Malcolm Gladwell

Lesson time 2:42 min

Meet your instructor—best-selling author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm outlines what he has planned for your class and reflects on the idea of writing as a calling.

Malcolm Gladwell
Teaches Writing
In 24 lessons, the author of Blink and The Tipping Point teaches you how to find, research, and write stories that capture big ideas.
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The act of writing about others is not a trivial act. It's not entertainment. It's not a distraction. You don't read nonfiction for the same reason that you chew gum or watch the Kardashians on television. You read it because you're in search of something powerful and fundamental about what it means to be a better person. Never done a class like this before, and I thought it'd be really fun to do because it's a chance for me to reflect on my career, which is, at this point is almost too long, really, really long, and help other people who would like to pursue a similar kind of line of work. One thing I want you to take away from this class is the idea of writing as a calling. It's an activity that has a higher purpose. It's part of the way in which we fulfill ourselves as human beings, both in the words that we write and in the words that we read. So over the course of these classes, we're going to talk about my career, we're going to talk about where I get ideas, we're going to talk about the techniques I use in my writing, about puzzles and tools and the virtues of withholding information, suspense. I'm going to talk about what I'm not good at as a writer and how I compensate for that. I'm going to talk about writers that I love and what I learned from them. I'm going to talk about what's satisfying to me about the work that I do, and I'm going to try and translate some of the insights I think I have gleaned from my years of writing in a form that I hope that you, listening, watching, can use. I'm Malcolm Gladwell and this is my MasterClass.

Transform the ordinary

Ketchup. Crime. Quarterbacks. Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s books, these ordinary subjects have helped millions of readers grasp complex ideas like behavioral economics and performance prediction. Now, the renowned storyteller and best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point is teaching his first online writing class. Craft stories that captivate by learning how Malcolm researches topics, crafts characters, and distills big ideas into simple, powerful narratives.


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

Well I have always been a fan of Malcolm Gladwells writing. I found it so interesting how he takes bits of information and puts them in his writing. I also like his interviewing techniques. Listen more and interject less. Everyone can have such a profound influence.

This is my first Masterclass and I'm very impressed with the quality of the instructor Malcolm Gladwell as well as the content. I've learned to construct my articles somewhat differently for more emphasis on the characters or narrative. Great job!

I did not expect, and can never express the appreciation I feel, for the depth of detail, the intensity of the knowledge Malcolm Gladwell shared with us. My writing cannot help but benefit from his insights.

I am giddy with a flurry of cliches I don't even speak over the fact that I can take this class! It's surpassing any expectation I could've had. YAY!!


Sam A.

"The idea of writing as a calling.It's an activity that has a higher purpose. It's part of the way in which we fulfill ourselves as human beings." That's exactly right. Such a great sensation when one finally puts the right words to the drive and passion that animate my writing.The truth about the strong drive to becoming a professional writer so elegantly summed up and almost "legitimized". There's a flip side to that coin though: the fear of not getting your own work published. Can't wait to complete this class!

Sandra M.

I am intrigued with the introduction. Structural ideas to discuss abstract means. Fascinating. S.L. Northey

Patricia M.

I am excited and scare. Malcolm is like the Hitchcock of the non-fiction. What is going to happen after we unveiled his process? Will report back once I finish! (or before that)

farva J.

Great intro - I'm excited to learn and produce a written piece for The New Yorker and other magazines. J.D. Salinger got his start through his shorter submissions, it's great to embark on this challenge.

A fellow student

A brief start, but I’m so excited to take this course and learn from the Grandmaster of narrative construction.

Michael Y.

Nice how a course like this can act as a permanent little reference point for the craft of nonfiction. I look forward to getting started! Gladwell's always been a favorite of mine in the world of nonfiction, and I feel like this is the perfect place to get started and look through his creative process.

Ken P.

One of my favorite authors. I like that he mentions "calling" and "higher purpose." I'm anxious to learn more about where he gets his ideas, various techniques, etc.

Joel Kirk R.

NON-FICTION is my passion. Thank you for helping me see I can actually do this!

Von M.

Gladwell is one of my all-time favorite authors. Looking forward to learning about the calling and craft from him.

A fellow student

Finally getting started on this class. I finagled it to be my professional development for work. Practicing the arch of a good non-fiction story in writing is something I've never done explicitly, so I'm not sure how this will go. I'm excited to find out, though.