What to Expect from our College Courses

Our online college-affiliated extension courses are offered through the online learning programs of more than 1500 colleges, worldwide.

Each course lasts six weeks and consists of 12 lessons.

Each lesson includes:

  • Written instructional materials
  • A quiz
  • Web resources
  • An assignment involving your own original writing
  • A discussion area where you’ll share your work and receive feedback from Steve Alcorn

It’s like being a member of the world’s most exclusive critique group! New courses begin monthly.

These are our most intensive courses, where interaction with your instructor is key.


Write Fiction Like a Pro

What’s the single biggest difference between professional authors and novices? Professionals know how to structure novels and stories for maximum dramatic effect.

This course helps you develop the same story structuring skills the pros use. You’ll understand how your passion, theme, premise, and characters help you create the structure of your story, and you’ll discover how viewpoint, dialogue, pacing, and many other techniques are used to build scenes and move your story from beginning to end.

Click here to learn more.

Writing for Children

Discover what you need to know to write for children. If you’re a beginning writer, this course will help you transform your book idea into a finished product that could potentially land in the hands of an editor or agent. And if you’re already a successful writer, this course will help you explore new opportunities and markets for your work.

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Advanced Fiction Writing

Do you have a story idea but aren’t sure how to begin? Do your friends say you write well, but you’re not sure how to get started on that first book? Do you have a manuscript, or parts of a manuscript, and need to know how to polish it for publication?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Advanced Fiction Writing is for you! You’ll explore all the topics a writer needs to create a successful manuscript, including story structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, viewpoint, tense, and even how to get published.

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Mystery Writing

What makes a mystery? If you consider the books you’ve read most recently, you may be surprised to discover that many–if not all–are mysteries. From Dan Brown to Dennis Lehane, mysteries are hot items on today’s best-seller lists.

This course will teach you the techniques you need to know if you want to become a best-selling mystery author. 

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Writing Young Adult Fiction

From Harry Potter to Twilight, young adult fiction is one of the hottest genres for today’s novels. Teens and adults alike have discovered the excitement and passion of these stories, and publishers are hungry for more. If you’re eager to break into this market, this course provides you with the recipe for creating your own successful young adult story and shows you how to get it published.

Click here to learn more.