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Online Classes

WRITE YOUR TRUE STORY.
Join CNF's growing online writing community.

Since 2011, Creative Nonfiction's online classes have helped thousands of writers from all over the world tell their stories better. Check out our spring course offerings

Our 5- and 10-week classes offer firm deadlines, a flexible schedule that fits your needs, and feedback to help you keep writing and improving your work. And the small class sizes (no more than 14 students per class) help foster community and an online workshop vibe. 

Whether you're just starting out or are looking for an advanced class to help you refine and polish your work, we have a course for you. Class sessions begin in January, April, June, and September. 

See what past students have to say about our growing writing community; read some publishing success stories from our students; learn more about our instructors; and see a complete list of our past classes


Self-Guided Online Course for March

Writing from Photographs » NEW!
4-week // March 4 - April 1

Drawing on photographs that intrigue, haunt, or prompt forgotten memories, this course explores the rich possibilities of the space between photograph and experience. This course will offer new approaches for students at all levels—from those looking for inspiration to those working through an ongoing project. Plus, writing from photographs can make the work of starting a piece of writing easier by giving you a concrete moment to describe, reflect, and expand on. Description is both showing and telling, and the process of describing can open up a whole world.

What we mean by "Self-Guided."


Spring Online Classes 

April 8 - June 16

Note: We offer three levels of online courses: FundamentalsIntermediate, and Advanced.

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FUNDAMENTALS—open to all levels.
Our fundamentals courses are designed for those who are new to writing or new to creative nonfiction as well as those who could benefit from a back-to-basics review on how to effectively and intentionally use elements of the writer's craft.

Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp »

Instructors: Ploi Pirapokin (5-week) // Bridgette Shade (10-week)
Kick-start your writing with our most popular class. Start that long-delayed project, develop essential writing habits with daily writing prompts, and reach your goals.

Find Your Niche: Writing for the Web » NEW!

Instructor: Becky Tuch (10-week)
Discover the ins and outs of writing for digital outlets and start building your online presence.

Foundations of Creative Nonfiction » 

Instructor: Lori Jakiela (10-week) 
Your introduction to the genre. Learn how literary techniques can help you turn bare facts and memories into compelling personal and journalistic essays. 

Honest to Goodness: Introduction to Writing the Food Memoir » NEW!

Instructor: Jessica Kehinde Ngo (5-week)
No genre is more powerful at examining what nourishes and sustains us than the food memoir.

Introduction to Audio Podcasting & Storytelling »

Instructor: Rhonda MIller (5-week)
Podcasting is the new blogging—an easy, effective way to share information or personal stories with a wide audience. Learn how to write, record, and produce a powerful audio narrative that can stand alone or be the first in a series of podcasts.

Thirty-Minute Memoir »

Instructor: Joelle Fraser (10-week)
Manageable daily writing assignments will help you break down the task of writing a memoir.

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INTERMEDIATE —suggested prerequisites. 
Our intermediate courses are designed for writers who have some experience either in the genre or CNF's courses. Past course participation is not required but we do recommend starting with one of our fundamentals courses, especially Foundations of Creative Nonfiction.

Flash Essay »

Instructor: Jenna McGuiggan (5-week)
Distill experiences, big or small, into their purest essence.

Narrative Journalism »

Instructor: Marty Levine (10-week)
Practice all the skills you need to craft a longform article: conducting interviews; doing in-depth, immersive reporting; constructing scenes; defining characters; and employing dialogue artfully.

Scene & Summary » NEW!

Instructor: Joelle Fraser (5-week)
Examine essential techniques for bringing your personal story to the page.

Shapes of Stories » NEW!

Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald (10-week)
Expand your writer’s toolkit by experimenting with a variety of essay structures.

Writing the Personal Essay »

Instructor: M. Randal O’Wain or Meghan O'Gieblyn (10-week)
Whether you're a beginning or more experienced writer, learn how to tell your story with dialogue and detail while gaining a deeper understanding of form and structure.

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ADVANCED—required prerequisites for enrollment.
Our advanced courses are for writers who meet one of the following qualifications: 1) you have completed two previous courses with Creative Nonfiction (one must be either Writing the Personal Essay or Memoir and Personal Essay course); or 2) you have an MFA in creative nonfiction; or 3) you have published widely. 

Advanced Memoir: From First Sentence to Resolution » NEW!

Instructor: Kase Johnstun (10-week)
Move beyond the basics of memoir and tackle the challenges of longer sections and full-length manuscripts: how to start, how to write "critical chapters," how to find a resolution to your story, and how to incorporate the world surrounding your story using scene, research, and detail.

Advanced Personal Essay: Finding a Way Through » NEW!

Instructor: Peter Mountford (10-week)
Transform actual people and events into characters and plot elements, and turn your personal anecdotes into publishable essays.

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Please note: it is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at yates[at]creativenonfiction[dot]org.


Is there a course that you'd like to take that isn't being offered? You can request a course here and we'll notify you when it's being offered again.

Please follow the links below for more information:

If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Sharla Yates, Director of Education, at yates[at]creativenonfiction[dot]org.