting the beginning, middle, and end
  • Bring the characters of your story to life
  • Create a physical world with sharp, sensory detail
  • Refine and edit your story for publication

The downside of the free “audit” is that you won’t have access to interactive experiences such as writing assignments, receiving feedback for your work, or receiving a certificate of Completion for your records.

To gain full access to the course, you can sign up for a Coursera membership for $49 per month. Not sure if it’s worth a try? Coursera offers a 7-day free trial to allow students to try before they buy! 

#5 – Creative Writing 101 – Gotham Writers — Best Live Experience

Gotham Writers logo

Creative Writing 101

Best Live Experience

If real-time interactions and feedback are important in your learning experiences, Gotham Writers’ six-week Creative Writing 101 course is for you. Its self-paced online version is solid, but its live Zoom-taught method is outstanding for its face-to-face interactivity.

Gotham Writers’ Creative Writing 101 is targeted towards both beginner and intermediate writers. You’ll explore fiction and creative nonfiction, and learn the techniques that go with them. Over six weeks of three-hour live classes, you’ll cover:

  • The foundations of creative writing and how to have fun with it
  • How to find your individual voice and writing about what you know
  • The different types and forms of fiction and how to create a story
  • The different types of creative nonfiction writing and how to find nonfiction ideas

What we love most about this course is that you have the opportunity to join an interactive environment, receive constructive feedback, and have your questions answered in real time. You’ll also complete weekly writing tasks to cement your knowledge and get feedback on your work.

We also love that Gotham Writers provides two learning pathways for this course–Online or Zoom. 

The Online course is perfect for those who need more flexibility to learn within their own time. Each class lasts for a week, and you can complete your weekly tasks and interactions any time, day or night. You’ll still receive feedback on your work.

The Zoom classes require students to commit to a specific date and time for each class. You’ll meet your instructor and fellow students in real-time via Zoom. This class allows you to ask questions, interact, and gain valuable insight face-to-face. So if you have the time and opportunity to commit to this type of learning, we highly recommend considering this option.

The Creative Writing 101 course is $309 for the six-week course, regardless of which learning method you choose. Enroll today!

Methodology for Choosing the Best Creative Writing Course

Each of the courses we’ve recommended today has something different to offer. There are tons of great writing courses out there and the best one for you is likely to be different from the best one for me.

No matter which course you decide to do, here are some criteria to keep in mind to ensure you find a course worth your time and money.  

Course Curriculum

There are many different facets to creative writing. Most of the courses we’ve listed here will give you a solid yet general foundation in creative writing. Depending on your goals for undertaking the course, this may be perfect for you. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to reach specific goals, such as writing a novel or creating a script for a TV show, you are better off sourcing a course with a focused curriculum in these areas. 

When searching for the best creative writing course for you, take an in-depth look at your goals. Ask yourself what specific areas of writing you’re looking to improve. Correlate these goals with the course curriculum to ensure it aligns well with your writing goals. 

The bottom line is, if the course description is vague, it’s likely the course content will be too. 

Instructor Credibility 

The beauty of the internet is that you can learn just about anything. The downside is that you can learn it from anyone. No matter whether you’re undertaking a free or paid course, it’s really important to consider the credibility of the instructor or course creator. 

Key things to consider are whether the instructor has evident experience in creative writing, and whether or not they have been successful in their field. You should also consider whether the instructor has experience in teaching their skills to others. Even the best in their field can have trouble teaching constructively. 

To take this one step further, you should also consider whether the instructor has evident experience in their teaching specialization. For example, if the course specializes in teaching you how to write a novel, but is taught by a successful blog writer, they are likely not the most ideal person for the job. You should look for a course taught by a successful novelist instead.

Commitment Level 

Any course or class, whether it’s taken online or not, requires commitment and dedication to successfully make a difference in your life. 

Most online courses are self-paced, meaning you can work through the material in your own time, taking as long as you need. These types of courses are perfect for those with busy jobs and family commitments. Self-paced courses are ideal for those who have experience with study and the discipline to complete the work.

On the other hand, some courses offer definitive start and end dates and offer a lot less flexibility to your learning. You can expect to receive weekly assignments, attend lessons at certain times, and interact with your classmates. Today’s technology means you can attend these types of courses online and benefit from a full classroom experience without having to go anywhere. Face-to-face courses are perfect for people without study experience or those who want external feedback on their work.

Some courses offer students the option to choose their preferred style. However, if an option is not provided, it’s important to consider this factor before committing to a course you may not be able to keep up with.

MasterClass logo

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling

Best for Most

Two words will tell you why you want to take this course: Neil Gaiman. He’s one of the biggest storytelling titans of the last 30 years and one of the most well-known fantasy authors alive. And he’s your teacher. Enough said.


The best creative writing course for most is without a doubt Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling. Not only will this course teach you the fundamentals of creative writing, but it will also inspire you to develop your voice. You simply can’t go wrong with learning from an award-winning author!

There are tons of online creative writing courses available and due to the sheer volume, it may be hard to choose the best course for you. However, if you keep our methodology in mind when conducting your own research, and read the course reviews, we are sure you’ll find the best course for your needs.

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