Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you want to develop new skills? Are you interested in pursuing a career in creative writing (i.e., writing fiction, non-fiction, or plays for the theater)? If so, take a look at our recommendations for the top flexible online courses that cater specifically to your needs and interests. We’ve compiled a list of accredited online courses that can help you gain valuable real-world experience and develop your creative writing skills. Better yet, some of these courses allow you to work at your own pace and can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
The Open Culture Initiative’s Online MFA in Creative Writing
One of the best, if not the best, option for online creative writing courses is The Open Culture Initiative’s MFA in Creative Writing (Master of Fine Arts). The program offers the versatility to complete your studies from the comfort of your home or office. You will become a better writer (and editor!) by taking this course. From beginner to advanced, you will learn the ins and outs of writing a novel, short story, or play through lectures, assignments, and peer review from well-established writers and educators. There is also a forum for students to discuss current topics in an engaging and comfortable atmosphere.
What makes this program so valuable is the convenience and the variety of courses you can take. Not only that, but you are not tied down to a traditional classroom setting. In fact, the majority of the courses are delivered via webcam or online conferencing platforms, which allow you to interact with the instructor and other students. This level of engagement not only improves your learning experience but also allows you to hone your communication skills (e.g., public speaking, presentation skills), which is an essential for your career in creative writing.
The MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco
Another great option for a flexible online creative writing degree is the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco. Similar to the previous recommendation, you will become a better writer (and maybe even an editor!) by taking this course. The curriculum is intense (i.e., 6-7 hours of coursework per day, 5 days per week) but the convenience and the opportunity to study from the comfort of your home make it well worth it. Like most other flexible online writing degrees, this one too offers a broad spectrum of courses, including fiction, non-fiction, and playwriting. The only difference is that this program also includes courses on screenwriting and film criticism. It also offers a residency at the Aspen Screenplay Lab, where you will work with professional screenwriters and directors.
This program is perfect for those who want to become editors, or literary agents, or just want to become better writers. What’s more, one of the instructors, Suki Hawley, is the founder of the Screenwriting Lab at the University of San Francisco, which offers a residency program for those students who want to gain more experience.
The International MFA in Creative Writing via Rosalind Russell/Teachers & Screenwriters Lab
If you are looking for a creative writing program that focuses on teaching you how to write commercially, then consider the International MFA in Creative Writing via Rosalind Russell/Teachers & Screenwriters Lab. Rosalind Russell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has taught at universities and conservatories in the U.S. as well as abroad. The program is designed to help you break out of the “rut” of writing for college and to equip you with the tools to write professionally. It is not a traditional MFA, which is offered in batches instead of individually, and it does not require you to publish a piece or join a fraternity.
This program is beneficial for those who want to write for television, film, or the stage. What’s more, once you are done with the program, you have the option of joining a creative writing agency or literary agency as a representative, or working as a copywriter for a marketing or advertising agency. Some graduates even go on to become editors or literary agents.
The M.F.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University
Another good choice for a flexible online MFA in creative writing is the M.F.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. This program is ideal for those who want to become literary agents, or just want to become better writers. The program is intensive (i.e., 5-6 hours of coursework per day, 6-7 days per week) but it has something that makes it worth it: it has a focus on giving you the tools to write creatively. Specifically, this program teaches you how to write in the style of famous authors (e.g., William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway) with a view to selling your work to top publications.
This program is great for those who want to become journalists, or just want to become better writers. What’s more, one of the instructors, Ernest Hemingway, has taught at this university and is the author of For Freshmen Only: Frankly Personal Letters from Ernest Hemingway. In these letters, you will get to read what Hemingway had to say about different aspects of writing. Some of his tips are:
- Join a fraternity or sorority
- Never, ever let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do with your writing
- Write every day
- Have fun
- Follow your passions
- Look at the world through fresh eyes
- And finally,
- Don’t be afraid to try new things
The M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona
If you want to write creatively but do not want a traditional MFA, then consider the University of Arizona’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing. This program is designed to help you improve your literary skills and give you the creative freedom to write creatively. Students enter the program with an M.F.A. in another field, and after completing the program, they have the chance to show off their newly acquired skills by publishing a novel or short story collection.
This program is good for those who want to become journalists, or just want to become better writers. What’s more, one of the instructors, Peter O’Donnell, has extensive experience in novel writing, and he has even published a bestselling novel, The Mystery of Room 137.
Why Should I Study Literature?
The importance of studying literature cannot be overstated. Without it, you will not truly understand the craft of writing or the world of creative writing. Literature is the backbone of culture and learning, connecting us to past times and connecting us to other places. It provides us with the ability to explore new ideas and new worlds that we could not experience physically.
Studying literature will give you the skills needed to write creatively, intelligently, and persuasively, whatever your chosen field may be. It will also open up a world of opportunities, whether you live your life in the city, the country, or a small town. Whatever your situation, you will have access to a wealth of information and resources, as well as be able to participate in stimulating and informative courses and seminars with leading industry professionals.
So, if you are serious about becoming a writer, then consider studying literature. It may not seem obvious at first, but without it, you will not be able to succeed as a writer.