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  • Writer's pictureLee Hamilton

Free Online Screenwriting Classes and Courses


As an aspiring screenwriter, you may feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the craft and unsure of where to begin. Thankfully, the digital age is here, bringing us numerous resources, including free online courses that can guide you on your journey to mastering screenwriting.


Below is a comprehensive list of free online screenwriting courses, classes, and masterclasses specifically designed for beginners. From understanding the basics of story structure and character development, to mastering the art of dialogue and suspense, these courses should hopefully offer a wealth of knowledge that you can tap into from the comfort of your own home.


Disclaimer: These courses were free at the time of this article being written and I’m not specifically endorsing them, as I haven’t taken any of them – so make sure you check out any reviews before committing!


Anyhoo, we all have to start somewhere, and what better place to begin than with expert instruction that doesn't cost a dime?


Alison - Screenwriting

“This free online screenwriting teaches you the fundamentals of scriptwriting and explores various genres and formats. We show you how to carry out research, develop a script and turn your vision into a screenplay. The course demonstrates how to develop compelling characters, polish your script and create a pitch that sells your idea. We also take you through the common ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s of writing for the big or small screen.”


Behind the Curtain - A Screenwriting Masterclass for Beginners

“Do you want to know how to write a screenplay? Learn from real screenwriters! If you're a beginner screenwriter, this playlist is the ultimate screenwriting masterclass of the best writers and filmmakers today. Listen to them explain how they wrote scripts that became huge successes both in Film and Television.”


Movie School Free - Script Writing Course Online

“There is an old saying that says – You can make a bad movie with a good script, but you can not make a good film with a bad script. Film schools are all about teaching you how to tell your stories and the script is the first tool you use to do that. This free script writing course will teach you how to write a well – structured film scripts and short film scripts with strong characters, good conflicts, and interesting plots. The goal here is to teach you how to turn your stories into screenplays. This script writing course is also recommended for film directors and producers that want to learn the elements of a good story.”


Popcorn Talk - The Screenwriting Life

“Welcome to Ask Me Anything Screenwriter's Edition. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.”




Screencraft - Develop Your Action & Thriller Movie Idea in 15 Days

“Ready to write the next great Action Thriller? We can help! In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, structure, and develop your heart-pumping movie idea through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox. We'll break down the genre, explore iconic characters, and analyze the most iconic action thrillers.”


Screencraft - Develop Your Comedy Movie Idea in 15 Days

“Ready to write the next great comedy? We can help! In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, structure, and develop your hilarious movie idea through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox. We'll break down the genre, explore iconic characters, and analyze today's top comedies.”


Screencraft - Develop Your Drama Movie Idea in 15 Days

“Got some drama you want to develop for the page? We can help! In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, structure, and develop your dramatic movie idea through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox. We'll break down the genre, explore iconic characters, and analyze top dramas.”


Screencraft - Develop Your Horror Movie Idea in 15 Days


“Have a spine-chilling idea for a movie? We can help you develop it! In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, structure, and develop your horror movie idea through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox. We'll break down the genre, explore iconic characters, and analyze history's scariest movies.”


Screencraft - Develop Your Scifi Movie Idea in 15 Days

“Want to write an out-of-this-world sci-fi script? We can help! In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, structure, and develop your sci-fi movie idea through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox. We'll break down the genre, explore iconic characters, and analyze some of the best titles in sci-fi.”


Screencraft - Write Your Short Film in 7 Days

“With the rise in demand for high-quality short content across new platforms and devices, and the increased industry importance placed on short filmmaking worldwide, we’re helping screenwriters master the craft of short-form narrative screenwriting.

In this course, you'll learn how to brainstorm, conceptualize, and write your short film from beginning to end through daily assignments and exercises delivered every day to your inbox.”


StudioBinder - Script Breakdown Tutorials

“StudioBinder provides tools for every phase of film, TV, photo, and video production in a central cloud-based platform. From development through production, create, track, and securely share scripts, storyboards, shooting schedules, call sheets, and more. Collaborate on, and seamlessly move through, your creative workflow. All in one place. In this tutorial series, we give you a professional grasp of how to break down a screenplay for production. Find out the most efficient way to identify, categorize, and tag script elements. Don't go into production without an ironclad script breakdown — you need to break it down to accurately understand budget and shoot requirements. This series provides everything you need to know about breakdowns.”


Tyler Mowery - The Fundamentals Of Screenwriting Course

“This video playlist takes you through the fundamentals of screenwriting and storytelling. When you get to the end, you should have a working understanding of how stories work and how to write a screenplay.”


UEA (University of East Anglia) - An Introduction to Screenwriting

“This online course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.”


Young Screenwriters – Writing the Short

“Writing the Short is a program offered by John Warren through his Young Screenwriters brand. This is one of the best free screenwriting courses for absolute beginners. If you already have a degree of screenwriting knowhow, then this course might not provide too much information, otherwise, this is a great place to start.

John Warren is a professor in the NYU film program but he offers this Young Screenwriters course online for free. The program is designed to be taken over the course of five weeks, at the end of which you will have a short film script that is ready to shoot.”

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