Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing

We’re thrilled to announce that our newest instructor is none other than the celebrated novelist, nonfiction writer, and poet Margaret Atwood.

Margaret Atwood, arguably one of the world’s best fictional writers, is an award-winning and prolific author of more than fifty novels, books of poetry, and critical essays. Her 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, was adapted into the Emmy-winning TV series on Hulu, now in its second season, and was the best-selling book on Amazon in 2017. Atwood’s Booker Prize-nominated 1996 novel, Alias Grace, was also adapted to a TV series for Netflix. Her recent works include a book of short stories, Stone Mattress: Nine Tales; and the MaddAddam trilogy. Unrestricted by genre barriers, Atwood has explored nearly every form of writing – including comic books, with her 2016 superhero series Angel Catbird. She is the recipient of dozens of awards, including the Booker Prize for her novel, The Blind Assassin; the Giller Prize in Canada and Premio Mondello in Italy for Alias Grace; and lifetime-achievement awards from the National Book Critics Circle, PEN Center USA, and the Canadian Booksellers’ Association.  

In her MasterClass, Atwood shares her approach to fiction writing and her storytelling philosophy, which encourages students to look for inspiration in real events that have taken place throughout history. She teachs her process for writing speculative and historical fiction, and discuss novels based on dystopian societies. Students will learn techniques Atwood uses to keep readers engaged – how to developing compelling plots with complex structures, how to choose a narrative point of view, and how to create nuanced characters. The class gives students a glimpse of Atwood’s research materials and the first handwritten draft of The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as the manuscript draft materials of Alias Grace.

“Creativity is one of the most essential things about being human, Storytelling is very ancient; the novel is a more modern form of storytelling. Like every other creative endeavor, novel-writing is partly learn-by-doing. In my MasterClass, I’m happy to share how I wrote my stories, and my processes and tips, with people who want to write fiction themselves.”—Margaret Atwood

“Margaret roots her writing in reality, making readers believe even though they know it’s fiction, her stories are discussed at dinner tables all over the world because they feel eerily real and relevant, and her impact on fictional storytelling has been profound. We hope her class will help students translate what’s happening in the world today into their own works that readers will reflect on and critique for many years to come.”— David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass

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