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Professional Book Editor Reveals the 5 BEST Creative Writing Courses for Writers & Authors

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

The best online creative writing courses

Professional book editor in the UK reveals the top 5 best creative writing courses you can access online right now!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through the products and services I recommend. I only recommend things that I truly love and use, so I hope I can recommend something to you that you can love too! :)

Besides ACTUALLY writing, the BEST way to improve your creative writing skills is to take an online course that's been created by an expert.

Plus, online courses these days are super affordable, with monthly payment plans, exclusive discounts and special coupons, and you can absolutely work at your own pace, so there's no rush to complete the course within a certain amount of time.

As I've said in a previous post, there's no way I would have launched Stand Corrected Editing and became a self-employed book editor without online courses as well as my degree, so I would definitely encourage you to enrol on an online course if you're serious about being a successful author.

However, I understand that it can be incredibly time-consuming and tricky to find an online course that looks legitimate and worth the money, so I've made this list of online writing courses that are budget-friendly to save you time and stress!

1. The How to Become a Bestselling Novel eBook

The Ultimate Novel Writing Masterclass | Novel writing courses online

Teeeechnically not a course, but this eBook, How to Write a Bestselling Novel, is my proudest creation and has helped countless writers with their novel writing skills so far!!

When I became a book editor in 2019, I knew that I wanted to create an eBook that focuses on novel writing, so I'm really excited to introduce it to you and hopefully encourage you to try it out!

But why should you get the How to Write a Bestselling Novel eBook?

Well, unlike other novel writing eBooks I've seen and read, this one covers the ENTIRETY of the novel writing process, which aspiring authors really need.

So, instead of teaching you a few things about improving your writing skills, this 115-page guide takes you through the whole novel writing process from start to finish!

Here's the eBook contents:

Chapter 1: Genre

  • Understanding Your Genre - A lot of writers will say they're writing something like "a fantasy romance with a mystery sub-plotline and paranormal themes", but this description will. not. work when you come to market the book later. So, this chapter will give you a detailed overview of the different genres and their themes and tropes to help you pinpoint the genre you're actually writing. This part is often overlooked, but it's the most important starting point!

Chapter 2: Structure and Outline

  • Understanding the Three-Act Structure - Having a structure for your story that outlines the main plot points is crucial, but many writers still don't fully understand the three-act structure, which would save them a lot of time if they did. So, this chapter will teach you all you need to know about the three-act structure and what each part entails (e.g., the inciting incident, the climax, etc).

  • How to Write a Simple but Effective Outline for Your Novel - Do you struggle when it comes to writing an outline for your novel? Does your mind go blank? Or do you end up spending days creating it? Well, in this section, you'll learn how to write a super quick outline for your story that includes all the main plot points in UNDER 30 MINUTES, so you can then get on with actually writing!

Chapter 3: Point of View and Narrative Tense

  • Choosing the Best Point of View for Your Story - Deciding the POV for your novel can be tricky, with some writers changing it in the editing stage and wasting time, but this chapter teaches you which POV would be best for your story, and offers the pros and cons of writing in the first, second, and third person.

  • Narrative Tense: Past and Present - Like with POV, a lot of writers are often undecided on whether they want to write in the past or present narrative tense, so this chapter will guide you through the best option for your book.

Chapter 4: Character Creation and Development

  • The Perfect Protagonist; Memorable Side Characters; and Vicious Villains - Creating fictional characters is my favourite part about planning a novel, and like me, many other writers enjoy it too. However, some aspiring authors struggle to make their characters three-dimensional and believable, so these three sections of chapter 4 will walk you through how to create loveable, or hateable, protagonists, memorable sidekicks and vicious villains readers will always remember!

Chapter 5: Fiction Writing Essentials

  • Once you've completed the outlining and planning stage of your novel, you'll move onto Chapter 5: Fiction Writing Essentials, which will teach you the crucial elements you'll need to write an amazing novel. In this chapter, you'll specifically learn how to:

  1. Craft Your First Chapter

  2. Write Believable Dialogue

  3. Produce Mind-Blowing Cliffhangers

  4. Write Story-Enhancing Subplots

  5. Develop the Inciting Incident

  6. Create an Explosive Climax

Each section within Chapter 5: Fiction Writing Essentials focuses on each topic, so there's plenty of information, tips, and strategies on each one!

Chapter 6: Show vs Tell

Too many writers struggle with the show, not tell, technique, but teaching my clients how to perfect this is one of my favourite things to do, so I had to create a chapter for it in this eBook. Showing is crucial if you want to engross your readers and keep them engaged, so in this chapter, you'll learn the following:

  1. How to Easily Replace Adverbs with Dazzling Description

  2. How to Effectively Describe a Character's Appearance Without Telling

  3. How to Write a Character's Expression and Reaction Without Telling

  4. How to Show and Describe a Character's Emotions

  5. How to Create a Believable Atmosphere Without Telling

  6. How to Show a Character's Reaction to Their Surroundings

  7. How to Describe the Weather Without Telling

Chapter 7: Creative Writing Necessities

Once you've read the previous chapters, you'll get to Chapter 7: Creative Writing Necessities, which focuses on the technical side of writing, the parts copy editors fix when you send your manuscript off to be edited. So, in this chapter, you'll learn the following:

  1. When to Begin a New Line, Paragraph and Scene Break

  2. How to Write in the Active Voice, Not the Passive Voice

  3. How to Avoid Repetition in Your Novel

  4. How to Avoid Writing Lengthy Sentences

  5. How to Keep Your Writing Consistent

And finally... Chapter 8: Finishing Your Novel As the chapter's title suggests, the final part of this eBook focuses on how to successfully finish your novel, so you'll discover how to beat writer's block; how to stay motivated as a writer; and how to finish your book even with a full-time job!

I included this module because even with all the writing tips in the world, if you can't beat writer's block, motivation fatigue, and a busy schedule, there's no point in any of it, so I really wanted to help writers like you to truly overcome these hurdles. So, if you love the look of the How to Write a Bestselling Novel eBook you can get instant access here for just £7.99!

2. The Creative Writing Diploma Course

Centre of Excellence: Creative Writing Diploma Course | Creative writing courses online

If you're after a writing course that looks at creative writing as a whole rather than focusing on just novel writing, the Creative Writing Diploma Course, created by Centre of Excellence, may be the best course for you!

I've taken this course myself and it really is packed with useful information if you're just starting out in creative writing, want to learn the basics, and build a solid foundation of knowledge in this area.

Once you've completed this course, you'll walk away with significantly improved writing skills, a variety of new techniques under your belt, and a greater understanding of how to write compelling creative pieces that engages an audience. Plus, you'll also receive an actual accredited qualification!

Here's the course syllabus for the Creative Writing Diploma Course, as given by Centre of Excellence:

Module 1: The Creative Process

  • Part 1: What is it?

  • Part 2: Controlling Projects

  • Part 3: Creating an Outline

  • Part 4: Time to Write

  • Module 1 Assessment

Module 2: Writing Fiction

  • Part 1: Show, Don’t Tell

  • Part 2: Character Profile

  • Part 3: Characteristics

  • Module 2 Assessment

Module 3: Point of View

  • Point of View

  • Module 3 Assessment

Module 4: Character Motivation

  • Character Motivation

  • Module 4 Assessment

Module 5: Write What You Know

  • Write What You Know

  • Module 5 Assessment

Module 6: Characters, Names and Imaginations

  • Part 1: Understanding the Character Connection

  • Part 2: Names

Module 7: Beginning, Middle and Ending

  • Part 1: Beginnings

  • Part 2: Middles

  • Part 3: Endings

  • Module 7 Assessment

Module 8: Dialogue and Descriptive Writing

  • Part 1: Dialogue

  • Part 2: Descriptive Writing

  • Module 8 Assessment

Module 9: Beating Writer’s Block

  • Part 1: Beating Writer’s Block

  • Part 2: Opening Sentences

  • Module 9 Assessment

Module 10: Tips and Creative Tasks

  • Creative Writing Tips

  • Module 10 Assessment

Module 11: Writing Poetry

  • Part 1: What is Poetry?

  • Part 2: Starting Out

  • Part 3: Poetry Terms

  • Part 4: Light, Shade and Imagination

Module 12: Poetry Prompts

  • Poetry Prompts

  • Module 12 Assessment

Module 13: Writing the Life Story

  • Module 13 Assessment

  • Part 1: Writing the Life Story

  • Part 2: Flashbacks

Module 14: Going Public

  • Part 1: Going Public

  • Part 2: Agents and Self-publishing

As mentioned in my introduction to this course, it's very much for beginners who want to learn the basics of creative writing, create a foundation of knowledge to build upon later, and improve their creative writing skills, so if the Creative Writing Diploma Course sounds like the right one for you, click here to access the course and enrol today!

3. The Mystery Writing Diploma Course

I'm super excited to announce the Mystery Writing Diploma Course to you as it's the PERFECT course for any crime or mystery writer who wants to learn everything there is about writing a great detective story!

I've never tried my hand at crime or mystery writing, but this diploma course may just convince me to give it a go, especially as it will help me to better assist future clients who need their crime novels professionally edited!

Anyway, here's the course looks so cool!

Module 1: An Introduction to Mystery Writing

  • Introduction

  • Part 1: What is Mystery Writing?

  • Part 2: Mystery Mania

  • Part 3: Reading Like a Writer

  • Module 1 Assessment

Module 2: Mystery Subgenres — A Closer Look

  • Part 1: Genres of Mystery

  • Part 2: Subgenres of Mystery

  • Module 2 Assessment

Module 3: Setting and Character

  • Part 1: The Who, the When and the Where

  • Part 2: The Sleuth

  • Part 3: The Culprit

  • Part 4: The Victim

  • Part 5: Secondary Characters

  • Part 6: The Crime in Context

  • Module 3 Assessment

Module 4: Structure

  • Part 1: Planning the Perfect Crime

  • Part 2: Four-Act Structure Acts One and Two

  • Part 3: Acts Three and Four

  • Part 4: Moving on to the Manuscript

  • Module 4 Assessment

Module 5: Writing Act One

  • Part 1: The First Draft

  • Part 2: Chapters and Scenes

  • Part 3: How to Start

  • Part 4: Writing Further Chapters

  • Module 5 Assessment

Module 6: Writing Act Two

  • Part 1: Investigation Underway

  • Part 2: Keeping the Momentum

  • Part 3: Revisiting the Subplot

  • Module 6 Assessment

Module 7: Writing Act Three

  • Part 1: The Big Build-Up

  • Part 2: Getting to the Peak

  • Module 7 Assessment

Module 8: Writing Act Four

  • Part 1: Wrapping It All Up

  • Part 2: Prologues and Epilogues

  • Part 3: Your First Draft is Complete!

  • Module 8 Assessment

Module 9: Editing

  • Part 1: A Forensic Eye

  • Part 2: Line and Copy Editing

  • Part 3: Outside Opinions

  • Module 9 Assessment

Module 10: Publishing

  • Part 1: Out Into the World

  • Part 2: Traditional Publishing

  • Part 3: Self-Publishing

  • Conclusion

  • Module 10 Assessment

Go on, you know you want to!!

4. The Fantasy Writing Diploma Course

Centre of Excellence: Fantasy Writing Diploma Course | Novel Writing Courses Online

Besides medieval fiction and adventure, fantasy is my absolute favourite genre to read, write, edit, watch and play, so I'm SUPER excited to share the Fantasy Writing Diploma Course with you! Feel free to jump to the next course on my list if fantasy isn't your thing, but if you're as much of a fantasy lover as me, keep reading because this course may just be the one for you!!

Even if your favourite genre is fantasy, the fantasy genre can be difficult to understand sometimes - there's high fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, and all the other sub-genres that comes with it, but this amazing course will guide you through the differences in the first module, so you will get an idea of what type of fantasy book or series you want to write, or are currently writing now. As a result, you'll be set up for the rest of the course!

As the Fantasy Writing Diploma Course goes on, you'll learn how to build a magical & believable fantasy world; how to create characters such as elves, dwarfs, bards and rogues who bring your story to life, and how to incorporate magic and myth into the foundation of your plot.

You'll also be guided through the best way to structure your fantasy novel or series, how to properly pace your story, and how to choose the right point of view for your subgenre, voice and writing style.

By the end of this incredible course, you'll have all the tools you need to craft an epic fantasy tale and bring your imagination to life!

If you'd like to take a look at the course syllabus, scroll down:

Module 1: What is Fantasy Writing?

  • Introduction

  • Part 1: What is Fantasy?

  • Part 2: Subgenres of Fantasy

  • Part 3: Fantasy Forms

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 1 Assessment

Module 2: Know Your Tropes

  • Part 1: Fantasy Tropes

  • Part 2: Tropes vs Cliché

  • Part 3: Writing Exercises

  • Module 2 Assessment

Module 3: Worldbuilding and the Novum

  • Part 1: Introduction to Worldbuilding and the Novum

  • Part 2: How to Build Your Novum

  • Part 3: Too Much and Never Enough

  • Part 4: Plotter or Pantser?

  • Part 5: Writing Exercises

  • Module 3 Assessment

Module 4: Worldbuilding – Physical Geography

  • Part 1: Welcome to Your World

  • Part 2: Physical Elements to Consider

  • Part 3: Writing the World

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 4 Assessment

Module 5: Worldbuilding – Who’s Who?

  • Part 1: Building a Civilisation

  • Part 2: History and Culture

  • Part 3: Societal Constructs

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 5 Assessment

Module 6: Creating Fantasy Characters

  • Part 1: The Cast of Characters

  • Part 2: Character Creation

  • Part 3: Fleshing Out Your Character

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 6 Assessment

Module 7: The Shape of a Story

  • Part 1: Structure

  • Part 2: Point of View

  • Part 3: Narrators

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 7 Assessment

Module 8: The Shape of a Scene

  • Part 1: Scene Structure

  • Part 2: Type of Scenes

  • Part 3: Scene Considerations

  • Part 4: Writing Exercises

  • Module 8 Assessment

Module 9: The Big Picture

  • Part 1: Putting it All Together

  • Part 2: Reading, Writing and Research

  • Part 3: Writing Exercises

  • Module 9 Assessment

Module 10: Editing and Polishing

  • Part 1: The First Draft

  • Part 2: Line Editing and Proofreading

  • Part 3: Outside Opinions

  • Part 4: Publishing Your Work

  • Part 5: Editing Exercises

  • Conclusion

  • Module 10 Assessment

I haven't tried this course yet, but it's definitely one I'm really looking forward to enrolling on when I have the time, though if you want to go ahead and get started with it now, click here!

5. The Writing Books for Children Diploma Course

Children's books are super popular with readers of all ages, and they're also really fun to write as an adult who's forced into the mundane reality of life. They offer an escape for a brief time, and they can take us back to the time when everything was much simpler, so this course HAD to be on my top 5 list of creative writing courses!

Besides running my editing business, Stand Corrected Editing, I'm also in the middle of writing a fantasy adventure series for children aged 9-12, so this course is ideal if you're currently writing a manuscript for children as well!

Unlike some of the shorter courses, this course has a whopping 14 modules jam-packed with information that will help you to write the best children's book possible!

Here's the course syllabus:

Module 1: Getting Started

  • Part 1: Introduction

  • Part 2: Genres

  • Part 3: Research

  • Part 4: Writing and Marketing

  • Part 5: Developing the Writer Within

  • Part 6: Six Myths to Side Step Neatly

  • Module 1 Assessment

Module 2: Secrets to Great Storytelling

  • Part 1: Introduction

  • Part 2: Tension

  • Module 2 Assessment

Module 3: Craft Compelling Characters

  • Part 1: Introduction

  • Part 2: Essential Requirements

  • Module 3 Assessment

Module 4: Outlines, Beginning and Middles

  • Opening and Middle Sections

  • Module 4 Assessment

Module 5: Closing a Chapter

  • Closing a Chapter

  • Module 5 Assessment

Module 6 Common Plot Problems

  • Common Plot Problems

  • Module 6 Assessment

Module 7: Creating Horror

  • Creating Horror

  • Module 7 Assessment

Module 8: Writing Middle Grade Books

  • Writing Middle Grade Books

  • Module 8 Assessment

Module 9: Writing Mystery Stories

  • Writing Mystery Stories

  • Module 9 Assessment

Module 10: The Seven-day Inspiration Plan

  • The Seven-Day Inspiration Plan

  • Module 10 Assessment

Module 11: Writing the Picture Book

  • Part 1: Writing the Picture Book

  • Part 2: Set Yourself Weekly or Monthly Goals

  • Module 11 Assessment

Module 12: Writing and Selling the Picture Book

  • Part 1: Introduction

  • Part 2: Lecturing the Reader

  • Part 3: Module Twelve Summary

  • Module 12 Assessment

Module 13: Building Your Author Platform

  • Building Your Author Platform

Module 14: Traditional Publishing vs Self-publishing

  • Part 1: Introduction

  • Part 2: Digital or Self-Publishing

  • Module 14 Assessment

So, there we have it - 5 of the BEST courses to grab right now if you're serious about launching a career as an author!

Happy writing and good luck!

- Chelsea x



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!

With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!


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