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Online Writing Courses & Resources for Writers

Updated on October 21, 2013

Garrison Keillor: What it takes to write humor

Attendee stand-up at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

Online Writing Courses & Resources - My Personal Choices

Online writing courses can be wonderful things. If you have limited time, dislike group settings or live a long way from an institution that offers this type of instruction, they may be a perfect fit for you.

There are only three courses outlined in this hub for a reason. I've heard of each organization that offers the courses, and I trust them. If you do a web search for online writing courses, you'll be presented with pages and pages of options. I have never heard of most of them. They may all be stellar learning opportunities, but I don't know and so am not including any except those I feel safe in passing on. If you do know of a credible site, by all means, feel free to mention it in the comments section.

Online Writing Courses

Long Ridge Writers Group

Long Ridge is a respected institution that has been around for 30 years. I still have large envelopes containing their information that was sent to me via regular mail back in the early '90's. Although I've never taken any of their courses, I do get their weekly communications which include some market information, books that authors want reviewed, and invitations to participate in having writing exercises critiqued. There are interviews of accomplished writers that you can read, as well. This is a supportive organization, that invites you to announce any successes, big or small. You can ask questions and read articles on all aspects of the craft of writing. There is no charge for any of it. The only thing that costs money is the course, if you decide to take it.

Students of Long Ridge are taught using a one on one method. Each pupil is taught by one professional instructor assigned to them for the entire duration of the course. Upon completion, students receive seven college credits.

On average, 300 Long Ridge graduates get published every year. I'm sure that's why they only accept applicants that pass their writing test. They seem to be looking for people they believe they can help make a quick jump to publication.

Pricing is not listed on the website, but there is link to click if you want the information sent to you.

Final Notes:

The Long Ridge Writers Group is an acredited school, and a member of the Better Business Bureau. The course can be tax deductible. It depends on whether you are taking it just for personal interest, or are using it to increase your knowledge to further your business or career. They do offer a money back guarantee.

Stanford University

The Online Writer's Studio

All levels of writers are encouraged to take advantage of Stanford University's online courses. They offer fiction, non fiction, memoir and poetry instruction. The class sizes are kept small to facilitate a high teacher to student ratio, so registration is limited.

This is Stanford, and as you may expect a little pricier than the first two courses mentioned. Their creative non fiction course is $750 for 10 weeks of study. They hold 17 spots available for it. The time commitment involved for your part is approximately 5-8 hours per week.

No freebies on this site, as you can imagine. You will have to invest in some books to accommodate the required reading.

Final Notes:

Stanford is a trustworthy institution, and I've no doubt their courses would be interesting and educational. A full refund is allowed as long as they receive your cancellation by 5:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of the class. This is the sort of thing that I wish had been available ten years ago, when I was having severe pangs of regret about never having taken a University level writing course.

Garrison Keillor: Finding your voice as a writer

If You Can Suffer Through The Introductions....

Online Writers Resources

Writers Resources - A site that is hoping to sell you a book, but still offers a lot of how-to articles on the craft of writing for free.

DMOZ Open Directory Writers Resources - Another page of links with options for all types of writers to choose from. Includes copyright information links.

WritersNet - The site is a directory of writers, editors, publishers and agents. They have a forum where you can have discussions with others interested in the field. *** Update - this site has recently been deemed malicious, the hyperlink has been removed. - is a good resource for freelancers or those wanting to freelance. They have a lot of articles and links, and provide some focus on the business aspect of being a freelancer.

Final notes:

There are tons of online resources for writers. You can access them by doing a regular search. Personally, I don't spend any money on any of them, it's not necessary. I'm not saying that it's bad to, but so far I've been able to find out anything I wanted to know for free.

I would suggest that you also give consideration to joining a writers group. While they are not all equal, if you find a good one, it will really prove helpful. What constitutes 'good' is relative. For me, a group of people who are serious about wanting to help themselves and each other improve their writing skills - in a way that we all feel safe in exposing our writing - is a good writers group. It may mean something different to you. Just know that the group should be supportive, and push you (via encouragement) enough to keep you writing.

This Hub Was Inspired By a Comment

I wrote this hub in response to a question that Countrywomen asked in the comments section of my Places to Sell Your Writing hub.

Thank-you, Countrywomen!

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