The 7+ Best Online Screenwriting Classes for 2024 [Free & Paid]

screenwriting classes

What are the best screenwriting classes online?

My top choice for screenwriting classes is the Aaron Sorkin class on Masterclass. It’s comprehensive (there are 35 hours of content!), experienced-based, and I love that you also get access to all the other screenwriting and filmmaking classes that Masterclass has when you buy a monthly subscription (which is just $10/month).

If you’re on a very limited budget but still want to make a movie, check out this course from Skillshare that teaches you how to write scripts that you can make into micro-budget independent films!

If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show and thought, “I could write something like that,” then you’re in the right place!

I spent years enjoying movies and TV before I ever felt brave enough to try writing my first screenplay. Getting that first script written made me feel so accomplished. And now, more than ten years later, this is what I do full-time! What a ride.

I only wish I could have had access to these easy-to-take online screenwriting classes when I was starting out more than ten years ago!

In this article, we’ll navigate through the best online screenwriting classes available in 2024, both free and paid, to help you polish your skills and hopefully set you on the path toward your first screenplay.

Let’s get started!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

The 7+ Best Screenwriting Classes Online

1. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting (MasterClass) – Best Overall

Aaron-Sorkin-Teaches-Screenwriting

If you want to learn screenwriting from one of the best in the business, check out Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass! Known for his exceptional work on productions like “The West Wing,” “A Few Good Men,” and “The Social Network,” for which he won an Academy Award, Sorkin is a master of the craft.

In this comprehensive course, Sorkin provides an in-depth exploration of the art of screenwriting over 35 video lessons. The class covers key aspects of screenwriting, including the rules of story, dialogue, character development, and what to do after you’ve finished your script.

Throughout the course, Sorkin draws from his own experiences and scripts to provide real-world examples, which makes the learning experience relatable and highly practical. Like many Masterclass courses, this class also encourages interaction with writing exercises and a class workbook.

Aaron-Sorkin-Teaches-Screenwriting Masterclass

Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass

35 lessons

35 hours of content

Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass

$10 per month

For access to all Masterclasses (paid yearly)

Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV, or download it to watch on the go!


2. Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting (Skillshare) – Best For Those on a Budget

Micro-Budget-Filmmaking-Screenwriting-Dustin-Curtis-Murphy-Skillshare

If you’re an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker with a vision but limited resources, Skillshare’s “Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting” course is a great place to start. This film writing class is designed with the budget-conscious writer in mind.

This course goes beyond the basics of screenwriting, going into the art of choosing and refining your movie ideas for maximum success, even with limited resources. You’ll learn how to choose a passion project that you can realistically achieve and how to develop compelling characters that bring your story to life.

To streamline your screenwriting process, the course offers insights on time management as a writer, screenplay formatting, and various writing strategies and techniques. This class is one section of a five-part series on micro-budget filmmaking.

Micro-Budget-Filmmaking-Screenwriting-Dustin-Curtis-Murphy-Skillshare

Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting

9 lessons

38 minutes of content (this class is just one section of a five-part series on micro-budget filmmaking)

Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting

Free trial for 7 days.

You can enroll in SkillShare if you enjoy the class. Pricing will vary by region.

Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone or computer.


3. Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY (Udemy) – Best For Beginners

Beginning-Screenwriting-made-EASY-Screenwriting-Course-Udemy

If you’re starting your storytelling journey and need a guide, Udemy’s “Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY – Screenwriting Course” could be just the ticket. Absolute beginners won’t get overwhelmed by jargon and complex theories—this course serves up all the screenwriting essentials in a way that’s quick to pick up and, dare we say, fun.

Step by step, you’ll explore how to turn that awesome idea bouncing around your brain into a structured plot, complete with characters your audience will love (or love to hate!). Plus, you’ll learn the nitty-gritty of scriptwriting, like figuring out screenplay formatting.

Practical and time-saving, this course shows you that you don’t need a film school to learn how to write feature films.

Beginning-Screenwriting-made-EASY-Screenwriting-Course-Udemy

Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY

38 lessons

2 hours, 49 minutes of content

Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY

$69.99

This course is often on sale for new Udemy students – check for current price!

Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, or TV. Lifetime access is included.


4. Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television (Coursera) – Best With a Certificate

Write-A-Feature-Length-Screenplay-For-Film-Or-Television-Coursera

If you’ve been dreaming of penning a full-length screenplay for a movie or TV show, and you love getting certificates for your LinkedIn profile, Coursera’s “Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television” is just what you need!

This course takes you on a structured screenwriting journey that leads you from concept to a pitch-ready script, all while boosting your confidence in your own creative abilities.

Here’s how it works: The course mimics a professional writers’ room process. You’ll write, share your work for peer review, and then incorporate the constructive feedback you receive to improve your script.

This collaborative process mirrors how real-world screenwriting works, giving you a taste of industry experience. And don’t worry if you’re a newbie – no prior writing experience is required.

The lectures are crisp, often just a couple of minutes long, and designed in a step-by-step fashion to make your scriptwriting journey as smooth as possible. At the end of it all, you’ll not only have a completed screenplay under your belt but also an official certificate to showcase your newly honed skills (if you pay for the course)!

Write-A-Feature-Length-Screenplay-For-Film-Or-Television-Coursera

Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television

20 modules

Take one module each week over 20 weeks. Tons of content included!

Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television

Free!

You can enroll in this class for free (“audit” the course). You will need to pay if you want a certificate.

Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone or computer.


5. Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television (MasterClass) – Best For TV Writing

Shonda-Rhimes-Teaches-Writing-for-Television

Got your sights set on the small screen? Then you’ll want to learn from one of the best.

Enter Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass, “Writing for Television.” Rhimes, the powerhouse behind hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” serves up her storytelling magic in a course that’s informative and inspiring.

Throughout the course, Rhimes offers an intimate look into the process of creating, developing, and bringing a TV series to life. You’ll get a deep dive into character development, crafting captivating storylines, and the ins and outs of running a writers’ room.

She even shares personal anecdotes and experiences from her career, giving you invaluable insight into the television industry. By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and techniques to create your own television series.

Shonda-Rhimes-Teaches-Writing-for-Television

Shonda Rhimes Screenwriting For TV

30 lessons

6 hours, 35 minutes of content

Shonda Rhimes Screenwriting For TV

$10 per month

For access to all Masterclasses (paid yearly)

Shonda Rhimes Screenwriting For TV

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV, or download it to watch on the go!


6. Write a Movie in 14 Days: Fast Screenwriting (Udemy) – Best For Quick Writers

Write-a-Movie-in-14-Days-Fast-Screenwriting-Udemy

Ever dreamed of writing your own movie script but are not sure if you have the time?

Udemy’s “Write a Movie in 14 Days: Fast Screenwriting” is here to challenge that notion! This course is a high-speed sprint to your finished screenplay, led by Jordan Imiola, a produced screenwriter with over 25 credits under his belt and a track record of meeting deadlines (he’s worked with big names like Fox and Disney!). Updated in June 2023, the course has the most up-to-date industry insights.

In this course, Imiola will guide you on going from a blank page to a completed script in just two weeks. Yes, you read that right – two weeks! You’ll learn how to outline your movie, inject inspiration, plot scenes, and develop characters. The course even references successful films like “Happy Gilmore,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Jaws” to illustrate storytelling concepts.

By the time you wrap up the course, you’ll have a finished screenplay, along with a treasure trove of knowledge about screenplay and movie structure, scene plotting, character development, and how to gather inspiration from the cinema greats.

Write-a-Movie-in-14-Days-Fast-Screenwriting-Udemy

Write a Movie in 14 Days

28 lessons

4 hours, 23 minutes of content

Write a Movie in 14 Days

$79.99

This course is often on sale for new Udemy students – check for current price!

Write a Movie in 14 Days

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, or TV. Lifetime access is included.


7. Learn To Write Movies: Screenwriting Step by Step (Skillshare) – Best For Learning About Characters and Dialogue

Learn-To-Write-Movies-Screenwriting-Step-by-Step-John-Watts-Skillshare

Dreaming of becoming a scriptwriter but unsure of where to start? Or maybe you’ve got a fantastic idea for a feature film but aren’t quite sure how to turn it into a movie script? Fret not! Skillshare’s “Learn To Write Movies: Screenwriting Step by Step” is here to show you the ropes.

This course is your personal tour guide through the world of screenwriting. It takes you from the spark of a concept through the creation of compelling heroes and villains and all the way to mastering the art of dialogue. It even includes practical exercises in the form of worksheets you fill out as you progress, helping to cement your understanding and build your script step by step.

The best part? By the time you finish this film writing course, you’ll understand how to create memorable, three-dimensional characters, how to weave a theme throughout your script, and how to keep readers hooked.

Learn-To-Write-Movies-Screenwriting-Step-by-Step-John-Watts-Skillshare

Screenwriting Step-by-Step

23 lessons

3 hours, 58 minutes of content

Screenwriting Step-by-Step

Free trial for 7 days.

You can enroll in SkillShare if you enjoy the class. Pricing will vary by region.

Screenwriting Step-by-Step

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone or computer.


8. Bonus Free Class: Writing the Short (Young Screenwriters)

Writing-the-Short-Free-Online-Course-—-Young-Screenwriters

Dive into the world of script writing with the compact yet powerful form of short scripts. Young Screenwriters’ free course, “Writing the Short,” offers an intense 5-week journey, taking you from zero to a captivating, shootable short script.

The course underscores the immense potential of short scripts: winning prestigious screenwriting contests, impressing industry insiders, and even acting as a springboard for your own short film. You’ll also learn the value of testing feature film ideas on a smaller scale. Most importantly, this course highlights the critical role of structure – the very foundation of your script.

Leveraging the instructor’s 20+ years of experience, you’ll gain insights from his encounters with industry professionals and studies of successful films. The end result? A solid understanding of screenwriting basics and a short script that can turn heads.

Writing The Short

25 lessons

over an hour of video content

Writing The Short

Free!

Writing The Short

Type of Access

Watch on Teachable


What Is Screenwriting?

Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for films, TV programs, video games, or other visual mediums. A screenplay isn’t just about the dialogues between characters—it’s the story-based skeleton of a visual narrative, including the plot, character development, and even directions for actors and camera work.

The role of the screenwriter is akin to that of an architect, laying the foundation upon which directors, actors, and cinematographers build. A well-written screenplay can turn a good idea into a great film!

What Are the Benefits of Taking Screenwriting Classes Online?

In our increasingly digital world, learning screenwriting online has become a fantastic alternative to a traditional screenwriting class. Let’s take a look at why you should take an online screenwriting course.

Flexibility and Convenience

To start off, it offers flexibility—you can learn at your own pace, wherever and whenever suits you best. Long gone are the days of adjusting your schedule around a fixed class time.

Access to Expert Knowledge

Most importantly, many online classes are taught by industry professionals and advanced writers. These experienced mentors can offer insider knowledge and practical advice, illuminating the path from an idea in your head to a screenplay ready for the big screen (or the small screen—hello, binge-worthy TV series!).

Cost-Effective Learning

Traditional screenwriting courses and workshops can be quite expensive, especially if they involve traveling and accommodation costs. Online classes, on the other hand, often come with more affordable price tags. Plus, there are plenty of free resources and webinars available for beginners and aspiring screenwriters on a tight budget.

Networking Opportunities

Although online courses may lack the face-to-face interaction of in-person classes, they still provide lots of opportunities to connect with other students and industry professionals.

Many online platforms have built-in forums, chat rooms, or social media groups where you can share your work, exchange ideas, and build valuable connections. You never know where these connections might take you!

Diverse Course Offerings

Finally, the wide range of online screenwriting classes available means that you can find a course tailored to your specific needs and interests. From beginner to advanced levels, genre-specific workshops to general screenwriting courses, the options are virtually endless!

So, if you’ve got a story to tell, a passion for writing, and a laptop (or even a good ol’ pen and paper), you’re already halfway there. All that’s left is to find the right online screenwriting class for you!

Common Questions on Screenwriting Classes

What are the advantages of taking an online screenwriting class?

Screenwriting classes online offer a host of advantages. They provide flexibility, allowing you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule, which is perfect for those juggling other commitments. Plus, they often come with resources, such as assignments and feedback from experienced instructors.

How long does it take to learn screenwriting?

The time it takes to learn screenwriting skills can vary widely depending on your personal pace, dedication, and prior experience. For a beginner, a structured online course can provide a strong foundation in several weeks. However, mastery often takes years of practice and real-world experience, as refining one’s storytelling abilities and understanding the nuances of scriptwriting is an ongoing process.

Are screenwriting classes worth it?

Yes, script writing classes can be incredibly worth it. Regardless of your skill level, they provide structured learning, professional guidance, and feedback. They can offer valuable industry insights and often allow you to network with peers and professionals. The value you gain will depend on your personal goals, commitment to the course, and how you apply the knowledge learned.

Final Thoughts

Ready to take the plunge into the world of screenwriting? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. These online screenwriting classes are the perfect tools to elevate your skills and help you tell your story like a pro. They’re packed with all the know-how, strategies, and insider knowledge you need to really nail this screenwriting thing.

Screenwriting is so much more than just putting words on a page. It’s the art of creating unforgettable characters and stories and making your vision come alive on the screen. With these fantastic courses, you’ll learn how to master these skills and more.

In the end, learning the skills of screenwriting is just the first step. You also need to know story structure and how to write a good story! Take a look at any of these articles to learn more!

Story Structure: 9 Powerful Narrative Structures for Writers

Examples of Themes in Books and Literature: Definition & Types

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *