Online Classes

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 movitation.

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.



Summer Classes: Now Enrolling

JULY 7 - AUGUST 3

 

NEW! Audio Storytelling and Podcasts (4-week class)

Instructor: Rhonda J. Miller  Sound reaches us through more than our ears – it seeps into our skin and bones and hovers in our psyche. Voices are as individual as fingerprints, and more powerful.  When a friend you haven’t seen in a long time unexpectedly calls, you say, “It’s so good to hear your voice,” and applying the warmth of the human voice to creative nonfiction allows you to create powerful audio stories. This introductory class will focus on producing a short audio piece that can stand alone or be used as the first in a series of podcasts. The class will lead students through the process of writing and recording an audio narrative or podcast—from a proposal to an initial script, and through a round of peer review and editing. No prior technical knowledge of podcasting is required, and the class will utilize free online software. Learn More / Enroll »

Creative Nonfiction Summer Boot Camp (4-week class)

Instructor: TBA - 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 summer boot camp session will do just that by providing firm deadlines, daily writing exercises, and weekly feedback. Along the way you'll also develop the habit of writing regularly. After 4 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.  Learn More / Enroll »

NEW! Cross-Genre Writing (4-week class)

[Details coming soon.]

Magazine Writing (4-week class)

Instructor: Marty Levine - In this class participants will explore magazine writing (also known as immersion writing or narrative journalism), in which the writer observes, participates in, researches, and otherwise intimately explores his or her subject. Narrative journalists practice what author Gay Talese has called “the art of hanging out,” becoming a part of the stories they write and exploring the world around them with a writer’s eyes to create the kinds of profiles and investigative pieces you see in magazines like Esquire, The New Yorker, Harpers, or The Atlantic (or Creative Nonfiction, of course!). Participants will choose a topic to investigate in-depth, and will explore this topic by writing two short pieces and one article/essay of up to 4,000 words. Learn More / Enroll »

NEW! Sports Writing (4-week class)

[Details coming soon]

Travel Writing (4-week class)

Instructor: TBA; Guest Instructor: Virginia Morell - This class is all about exploring the world around you—whether that’s through a trip to Marrakesh or by investigating the hidden gems of your own town. We’ll think about ways writers investigate new territory through art, adventure, conversation, culture, and food. Participants will learn techniques to observe in detail, record their experiences, and turn those experiences into essays that will be of interest to a wide readership. Class members will write two short pieces and one essay. The class will be lead by a Creative Nonfiction instructor, with guest speaker Virginia Morell. Morell is a regular contributor to National Geographic and Science, and the author of several books, including Animal Wise. Participants will speak with her during a video chat on July 12th. Learn More / Enroll »

Writing the Personal Essay (4-week class)

Instructor: Barrett Swanson - In this class we’ll take a close look at the writing and research skills needed to write a memoir or personal essay, and refine them over the course of 10 weeks. We’ll discuss how to best use essential literary elements such as detail, dialogue, structure, and description, as well as how to collect information through interviews, research, and other methods. Participants will complete three essays, and will also be given optional shorter exercises that can later be developed into longer works. There will be substantial time spent on revision, that magical process that takes a pleasant anecdote and turns it into a breathtaking essay. Participants will receive personal feedback on their work from the instructor and feedback from other class members via Group Review sessions. Learn More / Enroll »

 


Please follow the links below for more information on upcoming and future sessions:

Inactive Classes
Our Instructors
How do the classes work?
Why Creative Nonfiction?
Testimonials and Publications by CNF Students
Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions please contact Robyn Jodlowski, Co-Director of Online Education, at jodlowski@creativenonfiction.org.



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.

Magazine Writing

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.

Narrative Medicine

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.

Revision Workshop

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.

Travel Writing

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.

Weekly Workshop 

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.

Learn more about all of our classes here.