Top 10 Online Creative Writing Courses in The UK
Creative writing is when imagination takes the front seat as compared to strict to-the-point academic or business writing; where you have free reign to develop the plot, characters, style of writing, narration, etc. regardless of whether the writing piece is a short story, novel, poem or film plays, and the work can be both fictional or non-fictional. But when you have the artistic freedom to convey your idea or message in any form free of rules, it might become difficult to figure out how exactly to express that message. Do not close your pen and book just yet. Check out these online creative writing courses in the UK to help you bring your idea and more to life.
What Comes Under Creative Writing?
Let’s see what creative writing entails before we start looking into online creative writing courses in the UK. It’s no surprise that forms of writing have different types, considering one’s imagination can know no bounds. When you have so much to write, it’s nice to express them in different ways, or the same way. Whichever is preferable, either way, here are the different types of creative writing that you can explore.
1. Fiction –
Anything made up in your imagination if it’s based in a completely new world with new characters or based on an event in real life, come under fiction. They can be expressed as:
- Short Stories: These are short narratives based on a single event or explaining a single event or emotion with few characters in any setting. They typically range between 5,000 to 10,000 words. Any work having 500 to 1,000 words is known as Flash fiction and anything under that is Microfiction. Some of the famous short story writers include Roald Dahl, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Saunders, etc.
- Poems: Traditionally, poems are ideas or experiences expressed in a rhythm, often with rhyming characters, but since then it has come a long way where today poems are also written in free verse and ordinary figure of speech or prose. There are various types of poems and some of them are included here:
– Haiku: A Japanese poetic form having a 5/7/5 syllable count in three-line stanzas.
– Cinquain: A five-line version of Haiku.
– Epic poems: These are long narrative works of art that are used to typically, tell stories of a hero and his adventures, like The Iliad and The Odyssey.
– Free verse: These poems are irregular in form having no pattern or formula.
– Sonnets: They are 14-line poems written in iambic pentameter. Its name comes from the Italian word sonetto, which means – a little sound or song, like Shakespeare’s sonnets
– Ballads: Like Epic poems, Ballad also tells a story, although often, it is based on folklore or a legend. These can be of song form.
– Acrostic poems: These poems spell out words or names with the first letter in each line.
William Blake, Robert Browning, J R R Tolkien, and T S Elliot are some of the notable poets.
- Novels: Novels are long works of art about any imaginary world or experience, having numerous characters and their character development and experience, usually written in prose. These can be a narrative or told in a first-person perspective. Works that have more than 40,000 words are considered novel. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, J R R Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, C S Lewis, J K Rowling, etc. are some of the famous novelists.
- Screenplays and Plays: Screenplays are usually written by screenwriters for movies and short films, portraying everything that should be seen or heard in a scene – the location, the background music, the dialogue between characters, and any action taking place. These are more image-driven since most situations can be explained through music and expressions than words. While plays are written for theatre actors performing to a set of audience on stage. A recent notable screenplay is Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Licorice Pizza’, etc.
- Comic Books and Graphic Novels: Comics are stories and ideas told in images along with text. They are short and have excerpts of serialized narratives. Comics include Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and The Sandman. Graphic novels are the longer version of comics and much like normal novels, they have a beginning to end with a narrative, character development, dialogue, and action. Examples include SAGA, Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon, The Nice House on the Lake, etc.
2. Non-fiction –
Works that entail real-life experiences or events told without imaginative exaggeration or elements, hence they are fact-based on information that can be verified. They can be:
- History: Penning down the events of the past that paved the way to how things are now in the present. Historians write events based on truth without adding any bias.
- Biography, Autobiographies, and Memoirs: Whether we write our own life story (auto-biography) or someone else writes our life story (biography), all the people, events, problems, celebrations, and emotions included in the book are based on a true story.
- Academic Texts: The academic textbook covers a particular syllabus in chapter format, which a student is supposed to learn in an academic year or semester. Academic text can also have factual information needed by adults like car repair or stitching books.
Philosophy and Insights: Similar to academic texts, these genres of books are mainly published for university students mostly by university-affiliated publishing companies.
- Travel guides and travelogues: While a travel guide is more instructive, detailing which places to visit, where to go, where to stay, etc., a travelogue is much like a memoir, where it tells of the experience of the traveler, where they had visited, ate, stayed and shopped.
- Journalism: It is a genre of non-fiction, which also has elements of media in it. These can be in the form of newspapers, magazines, TV reports, monthly newsletters, and more.
- Self-help books: These cover some of the books on the best-seller list. Self-help books are mostly about building confidence, business success, health and fitness, relationship advice, and financial management.
How Do You Distinguish Between Non-creative and Creative Writing?
Even if the subject matter is the same, creative writers bring about artistic freedom to express the matter in a different way. As such, fundamentally, there are five elements that can determine this. They are:
1. Specific point-of-view:
Point-of-view narration, no matter which character, gives a personal viewpoint of a described event or situation. They are described in a more vivid, emotional manner. Unlike in non-creative works like press releases or news reports, the information is given in a formal unbiased, and unsympathetic manner.
2. The Narrative is Designed to Keep the Readers Engaged:
Mystery or crime books are the best examples of this, where the opening scene will be of the main character taking up a lost case of a murder or mysterious happenings. Rather than writing in a chronological manner of what happened first, these books jump between past and present as the main character makes more discoveries. This keeps the reader more engaged as opposed to reading a news report detailing the same event, as they eagerly go through pages to find out the truth. It can also make the reader feel like they are there with the main character, solving riddles and finding clues.
3. Creating Tension and Suspense to Make the Reader Feel Invested:
Suspense can be caused by the sudden appearance/disappearance of something, a case coming to end, or an unexpected twist, when a person you thought innocent actually turned out to be the guilty one, the main character in danger, potentially life-threatening situations, etc. are all used to make the reader feel more-or-less the same emotions and fear the main character will be going through.
4. Using a Central Theme to Organize the Narrative:
Writing, when given the artistic freedom to express our emotions and stories, can become quite chaotic if it is not organized well. As such, most writings center around a central theme. If it is a memoir or autobiography, the author can center it around the valuable lessons s/he has learned in life through a certain experience.
5. Free Usage of Literary Devices:
You wouldn’t find the usage of metaphors and similes in a newspaper or an academic journal or a research paper. These devices are used in creative writing.
Here are the other best courses in the UK
What is Good Creative Writing?
There are no rules and boundaries when it comes to your imagination or creative writing. But keep in mind these general guidelines while writing creatively to make sure they are more strong and original ideas:
- Knowing who your audience is: Keep a target audience in mind and write your content tailored to them.
- Include real-life events: These make your story more relatable. The events do not have to be your personal experience but written from knowledge of the possibility of such an occurrence in one’s life.
- Give vivid descriptions using literary devices: The use of metaphors, similes, etc. can give the reader an engaging and exciting experience reading your book.
- The plot of your story: Don’t just engage the reader, try to make them think either through a series of thought-provoking scenes or through the actions of a controversial character, or just the general storyline arc.
There are no limits to writing in any shape or form if you have an imaginative mind, the patience to write the content, and a certain required skill set for more specialized writing like copywriting or scriptwriting. Online creative writing courses in the UK mean that these skills can be easily learned from the comfort of your home, wherever you are, and at the time you wish to take the lesson or revisit the same due to the availability of recorded sessions.
There are many online creative writing courses in the UK that are for beginners as well as specialized content for those who like to have in-depth exposure to one type of writing. Check out our most recommended online creative writing courses in the UK. These online creative writing courses in the UK are suited for students, teachers, writers, working professionals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Rank #1. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
1. IIM Skills
IIM Skills is among the best online coaching sites for content and creative writing. The Content Writing Course offered by them is a 4-month course, with 4-week long lectures on various forms of creative content writing, with weekly assignments, and then a 3-month internship with freelancing opportunities and portfolio development. There is a course completion certificate and an internship certificate.
Some of the Main Takeaways From This Course Are:
- Introduction to content writing
- WordPress web development
- Digital content
- Marketing collaterals
- Email writing
- Social media writing
- Video scripts
- Creative writing
- Business listing
- Legal writing
- Technical 101
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Freelance writing
- Resume writing
IIM Skills content writing course is highly recommended by thousands of students around the globe who have graduated from there and experiencing success every day. The course by IIM Skills covers each and every concept of content and creative writing along with a number of writing styles and types. If you are someone who has no idea about this profession or a professional working for so long and wants to upskill themselves, IIM Skills is the best place for you.
The course is available for Rs.14,900 + GST.
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Rank #2. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
2. Coursera – Wesleyan University Writing Courses
Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut, is offering a Creative Writing Specialization course, available on Coursera. This is a beginner-friendly course that covers three major creative writing genres – short story, narrative essay, and memoir. It is a six-month course with a flexible schedule to set and maintain deadlines for assignments and project submission, with a certificate at the end of the course.
These courses take you through the techniques on how to build a plot that will capture the reader’s interest in a short time and keep them invested in your story, complex and vivid characters, and ground a story in a concrete fictional world.
The Main Courses Covered in This Specialization Are:
1. Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot – The Modules in This Course Are:
– Plotting a Course – This course takes you through the essentials of plotting a course, its mechanics, and its definitions. You will learn how the plot shapes a narrative, how to make a strong plot, the actual difference between plot and story, how to create a dynamic character to make the plot better, etc.
– The Power of Structure – learning story structure and how this can help you to make a sequence of events in the plot that will improve your storytelling abilities.
– A Scene in Motion – You’ll learn about scenes, which are the main building blocks of storytelling. How a scene drives the plot ahead, five must-have key elements in each scene, etc.
– Cut It Out – The last module of this course takes you through the specifics of revising and editing your work. The revision starts from the first draft till the manuscript is ready. They also give a twenty-one-point checklist on what to do once the first draft is complete, conversations between characters with strong messages, and the right way of using language.
2. Creative Writing: The Craft of Character – This Course Takes You Through 4 Modules:
– Discovering Character from Your Life and Elsewhere – This helps you take the characters that cause chaos to the writer’s mind and onto the paper. Identify the story by looking closely at the characters, and what they reveal through conflict and drama.
– Creating Characters on the Page – Here, look deeper at the characters, their physical appearance, their actions and habits, how they speak, their thoughts, etc.
– Dialogue and Monologue – This module teaches you how to make your world more real, the differences between first and third-person monologues, and the construction of feel-of-real-life dialogues.
– Set Your Characters Free… and Give them Somewhere to go – Concludes the course with a conversation about the narrator, narrative, and how they would be seen from the reader’s perceptive.
3. Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description – This course also has 4 modules:
– Persuasive Settings: Why Description Matters – It is important to create a persuasive setting to build mood, character, and plot.
– If you build it, They will Come – This discusses how meaningful and powerful details can be.
– Credibility and Research – Helps you create settings both familiar and unfamiliar and teaches several meditation exercises.
– Realities – Helps you create settings and description that works in realist and non-realist fiction.
4. Creative Writing: The Craft of Style –
This course focuses on your style of writing, the meaning, and clarity in your language, usage of nouns and verbs, and language usage of humor that fits the narrative. This is also divided into 4 modules –
– Meaning, Sense, and Clarity
– Writing with Nouns and Verbs
– “No Ideas But In Things”
5. Capstone: Your Story –
This course helps you to bring everything together, whether it be a completed story, a narrative essay, or a memoir. You will get help from not only the teachers but also your peers through peer reviews. You’ll also learn how professional writers bring their work out into the world as a conclusion.
This Course is Also Divided Into 4 Modules:
– Introduction to the Capstone and Gathering Materials
– Composition Strategies
– Finishing the First Draft
– Peer Review
On a More Specific Level, Wesleyan University Also Offers Courses Like:
- Memoir and Personal Essay: Write about your specialization
- Writing Stories about ourselves
- Writing a Personal essay
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Rank #3. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
3. National Centre for Writing, Norwich, England
The National Centre for Writing, Norwich is England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. This prestigious institute conducts online creative writing workshops and offers online creative writing courses in the UK, with 3 short exercises and a longer assignment. These courses take you through classic sci-fi settings, whether it be held in an alternate universe, in the past, present, or future, historical setup, elements, etc.
Currently, They Are Offering Short and Self-paced Courses Like:
- How to Write More and Stay Happy
- Writing Science Fiction: World Building
- Writing Science Fiction: Characters and Point-of-view
- Writing Science Fiction: Plotting and Endings
These courses cost £75.
They also offer more specialized tutored online courses that cost around £475-£950. These include:
- Start Writing Historical Fiction
- Start Writing Crime Fiction
- Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction
- Start Writing Fiction
- Writing Historical Fiction: Next Step
- Writing Crime Fiction: Next Step
- Writing Creative Non-Fiction: Next Step
- An Introduction to Scriptwriting
Rank #4. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
Udemy is another platform offering a vast number of courses in various subjects including online Creative Writing courses. These courses typically cost between Rs.400 – Rs.500. The top recommended courses which are also bestsellers are:
- Complete Creative Writing – All Genres – Full Course
- The Foundations of Fiction – The Writing Mastery
- Writing: Book Writing: Creative Writing Skills: Punctuation
- Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer
- Secret Sauce of Great Writing
Rank #5. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
5. The Open University, UK
If you’re looking to get an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course certificate, taking 3-6 years based on whether it is a part-time course or a full-time course, look no further. The Open University, UK, is a globally acclaimed university that has pioneered distance learning, bringing exceptional teaching and student support to its students worldwide. The cost of their undergraduate programs is £19,368 and they can be:
- BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing
- BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing)
Their Master’s degree is pay-per-module basis, for each module, the cost is £10,415. The course offered is:
- MA in Creative Writing
- MA/MSc. Open – this degree allows students to personalize their course of study across a range of academic subjects available.
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Rank #6. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
6. Curtis Brown Creative, London
Curtis Brown Creative is a writing academy founded by the Curtis Brown Agency, in 2011. They offer a variety of short courses specializing in each element of a story. Their ‘Creative Writing for Beginners’ is a beginner-friendly online creative writing course for £125. The course is 4 weeks long and taken through video modules, writing tasks, resources & notes, and professional feedback. The video class will take you through topics ranging from how to create a sense of place to planning a storyline and building characters.
The Course Overview is As Follows:
– Week 1 – Discovering your Writer’s World – helps you explore your imagination with timed writing prompts.
– Week 2 – Finding the Words – takes you through setting and establishing the right atmosphere in your writing. Explore how to widen your prose-writing skills, and sharpen your style.
– Week 3 – Looking out through different eyes – helps you shape your characters, and understand their emotions, thoughts, motivations, and actions to better explain them and construct character arcs.
– Week 4 – Mining for a story – helps you shape your ideas into compelling stories, bringing everything and everyone together.
Rank #7. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
7. Ink Academy, London – Bespoke Creative Writing Course
While initially more of a face-to-face course, COVID-19 has changed our lives to adjust to being indoors. The same can be said about this now. The tutor provides one-to-one communication over 9 sessions to discuss and learn about the Craft of Writing. It is a 6-month course offering insights and inputs to your book. This is not a certificate course and only helps you write your own book, the plot, the character development and timeline, a professional editor, and in the craft of writing for £2100.
Rank #8. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
Edx offers 12 online creative writing courses from institutes like The University of British Columbia, the University of Cambridge, the University of Washington, and Berkeley University of California. You can learn from the fundamentals of story structure to a detailed scene-by-scene outline making of your story, and writing up the draft. The courses are available with payment while another course is free.
The Courses Offered Include:
- How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline
- How to Write a Novel: Writing the Draft
- Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries
- Internationalization: Creating Digital Content for the World, etc.
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Rank #9. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
FutureLearn is also an online site like Coursera or Udemy, offering online creative writing courses in the UK from reputable universities like the University of Malaya, The University of Newcastle Australia, etc. They offer courses like:
- Start Writing Fiction
- Playing with Poetry: Creative Writing and Poetics
- Copywriting Fundamentals
- How to Write Your First Song
- An Introduction to Screenwriting
- Digital Marketing Content Creation: Online Writing
- Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order
- Feature Writing
- Fairy Tales: Meanings, Messages, and Morals
Rank #10. Creative Writing Courses in the UK
10. Henry Harvin
The online Creative Writing Course by Henry Harvin ranks #1 in India by The Statesman. This 24-hour long course costs Rs.12,500 where students learn from various experienced creative writers. The students learn and complete projects by creating stories, script writing, fiction writing, etc.
The Course Overview is:
- This 24-hour course takes you through various writing techniques, styles, and specialized skills.
- This is a two-way live online interactive classroom sessions
- You will have projects in creating stories, fiction writing, script writing, etc.
- You will gain practical knowledge through various writing assignments
- Learn and apply the principles of creative writing to write poems, stories, essays, or blogs.
- Create characters that make a strong impression
- Gain a course completion certificate recognized by the Govt. of India
- You will have placement interview opportunities
- You will have access to all tools and videos.
- You also get a 1-year Gold membership of the Henry Harvin Writing Academy for the Certified Creative Writing Course
- You will also have free access to their Hackathons and Competitions
1. Is it necessary to take online creative writing courses in the UK?
It is not necessary to attend one, but taking good online creative writing courses can help you discover and explore more elements than you might have thought about. The experience of learning from an experienced creative writer will make you realize what kind of content and works are needed and most read by people worldwide.
2. How much do creative content writers get paid?
In India, the average annual salary of a content writer is Rs.4.1 Lakhs.
3. What are some tips to write more creatively?
Read more extensively, try out every genre and draw inspiration from. Try using more literary devices while describing an event or situation, describe them vividly so that the reader can imagine exactly what you’ve wanted to express. Write small snippets of your random thoughts or keep a journal to capture even the tiniest detail of your life. You can transcend this to a character when writing a story. Practice writing. There are so many prompts available online if you’re lacking in ideas. Take any of them and keep writing. And don’t be afraid of criticism and editing. Rewriting is essentially a part of the story-writing procedure.
Creative writing is an expressive form of art and literary work, one that utilizes the imagination of the author. As the world is becoming increasingly digitalized, the demand for creative content writers has been increasing to provide not only good product marketing for companies but also to pass information, entertainment, and informative entertainment, across the world. Creative writing skill is also seen as essential development and communication skill for young students. But imagination has no age, it can easily be taken up by adults too. Take up any of the above-mentioned online creative writing courses in the UK and start your journey now!