Tell your story, better.
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 and peer reviews. All instructors have university teaching experience and/or are working professional writers. Conversation, firm deadlines, and feedback help keep you writing and improving your work throughout the class. Small class sizes (14-16 students) help foster community and an online workshop vibe.
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, April, June, and September. Because of the flexible nature of our courses, we can gladly accept students from all across the globe.
April 3 - May 7 (5-week classes)
April 3 - June 11 (10-week classes)
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 online education, Ellen Ayoob, at ayoob[at]creativenonfiction[dot]org.
Advanced Memoir and Personal Essay - B (10-week class)
Instructor: Lisa Ohlen Harris - 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. Participants will also explore 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? Learn more / enroll »
Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp (5-week & 10-week classes)
Instructors: Michael Busk (5-week) or Waverly Fitzgerald (10-week) - You want to do it. You're going to do it. You mean to start that writing project ... eventually. Now is the time to put excuses aside and start. Creative Nonfiction's special boot camp sessions will help you 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, which will serve you well for years to come.
Learn more / enroll 5 weeks »
Learn more / enroll 10 weeks »
Foundations of Creative Nonfiction (10-week class)
Instructor: LaTanya McQueen - This ten-week online 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 »
Historical Narratives (5-week class)
Instructor: Marty Levine - Have you ever been fascinated by a true historical story? The tools of creative nonfiction are exactly right for turning historical finds into vivid characters and scenes. Even when you can’t interview your characters or directly observe them in action, you can still write great nonfiction narratives from the rich materials of history. Whether you’re just beginning or deep into researching a piece (especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of material you could use), this class will show you how to bring the past alive. Learn more / enroll »
Introduction to Audio Storytelling and Podcasting (5-week class)
Instructor: Rhonda Miller - Podcasting is the new blogging—an easy, effective way to share information or personal stories with a wide audience. This five-week course will help you get started, with overviews and discussions of how to choose equipment, what programs to use, and how to distribute your podcast. You’ll also have opportunities to practice interviewing, writing for broadcast, and editing audio. Learn more / enroll »
Spiritual Writing (10-week class)
Instructor: Jessica Griffith - Throughout this ten-week course, participants will read essays and memoirs in the spiritual writing genre and discuss how to write evocatively about personal transformations and everyday encounters in a way that matters to an audience of differing beliefs and traditions. Lectures will explore a number of craft techniques, with a focus on how to see the world through the “lens” of the spiritual and to mine past experiences for metaphysical truths. Writers from all backgrounds and faiths are welcome. Learn more / enroll »
The Thirty-Minute Memoir (10-week class)
Instructor: Joelle Fraser - Patterned after our popular Boot Camp course, this class is designed to help break the potentially overwhelming task of writing a memoir into manageable daily writing. Each week will focus on a different aspect of memoir writing, from opening chapters to scenes involving dialogue. Monday through Thursday, participants will be encouraged to post 300 words of new writing, and at the end of the week they will choose 1,000 words from the week’s work (or elsewhere) to submit to their instructor for comment. Learn more / enroll »
Writing the Personal Essay - B (10-week class)
Instructor: Meghan O'Gieblyn - 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 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. Learn more / enroll »
Writing the Tough Stuff (10-week class)
Instructor: Jessica Handler - Everyone experiences personal difficulty at some point in their lives. Writers often find that we want to write about loss, grief, trauma, or major life changes in order to both understand how our personal narrative has changed us, and to relate our changed self to the world. The course will present strategies for strong creative nonfiction writing about these subjects, and discuss cross-disciplinary research in creating trauma narratives. Learn more / enroll »
Please follow the links below for more information on upcoming and future sessions:
- Inactive Classes
- Our Instructors
- Term Schedule and registration dates for 2017
- 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 Ellen Ayoob, Director of Educational Programs, 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.
Audio Storytelling & Podcasting
Explore ways to create nonfiction narratives using the power of sound
Blogging for the Writer
How do you get readership for your blog? How do you make your blog pieces distinct and resonant? In this multi-week workshop, we will discuss "best practices" for successful blogging.
Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp
Write every day. No matter what.
Foundations of Creative Nonfiction - Curriculum A & B
Perfect for writers who are new to the genre, or anyone who wants to brush up on the basics.
Introduction to Nonfiction Podcasting
Produce a powerful audio narrative story that can stand alone or be the first in a series of podcasts.
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.
Find the balance between the personal and the powerful, and learn how to share your thoughts with readers of differing beliefs or traditions.
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 Personal Essay - Curriculum A & B
Turn your anecdotes into moving essays with facts, characters, and detail.
Writing the Tough Stuff
Learn the nuances of writing about grief, loss, and pain, and how to approach tough topics in your own writing.