Start your next chapter with a self-paced online writing course from National Centre for Writing
We all have busy lives, and it can be hard to find the time to learn new skills. That’s why our self-paced online courses are designed to fit around your schedule – progress through at your own pace, with zero pressure!
NCW Academy self-paced online writing courses are designed by experienced tutors and published writers who share their advice, techniques and best practice through a range of short videos and written exercises. Whether you want to explore writing habits and routines, boost your confidence, tackle character and plot or experiment with a new genre, this is a chance to learn something new and improve your craft at your own pace.
Sign up to a free or low-cost course today and progress while balancing work, school or family commitments. These simple to access courses are specifically created to suit writers at all stages, whether you have a lot or just a little time to dedicate to your practice. All you need is a computer and a love of writing.
Browse our self-paced online writing courses
First Steps in Short Form Poetry
Super-short forms of writing give us the gift of concision; the ability to drive straight to the beating heart of something.Find out more
How to be a Confident Poet
That’s the theory. In reality, it can be a challenge to think of yourself as a poet, no matter how far through you are in your writing career. Anna Cathenka has been on that same journey to find her confidence as a writer and, in this course, shares what she’s learned to give you self-belief in your work.Find out more
How to Create Suspense in Fiction
In this course, you’ll learn how to keep your readers on the edge of their seat, no matter what genre your novel is.Find out more
How to Write More and Stay Happy
Building on our free Supercharge Your Writing course, writer and tutor Ben Johncock reveals more tips and tricks for writing more, writing faster and staying healthy as a writer. Packed with exercises, this course will help you push past writer’s block, identify bad habits and use technology responsibly.Find out more
How to Write Real People in Memoir
How do you write about someone you know? This course unpicks the thorny questions around truth, memory, and narrative.Find out more
How to Write True Crime
Learn the tools and techniques needed to write a compelling true crime novel, article, or script for a podcast or documentary.Find out more
How to Write Unreliable Narrators
How do you create a narrator your reader can’t trust? In this course, you’ll look at the ways in which an unreliable narrator can add intrigue, suspense, and drama into your narrative, and you’ll experiment with creating your own unreliable narrators.Find out more
How to Write Young Adult Fiction: Characters and Conflicts
Discover tools and techniques to help you create compelling characters and plot your YA Novel.
Know Your Publishing Options
The world of publishing can be confusing and intimidating. This course is your map to navigating the different paths to publication, from the traditional Big 5 to the DIY ethos of self-publishing. Along the way you’ll find out about the emerging possibilities of social and online publishing and learn how to identify and avoid the scams.Find out more
Mentoring For Writers
Writers of all kinds often face common challenges; from finding the time to write and tackling creative blockages to preparing manuscripts for publication.
1st January 2023
New Ways with Short Form Poetry
There are new poetic forms, trends and traditions being created all the time. Aki Schilz, editor and poet, has been at the forefront of super-short form poetic trends and is here to guide you through the latest in super-short poetry.Find out more
Supercharge Your Writing
We want to help you be a writer. This free course is packed full of advice to help you examine your habits and figure out how you can increase your productivity. It’s also been designed to not take up much of your time – in just one weekend you’ll be able to revitalise your writing.Find out more
Writing Characters for Middle-Grade Fiction
Join award-winning children’s author Mitch Johnson as he guides you through the techniques and art of creating characters that will appeal to middle-grade readers.Find out more
Writing Science Fiction Bundle
This huge bundle includes all three Writing Science Fiction courses, taught by Ian Nettleton: World Building, Characters & Point of View and Plotting & Endings.Find out more
Writing Science Fiction: Characters & Point of View
Science fiction is known for its incredible world-building, brain-melting ideas and imaginative technology. But a story doesn’t come to life without engaging characters, no matter the genre, and this course is designed to help you infuse your sci-fi stories with memorable characters.Find out more
Writing Science Fiction: Plotting & Endings
Discover how to plot a story, from its beginnings through to redrafting and its end, with tutor Ian Nettleton.Find out more
Writing Science Fiction: World Building
Start building your science fiction world in this free course, hosted by Ian Nettleton. All stories need good settings but science fiction has its own unique and particular needs, whether you’re writing in the past, an alternative present or the far future. This course guides you through classic sci-fi settings and explores ways to craft your own.Find out more