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Arts & Entertainment


Neil Gaiman

Lesson time 04:42 min

Meet your new instructor: Neil Gaiman, one of the most prolific storytellers of our time. In his first lesson, Neil explains why he loves to teach and how he wants to encourage you to tell stories that matter.

Neil Gaiman
Teaches the Art of Storytelling
In his first-ever online class, Neil Gaiman teaches you how he conjures up new ideas, convincing characters, and vivid fictional worlds.


For the last five years, I've been teaching at Bard College as professor of the arts. And each year I get to teach a total of about 24, 25, 26 students. I love the teaching process. I love getting to work with students. I love getting to show people ways to write, show them how to get deeper, how to learn. It's an absolute delight to me. But you don't get to reach a lot of people. The joy of doing something like MasterClass is going, well, I can say the same things that I would say to them to millions of people because I know that there are millions of people out there who want to write because they come to me and they ask me and they tell me and they ask questions and I try and answer those questions on Tumblr, on Twitter, on my blog. But this just seems like an incredibly efficient way to just say everything that I have to say to everybody. What I'm trying to do in this class, and I'm going to mix my metaphors outrageously here, is I want to teach you first of all how to find the tool shed. I want to take you down to the tool shed, and I want to show you some of the tools that are hanging on the walls of a writer's tool shed. And I want to show you what that's for and say that thing there that's a dibber and that's hoe and that's a spade and that's a shovel, and you use them all for different things. But I also want to show you where the pitfalls are, some of the, yeah, don't do that because if you do that, it'll all just stop. So I want to take you into a lot of the nuts and the bolts and the hoes and the dibbers and the mousetraps and the doomsday devices, and I want to walk you through that safely and have you coming out of that gloriously garbled massive metaphor with actually a rather better idea of how to write than you had than when you started. In my class, I'm going to tell you that stories are important. I'm going to tell you what stories are. And then I'm going to tell you how to build them, how to make stories, how to make stories that matter. And I'm going to give you some tips, I'm going to give you some exercises, and most of all, I'm going to give you a little push forward that you might not have had. Hello, I'm Neil Gaiman. And this is my MasterClass.

Unleash your imagination

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman has spent more than a quarter of a century crafting vivid, absorbing fiction. Now, the author of Stardust, Coraline, and The Sandman teaches his approach to imaginative storytelling in his online writing class. Learn how to find your unique voice, develop original ideas, and breathe life into your characters. Discover Neil’s philosophy on what drives a story—and open new windows to the stories inside you.


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

My MasterClass experience has been incredibly enlightening. It feels as if a good friend has taken me aside and given me the straight forward advice I need to improve my writing.

Neil spoke with such authenticity and sincerity that I found myself moved by his insights and can't wait to put them into practice!

It was a little challenging because everything was soft and dark

Terrific class from a warm, sincere and extremely talented gentleman! I learned much -- thank you, Neil and thank you, Masterclass. On to next class!


Laura D.

I've just listened to the introduction and I already love him... Just what I've been looking for.


I'm excited to hear Neil Gaiman share all the tips to make my work more interesting and engaging.

Robin J.

I was given a membership to MasterClass as a birthday gift by my inlaws and knew that this course would have to be the first one I tackled. Neil has long been a source of inspiration to me, as a writer and as a human being, and I can't wait to see what I can learn in this course. I'm ready to put in the work and raring to go!


...and so a Present arrives in my inbox, for my birthday, from an Old and Dear friend. And she really, really, *really* shouldn't have, because times are tight for everyone, but i've been sitting on a script since the 'Rona Lockdown began, and every day i think "what about that script that you promised", and every day there's things that need doing, and people that need feeding and taking yonder and back, and that script just sits there, the first few solitary lines getting lonelier, and lonelier, and lonelier... And when i finally lay my head down, at the end of every day, and pull the pillow over my head, i think about the problems with the plot of it. I think about the holes, and the awkward shape, i turn it around in my mind, and i don't get any closer to making it work. And finally sleep engulfs me, as it engulfed the folk on the streets of Pompeii... So. Here we are. Hi, Neil. Hi, fellow classmates, when-ever and where-ever you are. Hi there. Let's get this script writ.

B H G.

I've been a fan of Neil ever since I first read American Gods. I'm currently in college pursuing an English major, focusing on creative writing, and have been in several classes for such. I have never, though, been in a class like this, and I look forward to learning with Neil and everyone here.


Really looking forward to doing this, being Neil Gaiman's fan for years ever since my brother introduced me to Sandman! English is not my native language so I know it will be challenging but having the opportunity to watch his Masterclass is a real treat.

Do X.

I am absolutely surprised at how much i learned, at how much i enjoyed it, at Neil's light humor at just the right moments. This class is perhaps one of the top three classes that i have ever had in my life of continuous study (i am 63 years old). During this class not only did i learn an enormous amount of information that i don't believe i could have gotten in any other way besides listening to Neil, but in my mind i already have the basic ideas for my first short story. Neil's experience and insight and the way he expresses it in a clear and concise manner is as if it just flows into my mind like golden honey. I am a beginning writer and i sincerely believe that listening to this brilliant soft-spoken man has kick-started my writing career for years into the future. This is a real Master Class. Thank you Neil for the obvious love and attention that you have put into this class. It has not gone unnoticed. I hope that perhaps in my future writing there will be at least some degree of repayment


I discovered Neil Gaiman's work only a year ago in a Fantasy Novels class. Since then, I have been familiarizing myself with his work and promising to treat myself to this class. Neil, you are an inspiration! So excited to begin.

Stacy T.

I started tearing up when he said his name! I could tell he really wants to teach and I am ready to learn!

Adam S.

Really looking forward to doing this. What I love about Neil as a teacher is that I can tell right away he's going to be really encouraging, and that's a brilliant attribute for something like this.