10 Essential Online Creative Writing Courses for 2021

Learn different writing techniques and get key tips from our expert storytellers

Novelist Stephen King states in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, that writing is about "enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well.". Writing, therefore, is an powerful way to awaken your creativity, keep getting better, and grow as a person.

As is the case with most creative techniques, you can improve your writing skills simply through practice. Learning which techniques your favorite writers use is a great way to discover new methods and apply them to the way you work.

A selection of books published by Domestika teacher Shaun Levin.

In the 10 courses below, creative writing experts walk you through their creative processes, share essential tips, and show you unique techniques that will get your ideas flowing onto the page (or screen) in front of you.
Whether you’re drawn to writing books for children or adults, screenwriting for film and television, or want to improve your copywriting skills for social media, we have a course to suit your needs.

If you want to know more about each course, click on its title in red. Towards the end of the article, we also explain the concept of creative block and share a tutorial with exercises to help you overcome it and feel inspired.

Creative Writing for Beginners: Bringing Your Story to Life, a course by Shaun Levin

An impactful story—like any artform—starts with a gathering of ideas and scenes. Out of these pieces, we begin to shape our own personal narratives and develop compelling stories. Shaun Levin is a published author and creative writing teacher with over twenty years of experience. In this course, he will show you how to delve into your imagination to find everything you’ll need to become a prolific writer.

You'll learn how to listen to your inner world and translate what you hear into a piece of creative writing using Shaun's methodology. You'll discover a series of practical exercises designed to hone your writing voice and develop a piece of writing, from start to finish, on the subject you're passionate about.

Writing a Novel Step by Step, a course by Cristina López Barrio

Writing is a way to dream, escape from reality, and travel to worlds that only exist in our imaginations. For some people, it means even more: it is a way of life. This is how Cristina López Barrio (@cristinalopezbarrio) feels. After 13 years of working as a lawyer, Cristina decided to devote herself to writing full time. Her novel La casa de los amores imposibles was so successful that it was translated into 15 languages and published in 22 countries.

In this course, Cristina will take you through her roller coaster-like creative process and explain how to write a novel, from choosing the plot to developing characters, narrators, space, and time. Upon completion, you will have acquired all the necessary tools to bring your ideas to life through words and create an original and captivating story.

Creating Children's Stories, a course by Ilan Brenman

Words can transport children to fantastic universes, however, knowing how to convey your message to such demanding readers is no easy task. Award-winning and internationally bestselling children's author, Ilan Brenman (@ibrenman), will guide you on your creative mission. His works have been translated into more than 15 languages worldwide.

In this course, you will learn how to tell children's stories based on experiences from your everyday life. With Ilan's help, you will discover techniques to develop a creative writing process and come up with a story that is sure to delight little readers.

Introduction to Narrative Writing, a course by Alberto Chimal

When facing the blank page, coming up with those first lines can feel like an intimidating challenge. However, you can always practice and perfect your writing skills, like with any other craft. Renowned Mexican writer Alberto Chimal (@albertochimal) has authored novels, poems, short stories, essays, and works in many other formats. He will teach you how to write a memorable narrative.

In this course, you will learn the essential steps involved in constructing a short story. You will explore key concepts such as time, character, space, plot, and structure, and examine how they work in practice. Alberto Chimal will teach you the fundamental techniques of creative writing so that you can fearlessly take on the blank page.

Writing for Dialogues: Give Voice to Your Characters, a course by Jimena Eme Vázquez

When putting pen to paper, you can tell the characters' stories or let the characters tell their stories with you. Jimena Eme Vázquez (@jimenaemeuve), writer and playwright, will teach you to listen to your characters and understand how they relate to each other so that they can express their view of the world.

In this course, you will learn how to write dialogue and use it as the building blocks of storytelling. You will explore the rhythm, sound, and intention of each phrase to convey emotions, creating scenes of dialogue that captivate the viewer.

Copywriting for Social Media, a course by Paul Anglin

Are you ready to delight your social media audience with exceptional copy? Director of copywriting at Craft Copy, Paul Anglin (@paulanglin), who has over twenty years of experience, will show you how. Drawing on his experience working with brands such as Apple, Nike, and Microsoft, Paul will teach you his process for producing compelling social media copy.

In this course, you will discover how to use words to tell your brand story, starting with basic writing tools. You will learn how to generate ideas, develop them, and present them creatively. In the end, you will create a campaign for your brand featuring copy that captures the attention of your audience on social media.

Storytelling for Short Film Screenplays, a course by Lud Mônaco

The secret to writing an engaging screenplay is the ability to convey feelings and emotions by transforming words into images. Through storytelling, Brazilian writer and film director Lud Mônaco (@ludmonaco), draws on everyday experiences to give life to extraordinary stories. Lud won the Best Short Film Award at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival in Portugal and has collaborated with major companies such as VICE, Rede Globo, Stink, and Boiler Room.

In this course, you will learn how to compile a creative folder to help you write your own screenplay. With the help of Lud Mônaco, you will discover basic storytelling techniques to tell stories that connect with your audience.

Original Narrative Writing from Start to Finish, a course by Afonso Cruz

Writing allows us to express our feelings while also exploring the world around us. Through words, we explore new perspectives, analogies, and metaphors. There's no better person to guide you on your writing journey than Afonso Cruz, who was awarded the European Union Prize for Literature and has published more than 30 books in 20 languages.

In this course, you will learn how to write an original story from beginning to end. With Afonso's help, you will develop your own narrative, step by step, exploring professional writing techniques that will unlock your ideas and awaken your most creative side.

Travel Journal: Illustrate Your Reality, a course by Powerpaola

Powerpaola (@powerpaola) is a renowned visual artist, comic book artist, and illustrator who captures the world around her–from people and places to thoughts and reflections–in a travel diary.

In this course, you will learn how to create a travel diary through observation, combining design and storytelling. You will set out on an adventure to portray your city, your neighborhood, or even your room, all the while exploring various illustration and writing techniques. Grab your notebook and get ready to embark on this journey!

Script Writing for Movies and Television, a course by Julio Rojas

Julio Rojas (@juliowriter) is a 2012 Goya Award-winning writer and screenwriter who has developed a method called Script Folder, designed to help you tell a story and tackle the seemingly complex and inaccessible world of screenwriting.

If you have a story in mind, this course will teach you techniques, tools, and tricks to turn your ideas into an organic and coherent narrative system, ready to be written.

What is Creative Block and How to Overcome It?

Even the most creative of minds and the most experienced professionals will, at some point, fall victim to creative block. It’s that feeling that you’ve run out of ideas, you’re incapable of producing work, or that you are unable to access your creativity. Creative block affects musicians and painters as much as it can affect writers and photographers, or anyone else putting out creative work.

If we’re not careful, a creative block can result in a catch-22: feeling uninspired and unable to create can negatively impact one's self-confidence, which causes the person to feel even less inspired and less able to create. As Sylvia Plath famously said, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Therefore, it’s important to familiarize oneself with the different tools and techniques available that will help you to combat your fear and get your creative juices flowing. In this blog post, several of Domestika's teachers–from professional writers to top photographers–share their advice.

Screenwriter, storyteller, and teacher Alberto Chimal (@albertochimal) says that the best way to overcome creative block is to "practice, practice, practice". If you can't come up with anything original, pay attention to the world around you–something is sure to spark your imagination!

Below you can watch his video tutorial on how to find inspiration and overcome creative block. Discover more tips from Domestika teachers here!

Like the look of these courses? Discover more Domestika writing courses and get your creative juices flowing!

English version by @eloiseedgington.

You may also like:

- Narrative Tutorial: An Exercise to Help You Create a Good Story
- Copywriting Tutorial: How to Unlock Creative Thinking
- 7 Writers to Inspire You and Keep You Writing
- Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience, a course by Shaun Levin
- Creative Techniques to Transform Ideas into Texts, a course by Aline Valek

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