About this Specialization
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 14 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish...

Skills you will gain

Short Story WritingFiction WritingCreativityCopy Editing
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 14 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish...

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

4.7
1,609 ratings
528 reviews
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end....
Course2

Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

4.5
857 ratings
249 reviews
At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and we will perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques, in order to create a variety of characters. We will learn how to use our own life experiences, and the people we know (and how not to!). We will develop inner (thoughts and feelings) and outer (appearance, habits, behavior) lives for our characters and see how that can lead us to richer and more interesting stories. We will breathe life into our characters and let them surprise us....
Course3

Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description

4.7
657 ratings
187 reviews
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine....
Course4

Creative Writing: The Craft of Style

4.7
526 ratings
145 reviews
Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language. We will study the use of metaphor and imagery, and demonstrate how clarity, grace, and inventiveness in word choice are imperative to a story’s success. Writers will emerge with the revision skills essential to all writers of good stories and good prose....

Instructors

Avatar

Brando Skyhorse

Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
English
Avatar

Amy Bloom

Distinguished University Writer in Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing
Avatar

Amity Gaige

Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing
Avatar

Salvatore Scibona

Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor of English

Industry Partners

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About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • This Specialization will take 3-6 months to complete.

  • The courses in this Specialization will be offered continually on demand. The capstone will be offered 4 times per year.

  • The Specialization courses will be rigorous and taught at the college level, but will be accessible to advanced high school students as well.

  • No, courses do not need to be taken in a specific order - the courses have staggered opening times to allow you to jump in to whichever course fits your schedule best!

  • After completing this Specialization, students will be able to craft an original story, whether fictional or taken from life, that will absorb a reader’s interest from the beginning and hold it through the end.

  • Each course is taught by an esteemed author and professor. Collectively, they have published over a dozen novels and won numerous awards, including features in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and O: The Oprah Magazine. More information about each author is provided in their individual biographies.

  • Write Brothers (www.write-bros.com) offers several different tools for writers to craft their stories in an environment dedicated to writing, including Dramatica Pro, Outline 4D, and Movie Magic Screenwriter. The software is designed to help with all phases of writing, from brainstorming to outlining to formatting.

    Scrivener (https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php) is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

    Scribophile (www.scribophile.com) is a writing community focused on feedback, a central tenet of the Specialization you're embarking on here. Share your work, receive thoughtful critiques from other writers, improve your writing craft, and engage in a strong community of "the friendliest and most successful writing workshop online."

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.