£75 or less

Short, self-paced writing courses

Writer's Toolkit Online

Writer’s Toolkit Online: Short & self-paced courses

Set your own pace. Learn new skills. No pressure.

These online courses are easy to pick up, fitting around your schedule. It’s easy to dip in and out around your writing, family and work commitments. The course remembers where you got to, so you can pick up from where you left off.

  • Study safely from home!
  • Course fits around your schedule
  • The course is yours to keep forever
  • Practical exercises and tips
  • Keep track of your progress through the course
  • Easy-to-use website, no extra software required
  • Works on desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

Visit the Courses homepage for longer courses, workshops and mentoring


Supercharge Your Writing – FREE

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.

In this quick-fire, no-procrastinating course you will:

  • Analyse your daily schedule for wasted time
  • Figure out how to carve writing time our of your day
  • Explore where and when to write
  • Identify your ‘hidden time’ and how to make use of it
  • Spot bad habits and do something about them
  • Find out how to take control of your smartphone

Find out more

How to Write More and Stay Happy – £75

Building on our free How to be a Productive Writer 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.

During this info-packed course you will:

  • Figure out how to measure your productivity
  • Find out about THE STINKOMETER
  • Learn to recognise the curse of perfectionism
  • Understand the productivity engine and how to keep it going
  • Learn how to form good habits and break bad ones
  • Stop saying “I’m just so busy”
  • Discover the Blueberry Method
  • Learn the importance of being idle (and how it can smash writer’s block)
  • Work out how to have a healthy relationship with technology, social media and your phone
  • The relative benefits and pitfalls or analogue and digital approaches
  • How to fill your emotional tank and be a happier writer.

Find out more

Know Your Publishing Options – FREE

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.

In this straight-to-the-point course you will:

  • Find the best publishing path for your manuscript
  • Identify what you want to achieve with your writing
  • Learn how to avoid author scams and bad contracts
  • Explore the best route into traditional publishing
  • Find out how to get started with self-publishing
  • Get tips for promoting yourself and your book
  • Discover platforms for distributing your work online
  • Learn about the productivity benefits of serialised writing
  • Get access to a huge range of links, resources and further reading.

Find out more

Earth from spaceWriting Science Fiction: World Building – FREE

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.

By the end of the course you’ll know:

  • How to use your setting to reflect and reveal your characters
  • How to use the mundane to your advantage
  • The difference between world building and exposition
  • What separates after the catastrophe from enclosed habitats
  • Why verisimilitude is key to any science fiction story

Find out more

Writing Science Fiction: Characters & Point of View – £75

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.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Understand the difference between archetypes and stereotypes
  • Know how to build characters through observation
  • Understand the importance of point-of-view
  • Be able to use first, second and third person perspectives
  • Be able to combine character and situations to generate a plot

Find out more

Writing Science Fiction: Plotting & Endings – £75

Discover how to plot a story, from its beginnings through to redrafting and its end, with tutor Ian Nettleton. The focus is on science fiction storytelling: how to craft a scene and use dialogue and subtext to bring your ideas to life, packed full of examples from sci-fi film and literature.

You’ll find out:

  • The relationship between plot and character
  • What forms a classic story structure
  • How to write an impactful opening
  • How to ratchet up the drama
  • The Ten Commandments of Writing
  • How point of view affects your plot
  • How dialogue and subtext can add depth to your plot
  • The importance of rewriting
  • How to end your story

Find out more

Writing Science Fiction Bundle – £125

Get all three courses at a discount

Writing Characters for Middle-Grade Fiction – £75

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.

  • How to reconnect with your childhood
  • What’s in a name?
  • How to introduce characters
  • How to reveal information to readers
  • How to write dialogue
  • How to use humour
  • How to use perspective and voice
  • Crafting memorable villains and compelling support characters

Watch Mitch’s course intro

Find out more

How to be a Confident Poet – £75

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.

During the course you’ll learn:

  • How to connect with your ideas
  • How to read poetry more deeply
  • Finding truth in yourself
  • Using vocal sounds and hearing poetry
  • Understanding poetic artifice, and how to use it
  • Using repetition
  • Identifying and using forms
  • Editing your poetry

Watch Anna’s course intro

Find out more

First Steps in Short Form Poetry – FREE

Super-short forms of writing give us the gift of concision; the ability to drive straight to the beating heart of something.

There are many ways the super-short form can speak to us and, in this course, you will:

  • Explore the origins of super-short for poetry
  • Be introduced to some of the best super-short poems through history
  • Try your hand at writing Haiku, Landay, Kernal, and Tanka
  • Invent your own super-short form

Find out more

New Ways with Short Form Poetry – FREE

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.

In this course, you will:

  • Explore the origins of digital and visual poetry
  • Find poetry in unique places
  • Discover the buzzing Instagram and Twitter poetry scenes
  • Try your hand at creating Dog-Ear, Found, Twitter, and Instagram Poetry
  • Join in with the modern digital poetry scene

Watch Aki’s course intro

Find out more

Watch our guide to using the courses platform

Ready to take the next step?

Explore our 12-week online courses with 1-2-1 tutor feedback. Choose from:

  • Start Writing Fiction
  • Crime
  • Memoir
  • Creative Non-fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Screenwriting
  • Poetry

Explore our 12-18-week tutored online writing courses

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