Online Writing Courses: Overview of Common Online Writing Classes and Courses

Published Sep 02, 2009

RSS Feed

Whether you're interested in taking writing courses to complete a degree or to simply brush up on your literary skills, there are plenty of options. Some common online writing courses include screenwriting, poetry writing and fiction writing.

Taking Writing Courses Online

Several institutions offer online writing courses for students seeking degrees in creative writing. Both bachelor's and master's degrees in creative writing can be earned through distance education programs. Graduates may go on to work in a variety of literary positions, from professional novelists to editors with major publishing companies.

Many students, however, take online writing courses solely to improve their personal skill level, without seeking a degree. Writing skills come in handy in a variety of situations, such as authoring one's personal memoir, penning a letter to Grandma or composing official business correspondence. The following are examples and overviews of some common online writing classes and courses.


Aspiring Steven Spielbergs might benefit from a screenwriting course, which teaches the basics of writing for film or television. Topics covered include plots, structure and characters. Students also learn the key differences between writing for readers and writing for viewers. Many screenwriting courses allow students to analyze screenplays and try their own hand at writing.

Poetry Writing

In a poetry writing course, students learn the fundamentals of writing poetry, which involves much more than rhyming. They explore metaphors and composition and review the works of both famous poets and their own classmates. Most poetry classes expose students to a variety of literary styles.

Fiction Writing

Students who dream of writing novels or short stories might benefit from fiction writing courses, which cover topics like narration and characterization. In addition to allowing students to write and critique their own works, course instructors usually have students swap assignments via e-mail to allow for peer review.

Featured School Choices: