Parting Words

Margaret Atwood

Lesson time 01:41 min

Margaret bids her students farewell, sharing her desire to pass on her wisdom to the next generation of writers.

Margaret Atwood
Teaches Creative Writing
Learn how the author of The Handmaid’s Tale crafts vivid prose and hooks readers with her timeless approach to storytelling.
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I'm nearing the end of my trajectory. So this is sort of my last shot at here are some things that maybe you, down the line, may find useful, because it's unlikely that I will be traveling the world saying these things for very much longer. I sometimes say this to rooms full of young people. I say, climate change is going to be your problem, but it's not going to be my problem for very much longer, because I'm going to die. No, you're not! I say, well, actually, yes, I am. Maybe I shouldn't have been quite so morbid. But I don't think it's morbid. I think here's a package that I can put some of these things into, pass them along without having to teach in a (WHISPERING) university. Without having to teach in a universi-- So thank you for staying with me for all this time, and good luck with everything that you're doing, and farewell.

The art of powerful storytelling

Called the “Prophet of Dystopia,” Margaret Atwood is one of the most influential literary voices of our generation. In her first-ever online writing class, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale teaches how she crafts compelling stories, from historical to speculative fiction, that remain timeless and relevant. Explore Margaret’s creative process for developing ideas into novels with strong structures and nuanced characters.


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

It helped me a lot specially to focus on what is really important. Margaret Atwood makes you feel thay the process of writing is more natural than we think, with clear tips and ideas to improve.

A distillation of experience. Deep connoisseur of human and narrative mechanisms, often difficult to convey. She makes things look simple, but not si

I loved hearing Margaret Atwood and the wisdom she imparted. I worked through the chapters slowly so that I could review and reflect on the things she had to share. There's a lot that I can use in my own writing; and, in doing so, I will embrace my wastepaper basket and think of her fondly.

I could listen to Margaret Atwood speak all day. . .forever! This far exceeded my expectations!


A fellow student

The most important realization I came to while watching Margaret Atwood's Masterclass is that it's best to begin a novel in longhand. The opportunity for immediate revision presents too large a distraction when a novel is still in the realm of ideas. Exercises like Atwood's time grid are most efficiently done on a tangible page. I found myself rushing to my notebook after each lesson, eager to put her advice to work with a pen at my fingertips instead of keys.

A fellow student

I thoroughly enjoy this Masterclass. The main reason I enjoyed it was that I don't feel so alone out in the big dark word jungle. I understand that there are times that being a writer is a solitary career choice. However, it is comforting to hear that the not so flattering critic in my head can be heard in someone else's head too. I had always felt that my Virgo perfectionist was getting in the way of getting my book written. To hear Margaret talk about copy and paste was like a breath of fresh air. Margaret's words have been echoing in my head from the first lesson. I enjoyed the feeling that I was listening to a friend talking to me and less of being in a class. The flow of her words was tranquil which made it easier to retain the information. Even though her farewell was sad, I really felt like I could do the writing field justice by the wisdom that she passed down to me.


Simply spectacular. Margaret Atwood is so generous with her expertise, transparent with her stories and realistic with advice. She provided actionable tips and challenges with real value. This has been one of my favorite master classes yet!

Ken C.

I started this class a while ago, stopped to read some of your books, and came back to finish the rest of the lessons. I enjoyed both the books and the lessons tremendously. Thank you for your creative work and the insight into the creative process. You are an amazing writer!


Thank you so much Margaret. I have just finished writing my novel and it has been so good to have your wisdom and insight. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to share your experiences with us. It has been truly humbling and encouraging. Take Care.


Thanks Margaret! I will definitely miss you , your classes and wise words. I am a female Saudi writer who is trying to write a novel. Your classes were amazing. I feel honored to get all these advice from someone like you.


I enjoyed every minute of this class. I've gained so much knowledge and confidence in myself to get writing again. So thank you. :))

Tauna S.

Thank you for a very intuitive and helpful set of lessons. This is my third time through. Though I saved this last one until just now. It is nice to have someone six years my senior still around to give advice and insight.

Rich C.

Congratulations for the Booker prize! Originality wins such praise not supermarket rack sales.

Katelyn T.

As soon as she started and said, "I'm nearing the end of my trajectory," and did that tilt of her head and that smirk--my throat clogged up. I have felt so connected to her over the course of this class that she feels like a friend I can't bear to lose. What a person.