A Workout for the Writer’s Brain: 8 Writing Courses to Inspire and Energize Your Mind

by Lesley-Anne Longo

Published at 2023-01-04

It’s 2023, and lots of people are making resolutions for the new year – spend less, save more, eat more vegetables, get in shape, declutter…the list goes on and on. However, one resolution we’d like you to consider is working out – but not working out your body, working out your brain!

Your approach to writing can change as you become more experienced, learn new techniques, and adopt new practices. One of the best ways to learn is to put yourself out there and experience new ways of doing things. You can do this through learning, whether by taking an online or in-person course.

Here are some great options you can look into if you’re eager to improve your writing this year.


Toronto Metropolitan University

CWWR 110 – Introduction to Creative Writing

The Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) offers a number of great courses on writing, from memoir writing to children’s book writing to government report writing.

Introduction to Creative Writing is a great place to start. It offers the opportunity to learn about a number of different writing styles, including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

If you’re interested in writing your first book but are unsure where to start, this course could be a great place to learn the techniques and practices you’ll need.

CSSH 205 – Academic Writing and Research

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of research, interpretation skills, and argument-based essay writing. You’ll examine a variety of texts throughout the course, with the aim of answering the questions of how and why we write.

This course is writing-intensive, so be prepared to get your ideas on paper!



Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization (Free)

This course teaches you the framework of techniques required for writing and editing together. You’ll learn how to arrange complex sets of information, how to tell stories creatively, and how to use syntax to create sentences that flow well.

The program features a section that focuses on the importance of drafting, which is an essential step in any writer’s repertoire. You’ll also learn the basics of self-revising your work.

Write Your First Novel (Free)

This course aims to push you off the starting block and across the finish line! By the end of the course, you should have a full-length manuscript in hand.

You will get the chance to create a book pitch and have it critiqued by your peers, create a strong outline of both plot and characters, and then dive right into writing.

The course doesn’t necessarily offer much in terms of writing techniques or best practices, but if structure and accountability are what you need to finish your book, then this course might be just what you need.

Business Writing (Free)

Writing well is one of the most important skills you can develop to be successful in the world of business.

This course will help you adopt simple tools and techniques to hone and articulate your ideas, how to use structuring and organizational tips to craft better writing, and how to revise your writing so that it is polished and ready to go.

You’ll learn how to elevate your language, infuse your writing with clarity, and amp up your ability to communicate your ideas effectively.


The Novelry

The Novelry offers a tailored collection of fiction-writing courses designed to help you focus on what tends to matter most in writing: storytelling.

Courses are entirely online, and you’ll have access to one-on-one coaching sessions, a writing community that stretches around the globe, and feedback from publishing professionals.

You will learn a range of creative storytelling and writing techniques and tools on an interactive learning platform.

What the courses include will vary depending on your needs, so take a look – maybe one is the perfect fit for you.


The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

The U of T School of Continuing Studies has a number of amazing courses (and full programs) that can help you become the writer you want to be. Here are a couple of our favourites.


1769 – Writing the Memoir 

This course is perfect for anyone who wants to write a memoir, whether for publication or just for family and friends.

You’ll learn how to create the framework for your book, how to select which stories to include (and which might not be book-worthy), and eventually write a couple of chapters to get you started.

This course is a great option for laying the groundwork that will help you get your book started. And it will give you great tips and techniques to keep you going.


1686 – Online Mentor

This is a unique email-based course, and it is directed towards writers who are looking for extensive feedback and guidance on shaping their works-in-progress.

Once you are assigned a mentor, you have 12 weeks (including rewriting time) to work on a maximum of 25,000 words of prose. Your mentor will know your selected genre, and will help guide you as you work on revising and rewriting to shape your manuscript, allowing you to develop a sharp sense of where you want your book to go next.



So much of improving your writing is about learning – about exposing yourself to new writers, new works, new ways of looking at content, and new ways of expressing your own thoughts and ideas.

Doing a writing course can help you in all of these areas, along with providing you with tips on grammar, syntax, sentence construction, and more.

If your plan is to improve your health this year, don’t forget about improving the health of your brain – and improving and expanding your writing skills while you’re at it!

We bet any of these courses will help you feel energized and inspired to finish your work-in-progress in 2023. Good luck and enjoy your learning!