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Are you an aspiring novelist looking to hone your craft and learn new techniques? With the rise of online learning platforms, there has never been a better time to take a novel writing course or earn a certification. These courses offer in-depth instruction, expert guidance, and invaluable feedback to help you bring your stories to life. In this article, we will explore the ten best novel writing courses and certifications available online. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, these courses will provide you with the necessary tools to take your writing to the next level.

1. MasterClass – James Patterson Teaches Writing

Known as one of the most successful authors of our time, James Patterson offers a truly unique opportunity to learn from a master storyteller. In this course, Patterson shares his personal techniques and provides practical advice on developing compelling characters and crafting suspenseful plots. With interactive exercises and exclusive video lessons, this course is perfect for writers of all levels.

2. Udemy – Write a Novel Outline from Scratch

If you’re struggling with organizing your ideas and creating a solid foundation for your novel, this course is ideal for you. Instructed by Steve Alcorn, a bestselling author and renowned writing teacher, this course will guide you through the process of outlining your novel. You’ll learn techniques to develop engaging characters, establish conflict, and create a captivating plot structure.

3. Coursera – Creative Writing Specialization

Offered by Wesleyan University, the Creative Writing Specialization on Coursera is a comprehensive program that covers various aspects of fiction writing. Over the course of five modules, you’ll explore storytelling techniques, character development, and how to revise and edit your work effectively. With assignments, peer feedback, and access to an online writing community, this specialization is designed to enhance your writing skills at your own pace.

4. Gotham Writers Workshop – Fiction Writing Classes

Gotham Writers Workshop is known for its high-quality writing courses, and their fiction writing classes are no exception. Whether you’re interested in short stories, novels, or genre-specific fiction, Gotham offers a range of classes taught by published authors. These interactive classes provide personalized feedback, constructive critiques, and the opportunity to connect with fellow writers.

5. The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program

If you’re looking for an in-depth literary experience, The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program offers a wide range of online writing courses. From exploring the fundamentals of fiction writing to examining the art of dialogue and character development, their courses combine theoretical knowledge with practical application. The University of Iowa is renowned for its prestigious Writers’ Workshop, making this program a highly respected choice.

6. The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course

Suitable for beginners and more experienced writers alike, The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course provides comprehensive training in various forms of fiction writing. Through a series of concise lessons, you’ll learn how to develop engaging plots, create believable characters, and master the art of description. The course also offers practical writing exercises and assignments to help you put theory into practice.

7. Writer’s Digest University – Novel Writing Online

Writer’s Digest University is a trusted resource for writers worldwide, and their Novel Writing Online course is a top choice for aspiring novelists. Taught by experienced instructors, this course covers everything from story structure and pacing to character development and revision techniques. With personalized feedback on your writing and the option to join a writing group, you’ll receive the support you need to craft your best novel.

8. Skillshare – Writing Fiction: Create a Memorable Protagonist

Skillshare offers a wide range of writing courses, but their Writing Fiction series is particularly popular. In the course “Create a Memorable Protagonist,” instructor Donna Levin guides you through the process of building a strong central character. You’ll learn how to create realistic and compelling personalities, enabling readers to connect with your protagonist on a deeper level.

9. edX – How to Make a Comic Book (Project-Centered Course)

For those interested in exploring the world of graphic novels or storytelling through visual narratives, edX’s How to Make a Comic Book course is an excellent choice. Created by Michael Dooley, an associate professor of graphic design, this project-centered course covers essential elements of comic book creation, including plot development, character design, and panel composition.

10. The University of British Columbia – How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline

Led by respected novelist Nancy Lee and renowned fiction editor Annabel Lyon, this six-week course from The University of British Columbia provides a comprehensive exploration of novel writing. From refining your writing process to constructing a solid narrative structure, this course delves deep into the craft. With access to experienced mentors and a supportive community, you’ll receive invaluable feedback on your work.


Whether you’re a beginner seeking to learn the fundamentals or an experienced writer looking to refine your skills, these ten novel writing courses and certifications offer a wealth of knowledge and support. From mastering storytelling techniques to developing compelling characters and constructing solid plotlines, these courses cover all aspects of successful novel writing. So, take the leap, enroll in a course, and embark on a journey to unleash your creativity and become the novelist you’ve always aspired to be.