Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review:
Discovering Fundamentals of Creative Writing

Last updated on: July 3, 2023, Written by:

Bill Tremlon

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Engaging fiction always leaves us in awe of the writer who wonderfully creates a believable yet original world. It is hard to craft an engaging plot from start to end. But what if you get an opportunity to learn creative writing from a literary legend? 

Enter the captivating world of Margaret Atwood, where imagination intertwines with profound insight. With over 40 groundbreaking books to her name, Atwood’s mastery of storytelling is unparalleled. You can explore the depths of her creative process in her MasterClass. As someone who completed the course recently, my Margaret Atwood MasterClass review will help you decide whether to go for it or not. 

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Overview 

Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass offers invaluable insight into fiction writing. Students learn structuring, character development, crafting compelling beginnings, and maintaining interest till the end. Atwood also offers motivational tips for drafting and revisions. The MasterClass helps you acquire versatile writing techniques, start-to-finish strategies, and guidance about publication resources.

Margaret Atwood MasterClass review

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review Summary

⭐ Rating:8.9 ★★★★★
🥇 Category of class:Writing
📈 Suits best for:Anyone inclined towards creative writing
🕒 Lenght:3 hours 43 minutes
⏳ Avg. Lesson Duration9 minutes
🛍️ Course Essentials:A notebook, Margaret Atwood books for case studies, and a penchant for crafting stories
💼 Complementary material:92-page class guide, Margaret’s book On Writers and Writing
📚 No. of Lessons:23 lessons
🛒 Payment options:Individual / Duo / Family
💵 Price:10 – 20 $ (billed annually)
🔄 Refund policy:30-day satisfaction guarantee
🎁 Free trial:

2.Getting Started as a Writer;
3.Story and Plot;
4.Structuring Your Novel: Layered Narratives and Other Variations;
5.Who Tells the Story: Narrative Point of View;
6.Point of View Case Studies;
7.Bringing Characters to Life Through Detail;
8.Creating Compelling Characters;
9.Writing Through Roadblocks;
10.Crafting Dialogue;
11.Revealing the World Through Sensory Imagery;
12.Prose Style and Texture;
13.Working With Time in Fiction;
14.The Door to Your Book: The Importance of the First Five Pages;
15.Writing the Middle and Ending;
16.Revision: Seeing Your Work Anew;
17.The Novel and the Shifting Sands of Genre;
18.Speculative Fiction;
19.Speculative Fiction Case Study: The Handmaid’s Tale;
20.Research and Historical Accuracy;
21.The Writer’s Path;
22.The Business of Being a Writer;
23.Parting Words.

Key Skills You’ll Learn

  • Starting and structuring novels;
  • Crafting storylines and managing plot;
  • Implementing effective narrative points of view;
  • Overcoming creative roadblocks in writing;
  • Writing realistic dialogue using sensory imagery;
  • Polishing your prose style;
  • Crafting compelling beginnings and effective endings;
  • Conducting research for historical accuracy in fiction;
  • Navigating the business side of being a writer.

Who is Margaret Atwood MasterClass for 

Anyone with a penchant for fiction writing can take Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass. You can be a beginner writer seeking a solid foundation or a somewhat experienced writer like me desiring to elevate your craft. Atwood’s MasterClass will definitely help you.

Along with novel structuring, character creation, and revision, Margaret addresses several things in her MasterClass (It was worth listening to her solutions for writer’s roadblocks!). Regardless of genre, this Masterclass provides a rich toolkit for all storytellers.

Our Evaluation

Total score: 8.9

Margaret Atwood as an Instructor:
Uniqueness and Freshness
Structure and Quality
Student Engagement and Retention
Value for the Money


  • Novel writing is thoroughly explained
  • Useful advice on writing roadblocks
  • Insight into Margaret’s creative process
  • Walks through the editing stage


  • Lots of prior reading required
  • Fiction writing only

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Instructor Review

About Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood, a renowned Canadian literary icon, has captivated readers worldwide with her brilliant storytelling. Atwood has become synonymous with speculative fiction that explores feminism, power, and environmentalism. Her acclaimed works, including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Alias Grace,” and “Oryx and Crake,” have earned her numerous accolades, including the Hammett Prize and Booker Prize.

Atwood’s talent extends beyond her novels, as demonstrated by her acclaimed MaddAddam trilogy and diverse nonfiction explorations, such as “In Other Worlds” and “Payback.” She has also written several collections of short stories apart from her fiction and nonfiction books.

With her sharp wit, haunting prose, and fearless exploration of humanity’s triumphs and flaws, Margaret Atwood continues to be a trailblazer, challenging readers to confront the complexities of our world with speculative fiction and inspiring generations of writers to come.

Margaret Atwood as an Instructor

Having read Margaret Atwood’s masterpieces, I can vouch for her unrivaled storytelling skills, which she also uses in her MasterClass to make it highly engaging. She may not have formal teaching experience, but her extensive literary career and profound understanding of creative writing compensate for that.

franz kafka prize winning author Margaret Atwood

You will gain immense value just from the case studies of her work. Margaret imparts invaluable knowledge and techniques, sharing her creative process, narrative strategies, and general insights into the craft of writing.

Atwood’s ability to articulate complex concepts makes her an exceptional instructor, guiding aspiring writers through the intricacies of the writing journey with passion and clarity. In this Margaret Atwood MasterClass review, I will go into the details of what her writing course has in store.

About MasterClass

Since 2015, MasterClass brings 180+ online classes from top-tier instructors in almost any field. It includes pre-recorded video lessons from masters such as Richard Branson, Martin Scorsese, Aaron Sorkin, Gordon Ramsay, and many others.

The video quality equals Hollywood movies, and every MasterClass course is carefully structured. But that’s not all. There are interactive assignments, MasterClass community activities, and an ever-growing video library to enjoy. The sheer amount of content can make it hard to begin. Cursums will not only help you choose wisely but also answer the question of whether MasterClass is worth it overall.

Uniqueness and Freshness of the Content

Margaret Atwood’s advice on creative writing is available in the form of interviews, blogs, and podcasts. There is valuable information, but all is disorganized. It is important to follow a coherent learning pathway to understand creative writing, and these fragments of advice often lack context.

The Margaret Atwood Masterclass presents a unique solution to these challenges. The course is structured and comprehensive, providing in-depth lessons on various topics, from creating characters to research accuracy. Learners gain from Atwood’s decades of experience and profound knowledge in creative writing.

While there are other similar writing courses available, even within the Masterclass platform, like those by fiction writer Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates, Atwood’s course holds a distinct place. It balances the technical aspects of writing with the more elusive, creative elements of crafting a compelling narrative.

Atwood’s teaching style, marked by clarity, insight, and a profound understanding of the human condition, makes her Masterclass uniquely valuable from the rest of the online courses. 

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Content and Structure Review

Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass consists of 23 lessons, with an average runtime of around 10 minutes each. The length varies from lesson to lesson. The longest lesson, around 16 minutes, is about the writer’s path. The video content is 3 hours and 43 minutes altogether, but you can complete it at your pace.

This comprehensive course is designed to be self-paced, so you can take your time and delve deeply into each aspect of the art of writing as guided by Margaret Atwood. Some lessons, such as the one on bringing characters to life, are absorbed better if you reflect upon them. 

The course includes assignments that can significantly increase your time commitment. If you spend an hour or two on each assignment, you could potentially finish the whole course in a couple of weeks. But even if you prefer to skip the assignments and listen to the videos only, the MasterClass is still comprehensible. 

Beginning Your Creative Writing Journey

1-3 Lessons Summary

The first section of Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass sets the stage for your writing adventure. She begins by explaining how writers should aim to enrich the reader’s thoughts with their words.

The following lesson guides you through the early steps of becoming a writer. Margaret reveals her own writing process, urging you to find your unique writing process and overcome fears.

franz kafka prize winning author Margaret Atwood

Next, Margaret explains the difference between story and plot and the importance of studying myths, fairy tales, and historical literature as foundational blocks for your own stories. This section of lessons establishes the crucial groundwork for your writing journey.

The Structure and Narrative POV of Your Story

4-6 Lessons Summary

If you love fiction writing but are intimidated by structuring, Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass is just for you. This section comprises lessons on the structure of your novel and narrative point of view, helping you grasp the concepts with case studies. 

Margaret Atwood teaches the Narrative Point of View

You can easily see how your story can gain complexity and depth by exploring layered narratives and diverse structures as Margaret teaches them. Point of view, an essential aspect of storytelling, is explored in detail in the fifth lesson, underlining its impact on your narrative.

The section concludes with case studies regarding the narrative point of view, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Alias Grace”, which further help you understand its significance.

Breathing Life Into Characters

7-8 Lessons Summary

The third section focuses on character development. By delving into the nuances of characterization and the use of details, you learn how to craft compelling characters that feel real and relatable.

For instance, in the 7th lesson, Margaret gave brilliant advice to give enough clues to the reader so that they do not jump to a conclusion contradicting your idea.

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review: develop characters and dialogue

This section further confronts the challenges of writing unlikeable yet nuanced characters and breaks down societal expectations about gender roles in character development. By the end of these lessons, you’re equipped with the tools to create well-rounded characters.

Overcoming Obstacles and Enhancing Style

9-16 Lessons Summary

In the 9th lesson, Atwood shares her advice on surmounting common challenges in writing, including writer’s block and narrative problems.

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review: develop characters and dialogue

In addition, a lesson in this section guides you on crafting authentic dialogue, using sensory imagery to engage readers, and understanding the importance of time in fiction. 

Margaret Atwood teaches how to write compelling endings

Emphasizing the significance of the opening pages, Atwood provides insights on keeping the reader engaged through the middle and offers advice on writing compelling endings. These lessons wrap up with the value of revisions and the importance of feedback from a line editor to ensure the accuracy of your work.

Understanding Genre and The Writer’s Journey

17-23 Lessons Summary

In the 17th lesson of her writing class, Atwood discusses the evolution of the novel and how you should aim for it to be conceivable regardless of the genre. With her in-depth guide about speculative fiction, you’ll understand how to generate ideas and build your world within this genre. Margaret then dives deeper into speculative fiction by using her novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” as case study material.

Margaret Atwood's online course focuses on speculative fiction

Next, Margaret Atwood covers the practicalities of research and historical accuracy, stressing their role in lending credibility to your story. 

Lastly, Margaret advises about the business aspects of being a fiction writer, including finding an agent and dealing with negative reviews. The MasterClass concludes with Margaret’s inspirational stories to encourage persistence, reminding you that a writing career, though challenging, is profoundly rewarding.

Fast-Track Lesson Plan

The crux of creative writing can be learned by taking the following lessons of Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass, which will be 1 hour 46 minutes and 2 seconds long.

2.Getting Started as a Writer11:14
3.Story and Plot9:44
4.Structuring Your Novel: Layered Narratives and Other Variations12:44
5.Who Tells the Story: Narrative Point of View9:18
8.Creating Compelling Characters8:44
9.Writing Through Roadblocks9:37
10.Crafting Dialogue8:26
14.The Door to Your Book: The Importance of the First Five Pages8:42
15.Writing the Middle and Ending10:03
16.Revision: Seeing Your Work Anew8:02
22.The Business of Being a Writer9:28

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Student Engagement and Retention

Thanks to the high production quality, Margaret Atwood’s creative writing Masterclass is engaging and visually appealing. Like all other Masterclasses, the visual elements are thoughtfully designed to enhance the learning experience.

Her rich insights, combined with her unique storytelling wisdom, make complex writing concepts accessible and interesting. If you have read her work, it is even more interesting to correlate her insights to her narratives.

Margaret’s passion for writing is contagious. She reveals her writing process through personal anecdotes and keeps the learner engaged. Something about her calm demeanor and valuable words compels you to sit back, take notes, and keep watching. Apart from her advice on writing, it’s her wit and encouraging words that keep you hooked.

The assignments in the class guide pave the way for better retention, ensuring learners grasp the concepts and apply them creatively.

My Personal Experience With Margaret Atwood MasterClass

Things I Liked About the Margaret Atwood MasterClass

Novel Writing Process Thoroughly Explained

Throughout the MasterClass, Margaret Atwood explains the building blocks of writing a story. Her detailed step-by-step approach is unlike anything I’ve encountered before. Upon finishing the lessons, I was greatly impressed by the extent of her guidance, leaving no aspect untouched to pave the way for a budding fiction writer’s career. 

Useful Advice on Writing Roadblocks

For any writer, roadblocks such as distractions and writer’s block are the biggest challenges. Margaret addresses these issues in her creative writing MasterClass and dedicates a complete lesson to them. You can actually tackle roadblocks with her tried and tested ways. Margaret’s advice is to build a sustainable writing practice. She urges you to be kind to yourself, take breaks, and follow her tips to recharge. 

Insight Into Margaret’s Creative Process

In Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass, learners delve into her books and writing approach. The course illuminates her unique process, the role of genre, idea development, and gender influences. As a bottom line of this Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review, I can say that gaining insight into how Atwood creates her globally adored masterpieces makes the subscription cost a worthwhile investment. 

Walks Through the Editing Stage

While many writing courses reflect on the process of writing in general, Margaret provides in-depth, practical advice on how you should edit and review your work. She asserts the importance of fine-tuning your text by giving practical advice.

Things I Didn’t Like About the Margaret Atwood MasterClass

Prior Reading of Reference Books Required 

Certain points might seem perplexing if you’re unfamiliar with reference books, resulting in unattained value. Margaret Atwood frequently mentions characters and plots from various books, including “Alias Grace”, “Blind Assassin”, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” during her lessons, which could be unclear without prior knowledge. 

Primarily Designed for Fiction Writing Only

While Margaret Atwood has authored numerous nonfiction books, this MasterClass primarily focuses on fiction writing. However, many of her practical tips, including those on research accuracy and concluding chapters that explore writing as a profession, can also benefit nonfiction writers.

If you are not looking for creative writing courses in particular, you can explore MasterClass courses on writing by other famous writers, such as Roxane Gay.

Is Margaret Atwood MasterClass Worth the Money

Cost of Margaret Atwood MasterClass

Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass cost comes under the monthly subscription of MasterClass, available for Individual ($10), Duo ($15), and Family plans ($20). The course delivers immense value, allowing budding writers to learn directly from the award-winning author. The insights, techniques, and insider tips on writing fiction justifies Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass worth. Additionally, gifting writing MasterClass to an aspiring writer is a thoughtful and inspiring gesture that can greatly boost their creative journey.

Individual (one device)$10 per month
Duo (two devices)$15 per month
Family (six devices)$20 per month

This course is a rare gem for any fiction writer, elevating your craft beyond traditional learning and making the subscription absolutely worth it.

Moreover, MasterClass provides a variety of courses, with the same price, beyond just Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass. You can also explore other writing niches like thriller writing with Dan Brown or TV show production with Shonda Rhimes.

Does the Class Keep Its Promises

Margaret Atwood’s Masterclass is absolutely worth the investment in time and money. It offers a deep dive into the craft of writing, guided by an acclaimed author. The lessons comprehensively explore character development, narrative structure, and overcoming writing challenges. 

Margaret Atwood MasterClass: What Others Have Said

The majority of those who take this MasterClass are typically either avid Margaret Atwood fans eager to experience her teaching style or budding fiction writers hoping to learn from her. Look at these Youtube and Facebook comments 

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review on YouTube

“- Bet MasterClass so far! It’s just about her very practical teaching, it also about the fact that I couldn’t help smiling and laughing throughout the lessons. I haven’t enjoyed listening to an instructor like I did listening to her in a very looooong time.”

Margaret Atwood creative writing MasterClass Review on Facebook

Praising how Margaret Atwood teaches writing skills, an Instagram user recommends her MasterClass to the followers:

Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review on Instagram

“-For Starters, here’s a apinch of inspiration from one of our favorite writers. Margaret Atwood, on how and why should we write. Her tip points are accurate and really worth taking, so please, give it a listen”

Essentials Used in the Margaret Atwood MasterClass

A notebook and pen are the essentials that you would need to complete Margaret Atwood MasterClass and the assignments in the class guide. Having a separate notebook will provide ample space to explore and draft in the style that Margaret uses. Other than that, reading the following books will be a great help:

  • Margaret’s book On Writers and Writing
  • The Handmaid’s Tale  
  • The Blind Assassin  
  • Alias Grace
  • Oryx and Crake

Alternatives to Margaret Atwood MasterClass

Other Courses about writing Available on Masterclass

  • Neil Gaiman teaches The Art of Storytelling
  • Walter Mosley teaches Fiction and Storytelling
  • Shonda Rhimes teaches Writing for Television
  • Amanda Gorman teaches Poetry
  • Billy Collins teaches Reading and Writing Poetry
  • Dan Brown teaches Thriller Writing
  • James Patterson teaches Writing
  • David Sedaris teaches Storytelling and Humor
  • Joyce Carol Oates teaches The Art of the Short Story
  • Aaron Sorkin teaches Screenwriting
  • Salman Rushdie teaches Storytelling and Writing

Alternatives to MasterClass


Udemy is one of the most popular online learning providers, with a massive choice of writing classes. I recommend looking into Udemy’s Creative Writing Masterclass is a great practical guide on writers’ motivations, grammar, style, publishing, and more.


Coursera is another big name in the online courses market, with quite a few on writing. Their Creative Writing Specialization delivered by professors from Wesleyan University even includes a certificate of completion.


Skillshare usually focuses on more practical courses, but their Storytelling 101 course is really compelling and conveniently breaks down storytelling into “4 C’s”. The material is as enjoyable as it is useful.

Q&A about Margaret Atwood MasterClass

As an award-winning author with extensive experience, Margaret Atwood provides valuable insights into the world of fiction writing. She shares her unique writing process, discusses character development and plot structuring, and provides practical research accuracy and revision advice. Other than that, aspiring writers can gain a better understanding of the writing industry and how to navigate it professionally.

The 23 video lessons of Magaret Atwood’s MasterClass run for 3 hours and 43 minutes. This can be reduced by watching the videos at 1.5x, but I suggest completing the lessons at your own pace by taking breaks.  

Buying the monthly subscription to MasterClass via an Individual ($10), Duo ($15), or Family plan ($20) will give you access to the complete MasterClass Library, including Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass. You can get even more value against the cost by taking more MasterClass writing courses other than Margaret’s creative writing MasterClass.

MasterClass subscription is required to access Margaret Atwood’s fiction writing course.

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon

I’ve spent the last ten years passionately studying various online learning platforms. Udemy, MasterClass, Coursera, and Skillshare are the main ones, but I review lesser-known study tools as well. I test and analyze each course and lesson thoroughly before sharing my research.



Atwood’s Masterclass exceeds expectations, invaluable for writers.

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon