10 writing courses to boost your skills, and advance your career

Are you an aspiring author who wants to write a book, but you have no idea how to start? Or are you a seasoned author looking to boost your writing skills? Why not consider investing in a writing course! The more tools you have in your writing arsenal, the better your work will be. Staging Post has investigated writing courses and identified 10 that we think are worth your time and money. We have put together a mix of online courses you can do from the comfort of your home, from beginner to advanced levels. Each course is summarised and you’ll find a link so that you can do further research on your own.

The first three courses on our list are from Writers Write. Writers Write is a great organisation for any writer to join or follow. They offer many writing courses and they have an extensive library of blog articles that look at every aspect of writing and various aspects of publishing.

1.   Secrets of a Memoirist (Online)

This course is offered by Writers Write (2022) and teaches you what you need to know about writing a memoir. This is an online course and can be done at your own pace. There are 14 modules within the course. The course costs $249. This course will:

  • Give you the tools to construct your memoir.
  • Show you how to organise your memories to create a book.
  • Show you how to find the theme, the plot, and the story archetype of your memoir.
  • Help you learn what to include in your memoir and what to leave out.
  • Show you how to put it all together.

Link to course: https://www.writerswrite.co.za/product/how-to-write-a-memoir/.

 

2.   How to Write a Book (Online)

This course (Writers Write, 2022) teaches you how to write a book from start to finish and you get your own writing coach to guide you every step of the way. You get eight 45-minute sessions with your writing coach, and 60 modules consisting of theory as well as practical exercises. The cost of the course is $599. What you will do in the course:

  • Turn your idea into a plot.
  • Create memorable characters.
  • Learn how to show and not tell.
  • Complete plenty of practical exercises to back up the theory.
  • Get feedback from your coach.

Link to course: https://www.writerswrite.co.za/product/how-to-write-a-book/.

Writing workspace
It is important to set up a writing workspace where you can focus on your writing without distractions.

3.   The Kiss – How to write a romance novel:

Romance is one of the biggest and most popular genres in the publishing industry. This course (Writers Write, 2022) teaches you how to write a romance novel and you can do so at your own pace. The course coordinator is Mia Botha, winner of the Mills and Boon Voice of Africa competition. The course consists of 18 modules, which include topics like genre, plot themes, characters, various writing exercises and so much more. The course costs $299.

Link to course: https://www.writerswrite.co.za/product/how-to-write-a-romance-online/

A note: There are a host of other writing courses that Writers Write offers, other than those mentioned above, including a few free courses.

Our next three courses are offered by The Writers College, another great organisation for writers. They started out as a two-person team in South Africa in 2005 and now have a global college that operates internationally with 35 writing courses to choose from. We will be looking at three of their courses, but encourage you to have a look at their entire list.

4.   The Basics of Creative Writing and the Advanced Creative Writing Course

Both of these courses are worth looking at, depending on your skill level. For beginners, start with the basics of creative writing and follow up with the advanced course to prepare yourself for a career in writing. The basic course consists of 5 modules and 40 assignments. The timeline for this course is 4 months and costs R6495. Once you are done with the basic course, you can invest in the advanced writing course which builds on the basic course. In this course, you will learn more sophisticated writing techniques so that you can become an even better storyteller. The advanced course consists of 5 modules and 20 assignments. It takes about 6 months to complete and costs R7495 (The Writers College, 2022).

Link to course: https://www.thewriterscollege.com/creative-writing-courses-12/

 

5.   Write a Young Adult Novel Course

If you are interested in writing for the Young Adult market, this course is for you. This course gives you individual feedback from an award-winning writer, relevant and usable content, and a flexible schedule. The course consists of 12 modules and 12 assignments. You can work at your own pace and you have up to 24 months to complete the course. The cost of the course is R8995 (The Writers College, 2022).

Link to course: https://www.thewriterscollege.com/write-a-novel-course-2/

6.   Writing Books for Children, Part One and Two

Writing books for children can be very challenging and is a complex process. The age group that this course prepares you to write for is 8–12. You will learn how to plot content that appeals to this age group. Part One of this two-part course consists of 10 modules and 14 assignments. The course allows you up to 8 months to complete it and costs R6995. Part Two of this course builds on what was learned in Part One and you need to pass Part One to progress to Part Two. You will get line-by-line feedback from a seasoned children’s book writer to improve your writing. This course consists of 3 modules and 3 assignments and takes about 6 months to complete. The cost of this course is R6995 (The Writers College, 2022).

Link to the course (Part One): https://www.thewriterscollege.com/write-a-childrens-book-course-part-1/

Link to the course (Part Two):

https://www.thewriterscollege.com/write-a-childrens-book-course-part-2/

The next two courses are from All About Writing, the Hero’s Journey Course, and their Creative Writing Course.

Example of a woman writing on a laptop. It is important to have the right tools at your disposal when writing.
Many writing courses are hosted online via Zoom or other video conferencing programmes. It is important to make sure that you have a stable internet connection and that your laptop or notepad is near for your notes.

7.   Hero’s Journey Course

This is one of All About Writing’s signature courses. ‘An eight-part course on the most effective story template ever developed’ (All About Writing, 2022). This course gives you insight into story structure and character and enables you to erect the ‘tentpoles’ of your story. As part of the course, you will be required to attend a zoom session once a week for 8 weeks. You will also receive notes, exercises, links to resources, and feedback sessions on your writing. You will be expected to complete one module per week. The cost of this course is R8500 (All About Writing, 2022).

Link to course: https://allaboutwritingcourses.com/heros_journey/

8.   Creative Writing Course

The All About Writing Creative Writing Course consists of 10 modules that will provide you with the tools and skills you need to launch your creative writing career. This course is great for aspiring authors, but also for established writers wanting to refresh their skills. The course is for both fiction and non-fiction writers. There are three options with this course: Online monthly, Online Weekly, and Live. Below is a short summary of each option (All About Writing, 2022):

Online Monthly

  • Cost: R695 per month for 10 months.
  • One module per month
  • Written feedback on assignments, access to course content, and face-to-face session monthly via zoom

Online Weekly

  • Cost: R6300 for 10 weeks
  • One module per week
  • Written feedback on assignments, access to course content, and face-to-face session monthly via zoom

Live

  • Cost: R7950 over 5 weeks
  • Two modules per week, over 5 weeks
  • Real-time zoom sessions with facilitators
  • Immediate feedback on assignments and additional support via the online course platform

Link to course: https://allaboutwritingcourses.com/creative_writing/

The next course is from The Writing Room. Sarah Bullen is at the head of this writing school and in addition to the course offers author mentorship and writing retreats. We urge you to have a look at the website.

9. Write your Novel in 100 Days

The course runs for 3.5 months and ‘will prompt, push and hold you to your promise to write your novel’ (The Writing Room, 2022). You will get to work with a book mentor twice a week, daily lessons and exercises, feedback on your writing, and access to The Writing Room community. The cost of this course is $250.

Link to course: https://www.thewritingroom.co.za/store/p5/100daysnovelmentorship.html

Many writers dream of one day seeing their book on the shelves of bookstores across the country.
Many writers dream of one day seeing their book on the shelves of bookstores across the country.

10. Udemy Online Writing Courses

Udemy is a ‘massive open online course provider aimed at professionals and students’. Udemy offers a whole host of online creative writing courses and although not all the courses are of the same quality there are low-cost options to get you started on your writing path. We recommend you read the reviews for the courses you are interested in to access if they are the right fit for you. Course names and links are given below are five of the best-rated courses on Udemy (Udemy, 2022):

  1. Introduction to Creative Writing: Getting Started https://www.udemy.com/course/introduction-to-creative-writing-getting-started/
  2. Creative Writing: How to Write a Novel https://www.udemy.com/course/creative-writing-full-course-about-fiction-writing/
  3. Creative Writing: Creative Exercises for New Writing Ideas https://www.udemy.com/course/creative-writing-workshop-exercises-to-boost-creativity/
  4. Punch them in the Gut: Writing Fiction with Emotional Impact Https://Www.Udemy.Com/Course/What-Readers-Want/
  5. How to Write Fantasy Fiction https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-write-fantasy-fiction/

Sources consulted:

All About Writing. 2022. https://allaboutwritingcourses.com, accessed 12 May 2022.

SA Writers College. 2022. https://www.sawriterscollege.co.za/, accessed 11 May 2022.

Writers Write. 2022. https://www.writerswrite.co.za/, accessed 13 May 2022.

The Writing Room. 2022. https://www.thewritingroom.co.za/, accessed 9 May 2022.

Udemy. 2022. https://www.udemy.com/, accessed 11 May 2022.

Ready to self-publish your book?

Contact Staging Post for more information on the self-publishing process. Email us at info@stagingpost.co.za. For a quick introduction, check out our How to self-publish guide!

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