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Self-Guided Online Courses

Stay motivated and inspired in a self-guided course!

Self-guided courses enable you to work on your writing while gaining valuable knowledge, skills, and resources. Lessons open weekly, but you set the pace. There are no due dates and no instructor, but you can engage with other writers in the class and give and receive feedback on writing posted in the classroom.

After the course ends, you will receive a ZIP file containing all of the work you developed during the course. You’ll also continue to be a member of our Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes Community Page. With this membership, you will be able to share writing and calls for submissions, recommend books, and stay connected with other writers.

Self-guided courses are open to writers at all levels and new courses are announced regularly, so check back often or sign up for our newsletter.

Now Enrolling

Play with Pattern 
Crafting the Braided & Collage Essay

[NOTE: THIS CLASS IS FULL] Often experimenting with a new form is the best way to get unstuck and gain a fresh perspective on your writing. Perhaps you’re wondering how to become more experimental or looser in your writing, or you may be at an impasse with material you’ve been working with. In this generative course, we will examine the creative potential of juxtaposing themes through collage or a braided technique. Using writing prompts, readings, and discussion questions, you will explore how to breathe life into a subject through weaving of material and use of space. This class will provide tips and practice in using these forms as a way to make your writing fresh and engaging, both for your reader and for yourself. Learn more / Enroll » 

Previous Courses

The Good Place: Crafting Setting & Landscape
Whether you’re writing narrative journalism, memoir, or personal essays, a richly felt space/place can add depth or intrigue. In this generative workshop, you will write a portrait of a place, either natural or man-made, with an emphasis on depth, mood, and researched accuracy.

Writing from Photographs
Intriguing, haunting, or prompting forgotten memories, photographs can be powerful prompts for stories. This course explores the rich possibilities of the space between photograph and experience.

Write Your Memoir Month
Tackle the potentially overwhelming task of writing a memoir through manageable daily writing assignments. Daily writing prompts will keep you motivated and moving ahead with your project.

Refund and cancellation policies 

By 5pm EST, the second day of class, participants can request a refund or credit transfer.

After 5 pm EST, the second day of class, no refunds can be issued.


Questions? Please contact our director of education, Sharla Yates, at yates[AT]creativenonfiction[DOT]org.