Creative Nonfiction's online classes give you the opportunity to learn in a small classroom environment on your own time. Write at night, on your lunch break... even in your underwear. All you need is an Internet connection and a little motivation.
Participants receive personalized feedback on assignments from their instructor, as well as responses from classmates on discussion board forums. All instructors are university professors and/or working professional writers--and there are never more than 14 students in any class. Conversation, firm deadlines, and feedback help keep you writing and improving your work throughout the class.
Whether you're just starting out or looking for an advanced class to help you refine and polish your work, we have a course for you. Class sessions begin in January, March, July, and September. Because of the flexible nature of our courses, we can gladly accept students from all across the globe.
See what past students have to say about our growing writing community.
If you're looking for a learning environment that features one-on-one interactions, customized coursework, and an individualized schedule, check out CNF's Mentoring Program.
Fall Classes: Now Enrolling
SEPTEMBER 15 - NOVEMBER 23
New! Narrative Medicine (10-week class)
Instructor: Ellen Ficklen - This class will guide all types of medical professionals (doctors, nurses, researchers, aides, social workers, etc.) through the various skills needed to write and publish narratives—personal stories of their experiences in health care (and those of others in the field). We will cover every step in the writing process, from brainstorming to researching to writing to revising, as well as the steps needed to pitch and publish an article or essay. Our instructors—experienced writers of health care narratives and creative nonfiction—will communicate with participants through a combination of written lectures, written feedback, and email. In addition, the class will include phone conferences with guest lecturers Theresa Brown and Manoj Jain. Learn More / Enroll »
Magazine Writing (10-week class)
Instructor: Marty Levine In this class students will immerse themselves entirely in the genre of narrative journalism, in which the writer observes, participates, interviews, and otherwise intimately explores his or her subject. If you love the longer nonfiction articles in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, or Harper's, this is the class for you. Over the course of 10 weeks, we will take an in-depth look at the history and craft of this style of nonfiction writing that was revolutionized over four decades ago by trailblazers such as Gay Talese, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe. Students will learn important fly-on-the wall techniques such as sharp observation, skillful note taking, laidback interviewing, and how to organize and structure immersion stories. Students may choose to write three immersion articles or just one longer piece. Learn More / Enroll »
Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp (5-week or 10-week class)
Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald - You want to do it. You mean to start that writing project ... eventually. Now is the time to put excuses aside and start your writing project. Creative Nonfiction's special boot camp sessions will do just that by providing firm deadlines, writing exercises, and weekly feedback. Along the way you'll also develop the habit of writing regularly which will serve you well all through 2014 (and beyond!). After 5 weeks, if you've completed the minimum number of assignments, you'll have an essay of between 3,000 and 6,000 words, or at least a dozen passages to use as starting points for future essays. Five weeks not enough? Sign up for a full 10-weeks of Boot Camp. Not only will you get a discounted rate; you'll get double the deadlines and support. Learn More / Enroll »
New! Writing the Personal Essay - Curriculum B (10-week class)
This clas is suitable for both beginners and those who have taken our previous Writing the Personal Essay class. It includes all new readings and lectures.
Instructor: Barrett Swanson - Each of us has stories that are worth telling, but how can we fit the messiness of our lives through the narrow corridor of an essay? How can we resuscitate those moments on the page so that they live in the readers’ imaginations with the same force and freight as when we experienced them? How can we dramatize these events so that they attain the qualities of literature? Over the course of ten weeks, students will learn the building blocks of a writing a personal essay—establishing a compelling narrative persona, creating strong characters, conjuring vivid descriptions, and building satisfying plots. Most importantly, students will learn how to connect their experiences to larger truths about our world. To do so, we’ll dissect the work of published authors and tweeze out for examination various elements of the personal essay. We will also look at contemporary trends in creative nonfiction, discussing recent developments in voice, essay structure, and hybrid genres. Students will write three 3,500 essays, as well as participate in optional writing assignments and class discussions. Learn More / Enroll »
Foundations of Creative Nonfiction (10-week class)
Instructor: Meghan O'Gieblyn - This class will introduce writers to the fundamentals of creative nonfiction, exploring both the techniques used to gather information and the literary skills needed to turn bare facts into personal and compelling essays. Participants will learn the basics of interviewing, immersion, research, and other reporting skills, will write three different types of essays, and will receive feedback on their work from the instructor and from each other. Learn More / Enroll »
Advanced Memoir and Personal Essay - Curriculum B (10-week class)
Instructor: Emily Stone - This class is designed for those who have already explored the basics of personal writing and wish to move on to a larger project or more challenging forms. Participants can choose one of two paths, working either on sections of a memoir or on personal essays in a variety of styles. In this course participants will explore in depth that most slippery of writing elements, theme. Writers are often exhorted to connect their personal experiences to larger themes in order to appeal to a wider reading audience—but how does one do this, and what exactly is meant by theme? Within this context the course will also cover other elements of writing—style, rhythm, diction, description, and so on. Learn More / Enroll »
Please follow the links below for more information on upcoming and future sessions:
If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions please contact Anjali Sachdeva, Co-Director of Online Education, at email@example.com.
Previous and/or Upcoming Classes
Advanced Memoir and Personal Essay - Curriculum A
Tackle larger and more challenging forms while learning the essentials of structure, character development, and researching memories.
Advanced Memoir and Personal Essay - Curriculum B
Work on theme, structure and experimental forms in this course for advanced writers. The reading list and assignments are entirely separate from Curriculum A, so students may wish to take both courses.
Foundations of Creative Nonfiction
Perfect for writers who are new to the genre, or anyone who wants to brush up on the basics.
Become a "fly on the wall" in our immersion journalism course. Students learn to observe, interview, and intimately explore their subject to craft a magazine-ready piece.
Designed specifically for medical professionals to learn the basics of narrative writing. We know you have work stories to tell--we'll help you craft them.
Get past that first draft and start editing. Work on the large scale (structure, voice) and small scale (style and language choices) to get your story ready for the world.
Selling Your Work: A Writer's Guide
Gain insight into the world of publishing and learn the skills necessary for corresponding with editors, submitting work for publication, applying for grants and writing residencies, and more.
The perfect post-vacation class (or reason to explore your own city). Hone your observation skills and get the world on the page through detail, scene and imagery.
Have an in-depth conversation about literary techniques and craft with a small group of writers every week. The course meets over video chat to discuss each student's work twice per term.
Writing the Nonfiction Book Proposal
You've got a book idea or maybe you've even written the book--now what? Learn about the publishing process in this course and fine-tune your own proposal with an instructor who's been through it before.
Writing the Tough Stuff
Learn the nuances of writing about grief, loss, and pain, and how to approach tough topics in your own writing.