Have YOU used Learning Opportunities on the Web?

IMG_0562Today I’m embarking on a second Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ workshop via yahoogroups, Editing and Revising for Fiction Writers. So far the number of participants seems more manageable than the Heros, Henchman and Sidekick class I took recently. The class length is a bit longer, and there are a few more self-identified mainstream writers. My first problem is to pick a manuscript to work on.  The first assignment, though, is to write for twenty minutes without censoring ourselves, so the necessity of picking a manuscript can be put off a day or two.

Meantime, I’ve been checking out some of the online college courses to see how they compare to The Great Courses. As one of the drawbacks of The Great Courses is the cost, I was trying to find free college courses on the web, mostly because I’d heard talk of such. Here is an overview of what I’ve found so far, although I have not taken any of these courses. I did find a few other sites that wanted all sorts of information before you could view offerings; I did not look into their offerings.

Coursera:   There are plenty of subjects and classes listed. When I put “creative writing” in the search field, the only class that came up was a Writing Like Mozart class that sounded like it was geared to music.

TED: Under the heading of writing, 33 talks came up. From my brief scan it looked like most of those related to writing were of the inspirational sort and on the short side, making them easy to fit in during down times. They included ones like this: J.K. Rowling: the fringe benefits of failure. This youtube video may be the same or slightly different:

edX.org: has free classes and many interesting ones, although when searching the topic of writing, the ones I found were not currently offered. Another interesting looking class was taught in Mandarin.

This website could also be useful when looking for free online classes: MOOCS: Top Ten Sites for Free Education with Elite Universities. When I followed the links, I came up with UCLA. Unfortunately, all the courses I checked on writing had a fee, the lowest of which was $145.

I hope to have some time in the future to check out a few of these offerings and continue my search for information on the web. I would, though, be very interested in hearing what courses you have tried and what luck you’ve had finding inexpensive or free programs.

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  1. #1 by cryptictown on February 7, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    This, of course, is sooooo subjective, and I dislike a lot of books Maass praises. I’m sure everyone’s choices will meet with scrutiny. But, off the top of my head, I’d say The Bone Key by Sarah Monette meets all the criteria.

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