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Are you a budding writer looking to refine your fiction writing skills? With the rise of online learning, there are now numerous courses and certifications available to help you master the art of crafting compelling stories. Whether you’re a beginner seeking foundational knowledge or an experienced writer aiming to enhance your techniques, this article highlights the top 10 fiction writing courses and certifications you can pursue online. In this guide, we’ll explore each program’s features, benefits, and what you can expect to gain from them. Let’s get started!

1. Creative Writing Specialization – Wesleyan University

For those looking to dive deep into the world of fiction writing, Wesleyan University’s Creative Writing Specialization provides a comprehensive learning experience. This series of five courses, offered on the popular online learning platform Coursera, covers everything from character development to plot construction. Led by esteemed professors, the program offers invaluable insights and practical exercises to help hone your craft. By the end of the specialization, you’ll have completed a full-length manuscript, ready to be shared with the world.

2. Writing Fiction with Gotham Writers Workshop

Known for its highly interactive and engaging online classes, Gotham Writers Workshop offers the Writing Fiction course, designed to help aspiring authors develop their storytelling skills. With a focus on the fundamental elements of fiction writing, such as dialogue, point of view, and pacing, this course provides a solid foundation for crafting impactful narratives. Through personalized feedback and guidance from experienced instructors, you’ll gain the confidence needed to create compelling characters and captivating plots.

3. The Craft of Plot with Arvon

The Craft of Plot course, offered by Arvon, takes an in-depth look at one of the most crucial elements of fiction writing: plot development. This online course offers a range of resources, including video lectures and writing exercises, that delve into the art of constructing compelling storylines. With access to renowned authors as tutors, you’ll receive valuable feedback on your work and gain a deeper understanding of how to captivate readers through well-crafted plots.

4. Start Writing Fiction with The Open University

Perfect for beginners, The Open University’s Start Writing Fiction course provides an excellent introduction to the world of creative writing. This free online course covers various aspects of fiction writing, including character creation, setting, and the editing process. Through a range of writing exercises and peer feedback, you’ll enhance your skills while also gaining a deeper appreciation for the writing process. By the end of the course, you’ll have a selection of original short stories to kickstart your writing career.

5. Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer with Udemy

If you’re looking to elevate your writing style and stand out from the crowd, Writing with Flair on Udemy is the course for you. This certification program, created by Shani Raja, a former Wall Street Journal editor, focuses on refining your writing skills by teaching you the principles of excellent writing. With concise video lessons and actionable exercises, you’ll learn how to incorporate impactful language and dynamic sentence structures into your work. This course is a must for anyone looking to enhance their writing prowess.

6. Fiction Writing Certification with UCLA Extension

UCLA Extension offers a comprehensive Fiction Writing Certification program that covers a wide range of topics, catering to both aspiring novelists and short story writers. This online program delves into character development, dialogue, plot structure, and more, equipping you with the necessary tools to create compelling fiction. Led by industry professionals with extensive writing experience, this certification program offers personalized feedback and guidance to help you refine your craft and take your writing to the next level.

7. The Ultimate Fiction Writing Workshop with Writers.com

For writers seeking a highly interactive and hands-on learning experience, Writers.com’s Ultimate Fiction Writing Workshop is an ideal choice. This course provides aspiring authors with a supportive community of fellow writers and experienced instructors. Through detailed lessons and regular feedback, you’ll receive guidance on various fiction writing techniques, including character development, dialogue, and revision. By the end of this course, you’ll have a polished manuscript ready to be shared with publishers and agents.

8. How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline with Reedsy Learning

Before diving into the writing process, having a solid structure and outline is essential for any novel. Reedsy Learning’s How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline course takes you through the process of building a solid framework for your story. From creating compelling story arcs to developing multi-dimensional characters, this course offers a step-by-step approach to novel planning. By the end of the course, you’ll have a detailed outline that will serve as a roadmap for your novel-writing journey.

9. Masterclass – Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling

If you’ve ever dreamed of learning from a literary icon, Masterclass offers an incredible opportunity with Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling. In this course, the award-winning author shares his insights into the craft of storytelling, providing a wealth of knowledge and practical tips. From developing imaginative worlds to crafting unforgettable characters, Gaiman’s guidance will inspire you to push the boundaries of your own creativity. This course is an invaluable experience for any aspiring writer.

10. The Fiction Writing Workshop Online with The New York Times

Conducted in collaboration with The New York Times, The Fiction Writing Workshop Online offers aspiring writers the chance to learn from acclaimed authors and receive personalized feedback on their work. Through a series of lessons and writing assignments, you’ll develop skills in various areas, including narration, dialogue, and atmosphere. The course also explores the business side of writing, providing insights into publishing and marketing your work. With the esteemed reputation of The New York Times behind it, this workshop is an excellent option for serious writers.


The world of online learning has made it easier than ever for aspiring writers to access high-quality fiction writing courses and certifications. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, these top 10 options offer a wide range of programs to suit your needs. From comprehensive specializations to focused workshops, you’ll find the perfect opportunity to enhance your storytelling skills and bring your fiction writing to new heights. So, don’t hesitate – invest in your craft by enrolling in one of these courses today, and embark on a journey of growth and creative fulfillment.