Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review

This article (Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review) will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Joyce Carol Oates, including information on how the lessons are presented, who the course is best suited for, the cost, and what I enjoyed about it, etc.

Authors in the MasterClass writing category have a remarkable track record. Joyce Carol Oates’ MasterClass of the craft of the short story was the obvious choice for me to begin with.

I went to Joyce Carol Oates’ MasterClass because I lacked confidence and wanted to start writing in a more manageable short form. I’m thinking you’re here because you’re unsure if her course is the proper fit for you.

As a result, this review of Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass will include both positive and negative aspects. It’s a good way to see if the Joyce Carol Oates MasterClass is a good fit for you as a writer.

About Joyce Carol Oates

About Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is an author who has achieved a great deal of success throughout her career. Them, Black Water, and Wonderland are three of her almost one hundred novels, novellas, plays, and collections of short stories that are among her most well-known works.

Her many accolades include the United States National Book Award for Fiction, and she has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize on five separate occasions.

When I was choosing which of the writing courses to take on MasterClass, I went with Oates’s because I had high hopes that the level of concentration and self-control required to produce such a large body of work would motivate and push me to write more.

In addition, there is no better approach to cultivate those qualities than by beginning with the shorter form, which is easier to manage.

Joyce Carol Oates has over 222k followers on Twitter. In which she provides some extremely helpful advice and suggestions, as well as some other interesting tips.

What is MasterClass?

What is MasterClass

MasterClass, is an educational service that solicits and hosts lectures from world-renowned specialists. Writing, acting, cuisine, and photography are just some of the classes they offer. Individual classes typically last between two and twenty minutes and are available only through the MasterClass service.

These can be seen on the MasterClass website in the same way as a video on YouTube, or they can be downloaded to the MasterClass app to be viewed offline. It’s worth mentioning that MasterClass’s worksheets tend to be built to display the course’s content rather than having the big-name speakers add anything further.

MasterClass subscribers have access to The Hub, an internal discussion area where they may learn from each other and share their own experiences. For a few lucky early adopters, some lecture series include supplementary resources and some first conversations with the professor.

Joyce Carol Oates’ MasterClass is a little under three hours and twenty minutes longer than the average. Though her approach is more typical academic than other lecturers’, it’s worth giving Oates the benefit of the doubt for the time being, as she cuts out a lot of repetition and personal experiences.

The majority of Oates’ classes last between 10 and twenty minutes, with a few exceptions at the end of the series. In addition to individual lectures, a timed all-access pass gives you access to every lecture on the site for the duration of the pass.

There are individual lessons for $90 and an all-access pass for $180 for a year or $15 per month, with both options available as presents that can be delivered to other individuals.

Joyce Carol Oates’s MasterClass: Course Overview

The MasterClass by Joyce Carol Oates has an 8- to 25-minute introduction and conclusion. For the most part, you’ll need three and a half hours to finish watching everything.

A workbook can also be downloaded to follow along with or make notes on as you go. At the end of each section, you’ll find bonus content such as suggestions for further reading and writing exercises to support and cement your learning.

There are also free works to examine, as part of the course includes learning to read like a writer.

To help you decide if this is the perfect class for you, we’ve broken down each lesson into its component parts. a brief introduction, which is followed by:

Principles of Writing Short Fiction

As soon as he begins, Joyce insists that we all have a story to tell and the urge to do so. My interest was piqued and I felt like I had something to contribute.

She goes on to say that while we all have stories to tell, we don’t all have what she calls “the form.” As a result, this chapter serves as a basic guide to creating it. In addition to the basic ingredients, this included techniques to ensure that every word you write has value.

The viewer is enthralled by this opening section, which provides a fascinating glimpse into what makes Joyce such a powerful writer.

As soon as I sat down for the course’s first 20 minutes, I had an idea of how to generate a plot and focus on what was most important.

Without giving too much away, there is one nugget of knowledge that will not only assist you in getting started but will also enable you to complete your task and feel a genuine sense of accomplishment.

Journals: Observing the World

Here, Joyce expresses her firm belief that the primary purpose of writing is the expression of one’s own self. However, for Joyce, it is the private self that a writer needs to get in touch with, rather than the one that is on display in front of the world.

You can access this private self by writing in a journal, and Joyce recommends that you do the same. Free writing keeps you connected with your true self and sharpens your awareness of the world around you;

You’ll learn how to use this simple exercise as a springboard for new ideas and a trove of materials to draw from when crafting your next piece. Using the diaries of one of England’s most celebrated writers, she shows how the ability to ‘cast a sharp eye freely’ can give public prose additional depth and texture.

Exploring Taboos and Darkness

Confronting taboos and connecting with the darker side of your past and personality can yield great fiction content, according to Joyce’s belief.

A ready audience awaits those who “hit a nerve of candor,” as the saying goes. Why? When it comes to the core of what it means to be human, taboo topics resonate with us all.

In this section, Joyce explains how to tap into your dark side, how to write about it, and why it works.

Structure and Form

You might be fooled into thinking that the golden principles for writing the ideal short form work are about to be handed to you if you take a look at this formal title. But when it comes to shape and organization, Joyce believes there is only one rule to keep in mind:

“try not to be so dull”

In this lesson, Joyce will show you how to surprise and challenge your audience by subverting structure and form, and she will do so by providing examples of how to do so. Not only in terms of the content of what you say and the manner in which you deliver it, but also in terms of how it appears.

Ideas: Writing the Familiar

This lesson explores the common human desire to have a better understanding of our personal histories, as well as the ways in which drawing from those experiences can not only give creative fuel but also an eager audience for a narrative.

In particular, Joyce encourages us to dive deeply into childhood situations that evoked a feeling of mystery, and she shares with us both the painful and mystical memories that have inspired her own work. Both of these types of recollections have been a source of inspiration for Joyce.

The best part is that I’ll offer you an opening phrase for a short narrative that is so captivating that you won’t be able to stop reading it and it will definitely get you started writing.

Form Study: Miniature Narrative & Short Monologue

The most important thing that I learned from these two sessions was… that little is more. Both in terms of how long the story is and how little vocabulary is used.

To help you get started on modest assignments that will increase your confidence and give you a real sense of achievement, this section provides you with insights and inspiration from Joyce as well as from other masters of both genres who have been carefully selected.

Short Story Study, Where are you going, where have you been?

The narrative “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is undoubtedly Joyce’s most well-known work. It has been reprinted numerous times and has been the subject of extensive critical analysis.

The usage and hypnotic attraction of dark subject matter; how history and human reactions to real-life horrors can inspire; and, finally, how altering perspective can draw the reader up short Joyce utilizes it here to connect everything she has talked about so far.

The purpose of this section is to provide an illustration of how her strategy has contributed to her success, as well as how it can contribute to yours.

Reading and Studying Writing

Every successful writer has been able to achieve success thanks to the works of others who came before them. People we meet while we are young often have the most potential to shape our lives. This is Joyce’s opinion, and I think it’s highly unlikely that you’d be able to locate another author who would disagree with him.

After all, according to her, if you want to learn how to play tennis, you should learn from someone who is more skilled than you. In what other ways could you improve?

You will acquire insights not only into Joyce’s own influences but also into the manner in which you might practically encounter books that can assist you to improve your game as a writer by reading this book. Some of them will be difficult, but Joyce explains that there is also a way that they can be entertaining and surprising.

The necessity of talking about what you’ve read with other people is the last point covered in this session. It challenges your own perspective, which in turn helps you strengthen your ability to articulate yourself, and it deepens your understanding.

With that out of the way, here are the last three workshops:

“Indian Camp”, “Labour Day” and “Near Death”

consist of Joyce and two of her students discussing three short stories, much in the same way that they would in one of Joyce’s collegiate or graduate lectures. The other two are short stories that were written by the pupils themselves, while the first is a short story written by Ernest Hemmingway called “Indian Camp.”

Because of these last classes, you now have a strong understanding of how taking into account the perspectives and questions of another person can bring clarity to your work and assist identify any blind spots you may have.

Pros & Cons – Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review

Pros & Cons - Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review


Teaching from a World-Recognized Author that has been tried and true

For more than 30 years, Joyce taught creative writing at Princeton University in the same style she used to instruct her students. To be a teacher myself, I know how important it is to always learn and improve one’s skills in order to be the best that you can be at teaching.

As a writer, I was impressed by Joyce’s ability to flow and clearly communicate her thoughts throughout this MasterClass. She was also committed to imparting that expertise in the most interesting and encouraging manner possible. Thus, I arrive at the following point.

Using Analogies

Some information will reach their ears, and some will reach their heads, but the most powerful will impact them in the deepest part of their being.

Analogies were the most effective means of achieving the latter, in my opinion. One of the most rewarding experiences a teacher can have is seeing their pupils’ eyes light up when they discover a technique to unlock deep and enduring comprehension.

It’s much more rewarding to feel the shift firsthand in the hands of an excellent teacher.

Although a lot of what she says is basic wisdom, Joyce’s skill is in making it connect, eliciting an emotional response, and inspiring you to act.

Joyce’s manner of speaking

At the height of the Covid epidemic – aka the Zoom era – I was enrolled in this course. Because of this, I found myself nodding, clapping, and even waving farewells at the end of the presentation.

But I believe that Joyce’s conversational manner had a lot to do with it.

It’s hard not to be drawn in by the open, welcoming smile on her face, as well as the delicate way she moves her hands.

The Short Form writing genre

Even though I had things to tell, I had always imagined myself sitting for hours on end, staring at an empty computer, unsure of how to begin.

Initially, I anticipated that the short form would be easier to handle. It was, in a nutshell. Because of this, you can get started and remain going thanks to how Joyce has organized, timed, and resourced the course.

That brings me to my next point, which I’ll get to in a moment.

The Activities

You can tell that Joyce has been a teacher for a long time by her demeanor. Exciting and reasonable, but yet tough and gradual, are the workouts. They gradually get more difficult, yet they’re still manageable enough to create a sense of accomplishment.

Good Balance of theory and practical

Three and a half hours of listening to Joyce Carol Oates is the nature of this course.

Despite this, there is very little theoretical debate. No, this isn’t a course in foreign languages or literature. What makes Joyce so well-known is something we’re learning about as part of the MasterClass.

The course, on the other hand, is designed to help you put into practice what Joyce teaches you in your own writing. Workbooks, exercises, and materials are provided in a clear and logical manner to support the training.

The Workbook

Well-written and accurate, the workbook is a perfect companion for the course material. For future reference, I printed and annotated each page as I went along.

Plenty of ideas for future reading and exercises to help you improve your own art are included in this book.

A Workshop

By definition, the master is the lone student in the majority of MasterClasses.

Even though three workshops were included, it was a terrific opportunity to learn about the stories from a variety of perspectives and witness how Joyce’s thoughts changed in response to the opinions of others.

A feeling of belonging

You can evaluate and review numerous aspects of a MasterClass course, and MasterClass welcomes input from users. Customers’ input seems to be a priority for MasterClass, and the company is keen to learn from their experiences.

Additionally, you can connect with other participants via the community pages.


There are English subtitles available for those who are hearing impaired, as is the case with every MasterClass. You are free to go at your own pace while reading through the Workbook, which serves as an excellent accompaniment to each video.


Even though I really enjoyed taking Joyce Carol Oates’ class, I think there are one or two things that could be done differently or better. The following are some potential deal-breaking aspects for you to consider:


Learning Results

After the participants have finished the course, it would be helpful to have a brief list of statements that summarise what they should know, understand, and be able to accomplish in order to be successful. And, of course, the way in which and the reasons behind why they will find that particular knowledge and talent beneficial.

Nothing 1-on-1

Some MasterClasses give students the chance to interact directly with other members of the MasterClass community, albeit on a rare occasion.

Students can submit questions to Gordon Ramsay, for example, and he may respond to a few of them through video.

This post-course component is missing from Joyce Carol Oates’s class. It’s possible to gain input from other users in the Community, but it’s not the same as getting an answer from the lady herself.

No Terms In A Glossary

This class utilizes jargon, albeit to a far lesser extent than others of its kind. In the workbook, these concepts are defined in the very same sections in which they are used for the first time. However, it would be helpful to have them grouped together towards the rear for the purpose of making references more straightforward.

Course Pricing – Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review

Course Pricing - Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review

After the pricing for MasterClass could have changed since this Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review was written, please check back here for the most up-to-date information on how to make a purchase.

At the time that this article was written, the annual subscription fee for MasterClass was $180. Also known as $15 per month.

You gain access to all of MasterClass’s more than 80 different courses if you purchase a subscription. The fantastic feature of this opportunity is that the effective cost of each class will decrease proportionately to the number of lessons that are taken.

For instance, if you are able to locate at least four to six classes that you are interested in taking, this indicates that your average cost per class is between thirty and forty-five dollars. ($180 / 6 lessons = $30).

When you consider that these lectures are presented by renowned industry professionals, the price is an incredible deal. It’s a kind of educational shortcut if you will. In the event that you are not satisfied with your purchase, MasterClass will return your money within the first thirty days.

There is a method available for you to purchase the course on an individual basis; however, this method is not as straightforward as the others. You can give yourself a gift of learning by purchasing a single MasterClass and giving it to someone else as a present. This location charges a price of $90.

Who Can Take This Class?

On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 represents a total beginner and 10 represents an experienced writer, I would suggest that this course is most appealing to individuals with writing experience between the levels of 1 and 7.

This is not the kind of writing class that digs deeply into the esoteric world of various intricate linguistic methods. It adheres closely to the core tenet of the MasterClass brand, which is to have famous people teach us the skills that brought them to fame. As such, it ought to pique the curiosity of everybody who is interested in writing, in particular:

  • Those who are just beginning to write and need some motivation to get going
  • New authors who are looking for a learning program that is both achievable and difficult
  • Everyone who is looking for original and interesting ideas to assist them with the writing process in its entirety
  • People who need activities that are both inspirational and practical in order to get a boost of energy, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment; and
  • Writers with more expertise may realize that they are lacking in motivation and inspiration

Length Of Time Required To Complete The Course

The watching time for Joyce’s lecture is approximately 3.5 hours.

Over the course of four days, I viewed three to four lessons at a time. Because many of the participants found the course to be so interesting, they watched it all at once to get an overview of it, and then they retook the course, this time making sure to finish the exercises as they went.

Therefore, the length of time required is entirely up to you, and the fact that the workbook is of such high quality renders it a readily available source of inspiration even when technology is unavailable.

Is The Content Unique?

If you’re interested in learning more about what makes Joyce distinct as an author and how you can apply that knowledge to your own writing, this course is for you! Only if you are a student of Princeton University who has taken her Creative Writing course! ‘

Throughout her book, she offers a wealth of personal anecdotes as well as practical advice for enhancing your own creative abilities.

If you type “Joyce Carol Oates’s writing advice” into a search engine, you’ll come across a list of top tips, a few interviews, and a few 3- to 4-minute YouTube videos. This means that her MasterClass content is actually original.

Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review – Is It Worth It?

Yes, I would say so. The course exceeded my expectations and helped me overcome my apprehension of seeing a blank screen and having no words.


  • To learn from an accomplished author and teacher who is well-known around the world.
  • Princeton University’s creative writing program has been refined during the past 30 years.
  • Activities that are well-thought-out but nonetheless tough.
  • With an all-access pass, you get a lot for your money.
  • Classes that are in-depth, well-produced, and filled with interesting material


  • There is no direct one-on-one communication.
  • Obviously skewed in favor of Oates’ work, but that’s to be expected in a MasterClass.

Thank you for reading this article in Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Review. If you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions regarding this article, please write them in the comment section below. And don’t be hesitant about passing on this piece of knowledge to others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is Joyce Carol Oates MasterClass?

It is comprised of 14 individual lectures, totaling little less than three and a half hours.

How much does Joyce Carol Oates’ MasterClass cost?

It is comprised of 14 individual lectures, totaling little less than three and a half hours.

Can you get the Joyce Carol Oates MasterClass for free?

We regret to inform you that the course is not available for free. However, MasterClass provides a number of different purchase alternatives, and if you aren’t satisfied with the service, you may get your money back.

Can I get a refund if I don’t like the class?

After purchasing the course from MasterClass, you have up to a month to request a refund of your money. If you bought it from a different vendor, the vendor’s return policy might apply to your purchase.

Is Joyce Carol Oates good?

Joyce Carol Oates has been one of America’s most celebrated authors for over fifty years. She has won the National Book Award for Fiction in addition to publishing over 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories and teaching at Princeton for over four decades.

What is Joyce Carol Oates’s most famous work?

In A Garden of Earthly Delights (1967), Joyce tackles issues of class, gender, and coming of age through the story of Clara Walpole, the daughter of a farmer. This book was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction in the United States in 1968.

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