Where to Find Writing Classes

Writing classes
Where to find writing classes. erhui1979 / Getty Images

Writing classes can help both new and continuing writers and freelancers to perk up their text, follow a new path or explore a different genre. Following is a list of places to look for writing classes, whether you’d like to attend online or in person. There are both free options and paid classes available.

Please note that I am not recommending any of the choices or programs outlined here. In fact, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, be sure to read my suggestions and recommendations on what to look for in a writing class, and to do your due diligence in thoroughly checking out any class before you enroll.

Alumni Programs

Your university or college may offer ongoing community education classes for graduates. These are generally not for credit, but they may cost a higher than average amount. However, they’re often taught by faculty of the college who are experts in their subject matter. My alma mater, Michigan State University, offers Alumni Lens, featuring online, in-person and travel-based classes. In Spring of this year, they’re offering a copywriting class at a cost of $195.

Career-Center Based Classes

Career centers are training organizations that focus on preparing students for a specific trade or career. They are not generally degree- or credit-granting programs, although there are some exceptions. As an example, here in Lansing we have a center called Career Quest, which seems to focus on technical, business and health careers.

I’ll include Penn Foster in this category, because although it is a degree-granting college, it is a for-profit that seems to focus on career-specific training.

They offer an online freelance writing course that is self-paced and ranges from $450 to $699.

Another online career center is JER Online, which offers (offered?) a course on Writing for the Global Market, with a certification option that cost about $60 in addition to the course fee (unlisted).  

Community Education Through Local Colleges

When I first began freelancing, I taught in community education classes through my local college, Lansing Community College.

These were non-credit courses taught in person, often in short stints such as three consecutive Saturday mornings. I taught Blogging and Intro to Freelancing Writing, among other courses, and I’m sure comparable colleges have similar offerings. My classes often cost anywhere from $110 to $200, depending on the time commitment.

Community Education Through Municipalities

These classes are similar to college-based community education classes, but are organized by cities, counties or libraries. The cost is often lower than a college-based program.   

Community Education Through Private Organizations

Independent organizations often provide a slate of community-based classes, such as the Brooklyn Brainery. These are generally in-person classes, and are a great way to meet locals in your area who share your interest.

Local University or College Classes

In addition to alum-based and community education, your local college or university may allow community members to enroll in credit-based classes. A bonus is that many post-secondary institutions offer high-quality online classes. Check with the admissions department or the program you’re interested in. Of course, college credit courses will cost higher than many other options listed here.

Mail Order Classes

If you’re looking for self-paced courses, but not interested in an online class, you may want to explore mail order options. American Writers and Artists Inc. offers mail order materials in addition to online options.

Self-Directed Writing Classes

Enterprising writers and freelancers could design their own course of study with a combination of materials of their own choice. For example, Purdue’s Online Writing Lab has an extensive cache of materials online. Or, perhaps a selection of YouTube videos or Purdue videos is more in line with your learning style.   

Online Writing Classes

There are so many options when it comes to online writing classes that the classification ended up being its own article, available here. Your choices include online courses through universities, private groups, open courseware and many more.

If this option interests you, be sure to read about online writing classes here.

Consider a writing class to start or re-charge your career; you won’t be disappointed.

Post note: I've received emails regarding the geography of this article. Yes, I am a freelance writer in Lansing, Michigan, which is why many of these examples are local to me. Similar programs can be found all over the US though.