Since last few weeks, Covid-19 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 our 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
A Pushcart-nominated writer from Jharkhand, India, Kritika Pandey is a graduate of the MFA for Poets and Writers, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her many accolades include the 2020 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and shortlisting for the commonwealth prize in 2018 as well as 2016.
In 2020, she was the Overall winner of the Commonwealth short story prize for her story “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes”. “A gut-punch of a story, all the more shocking in its charged conclusion given that most of it is set at a tea seller’s and its energy derives from a few looks between a boy and a girl,” says the Ghanaian writer NiiAyikwei Parkes, one of the Judges. You can read the story at https://granta.com/the-great-indian-tee-and-snakes/ .
Her writing has been published in The Bombay Literary Magazine, Raleigh Review, The Common, Granta, and UCity Review, among others. Her other awards include the 2014 Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, the 2018 Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction, the 2018 Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, and the 2020 James W. Foley Memorial Award.
Kritika lives in Massachusetts, US, and will teach the course online from there.
- Course Contents: Each day will be broken into two parts. In part one we will spend an hour on an element of the craft of Short Story Writing such as Dialogue, Repetition, Editing, or some such. In the second part which is two hours long, we will “workshop” the work of the participants. Each participant will be asked to have a piece of writing ready for review. The group as a whole will read and provide feedback in a structured manner moderated by Kritika.
So expect to write and read a lot during this workshop.
On the fourth day we will dive deep into editing, a widely underestimated and barely understood element of great writing.
- Whom: For Intermediate level of Writers
- When: November 19-20 and 26-27 (4 days), 2021 5-8 PM each day.
- Cost: INR 15,000/-
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 involve critiquing and feedback from fellow writers.
- For Whom: Beginners
- Cost: Free
Himalayan Writing Retreat’s Online Creative 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.
The Online Creative Writing Workshop is the same workshop as the Himalayan Creative Writing Workshop 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.
Sign into Zoom along with your cohort and the instructor. We go through all the days of work online. We write, share our writing, get feedback from the group.
The next Writing Workshop is on August 12-15, 2021
- Cost: Rs. 18,000/-
- How: https://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/creative-writing-course-in-india/
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.
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 Course with Rochelle Potkar
Award-winning writer, Rochelle Potkar’s book of haibun Paper Asylum was shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020. Author of Four Degrees of Separation and Bombay Hangovers, she is an alumna of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2015) and a Charles Wallace Writer’s fellow, University of Stirling (2017).
She was invited as a creative-writing mentor for the 2019 Summer Institute, The International Writing Program, Iowa. (https://rochellepotkar.com.)
When: July 11th and 18th, 2021.9.30 AM – 1.30 PM (IST) and 10 AM to 1 PM (IST) respectively.
Internshala is a technology company on a mission to equip students with relevant skills & practical exposure through internships and online training. 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
We have collated an exclusive list of places to submit your work and shared tips on how to earn money online through writing:
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.
Online learning has become an essential service in present times, with Covid making face-to-face learning problematic. Futurelearn offers an array of online courses for you to choose from. Their user-friendly website makes it easier for a person of any age group is able to navigate around easily.
- 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.
- If you want to earn through writing and do it on the side or full-time, check out our blog on you should read Seven Ways to Earn Money through Writing in India
- 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?