Since last few weeks, Coronavirus has taken the world by storm. While countries are going into complete lockdown mode, a lot of us are confined to our homes. Social distancing and self-isolation being the key requirements to combat Coronavirus.
While a lot of us are trying to devise new ways to keep ourselves entertained from within the four walls of our houses, there are also a lot of us who have opened the doors to their libraries and knowledge centers (virtual ones, mind it!) to help us use this time productively.
Here’s a list of some of the resources we found could be useful tools for writers and readers:
Creative Writing Courses
Toby Litt’s Writing Course on Writing Short Stories
Toby Litt’s best-known works include Adventures in Capitalism, Notes for a Young Gentleman and Patience. Published by Seagull Books, his book Life-life was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 and long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is Reader in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, London and the convenor of the MFA in Creative Writing.
- Course Contents: In his own words, “In 10 Lessons, I will take you through the basics of writing short stories – just as if you were sitting among the other beginning writers in the Creative Writing workshop I run at Birkbeck College, London.”
- Whom – For beginners
- Cost: Free
- How: https://tobylitt.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/starting-to-write-a-free-10-lesson-course-on-writing-short-stories/
Leigh Shulman’s Writing Workshops
Leigh Shulman is the author of The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way to Your Ideal Writing Life where she shares her twenty years of experience mentoring others as they write, publish and reach their writing goals. You can join her free writing workshops HERE. She also sends regular writing prompts and other writing related information to keep up the writing spirit. You can sign up for it here.
- Course Contents : Basic Writing Workshops which involves critiquing and feedback from fellow writers.
- For Whom: Beginners
- Cost: Free
Himalayan Writing Retreat’s Lockdown Writing Workshops and Virtual Meetups
We understand in the current scenario, you cannot travel to the retreat, however tempting the fresh air and the beautiful view of Himalayas is! So, we have now brought the Writing Courses online for you.
(a) Weekly Writing Meet ups
Hosted every Wednesday (2-4 PM) and Saturdays (11 a.m – 1 p.m) , we talk and write. At the end of the free writing session, we also choose two participants whose work will be critiqued by the faculty and fellow writers.
Led by Chetan Mahajan, co-founder of Himalayan Writing Retreat and author of The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail (Penguin, 2014) these virtual meet ups are a good place to invite your muse to visit you and help you write. Chetan has spent two decades working in on-line learning, both in the US and India. He has taught on-line as far back as 2006 as a faculty member at the University of Phoenix online. Chetan is now a full-time author and works as a writing coach independently as well as with the London based the writing coach.
- Cost: Free
(b) The Lockdown Writing Bootcamp
The Lockdown Writing Workshop is the same workshop as the Himalayan Writing Bootcamp with the same learnings, the same writing exercises and workload. However, The Himalayas are replaced by your bedroom window. The course contents remain the same. Held on zoom, it is an interactive workshop where you learn the basics of writing, book publishing and marketing apart from feedback on your work.
Chetan Mahajan leads this Workshop. Chetan has spent two decades working in on-line learning, both in the US and India. He has taught on-line as far back as 2006 as a faculty member at the University of Phoenix online.
Chetan is a Penguin-published author and an award-winning blogger. Chetan and his wife Dr Vandita Dubey (also a published author) moved to the Himalayas five years ago. There, they founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat. Chetan is now a full-time author and works as a writing coach independently as well as with the London based the writing coach.
- Pre-work : all participants are assigned some pre-work (short stories) to read.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9 AM – 5 PM : Sign into Zoom along with your cohort and the instructor. We go through three full days of work online. We write, share our writing, get feedback from the group. (Details of all three days are shared below)
The next two Bootcamp’s are on 3-5 April, 2020 and 10-12 April, 2020.
- Cost: Rs. 14,000/-
- How: https://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/bootcamponline/
Yoda Press Online Workshop on how to get a publisher and make your book, publishing ready
Bound India Online Classes
Bound India is an alternative education company that conducts literary events and workshops. Keeping the recent pandemic in mind they have also ventured into online workshops. The calendar will be updated regular and can be checked HERE for updates and to register. Some of the upcoming workshops are as follows:
- Poetry Workshop – 24th and 25th April and 1st and 4th May, 2020
- Learn to write a story in 2 weeks – 24th and 25th April, 2020
- Non fiction writing with Dr. Pallavi Narayan – 25th and 26th April and 2nd and 3rd May, 2020
- How to Edit your book with Tara Khandelwal – 25th April, 2020
- How to read like a writer with Tara Khandelwal – 26th April and 3rd May, 2020
- 2 weeks advanced fiction writing workshop – 28th and 29th April and 5th and 6th May, 2020.
Inked Voices Online Workshops
Inked Voices is an online community that conducts various writing workshops in small and private groups. You can follow them for more updates. Some of their upcoming workshops are as below:
Youth Speaks Online Writing Workshops for Teens (13-15 year old)
- Workshop Description: In order to keep each other safe during the ongoing pandemic, Youth Speaks is moving its writing workshops online! Each writing workshop is an opportunity to put pen to page and learn how to speak from your heart. We hope to see you and your favorite background soon. All experience levels are welcome to join!
- Who: Teens age 13 – 19 year olds
- When: Wednesdays 3:30-5:30pm PST & Fridays 11:30-1:30pm PST, beginning March 25th
- Where: On the internet!
- Registration: Register HERE at least 2 hours before your first workshop is set to begin.
- What you need:
1. A phone, tablet, or computer that lets you participate in a video call, camera on
2. A stable internet connection
Commaful – Writing tips and advice from experts
Commaful is home to all types of creative people, from best-selling authors to aspiring storytellers.
Recently they have introduced a new segment which they call “Bite-sized Storytelling Show“. Irrespective of the what you write- be it fiction, poetry or short stories You’ll find all sorts of tips and tricks from best-selling authors, successful writers, screenwriters, and more. Ranging from Writer’s Block to Publishing, these videos and podcasts cover them all. Each of these are under 10 minutes and can be extremely helpful.
You can check them out HERE
Coursera Creative Courses
Coursera is an online education provider which hosts a variety of courses from leading universities on different topics and subjects. Apart from the regular lessons, it also has on-demand video lectures, homework exercises and community discussion forums.
Interestingly, they have both paid and free courses available with a student having the choice of requesting for certification on completion from some of the prominent universities which are offering their courses on Coursera.
Do check out these creative writing courses available for free currently on their platform:
Poetry Workshops with Shagufta K Iqbal
Shagufta K Iqbal is the author of ‘Jam is for girls, girls get jam’. She is hosting online poetry workshops every Friday starting from 27th March, 2020 onwards.
Internshala is a technology company on a mission to equip students with relevant skills & practical exposure through internships and online trainings. Their ‘Learn Creative Writing‘ Course which was originally priced at Rs. 4999/- is now available at Rs. 1999/- only. It covers everything from writing fiction to non fiction and includes editing, screenplay, advertising and publishing as the course content.
Last date to apply: 30th April, 2020
Places to Submit
- Amazing voices from all over the world already sharing their days and experiences in this wonderful new space ‘Solidarity from at least two metres away. This site archives journal accounts of our days, wherever in the world’ during the spread of COVID-19. Submit your experiences to The Lockdown Journal
- We have also collated an exclusive list of India’s top Literary Magazines and Journals where you can submit your work.
Ashoka University Online Learning
Ashoka University has introduced the concept of ‘BEYOND THE CLASSROOM’, a free interactive virtual seminar series opening up a universe of interesting ideas for those who love learning. You can catch their star professors live and learn something new each week.
Follow them on Twitter for regular updates on this and to register.
Harvard Online Courses
Harvard University is offering some of its courses online for free. You can check them our HERE
Training for Translator
The free, MOOC-style session of Getting Started as a Freelance Translator has a team of 15+ mentors to answer questions and identify resources. You can now join the course for free.
Poynter’s Journalism Course for educators and Students
The Poynter institute runs News University, a reputable learning platform that offers over 100 journalism courses. The institute is now opening access for a limited time for some of its journalism self-directed courses.
Steps to follow to join any course:
- Register for a poynter.org account.
- Use coupon code 20COLLEGE100 at checkout.
- Visit My Courses to start learning or pick up where you left off.
Some of the popular courses offered by them are:
- Broadcast Writing: Write Like You Talk
- Getting It Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age
- A Reporter’s Guide to Getting It Right
- Target and Engage Your Audience: Digital Experiences That Drive Results
- Audience Analytics for Reporters
- The Power of Public Records
Digital Marketing by Bitdegree
Considered to be online education platform, Bitdegree offers online courses in a plethora of topics based on Digital marketing which includes content writing to programming, apps and gaming. Their digital marketing course which is currently available for free includes SEO, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Twitter Marketing and managing Facebook Ads.
If you’ve ever wanted to become a digital marketing guru, then this is the right course for you. Included in this learning path are 8 courses including:
- Complete Digital Marketing Course: Find Fast & Easy Success
- Learn Lead Generation Marketing: Build an Email List for Your Business
- SEO For Dummies: Powerful Tips That Help You to Boost Your Business
- Learn How to Create a Facebook Marketing Strategy Like a Genius
- Simple Facebook Advertising Course: Learn How do Facebook Ads Work
- Discover The Secret Techniques on How to Make Money on Instagram
- Course on How to Get Twitter Followers Fast: Learn Twitter Marketing
- Awesome Tips and Tricks on How to Make Money on YouTube
- 6 Easy Ways How to Make Money on Social Media – Ultimate Video Guide
- Learn How to Write a Marketing Plan: Set Your Business Up for Success
- Website Optimization Course: Learn Website Split Testing Now
Access the course HERE
Skill Share Premium is now available for free for two months and it has various courses on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Freelancing and other such topics which could help you increase your skillset.
Access the course HERE
Blogging as a Business by AHRef
The Blogging as a Business course by AHRef is considered to be one of the best on the topics as it includes practically everything one can think of when considering monetization of the blog as a goal. The best part is, the course is now free.
You can access it HERE.
LinkedIn’s Working Remotely Course
Includes detailed learning courses on time management, team building virtually, Understanding Skype and Zoom and other such important and effective tools of communication to ensure remote working delivers optimum results.
You can access it HERE
Udemy Free Courses
Udemy is an online portal which provides various courses and virtual learning opportunities. They are offering some of their courses for free. You can check them all HERE.
Free Resources for Research and Development
We all know the importance of research for every project. Be it a book or be it your own quest for knowledge, this is the right time to take the plunge. With a lot of renowned libraries opening their online archives for free to access, learning and research is now available at the touch of a fingertip.
JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.
- Storyweaver (For kids in multiple languages)
- Juggernaut App – The whole app is free for reading books currently (Available for both iOS and Android)
Download the Kindle app on your phones/tablets or use a Kindle eReader, visit https://amazon.in/readforfree and start reading.
Need access to online PDF tools while working from home? Create, Compress, Fill & Sign PDFs online for free:
Arc Studios is giving free pro-screenwriting software until the pandemic is over. You can access it HERE
Please note, the list is exhaustive and will be updated from time to time.
Also, incase there are any more such resources which you think would be helpful to other creative minds, do share them with us in comments below and we will add them to the list.
- Looking for more creative writing courses? Check out our curated list of Top Writing Courses in India.
- Working on your novel? You might also enjoy reading The Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Novel.
- Have you finished your first novel and are now wondering how to get it published? Then read our blog- Traditional or Self-Publishing- in India, which is better for a first time author?