WRITE YOUR TRUE STORY.
Join CNF's growing online writing community.
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 connection.
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. Classes are offered Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer term.
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.
July 29 - August 25
It’s never too late to start!
Enrollment is OPEN through August 19
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.
Fall Online Classes
September 9 - November 17
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.
Instructors: Ploi Pirapokin, Joanna Penn Cooper, or Bridgette Shade
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.
Instructor: Michael Busk
Your introduction to the genre. Learn how literary techniques can help you turn bare facts and memories into compelling personal and journalistic essays.
Instructor: Jessica Kehinde Ngo
No genre is more powerful at examining what nourishes and sustains us than the food memoir.
Instructor: Suzanne Cope
True, "memoir" starts with "me" ... but there's room for so much more.
Instructor: Joelle Fraser
Manageable daily writing assignments will help you break down the task of writing a memoir.
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.
Distill experiences, big or small, into their purest essence.
Instructor: Marty Levine
Become a "fly on the wall" in our immersion journalism course. Learn to observe, interview, and intimately explore your subject and craft a magazine-ready piece.
Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald
You've got a book idea or maybe you've even written the book--now what? Learn more about the ins and outs of the publishing process and fine-tune your own proposal with an instructor who's been through it before.
Gain the tools to critically and creatively approach unwieldy and challenging stories of illness.
Instructor: Meghan O'Gieblyn
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.
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.
Instructor: Kase Johnstun
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.
Instructor: Peter Mountford
Transform actual people and events into characters and plot elements, and turn your personal anecdotes into publishable essays.
Instructor: Chelsea Biondolillo
Take a deep dive into the structure and narrative arcs of writing excellent science essays and address ethics, revision, and marketing your work.
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:
- Online Course Catalogue
- Our Instructors
- How do the classes work?
- Why Creative Nonfiction?
- Testimonials and Publications by CNF Students
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How do self-guided classes work?
If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Sharla Yates, Director of Education, at yates[at]creativenonfiction[dot]org.