Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Day One of the Seven Day Blogging Challenge: Five Free Writing Courses You May Love to Hate!

My first challenge of the week is to tell you about five free writing courses available on the internet. Initially, I was unsure I would be able to unearth five such courses. There is a glut of information out there on the world wide web about writing courses available to you which promise no end of opportunities over and above the one you aspire to - to improve your writing skills.But to find courses that are not only competent, with a proven track record, and which are free of charge was always going to be tricky, as although the only real stipulation was that the courses were free, I did not want to recommend anything that I didn't feel comfortable about putting my name to.
With a free course, you have nothing to lose - right? Well, no not quite. There is the small matter of your identity.
So, as with all things on the internet that ask for any details, tread carefully. Read around the course and do not give any details until you personally feel secure enough to do so. I'm sharing course providers who require nothing more from you than a name and email address and seem to be some of the more reputable agencies advertising as such.

I've listed five free writing courses: -

WRITING GENRE FOCUS :Short Story Writing
PROVIDER: Open University, UK
WEBSITE STATEMENT: Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This unit will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and the settings for their work. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

LINK: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2748


WRITING GENRE FOCUS: Letter and Article Writing for Magazines
PROVIDER:Writer2Writer
WEBSITE STATEMENT: Discover how you can earn serious money as a writer - by writing for magazines! This mini-ecourse contains many of the essential concepts necessary to become a magazine writer, and can be applied by anyone who can write a cohesive letter!

LINK: http://www.writer2writer.com/courses.htm


WRITING GENRE FOCUS: Screenwriting
PROVIDER: Steven Barnes
WEBSITE STATEMENT: I've written for television and film, books and short stories, comic books and stage. The most important lessons I've learned along the way have been those which deal with the difference between the "Inner" and "Outer" aspects of writing, that is -- the technical craft as opposed to the emotional or spiritual aspects of the game. It is my intent to teach you not just about the structures of Character and Plotting, but also about how your own inner life interacts with your writing in such a way to create art--or at least craft.

LINK: http://www.lifewrite.com/html/assets/classes/htm

WRITING GENRE FOCUS: Introduction to Writing
PROVIDER: Writing.Com
WEBSITE STATEMENT: An online introductory writing class for all levels of writers -- from beginning to advanced. The class includes individual and group chats, and individual and group exercises. Students are given the chance to critique the writing exercises posted to the group.

LINK: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/isitforyou/a/WritingClass.htm


WRITING GENRE FOCUS: Poetry
PROVIDER: Kelly Morris @ Suite 101
WEBSITE STATEMENT: This course is designed for poets who wish to publish their work. While the course begins with an overview of basic poetry styles and techniques, the course is designed with students in mind who already have a basic understanding of these things. You should have some poems already written that you’d like to publish before beginning this course, because we’ll focus on marketing those poems, not on writing new ones. Of course, the skills learned during this course will also help you publish your future work.

LINK: http://www.suite101.com/course.cfm/19698/seminar


I will be working through Steven Barnes' Screenwriting course sometime in the near future. I will be feeding back to you along the duration of the course. This is a genre of writing I will be getting to grips with next year as I develop a novel in to a screenplay. Although I have written plays in the past, I know very little about this writing style and would appreciate some guidance! I'm reading a book with a similar title and lookforward to trying out some of the exercises.

I have always believed that we are all life-long learners and anyone who believes they've nothing left to learn, or they are too old to learn are sadly mistaken! I once ran a course on which a senior teacher announced there was nothing else we could teach him about education. I'm glad to say that by the end of the module he had changed his mind!
So have a look and follow the links to sate your curiosity further - I do hope there is something to interest you and just remember, as these are free courses with no request for credit card or address details, you really do have nothing to lose!

2 comments:

  1. Well done Kate, great info here, thanks. How do you find the time?????

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  2. This is great Kate! Well done on finding the info that you did. I wanted to do the Screen Writing course that Steve Barnes has online, but I could only open the first week - the others all 404'd me!

    I have adjusted the settings on the comments section of my blog now. It was set up to produce a pop up comment box, but when you mentioned that you couldn't get in to comment I wondered if it could be a pop-up blocker issue? Anyway, the problem should be resolved now. Could you try it and let me know please?

    B xx

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