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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.

This class was just as much philosophical as it was educational. Not only did Malcom provide and incredible perspective on writing, giving me valuable tools that will enrich my writing, but valuable tools to discover myself as a person. This class meant far more to me than I can express. I could never have imagined it would be as good as it was. Thanks, Malcom and MasterClass.

Wonderful insight into the mechanics and structure of non fiction writing.

To be honest and to be interesting, paint a true picture.

I filled a notebook with useful insights. It will take some time to incorporate these into my own writing, but I suspect the art of the interview is the main takeaway for me.


Smiley A.

Looking forward to learning more about my new professor! This project looks exciting. I have a few thoughts already on what I want to write about.

Riad S.

I am 17 years old with dreams of writing a book that helps teenagers like myself deal with their own psychological challenges, I can't wait to learn from Malcolm and one day be able to pursue my own dreams.


Malcolm, you're amazing!! So fun to have a face to look at, as well as the way you communicate, vs just the words on the page. Excited to hear the thoughts you have to share.

Gabe M.

I love the way Malcolm writes books that alter who you are as a person when you read them. I am very excited for this course.


I am really glad I get to pick Malcolm's brain because I enjoyed his book "outliers". It reinforced the thinking that success has other factors that come from without and this masterclass is off to a good start, "Writing is a calling..."

Valerie R.

I am a fan of Gladwell, I have read many of his articles in the New Yorker, and some of his books

Adriane L.

Very anxious to start, this is my 3 class at the masterclass, but this will be the first one about writing! Already ready Malcolm's books, and like the way he thinks.

Tamu L.

This is an amazing Masterclass. I have learned so much Mr. Malcolm Gladwell. I watched the course twice because there is always something that we missed the first time. As a writer I received such much knowledge and information.

April A.

Starting this Masterclass was like a breath of fresh air. I've been hemming and hawing over how to start and piece together my puzzle, my book, that has multiple stories mixed in it. The puzzle remains unsolved! I've wondered how to write it when I myself don't have the answers, so...I almost cried when Malcolm Gladwell talked about being interesting over being perfect. I have freedom to not know. This freedom, I believe, will actually be a great and powerful means of communicating the point of stories. Ironically, I also have an affinity to jigsaw puzzles. I have one on my dining room table. While puzzling this last weekend, I started to consider what I was doing, just like Malcolm did. I thought about how my research has been so like turning over the pieces when you first dump them out of the original box. I have been feeling overwhelmed looking at the pieces of my project and wondering how to organize all the stories. Finally, I have freedom to do it imperfectly. Thank you, thank you. This lesson was providential.

Sandra C.

I'd like o cross-pollinate creative writing and visual art, applying Malcolm's lessons to both!