Online writing

7 online writing workshops that will help you write your novel for the new year

So you want to “write more” in the new year. But now that the new year is just around the corner, you’re starting to sink into a literary panic. How will you find the time to write? What are you going to write about? How do you take that beautiful, brilliant vision of a novel that’s in your head and put it on the page? If you’re looking for a little more structure and guidance in your life as a writer, but don’t have the time or funds for an MFA, you might want to try joining a writer’s workshop from the comfort of from your own bed. Here are some online writing workshops to help you write more and write better in the new year.

Writing, after all, is a craft. It takes practice. It takes rewrites and long sessions staring at your blinking cursor, and many hours alone in front of your computer and/or your vintage typewriter. Having a group or class that pushes you to meet deadlines is invaluable. And there are many different workshop options. So whether you’re a beginner looking to try out the basics or a seasoned writer looking for a new community of writers, here are the workshops and classes to check out in 2018:


Catapult Classes

If you’ve never visited Catapult, the online magazine and community of writers, you’re definitely missing something. In addition to publishing new fiction and non-fiction, Catapult offers online courses on creative writing, character building, overcoming writer’s block, and more. You’ll have to pay an enrollment fee for Catapult courses, but with so many options, you’re sure to find something to suit your budget.


24Pearl Street

Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center offers over 100 online writing workshops through 24PearlStreet. Courses cover everything from basic fiction to chapbooks to Valentine’s Day poems, with an emphasis on building supportive workshop communities. You will be able to comment directly on your classmates’ work and discuss assignments with them, throughout the 24PearlStreet virtual classroom.


Writer’s Digest University

Yes, Writer’s Digest has its own online university, complete with workshops, boot camps, and manuscript review services. Their workshops range from the general (like “Creative Writing 101”) to the incredibly specific (like “Freelancing for Stay at Home Moms and Dads” or “Analyzing the Work of Genre Master Stephen King”). They even offer workshops tailored to MFA applications or self-publishing, for writers of all experience levels.


Gotham Writers Workshop

You don’t have to be a city dweller to enroll in Gotham Writers Workshop. They do offer in-person workshops, crash courses, and free events in New York, but they also have an impressive catalog of online courses. These courses cover fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, comedy, songwriting, video game writing, and everything in between. There is also a huge Gotham Writers community online, where you can connect with other writers and stay informed about submission opportunities.



Scribophile is a little different from these other workshops: it is a free online community of writers, where you can post your own work for review. You can also provide feedback to fellow writers and browse a vast collection of online resources to perfect your craft. There’s also a Premium subscription tier, which gives you greater control over who can read your writing. If you want to dip your toes in the creative writing workshop pool, this is a great way to start.


inked voices

If you’re looking for a small online workshop experience, with no instructor or formal class setting, you might want to try Inked Voices. Once you’ve signed up and created a profile, you can search Inked Voices’ network of writing groups until you find one that matches your favorite genre or style. Then just show up and start exchanging feedback and editorial support with your new virtual writer friends.


now novel

Now Novel will guide you through the process of writing a novel, step by step. Registration is free and you will have access to maps to follow the plot and the characters, groups of writing workshops to exchange comments, a writing blog full of advice and the possibility of participating in a program mentorship with an experienced writing coach. If you’re struggling to figure out what to write about, Now Novel will even help you with suggested ideas to get the ball rolling.