Is it worth the money to pay for online classes that offer college credit? Will it help me get published?
Published: November 10, 2011
College credit doesn’t translate into publication, so if
that’s the only reason you’re considering shelling out the extra cash, then you
can probably find better uses for it. Publishers don’t concern themselves with
how much money you’ve invested in your fiction; they’re worried about the
strength and beauty of the writing, the intrigue of the story, and the depth of
characterization. Whether you paid for college credit on the path to strong
work—or quit your day job for a year and ate only soup in order to write, or
pieced together a manuscript by writing for only an hour every morning before
you left for a paying gig—won’t make a bit of difference when it comes time to
accept or reject the work.
Of course, there are reasons to pay the extra money. If it
affords you the opportunity to work with a writer you admire, then you might
find the fee worth it. If you’re a nonfiction author and the credit helps you
work toward a degree that establishes you more firmly in the field you’re
writing about, it could make a difference in your credibility as an author. You
might decide to put up the extra money if the course that seems the best fit
for you happens to be one that is only offered with college credit.
Brandi Reissenweber teaches fiction writing and reading fiction at Gotham Writers' Workshop and authored the chapter on characterization in Gotham's Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including Phoebe, North Dakota Quarterly and Rattapallax. She
was a James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for
Creative Writing and has taught fiction at New York University,
University of Wisconsin and University of Chicago. Currently, she is a
visiting professor at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Send your questions on the craft of creative writing to email@example.com. All of Brandi's other Ask The Writer columns are available to registered users.