Sitting at home with nothing to do? Practise your writing! All you need is an internet connection to receive the instructions. Depending on how much time you have, the following courses can keep you busy from half a week to several hours each day. And if you really like it, why stop yourself from writing full days, if you really get going?
Here are some creative courses that I recommend, some of which I have tried myself. I’ve selected these because they deliver on what they promise, they are interesting and actually try to teach you something, they are reasonably prices and they give excellent value for that price:
Joseph Brodsky who won the Nobel Prize in 1987 said that poetry requires the highest skill of all. If you want to write great prose or even just a nice winning email, why not start writing poetry? Also if you like poetry of course.
I recommend the poetry of Live Canon. These courses are for beginning writers but advanced poets will also find enough to interest them. You’ll find courses that will spark your creative powers from Women’s Poetry, Political Poetry, Climate Crisis, Poetry and Science, Poetry and Form that teaches you how to write sonnets, sestinas, visual poetry and more.
How it works: You receive an email tutorial every week. That tutorial teaches you about a subject, lists examples of poems relevant for that subject, sends you some links for further reading or videos to watch.
Each lesson ends in a prompt or a couple of different prompts that you can choose from, and you are off to write your own poem. Send your poem to the tutor, and she sends it back with detailed comments on how you could improve, some questions and praise where you did a good job. You can even send the poem back again for another quick look.
As a bonus they also have a Google group for each course but it depends on the participants to make it fun and interesting, so you’ll have to try your luck with this.
Pricing: These courses are less expensive than many others on the market. There offer half price for poets without fulltime jobs.
Live Canon Poetry Correspondence Courses. Check out here.
If you think you have a story or two in you, but aren’t quite sure how to write your experiences or got stuck in the middle, taking a workshop can help to take your story to the next level. The workshop I recommend, from One Story, works in a similar way as the poetry course. All you need is a laptop, pc or pen and paper and the patience to do the exercises and maybe have a look at your work again and approach it in a serious way.
How it works: There are different teachers here, editors and authors, some of which are well-known. The subjects these courses help you with are how to structure plot, how to write strong beginnings, how to develop character or dialogue and how to edit and revise your story.
These courses are intensive and take place over only a few days, usually less than a week. Each day there is a new lesson with exercises. But don’t worry, the materials stay open for a few more weeks after that. Also the online discussion forum where you can post your questions and stories/parts of stories stay open for some time after the course has finished. It is a drawback that the teachers are not involved anymore after this period. However, there courses are attended by many students so you can always find someone to talk to.
Pricing: Again, I am recommending this course because of the very reasonable pricing. If you are a member of One Story, they give you a discount.
One Story Online Classes. Have a look here.