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.

Loving it so far. Malcolm is so pleasantly normal.

Malcolm Gladwell has always been an author I've enjoyed reading. So, it was really beneficial to hear straight from him what he's done to make his material so enjoyable. In other words, I got to see the wizard behind the curtain.

MG's class is like eating a whole batch of cookies. You'll be bursting with brainy yumminess and immediately resolve to exercise your creativity.

It's been stimulating and made me eager to tackle my own writing again. I particularly enjoyed the bits about surprise and suspense, and withholding information to keep your reader engaged. Thanks, Malcolm.


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.

Chris L.

"Writing as a calling." I like that. I'm looking forward to learning much from your class.

A fellow student

Liked the part about non-fiction being a calling. I've worked as a reporter, and conveying other people's ideas and positions has always struck me as an awesome responsibility, which news people aren't always good at. Doing that well, getting it right, and making it interesting is tricky. I'm hoping Gladwell has tips.