Film & TV


Shonda Rhimes

Lesson time 4:49 min

Welcome to Shondaland. Meet Shonda, the woman behind some of television's biggest and most talked about hits, and learn what she'll teach you about the craft of writing for television.

Shonda Rhimes
Teaches Writing for Television
In 6+ hours of video lessons, Shonda teaches you her playbook for writing and creating hit television.
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I think the moment that I first really knew I wanted to be a writer was probably almost before I can even remember. I've always been a person who was a storyteller. I don't think I knew I wanted to be a television writer or a screenwriter, but I've always been a storyteller. It's how I was made. I feel like I was born a writer. Me, on the other hand, I'm kinda screwed. We're going to get killed. Did you propose? Weren't you going to ask her tonight? I was doing this tonight-- Liv, we're going to get killed, we're short $3 million. Dr. Grey? Are you listening to me? --blowback you'll get for rushing to judgment on a patriot? The blowback you'll create? Well, yeah. That's my job. I want to be a gladiator in a suit. The discovery that you can make a living writing is like--I don't know it's like your birthday every day or something for me. Because I was a person who, I was writing endlessly in my journal every day. I was also writing stories every day. I was writing every day, no matter what. It was what sustained me. It's my air, it's my food. So then to discover that I could make a living at it felt fantastic, and that I can make a living at it in a way that I enjoyed felt fantastic. I wasn't writing stuff that I hated, I was telling my own stories. And how lucky am I to get to do that? And even when I was writing movies and not necessarily a movie that I was thinking to myself, this is my life's work, I still was telling stories that I felt strongly about. There's a heart in the center of every story you're telling that has to be true, or else I don't know why you're writing. So for me, every story was a story I felt really good about telling. I feel like I'm at a stage in my career where honestly, I'm interested in building the next group of showrunners and the next group of writers and really making it possible for people to have better careers and know more and learn from any mistakes that I have already made, because A, I'm not going to do this forever, but B, what's the point if you're not passing it on to somebody else, frankly? And it's exciting to get to do that. It's also about the fact that at a certain point you start to have perspective and can really look back and see everything from a different angle and sort of start to understand what works and what doesn't. And the minute that starts to happen and it stops being about you, and it starts speaking about what you can give back, that's when you really want to do something like this. I'm fairly sure I have never gone into this much detail about my process. It's really interesting to get to tell all of this stuff. It's kind of the stuff I really wish that everyone knew, because I feel like it's so helpful. It's the stuff I wish someone had told me a long time ago. It probably would have made a bigger difference. I mean. It wou...

Make Great Television

When Shonda Rhimes pitched Grey’s Anatomy she got so nervous she had to start over. Twice. Since then, she has created and produced TV’s biggest hits. In her screenwriting class, Shonda teaches you how to create compelling characters, write a pilot, pitch your idea, and stand out in the writers’ room. You’ll also get original pilot scripts, pitch notes, and series bibles from her shows. Welcome to Shondaland.


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

It starts off great and well watching old episodes of St. Elsewhere as a assignment isn't bad since I loved the series :)

Thank you for finding such A-MAZING instructors. Shonda Rhimes was so generous in sharing some much information and personal experience. Brilliant and inspiring.

Shonda had really simple ways of not overcomplicating the writing process. She didn't discourage writing complicated stories, but she provided ways to approach difficult stories in helpful ways.

This was not only brilliant and insightful, it was inspiring and went light years beyond what I expected. It is nearly beyond description. It was worth million times more than the cost and Shonda is an artist and a genius and maybe is an entire universe!!!


Ashley H.

This is my second attempt in this class and I'm going all in! I'm graduating this b*tch! Super excited to take my writing to the next level.

Ernest M.

I found your intro inviting, revealing and most captivating, hints of transparency which makes me excited to head out on this new leg of my writers journey with you next to me.


I am doing the same. I can't wait to follow along and see how far I've come since taking it the first time.

Chloe M.

Taking the class for the second time. I see things in a whole new light! Thank you!

Travis J.

Shonda Rhimes is the gold standard for powerful writers. At least, for me personally. So, her message to all of us who have storytelling in our DNA is a welcome breath of rare air, reminding me of the larger story that all of us writers have to tell together.

Chava G.

Your brilliant generous Spirit, makes me so happy, thank you Shonda Rhimes!

Gwenna H.

Hi Shonda. I can already feel that you do not hold back. I am so proud of myself for doing this. i can't wait to see what develops from this. Thank you for this introduction.

Mercy N.

I loved all the lessons, Shonda is really informative especially when it comes to the industries life's tips. However, this particular lesson, lesson 1, the introduction one, doesn't seem to update that I have watched it. So my profile says I have watched 29/30 lessons when I have watched all the lessons.

Linda P.

The generosity of spirit in this intro ignites me to want to work harder. This is my second time around. I have the greatest respect for you Shonda. When a master artist teaches what they know their genius grows to unbelievable levels. I can't wait to see what else you come up with. I so look forward to incorporating your wisdom into my work.

A fellow student

I'm so happy and grateful to have this opportunity. I've been a fan of Shonda and her work since season 1 of Grey's. I can wait to learn everything you have to offer. Thank you.