Neil Gaiman

Lesson time 04:29 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.
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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.

Neil's lessons are thoughtful and well-structured. His focus on story-telling and where it comes from was particularly helpful. Finally, his relentless but gentle admonitions that we write, finish what we write, and pursue life were all very helpful.

I think I have learned a lot about the writing process. I feel more prepared for what lies ahead. I know that the next step for me is finishing the things I started. And I have a lot of notes that I can refer back to if I need to be reminded of what I learned.

Neil's class is amazing! I did the year subscription for the photography classes, but I liked Neil's storytelling much better than the other classes. Worth the price of the annual subscription as a stand alone class. Wow!

Much of what he shares reinforces the ways that I've always approached writing, and the ways that I've encouraged other writers. Hearing him say all of these things encourages me to believe in myself, to know I am not wrong, to write things, to finish things. Thank you Neil. Thank you.


A fellow student

i feel like fat thor rn.... i got this as a present. i just feel so fucking unworthy to be taught but writer Jesus.

Chiara M.

This class is really useful and has so many insightful comments! I loved the course.

A fellow student

This got me here , today is my first day i am a dancehall Artist Prime M is my name and i am look forward to learn a lot. Niel had to be my first episode 😃😀

A fellow student

I am enjoying this masterclass very much! He is really making me see things in a different perspective. I love how he explains things so well and make it look so simple..

Dorothy E.

I've been writing for a long time, but it's also been a long since I've dug in and examine how I write. Since fantasy is my genre, Neil Gaiman's class seems the ideal place to jump back into the deep end.

Tina M.

Extremely excited about this course! Working on my first novel and eager to learn more.

John Paul A.

About fifteen years ago I had a publisher who received an email from Neil. They were friends and Mr. Gaiman complemented a short story I wrote. Note: he actually didn't know me - I was quite excited. At the time I'd published about eight stories of various sizes and still quite new. Then things happened ... lost someone ... tried writing, but fell away. More time passed and I became a survivor, adjusted to a new life and was once again happy, but I had been away from writing for a while. I miss it and when I saw this course being offered I thought I would give it a look.

Ilaria P.

I started teaching at a high school in these days and I experimented in my self what I previously only had in mind and thought: teaching is an art, which needs constant work, deep concentration and great passion. Neil Gaiman is, even in this, once again in my life, so inspiring. Can't wait to keep on watching, listening, storing.

Mike C.

I'm looking forward to learning more about the Writers' Toolshed and avoiding pitfalls. Onwards to the next session.

Sean R.

He speaks with just pride, yet wonder. I find him moving to listen to, more importantly, I find him deeply inspiring.