10 Best Creative Writing Courses in India [Updated May 2020]

Find the best creative writing courses in India and even creative writing courses online by leading universities

Finding and enrolling in the best creative writing courses in India has been more difficult than I thought. At least it used to be, five years ago when I had just dived into freelance writing. I wanted to hone my skills and practice fiction writing too, which is when I started looking for creative writing courses online. 

For a while, I even considered getting an MA in creative writing in India. But as many working professionals like me will agree — there is simply not enough time. 

So, I decided to look for creative writing courses in India. I was initially more inclined towards classroom courses since those would help me get out of the house more (I work from home) and they would also allow me to network with other writers. But most of the classroom courses I found were either not available in my city or were incredibly expensive. That is why I also started looking at free creative writing courses online.

(These courses are suitable for writers who are thinking about writing a fiction book but aren’t sure how to start, if you are looking to take up some content writing courses that are focused on online content, web copy, and articles, check out these post.)

 

Here are the top writing courses in India

Classroom courses

(Note: Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all the classroom courses have been suspend indefinitely, I recommend looking at the online courses at least till things get back to normal)

 

1- Xavier Institute of Communications

Course Name: Creative Writing Workshop
Location – Mumbai
Eligibility – Non
Price – 8000 INR
Duration: 8 Sessions of 2 hours each
Check brochure for more details 
Certificate: Yes

This was the first course that I came across when I was in Mumbai. And I really liked it because its affordable, has flexible timings, and new classes in every 2 months.

1- Xavier Institute of Communications Course Name: Creative Writing Workshop

There are two instructors here – Renu Balakrishnan and Himali Kothari. Both of them conduct 6 sessions of 2 hours each from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. While one of them has classes every Thursday, the other one has classes every Saturday. The timings are great because you can juggle it up if you are working. And Xavier’s is right next to the CST station so you never have to worry about transportation. It’s more of a group session, people write stuff and discuss about it together. I would definitely attend this if I am in Mumbai for more than a month.

 

2- British Council of India

Note: This course has been discontinued by British Council, as of May 2020

Location – Delhi and Kolkata
Eligibility – You have to pass a level test at the centre which would cost 600 INR
Price – 13000 INR
Certificate: Yes

The British Council of India has a 9 week intensive Creative Writing program which is considered one of the best in the country. The course goes on for 2 months where you are required to attend classes two days a week. You can choose the classes and schedule according to your own convenience. But all the timings are before 6pm and on weekdays which means this course would be a big struggle for the working lot.


3- Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning

Course Name: Diploma in Creative Writing in English (DCWE)
Location – No centre. Material gets directly delivered to you
Eligibility – Atleast a 50% in English in 12th/ Graduation
Price – 35,000 INR+ INR 1200 for application form
Classes start from – Registration and classes start in July. For more information, you can check the prospectus
Certificate: Yes

Symbiosis offers a 1 year diploma course in creative writing. This is a distance learning program which means you get all the material posted to you and you can study it wherever you are. The course structure is pretty rigorous.

3- Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning offers a Diploma in Creative Writing which can be done from home

Though I like the fact that you do not have to go to a centre for this, it is certainly expensive. Since this is a one year course, registration is allowed once a year, which means if you miss out the deadline, you have to wait for a whole year.

 

4- Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Course Name: Diploma in Creative Writing in English (DCE)
Location – No centre. Material gets directly delivered to you
Eligibility – Anyone who has passed 12th or is 20 years and above
Price –  3800 INR + INR 200 registration fee
Classes start from – Two cycle of admissions – January and July. For more information, check page 80 of the prospectus
Certificate: Yes

IGNOU also has a distance learning creative writing course in India, which is extremely affordable. It is a 1 year course. But I realized the course information hasn’t been updated since 2011 so I have mailed to find out more about it. I will be updating this section when I hear back from them.

Update – I have researched immensely about the IGNOU course, and asked around. Turns out, the course details haven’t been updated since the last decade (If you check the prospectus, its not even a proper PDF file, its just a scanned copy of a printed prospectus). Also, though the college says its a distance learning course, you are supposed to pick course material from the IGNOU centre, and you also need to go to the IGNOU studying centre from time to time.

All in all, it doesn’t seem worth the time.

Online courses

 

 

5- Oxford University 

Course name: Getting Started With Creative Writing 
Price: £495.00
Duration: The course runs in different intervals around the year
15 Jun 2020 – Aug 2020
14 Sep 2020 – 27 Nov 2020
11 Jan 2021 – 26 Mar 2021
Now accepting applications for the June to August course run 
Certificate: Yes

This is a rather expensive course offered by Oxford University which takes you through the basics of creative writing. Managed by Oxford professors, this course requires at least 100 hours of study time. 

You get routine assignments and you can even participate in the course forums to connect with other students taking the same course as you. You also get a certification of completion from Oxford after finishing the course. 

While it is definitely the most expensive online course on the list, it also features the best study sessions and teachers. Not to mention, a certificate from Oxford Uni can go a long way. There is also an advanced creative writing course available for more seasoned writers.

 

6- Wesleyan University

Course name: Creative Writing Specialization
Price: This is a part of Coursera Plus subscription which costs ₹3,744/month and there is also a 7-day free trial. You get access to all the courses on Coursera with the subscription
Duration: About 48 hours of study material. You can study at your own pace
Certificate: Yes

This is a five-course specialization offered by Wesleyan University through Coursera. It is the most thorough creative writing course I have found online and it is definitely one you should take up if you want to hone your creative writing skills and you don’t mind paying a little bit. 

Though, I also have to mention that while this course isn’t free, it is still way more affordable than most classroom creative writing courses in India. 

The five courses available ounder this specialization focus on five different aspects of storytelling and creative writing: 

  • Plot 
  • Characters
  • Setting and Description
  • Style
  • Creating a story

 

7- University of British Columbia

Course name: How to Write a Novel: Writing the Draft 
Price: $295
Duration: 6 weeks (You need to give 4-6 hours each week to the course)
Certificate: Yes

 The course is presented by professors of the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Program in UBC. It also includes some lessons by best selling authors like Paula Hawkins (The author of Girl on The Train.)

Over the six weeks of the course, you will learn different aspects of storytelling right from creating a plot to introducing conflicts and tension, handling active/passive characters, and crafting believable dialogues. 

 

 

8- University of Michigan 

Course name: Writing Your First Novel
Price: Free
Duration: 127 hours of study material
Certificate: Available if you pay INR 2216

This is a free online creative writing course offered by the University of Michigan through Coursera. The course includes over 26 chapters that help you write your first novel even when you have no idea about what you are doing. 

I really liked the format of the course which helps you write your book, one chapter at a time. There are also peer to peer reviews available, like other courses on Coursera, where your assignments are reviewed by one of the other participants of the course and you review someone else’s work.  

This is a free online creative writing course offered by the University of Michigan through Coursera. The course includes over 26 chapters that help you write your first novel even when you have no idea about what you are doing. 

9 – Commonwealth Education Trust

Course name: Writing for Young Readers
Duration: 18 hours of study time 
Fees: Free 
Certificate: Available if you pay INR 2216

If you have always thought about writing children’s books, this is definitely a course this you should consider taking. Its a creative writing course online which helps writers who want to create stories for young readers. Since its a free course, you can get started right away. But you would need to pay extra if you want a completion certificate.

 

10- Masterclass

Price: Starts at INR 1295 a month
Duration: Depends on the course
Certificate: No

Masterclass is a video-based learning platform that offers courses by actual masters in the field. Not teachers or English writing experts, but actual writers who have written beautiful books and established a flourishing writing career. 

It offers video courses by incredible authors like Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, James Patterson, and Margeret Atwood.

Note that Masterclass works on a subscription model like Netflix. A monthly subscription gives you access to its entire catalogue of courses, which you can share with your friends as well, making it more cost effective. 

Masterclass is a video-based learning platform that offers courses by actual masters in the field. Not teachers or English writing experts, but actual writers who have written beautiful books and established a flourishing writing career. 

 

Have you taken up any creative writing courses in India or online? How was your experience with it? Do let me know

 

Author’s note: This post was updated on 25th May 2020 to add more relevant and up to date information

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64 thoughts on “10 Best Creative Writing Courses in India [Updated May 2020]”

  1. I did the DCE from IGNOU in 2002. The notes are pretty basic. The project work gets you to write a lot and that’s a bonus. I wouldn’t mind doing it again if their syllabus has been updated.

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        1. Hi Ashwini

          No, I did not end up taking any of the above listed courses. I was thinking to take up IGNOU but I heard the curriculum wasn’t good. The only viable option is Symbiosis one but I am not sure if I am willing to put that much money in :/

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  2. Hi Ritika,

    Interesting post! I have some experience of IGNOU, not in Creative Writing though, and that was like, a century ago and therefore out of date anyways, but my experience was positive all in all. Thanks for visiting my blog and see you after April! 🙂 Stay well.

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  3. Hi Ritika,
    Useful post! Elsewhere i could find review about the course at IGNOU, and it wasnt a promising one. The syllabus is outdated and for a year or two the course was not conducted and people who had registered were’nt intimated about updates.
    Since I am looking for a distance learning program, hence i am left with SCDL, Pune (as only IGNOU and SCDL have distance learning program on Creative Writing). I am looking for a review on its course. Kindly share if you have some review related info about the course. Thanks !
    Taruna.

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    1. Hi guys, I am pursuing a distance learning course from symbiosis pune on creative writing. It is good and has 6 exams and 6 projects to be completed in a year. It has been interesting and provides insights into creative writer’s lives and many other aspects of writing. It is expensive compared to other courses as mentioned here but I am working so this works for me.

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      1. That’s great to hear Rimpy! If it works for you and fits your schedule then there isn’t much you can ask for! Whenever you finish the course, do share your complete experience 🙂

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      2. Hi Rimpy ,
        I m planning to pursue creative writing course in symbiosis .. please provide Info regarding modes n types of examination conducted. Its damn expensive so b4 joining wanna know wthr is it worthy .Thank you

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  4. Pingback: Ask Ritika – When Clients ask for 'too' Many Revisions | Write Freelance

  5. I registered for DCE in June with IGNOU in July my classes are only going to start on October :P. They told me that I have to attend 1 class every month in study centre. I also registered with SDCL from there I get a message every day that admission is extended a week more :P. let’s see what will happen
    NB: I paid ignou fees it’s just 3k. Not having the courage to spend 22k on sdcl at least for now let’s see. will update you.

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    1. Hi Niyas

      Yes, I was told the same thing about Study Centre,that I need to attend at least one in a month, which is really difficult for me, considering how much I travel.

      Do let me know your experience with IGNOU. In fact, I would love it if you would write a post here on the website about the course experience because it will help A LOT of people 🙂

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    2. Hi niyas .Can u plz tell me some details
      how many study centre they hav and where they are?
      whats d total fee for 1 year course?
      howz dere teaching sense?wat technique dey use ?R dey providing good knowledge or jst time pass material.

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      1. Hi Ritika
        Myself Manish Tiwari from Allahabad. I am working as Trainer. i am about to quit my job and i am going to shift Mumbai for writing. New differnt types of ideas comes in my mind and when i start to write then i feel i am missing something

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  6. Hi Ritika
    What i have to do to become a freelance writer.Is there any good center in Kerala or near by Bangalore to study creative English.is creative English course enough to improve writing style?

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  7. I don’t think writing starts by learning….for me mostly it’s an idea…a song….or just getting inspired after which everything falls into space

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  8. I have registered for DCE with IGNOU. I got a mail specifically informing me to collect study material from IGNOU regional center. I don’t know how this works. Have written a mail to send the materials to me directly. Will keep posted on what happens, so that other aspirants can take an informed decision.

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    1. Yes, that’s what I heard from some other sources. The thing with IGNOU is – they don’t really care. They have a way of doing things and they are not flexible. Please let me know how your course goes 🙂

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      1. Hi Ritika!

        Well, surprise! IGNOU has sent me all the course material through courier. However submitting projects is still unclear. Timeline of the course is a bit vague as well. However all course books are with me. Content looks pretty decent. For all the aspirants out there, I suggest you to go ahead with the diploma in Creative Writing if its impossible for you to attend workshops or classroom certificate courses.

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    2. hi Nahusha
      Can u plz tell me all d details for registration in DCE wid IGNOU .
      What is the fee structure there?
      how to pay?
      how they send us data?
      is there any exams or just assignments

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  9. Hi Ritika,

    I am looking up for an MFA in creative writing which I guess is not worth if done in India. But if you have any idea about the course which would be beneficial if done here itself, do let me know. Because Symbiosis has a distance program which is like, we are just playing in the sands, instead of going in the oceans for much adventure. And being a passionate writer, I also have my blog but the thing is I want to work for some magazines, if you have the answers to any of my above queries please mail me at [email redacted] else awaiting for your reply here itself.

    Regards,
    Indrajeet

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  10. Thank You Ma’am for all the infos. I m a college stud,I belong to Kolkata, I think it will be useful for me to join British Council rather than any open university am I right? Is a PG degree in Journalism is essential for a freelance writer?

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    1. Hi Diganta

      You don’t need a journalism degree to be a freelance writer. Yes, British Council is a great option if you are in Kolkata, just make sure the class timings suit you 🙂

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  11. Hi, Ritika Mam, I am from Mumbai and my passion is to Write Stories & Poems in Marathi Language, and i want your advice that from where should i got a proper guidance to grew up in this concern field.
    Thank You.

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  12. Hi, Ritika, I am from Delhi and i want to do creative writing courses. But am not sure is that helpful for me or not?? Actually am from science background and detouch from education line past 12-13 years. Can u please suggest something??

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  13. Hey! Ritika ma’am , I have been working in the profile of english instructor and verbal ability trainer since 3 yrs and also persuing masters in english from SHIATS ALLAHABAD but now i want to take a leap and want to do some good writing couse and want to work as a freelance content writer work from home…..but i don’t know how to start please provide me a road map for this….thanking you….

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  14. Mam which one is better for a creative writing course while I do my masters in English …. IGNOU or British council? Pls suggest

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  15. I have tried the IGNOU course. The course material is totally outdated. The teaching at the study centre also is not up-to the mark. Dies anyone know about the symbiosis course?

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    1. Hi Byju,

      I have done one course from Symbiosis (SCDL), syllabus is really updated but it didn’t helped me out as I found myself without guidance. I will rather suggest opt for the course where classes are held at least you can have a coach to guide you further.

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  16. Hi Ritika,
    Since I am not involving in writing for long time and I also want to mentioned my writing skill is not so much good. i want to know Can I join content writer course If I am interested?

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    1. I was just going through your urge,
      And not able to stop myself for the word Interest .
      This word only matter of learning and all happiness

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  17. I have taken the IGNOU DCE course and my classes are going to start this week. Till now I have been reading the ebooks available on the organisation site, and been preparing myself for the exam. Anyone who is interested in writing, and believe in self study is eligible for this course.

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  18. Hello Ritika, I read your article on the various courses for creative writing…like you even I m kind of bored of my corporate job and want to pursue my passion in blogging and creative writing. Since it’s not possible for me to read and learn I need a institute which provides such courses. Can you recommend ?

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  19. Hello thank you so much for this. This was really helpful but do any of these provide online creative writing courses? Does SACAC provide those courses?

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  20. Hi Ritika, Mrinali here from Delhi. I loved your article and want to thank you for it. I am a blogger on social issues, which are covered by social media very weirdly, un-researched manner. With an intention to reorient the coverage, I started a blog site THE YOUNG EAGLE. Please find time to visit my site on FB.

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