Penn Foster Online Freelance Writing Career Program

Penn Foster Career School was founded by Thomas J. Foster in 1890. A newspaperman, Foster started by offering distance learning to anthracite coal miners who wanted to qualify for more senior positions. The first students would study by candlelight after having worked a 12-hour shift so that they could become foremen and mine superintendents.

Over 250,000 students enrolled in Foster’s school in the first decade alone. By the end of the Second World War, more than 5 million students had received career training from Penn Foster. Now, over 13 million people have decided that distance learning from Penn Foster Career Schools is right for them.

Freelance Writer Program

The Freelance Writer program offered by Penn Foster Career Schools helps students prepare for a career as a writer.

It includes instruction about treating writing as a business, as well as how to use resources, such as the Writer’s Market, to find publications that hire freelancers. They also get instructions in how to submit manuscripts to editors, as well as how to work with agents.

Students complete their work entirely off site through distance learning, at a time that is convenient for them. The cost of materials is included in the fee charged. Each student is supplied with a copy of the Writer’s Market, as well as any books needed to complete the assignments.

The Freelance Writer program is made up of six instruction sets. The first one is forwarded to the student immediately after he or she has been accepted into the program. As soon as the student completes an exam, the next set is forwarded so that he or she always has something to work on. The entire program can be completed in as little as nine months, but students have the freedom to work through the materials at their own pace.


  • Set 1:Learning Strategies The Freelance Life
  • Set 2:The Writing Habit, Part 1; The Writing Habit, Part 2
  • Set 3:The Business of Writing: Reference Sources for Writers
  • Set 4:Reading for WritersSet 5: Using the Writer’s Market
  • Set 6:Becoming a ProfessionalBecoming a Specialist

Once the student has successfully completed the six sets, he or she can choose an area of specialization. The student will be asked to complete an assignment focused on one of the following:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction

How to Apply to Penn Foster Career School

To enroll in the Freelance Writer program offered by Penn Foster Career School, simply fill out the online form. Once the form has been submitted, a student number is issued. This is needed to access online study materials. Once the student has started his or her program, they can contact an instructor by phone, e-mail or regular mail to get help as needed.

At the end of each lesson in the program, the student is required to write an exam. Students much achieve a grade of 70 percent or higher to pass the exam. A grade of 92 or higher is an A, 91-91 is a B, and 75-80 is a C. A D grade is given for a mark between 70-74.


Learn More: Northwestern Master’s in Creative Writing