I got an email from NaNoWriMo a couple weeks ago about this. And I was going to write it off as "I already know this stuff" until one of my offline writing friends said she'd started auditing because if nothing else the exercises would help her get her book in order and get some writing going. She found the first exercise useful, at least, and I wanted to see if anyone else had gone for it, and if you've done more than that and how it is overall. I took a look at the overview for the specialization and the first course, but there's not much you can actually see without enrolling.

Link here for anyone curious.

Personally, aside from questions of how useful this is... I see absolutely zero point to paying for a certificate for this. As far as I can tell, the certificates are so you can show people you completed it and put it on your resume. If QueryShark has taught me anything, it's that no one considering publishing your work is going to be swayed by such a certificate. I understand Coursera needs to make money, but that doesn't mean I have to give it to them.