I recently fell in love with taking short online courses. They are the perfect way to enhance your career or your hobby without investing a lot of time or money. Earlier this month, I started the # the100day project with the goal of non-digital writing for 100 days. I knew I wanted the writing to be more substantial than the daily journal entries, so I started looking for prompts and they quickly directed me to Roxane Gay’s course on Skillshare.
Now Skillshare is not free. BUT, you can take as many courses as you want during their one month free trial (two months if you use someone’s affiliate link to sign up). Most of these classes last under an hour, making them the perfect Sunday morning activity. Grab a cup of coffee and your notebook, hit play, and spend the next hour or two writing down and absorbing information from the minds of your favorite authors.
Creative writing: Writing personal essays with impact with Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay is known for her punchy writing. In this hour-long course, the author of Hunger and Bad feminist reveals her secrets to writing a powerful personal essay. She takes students from idea to article ready for publication, discussing the purpose, topic, research and navigation of personal memories. The course also includes a downloadable worksheet to support your writing practice, as well as links to additional resources.
Fiction writing: create a narrative from your favorite story with Kiersten White
Kiersten White, author of And I darken series and The dark descendants of Elizabeth Frankenstein, uses her own “Little Red Riding Hood” story to walk you through the steps to start your own story in under 45 minutes. By the end of the course, you will have determined the story you want to tell, identified the key themes and translated the original elements into your own version.
Write short, character-driven stories with Yiyun Li
In this 47-minute course, the author of numerous novels such as Where do the reasons stop and Kinder than loneliness and his recent memories Dear friend, of my life I write to you in your life teaches how to write a compelling short story. Each student is invited to write their own 3-5 page story after learning “tips for writing compelling characters, turning situations into stories, and revising work into a fancy play”.
Demystifying Poetry: How To Use Lyrical Language For More Powerful Creative Writing with Hanif Abdurraqib
In this course, Hanif teaches that no matter what genre, you can create lyrical writing. By teaching narrative tips for story structure and writing exercises, he allows students to experience the benefits of poetic language in their own work. He is most recently known for his collection They can’t kill us’ til they kill us and his ode to A Tribe Called Quest, Go in the rain.
Narration 101: Character, Conflict, Context, and Craft with Daniel José Older
In this course, Daniel José Older, author of Shadowform series, teaches the basics of narrative storytelling. By the end of the course, you’ll have a good understanding of the character, conflict, context, and craft, along with the tools and questions to ask yourself when writing a story.
The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit with Simon Van Booy
Simon Van Booy, author of The illusion of separation and collection of news The sadness of beautiful things, guides students through 6 steps to create a solid foundation for writing. In the 40-minute course, he gives tips on how to create a strong writing habit, make the most of your space, and act on inspiration.
Have you taken any online writing courses? Share some of your favorite lessons or tips in the comments!