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Learn about novels with online courses and programs

A great novel can immerse you into a world filled with vibrant characters and details. Coming up with a story that grabs readers’ attention requires creativity, imagination, and writing skills. Gain a greater appreciation for literature with edX courses.

What are novels?

A novel is a long narrative written in prose, which tells a story with the intent of entertaining its reader. Novels are written by authors, who may work alone or with others to develop their plot, flesh out characters, and come up with a satisfying conclusion. Their story is then reviewed and edited for flow and grammar before being sent off for publication.

As a reader, you may be interested in the creation and history of novels. Or, perhaps you want to be able to critique novels from a literary perspective. If you’re an aspiring writer, chances are you’re looking for tools to hone your craft and learn how to navigate the publishing world. You may even be interested in becoming a literary agent or editor.

No matter where your curiosity about novels comes from, edX can help you dive deeper into your interests. edX offers learners the opportunity to explore novels and publishing from different angles, allowing them to pursue a variety of engaging online courses that meet their goals.

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Novels course curriculum

Whether you want to learn skills and techniques for writing a novel or gain a greater appreciation for literature, online courses can help. Regardless of your goals or interests, exploring literary theory, classical literature, and the history of literature can provide valuable context for your educational journey.

Aspiring writers can turn their studies to novel development, taking courses that cover topics such as outlining and structuring a draft before revising and editing. Alternatively, you might be interested in classes that discuss ways to analyze literature through various perspectives as you pursue a career in education, library services, or literary criticism.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including novels, literature, and much more. ‌Sign up for an accelerated boot camp, or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree, or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to novels

Authors are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to publishing, distributing, and marketing novels. Here are a few roles involved in the entire process, from inception to public reception:

  • Author: Creates original written fiction works, which they can publish independently or with a publishing house.Footnote 1

  • Editor: Works with authors to improve the quality of their manuscripts, focusing on book structure, grammar, and consistency before publishing.Footnote 2

  • Literary agent: Represents authors and helps them sell their manuscripts to publishing houses.Footnote 3

  • Book cover designer: Designs the cover of the book, which is a crucial aspect of marketing the novel, as an attractive cover can significantly impact sales.Footnote 4

  • Literary critic: Assesses and critiques novels, offering insights into their literary merit, themes, and overall quality.Footnote 5

While many of these roles exist within similar industries, employment qualifications for careers that work with literature may differ based on the position and employer. Some roles may require a higher level degree, for example. Before deciding on which learning path will work best for you, research potential roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.