Online Writing Courses For Aspiring Authors

If 2012 is your year to get serious about writing, you’re in good company — and you don’t even have to leave your house to get started! Today we are featuring several online writing courses that will help you flex your mental muscles (but don't require that you get out of your pjs). Check out some of the great courses that you can take part in this season.

The Low Country RWA conducts their courses via email (so you don’t need to worry about changing up your schedule or investing in a web cam) — and these affordable classes are open to anyone who wants to take part, not just members of Romance Writers of America. These month-long courses each cost $16, so they are easy on your wallet, too. But the application deadlines are coming up quickly so be sure to register today if you are interested in any of the following:

If you don’t have a work in progress at all, we suggest you sign up for ”Book In A Month” the program which will help you create just that using a 32-step scriptwriting technique with author and magazine managing editor Kit Frazier. Meanwhile, multi-published author Rayne Hall will be teaching “Writing Abut Magic and Magicians” which will give you a primer in magic, the differences between witches and wizards and relevant themes such as science and religion or conflicts and secrecy. Or if you are looking for more intensive lessons, “Novel Boot Camp” may be more your speed as author Patricia Mason’s class gets your prose into fighting form, although in order to get the most out of the highly interactive program, you should have a story in progress before this class starts on March 2. But if your work is already polished up and good to go, writing contest expert Alexis Borne (who has won or placed in 21 RWA writing contests), will be giving a month-long tour of writing contests for beginners in her aptly titled class “The Basics.” Alternatively, if you want to go the self-published route right out of the gate — or are re-publishing your work on your own — bestselling author Nina Bruhns can help with her accelerated course “Got Rights? How to Publish Your Book on Kindle, Two Weeks.”

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The Low Country RWA isn’t the only chapter of Romance Writers of America that is offering an online course in March. The Orange County chapter is featuring author Shannon Donnelly’s course, “It’s Not Just a Point of View.” The online workshop will take writers deep into the realm of POV, using exercises and lessons to help you easily — and confidently — change point of view. If you happen to be an Orange County Chapter member you can take advantage of this online course for $20. But non-members aren’t left out in the cold, for just $30 per person, they can participate as well.

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The Young Adult RWA special interest chapter is hosting a fantastic class if you are interested in writing for teens. Find out everything you need to know about “Sex in YA” during a weeklong class that’s run by Entangled Publishing’s Managing Editor Heather Howland, who is also a Senior Editor at Entangled Teen. She will help you navigate the murky waters of “staying true to the teen experience” and focus on how to create sexual tension for young readers. And during the last few days of class she will discuss the less-than-PG scenes of class participants who have volunteered their work! The entire program will cost $10 for chapter members and $20 for everyone else and will begin on March 12.

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Meanwhile over at Savvy Authors, you can get inspired with New York Times bestselling author Phoebe Conn’s “The Sky’s the Limit: Writing the Futuristic Novel.” This course will help you figure out which of your ideas will make the best series starter, and how to create strong lead characters and a cast of secondary players that will allow you to continue branching out after your first book. From the first glimmer of an idea for a futuristic setting all the way through to how to assemble all of the moving pieces into a novel, you will get a comprehensive look at everything you’ll need to know at the hands of an extremely talented teacher. You can also check out their variety of other March classes here. Conn's course costs $20 for Premium Savvy Authors members and $30 for Basic Members (with free registration at Savvy Author). The first session will be hosted on March 19.

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Looking for a course led by a true industry insider? Go no further than the online writing class offered by Angela James, the Executive Editor at Carina Press. On April 2, James kicks-off her tutorial on self-editing, “Before You Hit Send.” Each day over the course of three weeks, she’ll take you through the most frequent mistakes she’s seen in submissions and contest entries during her professional career. Take your first step at becoming a master self-editor and, among other things, learn how to avoid over-writing, get the real deal about dialogue tags and hear an expert’s suggestions for the important last steps before you send your manuscript out, “formalizing and finalizing.” The course is $49 dollars and will begin on April 2nd.

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For in-person writing lessons, we suggest that you join us for a week of intensive writer courses in April at the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention. And the best part is that attendees will get to meet some of their favorite authors! The convention takes place in Chicago this year and features bestselling authors, editors and industry insiders as they lead a variety of workshops about all aspects of writing. You can see a complete list of the writers’ programs here. The convention starts on April 11. And if you want to get even more focused, you can attend our Pre-Convention Writer program either for beginners or advanced writers, which you can sign up for when you register for convention!