Recently the Guild's email inbox contained a message from someone interested in finding beginning writing classes. Since most of the links on our Resources page are aimed at experienced writers, I went in search of free writing courses in the area or online.
Following is a list compiled to meet the mostly free or in the area criteria:
- San Diego Writers, Ink: SDWI offers classes (several sessions) and workshops (one-time-only-meetings) in many genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir and creative nonfiction, screen and playwriting for all levels of writers. They also offer classes in creative writing and courses in creativity and inspiration. Their instructors are experienced writers in the genre they teach and the class size is limited to ensure personal attention and lively interaction. Small cost for each class.
- Study.com: Many schools offer free online courses and materials through OpenCourseWare (OCW) projects. While formal admission isn't necessary to access lectures and other materials, these courses don't usually award college credit. Students looking for the same ease of access and the opportunity to apply their study time towards a degree or certificate program might want to consider courses that can lead to credit through Study.com.
- Creative Writing at Grossmont College: Grossmont College offers a number of writing courses following the academic year.
- Creative Writing Now: Creative Writing Now offers a number of creative writing classes and free online writing courses.
- Coursera: The skills taught in the Academic English: Writing Specialization will empower you to succeed in any college-level course or professional field. You’ll learn to conduct rigorous academic research and to express your ideas clearly in an academic format. In the final Capstone Project, all the knowledge that you’ve gained over the span of these courses will culminate into an academic research paper on an issue of your choice.
- edX: No one is born with good writing skills. It takes time to learn proper writing techniques and a great deal of practice to hone your skills. Starting with any one of the EDX five introductory writing courses will not only build a strong foundation of grammar skills, but also teach the important elements of composition and style that will improve all of your written communication from business emails to job applications.
- The Learning Path: Creative writing requires the application of hard work, discipline and much practice. Use these free creative writing courses online to hone your skills and become a better writer.
- The Open University: Everything on the multi-award winning Open Learn is free to everyone!
- The Crafty Writer: Are you a beginner writer? Do you know you want to put pen to paper but not know where to start? This eight-session online creative writing course will give you an introduction to the basic elements of creative writing, from prose fiction to poetry. The course is entirely free and you can work through it at your own pace. The exercises are designed to help you start writing and self-analyse your work. Feedback from a tutor will not be provided. However, you may ask questions along the way if there is something you don’t understand about how the course is put together. Post them in the comments box. If you have any questions about how the course operates before contacting me please check out the FAQ list on the menu above which covers pretty much everything – and that includes how to get started and whether or not it’s really free!
If you have experience with any of these resources, especially if your experience wasn't positive, please share your thoughts. If you know of other area classes, either online or in person, share that information as well.