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Writing

Career Journey

Judy Blume

Lesson time 18:26 min

Judy started writing because she was desperate for a creative outlet. She shares how her desire to feel normal led her to create enduring emotional connections with readers who wanted to feel the same way.

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Judy Blume
Teaches Writing
In 24 lessons, Judy Blume will show you how to develop vibrant characters and hook your readers.
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It seems impossible looking back that this has been my life and that I've been lucky enough to find a way to use the creative energy that has been inside me. It seems impossible that 50 years have gone by because it feels like yesterday, really, that I was starting out. I remember when Margaret was published, and it was reviewed in the New York Times, which seemed like an impossible thing. Anyway, and it was in a roundup of seven books, and it was reviewed last. And it said, the best of the seven and something else wonderful. And I thought, my God! That's when I really thought, maybe I can do this. Maybe I am a writer. That's the first time that it really hit me, I think, that this impossible dream was coming true. I've had plenty of bad reviews since then, but that first one that made me feel that I could be a writer. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before email, I used to get so many letters from kids who read my books that in the '80s, I decided to put them together in a book that I called Letters from Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You. Because so many kids wrote about, I can't tell my parents, so I'm telling you. Because of course, it was safe to tell me. So they poured their hearts out and their guts. And they they asked me their questions. And I thought I wanted to share this book with parents, with teachers, and with other kids who could see themselves. The letters are connected with autobiographical essays. So you find out a lot about me, and I share a lot about what the children were writing. And these are a few letters from that book. "Dear Judy, my mom never talks about the things young girls think most about. She doesn't know how I feel. I don't know where I stand in the world. I don't know who I am. That's why I read, to find myself. From Elizabeth, age 13". This means absolutely the world to me, everything to me, to know that my books have touched young readers and readers of all ages in such a personal way, that we're connected in this way. And when I read a letter like this about a girl who just wants to feel normal, that's me. I was a girl who just wanted to feel normal. So I never dreamed of anything like this when I started to write. You know, my first dreams were very simple. Please, let somebody want to publish something that I write. And then I get a little more greedy and I say, OK, now something's been published. Maybe someday I'll hear from somebody who's read one of my books. And then when that came true, I just stopped. I just stopped. I never dreamed of this kind of success over so many years. People ask me, what's your legacy. And the only thing I can think to say-- and the most important thing-- is that I've connected with readers for so many generations now. And to me, I couldn't ask for anything else. [MUSIC PLAYING] When I was in my mid 20s and these creative urges...


Write timeless stories

Judy Blume broke the rules. Her refreshingly honest children’s books were banned by hundreds of libraries and loved by generations of readers, who bought 85 million copies of classics like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge. In her first online writing class, the award-winning author teaches you how to invent vivid characters, write realistic dialogue, and turn your experiences into stories people will treasure.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Inspirational, deeply moving, full of invaluable information. Thank you for your heart, your kindness and generosity. You bought me delight and lifted my spirit.

If I could --she would get 6 Stars!! What a rare talent as a writer...appears to be a genuinely caring human being, as well as the brilliant writer that carved an incredible niche for herself. So thrilled and honored that was so forthcoming with her experiences (good and not so good) and encouraged us to push forward. Continued joy and success to you, Professor Bloom! Enjoyed your books....:)

Judy has taught me valuable fundamentals that I can take with me on my writing journey always. Hopefully I'll have the long and successful career she's enjoyed.

Thanks Judy for your honesty and your wisdom.


Comments

Yasha

I absolutely loved this session. Judy Blume is the whole reason I signed up for Masterclass. You are absolutely wonderful, you did not disappoint. Thank you for all of your heartfelt honesty in this course. I can't wait to come visit your store in the Key's and hope to get to meet you. You meant everything to me growing up.

Patricia W.

I loved hearing Judy Blume. (And WHAT is your regimen young lady?) Your enthusiasm and love is profound. I would not have made it through puberty without you, and Margaret.

A fellow student

I read Judy Blume books since I was a preteen in the 70s. I lived by her books and from her books, I received a better understanding of my own body and mind. I can't say how much I appreciate what she did to put her ideas, her talent, and her life out there so kids could say they were ok. I grew up in a life where you didn't ask, so you didn't know. I read terrible (found out I have dyslexia), but her books fascinated me and I swore she wrote about me. I thank Judy from the bottom of my heart for the honesty she brought into my life.

kathy L.

What a wonderful world this would be if there were more people like Judy Blume.

Myriam B.

WHAT, she's 79 when she recorded this??? That is unbelievable. I'll have whatever she's having!

A fellow student

Oh my god I love this episode. I'm almost sad the class is going to end. Judy is just brimming with compassion and passion and taking her class has taught me as much about life as books. I'm so grateful to be able to take her class and learn about her process and her experiences and opinions. It was funny how many times she got so emotional as she was sharing her experience, but the funnier thing is I actually tear up now whenever she does it haha!

Angelena

I was ecstatic when she talked about the One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo. That was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid. I read Super Fudge and Starring Sally J Freedman As Herself, but the Green Kangaroo is really what made me love Judy Blume. That might sound strange to some people who have read more of her work... but it's still pretty cool that a children's book could have stuck with me this long. In fact, that just shows how powerful an impact Judy Blume has on her readers. <3

Ashley D.

I absolutely love Judy Blume and her beautiful and open personality. She is a true light of warmth and goodness.

Rachel M.

I remember when I got the email saying my first short story was accepted. I was at work on my lunch break. But see, I worked at a nursery school and it was nap time, so I had to keep in my excited squealing and just keep my mouth open letting the silent screams out!

Angela U.

What a wonderful message from a wonderful person. The warmth, the personality of Judy just shines through her humanity and vulnerability.