creative writing classes

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7 creative writing classes that will mold you into the next Shirley Jackson

Perfect your writing skills and learn how to master the art of online writing!


Marisa Losciale

Dot Recs

Posted on Oct 1, 2018   Updated on Jan 27, 2021, 7:28 pm CST

The aspiring horror scribes of the world may think they need to enroll in some fancy school to benefit from creative writing classes. If you’re one of those people, I’m here to tell you that you’ve never been more wrong.

Enter Skillshare, one of the leading sources for online writing courses. Unlike many other online education centers, Skillshare instructors focus on interaction-based learning rather than lecturing. In other words, these teachers have completely adopted the ideology that people learn by doing. And since we’re being honest, who has ever truly learned new material just by having it spoken at them? No one, because I’m pretty sure osmosis doesn’t work like that.

In order to access Skillshare courses, users will need to register with the subscription service. But at a whopping $8.25/month for unlimited classes, the service is more treats than tricks! (Not to mention it’s way more affordable than any course you could take at your community college). And for a limited time, new users can unlock two weeks of Skillshare Premium for free! So if you don’t already have a membership, click here to sign up. Otherwise, continue reading for some of the most popular creative writing classes offered through the online education service.

1) Write Your First Short Horror Story: The bare bones

Aimed at beginners, Horror Academy will take you through the entire process of developing a piece of horror fiction. From brainstorming character narratives to conjuring up the perfect ending, consider this class the skeleton of all great spooky stories!


2) Creative Writing for Impact: Looking Inward & Outward in Personal Essays

Roxane Gay is a writer, professor, and editor known for her honest, thoughtful writing on race, gender identity, culture, and more. By sharing her meditative, thoughtful approach to the craft of writing, she invites you to take yourself seriously as a writer, empowering you to share your passion, take a stand, and make an impact on the world around you. Through this course, you’ll learn how to connect your work to a larger conversation and more prevalent themes, how to conduct proper research to find supplement stories, and how to edit and revise your work.


3) Write a Fantasy Adventure: Discover Mythology and Create Your Epic Tale

Taught by comic creator Morgan Lindsay Nelson, this course will teach you how to use mythology and hieroglyphics to spark your creativity. You’ll also learn how to craft fantastical characters that leave an impression on your audience, as well as gain a new perspective on fantasy works that became a cultural phenomenon.



4) Writing Your First Short Screenplay

If you’re more interested in how to expand your short story across different mediums, this course is for you. It focuses on the strengths that short films offer and basic screenwriting format. Taught by visual artist and filmmaker Kasem Kharsa, this course will teach you how to write for a short film, and how you can use a narrative, visual approach and poetry in film.


5) Creative Writing Essentials: Writing Stand-Out Opening Scenes

In order to write captivatingly, you need to understand the “science” behind what makes our minds hungry for more. Through this course, you’ll learn all about the story arc, the anatomy of scenes, and the relationship between a story and its moments. Taught by New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older, this class is for storytellers, writers, and anyone who wants to explore the inner workings of strong opening scenes.


6) Erotica Writing Masterclass–Write Erotica for Pleasure and Profit

Taught by the professional writer and author Tiffany Smith, this course is not for the weak of heart. Specifically, it’s for those who want to channel their thoughts that would be right at home on the lips of a very salty sailor. Through this course, Smith will teach you the basic writing skills of erotica, how to format a manuscript, discuss the importance of a pen name, and how to tap into your own sexuality to inspire your story.


7) Writing for Online Engagement: Fiction in a Digital World

In collaboration with Wattpad, the largest community for literary fanatics, writer Rebecca Sky walks users through the framework for successfully writing for the digital world. This includes tips for serialized fiction, merchandising individual stories, and marketing your work to build your personal brand. You’ll also learn how to confidently publish your work online.



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*First Published: Oct 1, 2018, 12:28 pm CDT