Ah the allure of summer. Where you can sit outside getting sunburnt, frantically waving flies from your face, while sweat falls from your skin in salty cascades…
On second thought, why not stay inside in the aircon and learn a new skill instead? For those of you who would much rather enjoy the heat from the comfort of inside your refrigerated living room, here are nine online courses you can do this summer.
HOT TIP: You can do these courses while sitting outside, too. Just remember to slip, slop, slap.
Make the most of the new season by following your passion for writing…
Reinvent Yourself is the perfect course if you have the inkling you'd love to write, but have no idea where to start.
Valerie Khoo's lessons guide you through the different paths available, sharing inspirational stories from people who were just like you once – and who found their passion for writing. The course includes an 318-page workbook loaded with tips, advice and strategies, 19 inspirational case studies, and 15 exclusive interviews with successful writers.
It's the practical blueprint you need to kickstart your new career.
“Reinvent Yourself is the perfect start for anyone who is interested in following their writing dreams. I found this mini yet extremely jam-packed course full of helpful tips. A bible that I shall return to for that push I'll need when doubt starts to creep in.” – Linda Sulman
If you're hankering to tell a true story in a rich and exciting way – think Peter FitzSimons or Malcolm Gladwell – then you need to learn the skills of creative non-fiction.
Creative non-fiction is one of the most exciting genres in the literary world. People love to learn new things by reading well-crafted stories that read like a novel. So if you have a true story that is stranger than fiction, discover the techniques to create a work of non-fiction that reads like a page turner.
“I learnt so much from the Creative Non-fiction course and I am a better writer for it. From the very first lesson I felt like I was being welcomed into a place of learning for writers – it felt supportive and encouraging. It encouraged me to question my story narrative, its structure and tone, as well as my characters. I couldn’t have written and published my book without AWC.” – Anika Molesworth, now a published author of Our Sunburnt Country with Pan Macmillan
Structure is the foundation of your story. It's what helps to move your story from an exciting beginning, through an engaging middle, to a satisfying conclusion. If you can't quite put your finger on why your story isn't working, the culprit is probably the structure.
Our Fiction Essentials: Structure course is designed for fiction writers looking to improve the framework and pace of their stories. Many courses talk about what structure is, but this one will show you exactly how to do it. Developed by bestselling author Pamela Freeman, this nuts and bolts course will transform your storytelling.
“There were little surprises in every module. I was unprepared for the joy that flooded over me as I heard about narrative tension. I had no idea such a process as ‘building narrative tension' existed. Before, it was like trying to build a house without a hammer! The advice I received in this course about those topics alone was worth the asking price. The rest of it is a bonus.” – Ivan Ballin
For many writers, the character comes first; but that doesn't always mean it comes easily. A great story is one where characters come alive on the page. Your readers are transfixed by their behaviours and have strong feelings about them – either good or bad!
This online course will help you develop the main players in your story as well as your entire cast of characters. Because without great characters, there's no story.
“Although I'd thought I had given my characters a background story, it really made me think and understand their motivations more fully.
There will be less writer's block if you put in the work to fully develop your characters, then you can focus on the storyline and enjoy the writing process because you know how your characters think, feel and react to certain situations in your story!” – Peta Henshelwood
Would you love to write a funny story for kids, like the Treehouse series, Tom Weekly, Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Toffle Towers?
This course is for people who think they might have a funny bone, but aren't sure where it is. With surgical precision, popular children's author Tim Harris will help you to locate yours and guide you through the process of crafting a funny story or book. Plus you'll also receive his professional feedback on a writing exercise.
“Tim Harris knows funny! He has crafted a course which unpacks humour in an easy-to-grasp, insightful way, and his delivery literally made me laugh out loud. I'm finishing this course knowing a wee bit more about toilet humour, ready to put my characters through hell for the sake of a joke, totally understanding recurring humour and totally understanding recurring humour. See? I'm so much funnier now. Thanks, Tim!” – Amelia Lewis
Everything you read on the web has been written by a person. Think about it. There are millions of websites, and all of them need one thing: content. There is a massive demand for good quality content writers, and the great news is that it's a skill you can learn, especially if you already have a passion for words.
This online course is ideal if you want to learn the art of communicating with customers through great content or start a new side hustle.
“I didn't know how to start writing content before. It's taken the hesitation away and I feel confident to start now, using the templates. It's not brain science! Just need to use a structure, and start!” – Steph Austin
Writing short stories is the perfect way to hone your fiction writing skills. Crafting a compelling story with interesting characters and a strong arc is not easy when you're constrained by a word count, but that challenge is what makes short stories so satisfying. Not to mention, the appetite for short stories keeps growing and growing, with thousands of competitions and anthologies each year.
This is a unique online course where you learn the materials at your own pace. Once you've completed all the modules, you can submit your own short story for assessment by editor extraordinaire Cathie Tasker. It's an extraordinary opportunity to get feedback from an industry professional.
“I just read the feedback that Cathie prepared and I wanted to pass on my gratitude to her for a wonderful course. I really appreciate the amount of work she put into critiquing my story and the excellent content in the modules. After taking this course I now know what makes a good short story and the importance of fully engaging in all stages of the editing process. My sincerest thanks.” – Andrea Wilson
Who says you can't mix business with pleasure? Go ahead and improve your business writing skills while sipping margaritas in your pyjamas. Our Professional Business Writing course is designed for people who want to improve their business communication in a practical non-nonsense way.
Good business writing comes down to clarity and confidence, and that's exactly what you'll gain in this course. Even while sipping margaritas.
“I feel confident knowing I have the knowledge to write professional correspondence. I look forward to modifying my templates as per the guidelines provided. Highly recommend. Well worth the time and money as the course content is spot on.” – Janelle Adolphe
If you're looking to emerge from the summer with a brand new skill that you can earn an income from immediately, look no further than Real Estate Copywriting. It's the perfect course for writers who want to expand their repertoire or carve out a niche specialising in writing property listings.
Everyone loves sticky beaking at real estate ads and dreaming of new possibilities. Why not be the person who helps to create those dreams?
“This course gave me the confidence to take the first step towards finding my first client. It was delivered in a very aspirational and positive way, making the world of copywriting seem very inviting and the goal of becoming a real estate copywriter achievable!” – Jennifer Marshall