7 Best Online Screenwriting Courses (2024 Updated Reviews)

Last Updated on February, 2024

Discovering the ideal online screenwriting course can be a game-changer for aspiring writers looking to learn screenwriting. In a digital era where storytelling spans various platforms, honing your screenwriting skills online offers convenience and flexibility. 

This article dives into the realm of best online screenwriting courses, providing a complete guide to discovering the top options available for you to choose from. 

Whether you’re a budding writer or looking to enhance your storytelling finesse, the right screenwriting class can make all the difference, these courses promise to nurture your creativity and provide valuable insight into the world of screenwriting, from covering the basic fundamentals to advanced screenwriting techniques.

Let’s kickstart your screenwriting journey that will empower you to weave captivating narratives for your audience. 

7 of the Best Online Screenwriting Courses

There are many screenwriting courses online available to choose from. Here are the top options that we’ve handpicked for you to consider.

1. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

a screenshot of the aaron sorkin teaches screenwriting course

Platform: MasterClass.

Instructor: Aaron Sorkin. 

Course length: 35 video lessons (8 hours).

Standard Price: $10/mo.

Level: Beginner and Intermediate. 

Aaron Sorkin, an award-winning screenwriter renowned for his scripts in ‘The West Wing’ and ‘The Social Network,’ brings his expertise to his beginner online screenwriting class for both TV and films.

His journey to fame began when he penned his screenplay script ‘A Few Good Men’ on a cocktail napkin. The play was later transformed into a widely acclaimed movie adaptation. 

As a prolific American screenwriter deeply immersed in the world of drama, Sorkin covers extensive material in this screenwriting course, such as the intricacies of dialogue writing, building compelling characters, and creating marketable scripts, offering a thorough exploration perfect for those seeking comprehensive insight on the screenwriting process.

a screenshot of the aaron sorkin teaches screenwriting course and details about the course

Sorkin’s teaching style is direct and focused, avoiding unnecessary anecdotes. The course not only imparts the rules of drama but also includes case studies from Sorkin’s own works and other films.

Through these, he decodes narrative structures, helping students grasp diverse story and character arcs, develop plots, and master the art of character development. 

Pros

Learn from an Oscar-winning screenwriter. 
Gain a deeper understanding of the principles of drama in screenwriting. 
Engage with compelling case studies. 
Receive practical advice on how to write a script throughout the course. 

Cons

Lack of one-on-one teaching. 
Heavy emphasis on lengthy workshops.
You won’t receive direct student feedback on your work.
The course could become monotonous, leading to a loss of interest.

Overview: Aaron Sorkin’s course is one of the best screenwriting classes online and MasterClass courses on screenwriting. It keeps its promises and delivers on how to master script writing and television writing from the words of a professional writer, making it a viable option. 


2. Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television

a screenshot of the shonda rhimes teaches writing for television

Platform: MasterClass.

Instructor: Shonda Rhimes.

Course length: 30 video lessons (6 hours and 25 minutes).

Standard Price: $180 for the annual pass.

Level: Intermediate.

Shonda Rhimes, a prominent American TV and film writer known for creating the popular medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ has carved a niche in the film and television industry. 

If you harbor aspirations of TV writing and wish to explore diverse opportunities within the industry, Shonda Rhimes’ screenwriting course is tailor-made for you. 

In her online screenwriting class, Shonda Rhimes personally guides you through her career journey, providing valuable lessons in scriptwriting, including researching, plotting, and honing your character development skills.

a screenshot of the shonda rhimes teaches writing for television and details of the course

Rhimes generously shares her experiences, offering tips on establishing a writing routine, navigating the writers’ room, and making a lasting impact in the film industry.

This screenwriting class also provides valuable resources, predominantly case-specific, for your ongoing reference. 

Pros

Learn from a successful screenwriter. 
Provides compelling ideas on how to craft interesting characters. 
Covers pitch notes, pilot scripts, and series bibles. 
Plenty of helpful resources for further study. 
Varied and engaging content. 

Cons

Only audio lessons are available. 
The class focuses on case studies, which might not be everyone’s preferred learning style. 
No direct student feedback on your work.
You have to purchase the all-access pass to watch this MasterClass.

Overview: Shonda Rhimes’ Masterclass stands out as one of the best online screenwriting classes, offering a unique blend of expertise and practical insights on how to write feature films and TV scripts. This online screenwriting class is a good choice for those seeking to elevate their television writing skills and even advanced writers to gain firsthand wisdom from a seasoned professional. 


3. Screenwriting and Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys

a screenshot of the screenwriting and storytelling blueprint: hero's two journeys by udemy

Platform: Udemy.

Instructor: Michael Hauge and Christoper Vogler.

Course length: 39 lectures (8 hours and 7 minutes).

Standard Price: $74.99.

Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

Michael Hauge is a prominent script consultant with over three decades of experience in Hollywood, having mentored numerous screenwriters, novelists, and professional speakers.

In this course, he joins co-teacher Christopher Vogler, a published author and screenwriter, to guide you in understanding screenwriting basics and principles. 

The advanced course focuses on imparting skills such as crafting a compelling narrative structure, mapping out character arcs, and balancing commercial and artistic success. 

Hauge is one of the top industry experts whose knowledge makes this course valuable for those looking to enhance their understanding of the core aspects of successful screenwriting.

Pros

Gain insights from industry professionals on how to write a TV script. 
Easy-to-follow teaching style. 
Emphasis on creating engaging content for audiences. 

Cons

Some repetition throughout the course. 
Handouts mentioned in the content are not provided.

Overview: This is the best screenwriting course for intermediate and advanced writers, aiming to improve their storytelling skills to create a stronger connection with the audience.


4. Screenwriting Masterclass: Script Writing & Screenplays

a screenshot of the screenwriting masterclass: script writing & screenplays by udemy

Platform: Udemy. 

Instructor: Phil Ebinner and Brian Birmingham. 

Course length: 43 lectures (3 hours and 36 minutes). 

Standard Price: $69.99

Level: Beginner and Intermediate. 

This screenwriting course teaches all the basics of screenwriting, like creating plots and characters, writing dialogue, and editing. It focuses on storytelling and theory, uncommon in many other screenwriting courses. 

You’ll have assignments to do during the course, prepping you to write a screenplay of your own at the end. Plus, they’ll give you free screenwriting tools to help you with your screenplay. 

Pros

Learn how to come up with great ideas for your screenplay. 
Develop unforgettable characters for your stories. 
Access complementary screenwriting tools for crafting your final draft. 
Learn from experienced masters in the field. 

Cons

It can be pretty traditional as it doesn’t focus on what’s popular. 
Expect to do quite a few assignments. 

Overview: This course is an excellent introduction for those completely new to professional storytelling and screenwriting structure. The standout feature is the exercises, which inspire students to delve into their own uniqueness as writers, making it one of the best online screenwriting classes that engage with its students. 


5. Beginning Screenwriting Made EASY 

a screenshot of the beginning screenwriting made easy by udemy

Platform: Udemy.

Instructor: Word Dancer/Pamela Kay.

Course Length: 38 lectures (2 hours and 49 minutes).

Standard Price: $54.99.

Level: Beginner and Intermediate.

In this course, led by Pamela Kay, a screenwriter and content creator, you’ll receive a step-by-step guide to screenwriting. The class covers fundamental aspects like planning your movie screenplay, structure, and character development.

Additionally, you’ll gain insights into how to write and format a screenplay and what steps to take after completing your initial draft. 

Throughout the course, you’ll discover how to connect your ideas with an audience, develop your characters as the story progresses, leverage industry secrets, and receive valuable student feedback on your screenplay.

It’s a comprehensive approach to learning the essentials of crafting a compelling movie screenplay. 

Pros

Enjoy an easily digestible teaching style. 
Receive guidance on safeguarding your story. 
Includes links to communities for screenwriters. 

Cons

The course lacks assignments. 
Better suited for beginners rather than advanced writers. 

Overview: This is one of the best screenwriting courses designed for people who want to explore screenwriting as a creative pursuit. It’s also helpful for those who’ve written books and want to turn their stories into screenplays. It’s a fun and informative class with a broad appeal for new and experienced writers. It also provides some valuable tips on advancing in the screenwriting business.


6. Screenwriting for Beginners

a screenshot of the screenwriting for beginners by udemy

Platform: Udemy. 

Instructor: David Ford.

Course Length: 6 lectures (1 hour and 33 minutes). 

Standard Price: $24.99.

Level: Beginner. 

If you’re just starting and want a brief course to grasp the fundamentals and kickstart your journey in screenwriting, this option may be the one for you. David Ford is an award-winning screenwriter and has the teachers’ experience. 

This course covers the screenwriting basics, breaks down the elements of a screenplay, and guides you on breaking into the industry. Throughout the course, David shares examples and discusses his personal experiences, making it easier to grasp the concepts. 

It’s a beginner-friendly option for those eager to understand the essentials of screenwriting and gain insights from an accomplished screenwriter. 

Pros

Learn from an experienced professional in the field. 
Well-suited for absolute beginners entering the world of screenwriting. 
Supported by relevant, easy-to-understand examples.

Cons

Course duration is brief. 
Teaching style may not consistently keep learners engaged. 

Overview: This is one of the best online screenwriting classes for beginners. If you want to kickstart your career as a screenwriter, this short and sweet course will get you started. 


7. Inspirational Screenwriting

a screenshot of the inspirational screenwriting by udemy

Platform: Udemy. 

Instructor: Paul Castro.

Course Length: 26 lectures (2 hours and 52 minutes).

Standard Price: $199.99.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

Paul Castro, known for writing the ‘August Rush’ screenplay and teaching screenwriting at UCLA, brings his expertise to this course. With credits in films like ‘Speed Kills’ and ‘Wedding of Dreams,’ Castro offers valuable insights into screenwriting techniques. 

This course covers plot development, creating suspenseful scenes, crafting solid characters, and using imagery effectively. It delves into the nuances that distinguish a successful screenplay from others. 

As a bonus, learners receive a podcast covering five screenwriting lectures. You’ll be equipped to produce a feature-length screenplay by the course’s end. 

Pros

Learn from a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter. 
Effective and natural teaching style. 
Receive a complementary podcast. 

Cons

Technical terms are not consistently explained. 
The course could benefit from providing additional examples for better understanding. 

Overview: Castro’s class is rated as one of the best screenwriting courses online on Udemy that provides advice on how to write a screenplay and tips on improving your thought process when building ideas. 


What to Look for When Choosing an Online Screenwriting Course?

a person learning screenwriting online

There are many online screenwriting courses to choose from. When selecting, several key factors can significantly influence your learning experience and overall success. 

Ensure that you keep these factors in mind when selecting from the various screenwriting courses online. 

Instructor Credentials

Look for screenwriting courses online that are taught by industry professionals or experienced screenwriters with a proven track record. This ensures you’re learning from someone with practical knowledge of the craft. 

Course Content

Ensure that the course covers a comprehensive range of topics, from basic concepts like plot development and character creation to more advanced elements such as dialogue writing and script formatting.

A well-rounded curriculum provides a solid foundation for aspiring writers.

Flexibility 

Opt for a course that fits your schedule and learning style. Some courses offer self-paced learning, allowing you to learn at your own speed, while others follow a structured schedule with set deadlines.

Choose the format that aligns with your preference and availability. 

Practical Exercises and Assignments 

Look for screenwriting courses online that incorporate practical exercises and assignments. Hands-on practice is essential for honing your writing skills.

Additionally, seek online courses that provide feedback on your work, as constructive criticism is invaluable for improvement. 

Additional Resources

Consider the resources offered by the course. Some screenwriting classes online provide access to screenwriting tools, templates, or even writing communities. These resources enhance your learning experience and support your development as a writer. 

Reviews

Read reviews and testimonials from previous students. Feedback from others who have taken the course can offer valuable insights into its effectiveness and whether it aligns with your goals. 

Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the online screenwriting class that best suits your needs and aspirations.

Advantages of Taking Screenwriting Classes Online

a female screenwriter working on a new project

These screenwriting online courses offer a dynamic and accessible platform for aspiring writers eager to learn about screenwriting. Beyond the conventional classroom setting, courses on screenwriting online have many advantages that cater to your needs. 

Let’s explore some of these advantages. 

Flexibility and Convenience

Screenwriting classes online offer flexibility, allowing you to learn at your own pace and tailor your schedule to fit your commitments. 

Whether you have a full-time job or other commitments, online courses enable you to access lessons and assignments whenever it’s convenient for you, as opposed to having to be in a lecture hall at a particular time and having deadlines for assignments. 

This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for those balancing various commitments.

Access to Industry Professionals

Enrolling in these courses often provides access to instructors who are industry professionals or experienced screenwriters. 

This direct connection with seasoned professionals allows you to learn from their practical insights and gain a real-world understanding of the craft. Many of these courses feature instructors with notable film and TV industry credits. 

Diverse Learning Resources

Online classes typically offer a diverse range of learning resources. These resources cater to various learning styles, from video lectures and reading materials to interactive exercises and assignments. 

Additionally, online classes provide access to screenwriting tools, templates, and writing communities, enhancing your learning experience. 

Cost-Effectiveness

a young screenwriter working on a new dialogue for a film

Compared to traditional in-person classes or workshops, screenwriting courses online are often more cost-effective. 

Without the need for physical classroom space, materials, or travel expenses, these courses offer a budget-friendly alternative. This accessibility allows individuals from diverse backgrounds and financial situations to pursue their interest in screenwriting. 

Global Networking Opportunities 

Screenwriting classes online bring together students from various locations, creating a global community of aspiring writers. 

This diverse network provides opportunities for collaboration, feedback, and exchanging ideas. Engaging with a community of peers from different backgrounds can enrich your learning experience and offer valuable perspectives on storytelling.

Personalized Feedback and Interaction 

Many screenwriting classes online incorporate platforms for students to submit their work and receive personalized feedback from instructors. 

This interactive element allows for a more personalized learning environment, helping you grow and improve as a writer. Engaging in discussions, asking questions, and receiving guidance contributes to a supportive and dynamic educational environment. 

If you want to learn screenwriting outside your traditional classroom, screenwriting classes online are an excellent choice to consider investing your time and money in.

Other course categories you might like:

FAQs 

Yes, a course on screenwriting can be highly beneficial for aspiring writers as it provides valuable skills and industry knowledge, making it a worthwhile investment for those looking to enter the industry.

Yes, the income for screenwriters in the U.S. can range from $60,000 to $100,000 per year.

The main difference lies in the medium the writing is intended for. Screenwriting typically involves writing for movies and TV, while scriptwriting is focused on writing for live stage performances. However, in essence, there is no significant distinction between the two.

The learning time can vary for each individual, but it typically takes 3 to 5 years of dedicated effort and practice to master the craft.

The cost of an online course can range from $50 to $500, while university programs can be more expensive, typically exceeding $10,000.

Final Note 

Whether you’re a beginner or seeking to enhance your storytelling abilities, these online screenwriting classes cater to various skill levels. 

Embrace the opportunity to learn, grow, and bring your cinematic narratives to life through the best course. 

Happy learning! 

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Carlos Eduardo
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Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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