This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Website

Best Online Writing Courses Compared

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Online writing courses are a great way to meet a writing goal while connecting with other writers. We evaluated over 40 courses for their flexibility, value for investment, and personal attention. Based on these criteria, we decided that Gotham Writers Workshop is the best for online writing courses. Gotham offers a comprehensive selection of quality writing courses on a flexible schedule while also offering individual attention and opportunities to connect. 

The Best Online Writing Course for Most

Gotham Writers Workshop logo

Gotham Writers Workshop

Best for Most

Gotham has been teaching writers how to master everything from creative writing to blogging to screenwriting for 20+ years. Small class sizes get you the feedback you need to excel. Whether beginner or advanced, Gotham has a writing course to fit your needs!

Our top pick is Gotham Writers Workshop because it’s the best value on our list. The fees are incredibly affordable, especially considering the depth of instruction and diverse course options. Students in these courses get a lot of personal attention and opportunities to network. At the same time, the writing classes include in-depth instruction that leads many to high-profile careers in writing. 

Intensive courses start at $165 for a two-day course. They also offer free weekly writing events and lectures. 

The Best Online Writing Courses To Consider

  1. Gotham Writers Workshop – Best Online Writing Courses for Most
  2. UCLA Extension Introduction to Creative Writing – Best for Creative Writing
  3. MasterClass’s Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting – Best for Screenwriting
  4. Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog In 2021 – Best for Blog Writing
  5. Copyhackers Copy School – Best for Copywriting 
  6. OSU Technical Writing Certificate – Best for Technical Writing 

When It Makes Sense To Invest in an Online Writing Course

Whether you’re a seasoned writer who wants to refresh your skills or learn something new or a beginner who wants to learn everything possible, it’s never too early or too late to sign up for an online writing course.

If you’re thinking about taking one, it is already the right time to invest in yourself. 

Writing is both an art and a skill, and it’s something that great writers never stop striving to improve. But there are a few specific scenarios when it makes even more sense to dust off your pencils and jump into a new class.

For example, if you are a complete novice and aren’t sure where to start in your writing career, it is a great idea to take a few courses to see where your interest and skills lie. You may think you want to be a blogger but find that copywriting fits your skills better. 

Or maybe you are an experienced writer who has run their own writing business for years, and you just want to refine your skills and brush up on any new tools. Or perhaps you just want a great group of writers to critique your work and help you identify ways to improve. Writing classes are great for that!

If you find yourself bored with technical writing and want to give creative writing a try, that is a huge change. Taking a course in creative writing will help you shift your mindset from manuals and methodology to character development and story arcs.

No matter why you’re here, let’s check out the top six online writing courses to boost your skills and help take your writing to new heights.

#1– Gotham Writers Workshop– Best Online Writing Courses for Most 

Gotham Writers Workshop logo

Gotham Writers Workshop

Best for Most

Gotham has been teaching writers how to master everything from creative writing to blogging to screenwriting for 20+ years. Small class sizes get you the feedback you need to excel. Whether beginner or advanced, Gotham has a writing course to fit your needs!

Gotham is a New York-based writing school that’s been teaching courses since 1997. Whether you’re looking for online writing courses in fiction or professional development, one-on-one instruction or Zoom group sessions, Gotham offers flexible, high-quality writing courses for beginners to advanced writers.

Gotham has extensive course options in fiction, non-fiction, publishing, screenwriting, and humor. This organization is best known for creative writing, but they have extensive professional offerings for groups and individuals, including business writing and corporate creativity. Businesses that use Gotham’s services include Time Warner, Colgate, and NASCAR. 

Gotham’s course structure includes real-time Zoom courses. Their online courses have a different setup and allow students to learn anytime that works with their schedule. Online courses include an optional hour-long class chat each week. You also can choose how many weeks you’d like to study. For many, you can select between 10-week courses or six-week courses. Many courses also have an intensive option that pulls weeks of learning into a quick two-day course.

They keep class sizes small for optimal interaction, and their largest online class has a maximum of 16 students. Class size is vital for creative courses. Professor feedback is essential when you are starting an open-ended creative project. These assignments make it easy to feel lost and frustrated. A tight-knit group of students and individual faculty attention improve engagement and the value of the course.

Course fees for intensives start at $165, and one-on-one 10-week sessions run about $1800. Most 6-10 week courses are between $300 and 400 per course.

Gotham also offers self-guided tours for some of their most popular courses. These provide a clear picture of what the course covers. It also gives an idea of what student interaction looks like and what kinds of critique will be part of the class experience.

Check out Gotham’s latest online classes and enroll online. 

#2– UCLA Extension Introduction to Creative Writing – Best for Creative Writing 

UCLA Extension logo

UCLA Extension Introduction to Creative Writing

Best for Creative Writing

Get your creativity flowing and feel inspired with guidance from expert teachers and guest lecturers in UCLA Extension’s Introduction to Creative Writing. Each six-week class is limited to only 12 students, so you’ll get personalized critique and feedback.

If you’re just getting into creative writing or coming back after a long break, this course from UCLA extension covers a range of different types of creative writing, including guest lectures from experts in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting.

This course uses small critique groups to develop community and conversation between students. The curriculum includes weekly assignments with feedback from teachers and classmates. It also includes visits from professional writers who speak about their experiences as professional writers. Because it is connected to a renowned university, the approach to coursework is more traditional. It’s also an excellent place for networking with writers. 

This course is also a great starting point for continuing study. The extension program offers over 400 writing courses, and they have a long list of notable alumni and faculty. If you wish to continue developing your writing with this program, they offer a Writer’s Studio with small group workshops on unique topics each semester and writing competitions for students. 

Many alumni have gone on to become successful screenwriters. Noted alumni include the screenwriters for Game of Thrones, The Office, and Letters from Iwo Jima, so if you think you might be interested in screenwriting, this could be a great place to start.

This course lasts for seven weeks and meets on Saturday afternoons to work with most schedules. They cap classes at 12 students, so you can genuinely connect with other students, as well as your professor. The fee for this course is $475, which is typical for university extension courses.

Enrolling for the course is much easier than signing up for community college courses. Just click “enroll” to start the process.

#3– MasterClass’s Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting – Best for Screenwriting 

Masterclass logo

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

Best for Screenwriting

MasterClass is known for its wide variety of courses taught by experts in their craft. Aaron Sorkin’s course is an insider’s perspective on screenwriting, incorporating stories and anecdotes with actionable tips and examples. MasterClass offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

MasterClass online writing classes top many best-of lists. These self-guided courses provide an opportunity to learn from the best and brightest names in writing, film, business, and many other popular disciplines. 

The Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting course includes 35 video lessons running about eight total hours. These offer basic and advanced strategies in screenwriting, with extensive examples of the writing process for award-winning shows like The West Wing.

Topics including how to develop characters, how to do the research required to write a screenplay and then incorporate the research into your writing, tracking act structure and pacing, and includes seven group workshops to get even more perspectives.

The format for each MasterClass is a series of videos that students can access at any time, plus an in-depth workbook. There is an online community for members, and audio lessons are also available. 

MasterClass is very affordable, with access to 100+ MasterClasses for just $15 a month or $180 annually. They also have a Plus subscription for $20 per month and a Premium plan for $23 per month. Instead of paying for one course at a time, you’re paying for a MasterClass annual membership. And if you’re looking for more writing courses, classes are available from celebrated authors, including Roxane Gay, Malcolm Gladwell, and Salman Rushdie.

It’s quick and easy to sign up for MasterClass. Just submit your email address and select a membership plan to get started.

#4– Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog– Best for Blog Writing 

Udemy logo

Blogging Masterclass: How to Build a Successful Blog

Best for Blog Writing

Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass goes beyond teaching you how to write or monetize a blog. It also goes into creating a professional-grade WordPress website, building an email list, and even promoting your blog for free. Udemy also often offers discounts, so check it regularly!

Whether you’re building a blog for a personal project or monetization, blog writing is as much a skill as an art. While many blog courses focus on the technical aspects of creating a blog, this course also offers extensive instruction in the unique challenges that come with writing a blog consistently, including:

  • Planning new content
  • Effective writing for blogs
  • Finding the right topics
  • Best forms of blog content

This course is offered by Udemy, a platform that also hosts a range of other useful writing courses. This specific course is the top-selling blog course on the platform, and it has over 7,800 reviews and a 4.6 out of 5 overall rating. The course is also regularly updated to ensure that the content is relevant for blogging success today. This is important because outdated content can be a challenge with online courses.

Course materials include 85 video lectures that students can view at any time, as well as handouts. There are also extensive previews, so you can get a sense of the teacher’s lecture style and the depth of content this class covers before purchasing. 

This course goes for $149.99 and the sign-up for Udemy is quick and simple. When you sign up for this course, you get lifetime access to all course materials and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

#5– Copyhackers Copy School– Best for Copywriting 

Copyhackers logo

Copy School

Best for Copywriting

Instead of just one course, Copyhackers gives you access to all coursework, including new content every single month to learn how to write copy that converts. From sales emails to landing pages to social media ad copy, Copy School covers it all. You also get LinkedIn badges to display!

Writing copy that sells is difficult. Landing page copy and calls to action on an ecommerce website need one approach to writing, while social media ads need a different tone to work. If you want to learn how to write for conversion, you need this online course.

Copy School from Copyhackers is one of our top picks because its courses use tested tools and methods to teach writing for digital marketers. Teachers at this writing school honed their marketing writing skills at respected companies known for great writing, including Wistia and HubSpot.

Educational tools from this course include a range of exceptional templates and cheat sheets to help you write quality copy quickly. 

Their courses include a growing library of instructional videos. They also offer 24/7 community support and a weekly Zoom chat with members of the Copyhackers team.

Copyhackers courses include quick writing lessons for sales emails, developing a brand voice, pricing pages, and more. It also includes demos and checklists. These tools can help you continue to build your writing even after you complete the course. 

This course offers monthly and annual rates. The cost for one month of full access is $297, while the full recommended year is $3564. They also provide a seven-day money-back guarantee and course completion badges for LinkedIn.

Sign up for your first month with Copyhackers and start reaping the benefits of great copywriting today. 

#6– OSU Technical Writing Certificate –  Best for Technical Writing 

OSU logo

Technical Writing Certificate

Best for Technical Writing

Oregon State University’s Technical Writing Certificate is geared specifically to technical writing and ends with you having a professional WordPress portfolio to show off your work. This is a certification you can proudly display from a respected institution.

There are more apps and SaaS products online today than ever before. With this shift comes an ever-increasing need for great technical writers. While some technical writers come from an engineering or science background, many get into this lucrative field with help from a quality writing course like this one from Oregon State University.

The Technical Writing Certificate is a set of courses from OSU taught by expert technical writers and teachers Elizabeth Delf, Emily Elbom, and Erin Dalton, all of whom hold master’s degrees in English and communication-related fields. The six courses are:

  • Introduction to Technical Writing (free, self-paced, and not required)
  • Manuals: Instructions and Overviews
  • Technical Editing and Report Writing
  • Single-Sourcing and Methodology
  • Usability and User-Centered Design
  • Portfolio Creation

Each course in the certificate program covers the unique skills and concerns that technical writers need to understand, including technical editing, manual and other instructional writing, methodology, and UX Design.

By the end of this course, you will have a completed technical document you wrote from each class, plus a beautiful professional WordPress portfolio to showcase your pieces.

The free intro course takes up to ten hours to complete—the rest of the courses that make up the certificate program run for four weeks apiece. You can complete the entire certificate for $2125 plus a $60 registration fee or sign up to take an individual course for $425 plus the same $60 registration fee.

Register for this course today if you are hoping to fast-track your path to becoming a technical writer. 

Methodology for Choosing the Best Online Writing Courses 

There are hundreds of unique writing courses online, as well as courses from respected colleges and universities. Think about course specifics, critique, teacher engagement, and future opportunities to choose the best writing course.

Course specifics

If you’re self-conscious about your writing skills, it can be tempting to start with a creative writing class. These classes are often positioned as the best place for new writers to begin. 

But it will be challenging to meet specific writing goals with a general course. Business and creative writing are very different disciplines, and many niches within writing require unique skill sets and expertise. Your writing goals should be the focus as you decide which course you should choose.

With this in mind, look carefully at the course syllabus and assignments. For example, if you want to write a science fiction novel, a general creative writing course may be too basic to help you reach your goal. A great science fiction class should include expert instruction and coursework about:

  • How to write about technology
  • Geography and history writing
  • Worldbuilding
  • Character development

Critique

Most stellar writing programs offer faculty and student critiques as an essential part of the course experience. That kind of feedback is helpful for writers at all stages of the writing process. 

In a typical critique, the writer will share their work with the group. Members of the class will review their submissions, and the student receives either written feedback or participates in a group conversation. Critique can be uncomfortable and frustrating if you’re not used to it. But it’s also the quickest way to understand where your writing needs work and learn to improve.

While some online courses offer some kind of criticism, many others skip critique. Others only critique a handful of student assignments. If you are looking for a writing course to push and develop your writing, a course with regular critiques will give you more personalized and challenging instruction. You’ll also reap more benefits from it.

Teacher engagement

We also looked for opportunities to engage directly with teachers. Many online writing courses are video-focused with little to no professor engagement. You will need to assess the best online course for you with this in mind. 

Think about your past educational experience. How did you work with your teachers and the other students in your classes? Do you prefer to learn on your own and then ask questions? Or is it more helpful for someone to walk you through the steps before you start writing? 

Chances are, you will perform better in courses that match your learning style. This includes the amount of personal attention you get from your teachers.

Future opportunities

The best writing courses offer tools and resources to help students develop their writing even after completing them. For example, you may receive in-depth workbooks and materials to take with you, lifetime access to the course, or recommendations on additional materials. Most schools recommend students take more than one course and offer a range of different courses that complement each other. 

The right writing teacher could end up being a lifelong mentor. As you scan through different courses, look at teacher biographies and websites. These can help you see if they might be a helpful contact for what you plan to do next.  

Don’t forget to look at free course options, community-building efforts, and deals for returning students as well. 

Gotham Writers Workshop logo

Gotham Writers Workshop

Best for Most

Gotham has been teaching writers how to master everything from creative writing to blogging to screenwriting for 20+ years. Small class sizes get you the feedback you need to excel. Whether beginner or advanced, Gotham has a writing course to fit your needs!

Summary

If you’re just learning to write or want to improve your skills, each of these courses offers something unique. Each course can help you focus and build the skills that will help you reach your writing goals. 

Once you’ve completed a writing course, you’ll be ready to create a website for your writing business, write a novel, create a content plan for your blog, or improve click rates on your next email. Take your first step toward your personal writing goals today with one of these great writing courses.


Make your website better. Instantly.

Over 300,000 websites use Crazy Egg to improve what's working, fix what isn't and test new ideas.

Free 30-day Trial