$90 will get you access to a series of pre-recorded videos from James Patterson, for example.
But there’s also a range of teacher-led courses that are very similar to local writing classes, just done remotely.
What might the other students be looking for, and will their goals fit well with your own?
(For me, this is the most stressful part of making the decision, probably because I had an awful experience in a creative writing class with a guy who thought he was the new Kerouac and who would mutter under his breath about how I wrote “like f*cking Jane Austen” – which I obviously considered a compliment but was aware wasn’t meant as one, and definitely impacted on what I was able to get from the class.) – So now you know what to prioritise when you’re looking into which course to commit to.
Typically, small groups are led by a writer/teacher with weekly/fortnightly set exercises that you analyse as a group – as well as a chance to develop a short project (a story or extract of a novel).
If you’re lucky and you really gel with your group and teacher, these can be fantastic.Julia Kingsford, literary agent at Kingsford Campbell, gives her perspective on how to choose a creative writing course.– As a literary agent, I often get asked for advice about creative writing courses.These vary hugely in what you’re going to get, and therefore in what you should pay.At one end of the scale, they offer generic content and can therefore seem quite cheap.What you want is for the course to be taught by people who are good at teaching writing. And it’s about having someone you think you will trust to take you and your writing seriously.Most courses are taught in a group environment – so you need to consider how that will work for you.You want an expert eye that is helping you develop your work, but this is also about you making – and sticking to – a personal commitment to write. Of course, most of us would happily borrow money to do an expensive course if we thought it guaranteed publication, riches and the life of an internationally renowned writer at the end! Are you buying prestige, or access, or a qualification?It won’t surprise you when I say that’s not going to happen (whatever the course marketing might suggest). Are you looking for general tuition on the craft of writing, or feedback specific to your own work – or both?Perhaps you’re simply looking to meet a group of likeminded individuals and use the course as a means of injecting some extracurricular creativity into your life.Whatever your aim is you won’t make the best decision if you haven’t fixed on what you most want to achieve.