Top 5 Free Screenwriting Courses Online

SoCreate
4 min readMay 2, 2023

One thing I love about screenwriting is that there’s always room to learn more, whether learning about the formatting or a successful screenwriter’s approach to the craft. That’s why I’m excited to share some of the best screenwriting courses I’ve come across today!

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These courses offer a lot of information and resources that can help you advance your writing, whether you’re a beginner just getting started or a seasoned writer wishing to brush up on your skills. These courses are certain to be a useful resource for any aspiring screenwriter! From studying the fundamentals to comprehending the ins and outs of the film industry, these classes will have you covered! Let’s check out the top 5 free screenwriting classes available online now.

Top 5 Free Screenwriting Courses Online

1. Young Screenwriters

NYU Professor and screenwriter John Warren has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry over the years. Now he’s giving back by helping new and emerging writers figure out how to tell their stories. Over at his website, he offers 3 of his courses free of charge! His free courses include Writing the Short, which promises to teach students how to write a shootable short film in 5 weeks. He also has Writing the Short: School Edition, which guides teachers on exploring curriculum using short film writing. His course Writing the Scene will help you to write some of your most powerful and impacting scenes yet!

2. University of East Anglia

Recommended by BBC Writers Room, the University of East Anglia offers this 2-week, introductory screenwriting course through FutureLearn. In only 3 hours’ worth of weekly study, you can learn about all the fundamentals of screenwriting! While FutureLearn encourages students to subscribe to their $59 one-time or $189.99 annual plan, they also allow users more limited access to sample a course for free!

3. Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television

Through Coursera, Michigan State offers this comprehensive screenwriting course. This class will teach students over 20 weeks how to write a polished pitch-ready screenplay. Students will finish the course with a screenplay in hand, ready to take on the industry!

4. Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting

This course is a great one offered through Skillshare that contains nine lessons totaling 38 minutes long. This quick course covers an important topic writers don’t always consider: writing for a budget! In this case, you’ll be learning from a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker about how to write for the smallest of budgets! While Skillshare isn’t free, they do offer one month free.

5. Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series

This course is another fantastic offering from Michigan State via Coursera. This class focuses on teaching students about creating their own TV shows. Students will finish this 5-week course with a series bible and a finished pilot script, ready to pitch!

Top Paid Script Writing Courses

1. Sundance Collab

Sundance Collab offers quite a few multiweek screenwriting courses. These courses cover various topics, from starting your screenplay to how to rewrite. These courses require an application and undergo a selection process before a writer can attend. While the courses have a fee, Sundance Collab offers a limited number of need-based scholarships for individual courses.

2. Sundance Collab Video Masterclasses

No time for a multiweek course? Sundance Collab has also got you covered with their video masterclasses! Sundance Collab has a library of valuable masterclasses on all aspects of filmmaking. Their writing classes cover various topics, including Adapting a Screenplay from Source Material with Robin Swicord, Succeeding in the Writers’ Room with Nicole Levy, and the upcoming Transforming Your Short Film to Your First Feature with Adamma and Adanne Ebo. Each course is available for a $27 fee, or you can access all their Masterclasses and recordings with a $12/month membership.

3. MasterClass

MasterClass can be a great platform to learn about new subjects. They have numerous courses on screenwriting and filmmaking. This particular course focuses on writing for TV and is instructed by esteemed television writer/producer Shonda Rhimes! This class is a great option for anyone interested in television writing. The course includes 30 video lessons, with a total run time of 6 hours and 25 minutes. MasterClass offers plans starting at $15/month.

4. Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass

This MasterClass provides a deeper understanding of writing for both film and television. This class is not necessarily for beginners. It would help if you understood basic storytelling and script formatting to get the most out of the course. This course contains 35 videos and runs 8 hours and 1 minute.

5. Screenwriting & Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys

Udemy offers this highly-rated course about screenwriting and the art of storytelling. Instructed by celebrated screenwriting teachers Michael Hauge & Chris Vogler, this course includes 8 hours of on-demand video for $129.99. This course aims to set students on the path to commercial and artistic success!

And there you have it! This is my list of the top 5 best free screenwriting online courses and paid screenwriting courses. Hopefully, you find a course that connects with you! Happy learning!

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SoCreate

SoCreate is a startup that is on a mission to unite the world through storytelling.