Dear Miss Snark:
I haven't done any creative writing to speak of since I was in college over 25 years ago. I've been working on three different manuscripts since late last year, and the only thing I've gained from the exercise is that I've forgotten a lot more than I ever knew. My writing is boring and formulaic. I can't join a writer's group because I live in the back of beyond; the nearest one I could find is over two and a half hours' drive away.
I subscribe to "Writer's Digest" and decided to enter one of their online workshops. I realize that it's not accredited and doesn't count as an academic course, but is it something that I could list as a credit on a query? I thought that, at worst, participating in this workshop will exercise my writing skills and maybe get the creative juices flowing a little.
What do you think?
I think you don't understand the difference between "publication credit" and "working on your craft". Going to a seminar, accredited or not, going to a workshop, belonging to a critique group, putting your work through the travails of the crapometer are all valuable to various degrees. They are "working on your craft". They are NOT mentioned in query letters. Never. Not even the "bingo bango bongo" of the recent HHCom.
Getting your work published is a publication credit. Small journals, winning a contest, previous novels are all pub credits. Pub credits require your work to be selected from a pool of submissions, evaluated by someone other than your mom and generally available to be read by Miss Snark should she wish to clickity click over to the website.