Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

On-Line Writing Classes

on January 30, 2012

I’ve taken a handful of on-line writing classes over the last few years. Some are good. Some are not so good, and some are excellent. On-line writing classes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be taught through e-mail, bulletin boards, and yahoo lists.  They’re often small with a lot of dialogue and discussion. Many times, students are asked to post bits of their writing for critique. On-line writing classes are priced at different levels. Some are very inexpensive, $15-$20 for a series of classes, while others, range up to $300-$400 for a series of classes.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to schedule four weeks of in-person classes. But, on-line classes can be accessed at any time. Lessons are posted on a specific day, but you can access the lesson when you have the time. On-line classes are a great way to learn a new skill, try a new genre, or even better–give yourself a due date that work has to be finished!

Some of my favorite places to take on-line writing classes include:

Savvy Authors–This is a great resource to know about, and classes are usually pretty inexpensive. Classes range from craft of writing through the business of writing (including promotion and social media skills). Savvy Authors also host contests, events, webinars, and have a whole separate area for Readers that specializes in romance.  (I’ll let you know more about this part of Savvy Authors as I move toward publication of my YA romance, WEAVING MAGIC (April 27, 2012).

Coffehouse For Writers–These classes run on a continuous basis, so if you’ve missed a four-week session, just wait, there will be another one soon! The classes also range from editing your manuscript to writing in specific genres such as Gothic or historical fiction.  The price is reasonable for four weeks of classes and range from about $90-$100.

Writers on the Net--These classes are the most expensive and are very in depth. A few years ago, I took two classes on plotting and scene writing taught by Dennis Foley. Kathi Appelt recommended these classes to me after I graduated from Vermont College. They were exactly what I needed coming from my character driven MFA work! The classes usually have a reading component to them, and are taught by published authors such as National Book Finalist for Young People, Debby Dahl Edwardson.  The classes range from flash fiction to writing for children to writing memoir.  You can sign up to receive their newsletter so you’ll know when a particular class is scheduled. I’d recommend these classes if you know a specific area that you need help with and want a very concentrated study of that area.

Author-Editor Clinic–These classes focus on the editing process. They are geared toward freelance editors, but writers who participate in critique groups, want to know the ins and outs of editing, and just need help with revision skills would benefit from taking these classes too.  They offer focus classes which cover topics such as characters in fiction and editing young adult fiction.

Anastasia Suen Writing for Children Classes--Anastasia teaches some great classes in writing for children. Some of her specialty classes include: Writing the Picture Book and Writing the Children’s Chapter Book.  She breaks the classes into two-six week session. The first six weeks is spent working on studying the type of book you want to write and analyzing the craft elements. This is a very similiar process to how I learned in Vermont College MFA Program. We spent a lot of time our first two semesters reading and analyzing books in what worked and what didn’t work and why.The second session of Anastasia’s classes are the writing and applying what you’ve learned. She teaches her classes by using Yahoo Groups. I’m signed up to take the first of her Writing the Chapter Book class in February and March. I’ve got a picture book character who I think could just as easily move into a chapter book.  Anastasia’s classes are the first I’ve seen in Writing Chapter Books.

If you’ve taken an on-line writing class, where is your favorite place to learn?

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4 responses to “On-Line Writing Classes

  1. gmom67 says:

    Thank you for the concise description of these online writing classes. I have been particularly interested in Anastasia’s courses, but didn’t really ‘get’ the two-part process. You explained it logically enough, that I will be signing up for one of them in the spring/early summer.
    Again, thanks!

  2. I’m glad this was helpful! I’m looking forward to Anastasia’s class.

  3. Mirka Breen says:

    I have not taken any writing classes, or any online classes. In many ways the online critique group I belong to has served as a continuous course, developing both the student and the teacher in me. But I wanted to thank you again for being such a good resource.

  4. I’m glad the blog is helpful. Yes, on-line critique groups are wonderful with the right mix of people.

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