Chapter 1 of 30 from Shonda Rhimes



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.

Topics include: Introduction to the class

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.

Topics include: Introduction to the class

Shonda Rhimes

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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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 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.

Watch, listen, and learn as Shonda teaches you how to write, pitch, and create a hit TV show.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Shonda will also respond to select student questions.


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

Good writing pointers, great working advice and I learned how to structure my story around the character

inspired me with dialog and listening and writing everyday

Extremely good analyzation of previous episodes. May have been nice to see her work through a fake idea to see the process rather than talk about the process.

I learned so much from this MasterClass. Things that I hadn't understood previously and ideas I hadn't come across before. I was inspired to write and will definitely be coming back to this class again and again.


Nicole E.

I cannot believe I am watching Miss Shonda Rhimes explain to me her process. This is SHONDA RHIMES! I am shook.

Mikaylynn W.

Hello to everyone, I am glad that I am finally putting in the time to learn about writing for TV. I jotted down a few notes/take away as Shonda was speaking and they are as follows: -Writing Everyday - Not writing about things you hate but telling stories you feel strongly about. -Know what's the heart and center of each story. Lastly, what I loved about this lesson is that she is passing the knowledge on. If you ever need anyone to read your work or provide feedback, let me know :)

Bobbi L.

I tell people if I could do anything I wanted for a living, it would be writing for TV. I'm excited about the possibilities television provides for developing stories and truly influencing culture. It probably won't ever happen, I may just stick to adapting books into screenplays in my bedroom at night, but this class offers information I truly want to know.

Shaun N.

I'm coming back to the class this week for the first time in months. Really excited to do the whole thing again. Shonda, you really are amazing! Can't wait.

A fellow student

It was just an introduction but Shonda is pretty pumped so I'm ready to see what she has to say.

Powell F.

Hi everyone, I am looking forward to learn from this class, and to build skills in this field, because this is my passion.

CeeJai J.

I appreciate that she is excited about teaching others how to BE that writer.

Darcie M.

I really liked the welcome video. I am so excited to get started on the work.

Sunshine S.

Rejoining I feel like I've been a write since birth too. Time to share these stories with the world .

A fellow student

I am delighted to be in your MasterClass, Shonda! Thank you for taking the time to guide us. ; )


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. [CHATTER] 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...