PRODUCT REVIEW

Judy Blume MasterClass Review: Is it Worth it?

Kevin Kessler
December 13, 2021

Judy Blume MasterClass review synopsis

What you’ll learn: Learn the finer points of writing a novel with famed author Judy Blume.

How long does the Judy Blume MasterClass take?: The Judy Blume MasterClass takes 4 hours and 50 minutes to complete.

Similar courses: Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell

Do I recommend Judy Blume’s MasterClass?: Yes! The Judy Blume MasterClass is an excellent journey through the literary world that any aspiring writer needs to take.

Start your literary journey with the Judy Blume MasterClass

A review of the Judy Blume MasterClass

If you’re going to learn from someone, learn from the best. While “best” is subjective when it comes to writing, you can look at successful authors who made real differences in the lives of their audiences.

One such writer is Judy Blume.

Famed author Judy Blume
Famed author Judy Blume

Her books have been transformative for young people all over the world. Blume pioneered a new breed of children’s books, boldly taking on “taboo” subjects and making them accessible.

That’s the kind of maverick you want to learn writing from.

But, the question remains, is Judy Blume as good of a teacher as she is a writer? Can she capture your imagination as an instructor in the same way she captured the imagination of millions with her books?

That’s what I set out to uncover in this Judy Blume MasterClass review. We’re going to dive deep into this writing course and find out if it deserves your time and money.

Disclosure: In the interest of full transparency, Codeless uses affiliate links in our MasterClass reviews to cover our site’s costs.

Our Verdict

If you’ve ever sat alone in a room and thought to yourself, “I want to write a meaningful book,” then you should absolutely take this MasterClass!

Judy Blume’s MasterClass Learn the finer points of writing a novel

$15 /month
PROS
  • Uses case studies from her novels
  • Warm and welcoming
  • Speaks well
  • Doesn’t force feed her vision of what a writer is supposed to be
  • Great lessons on dialogue
  • Chapters on the publishing business
CONS
  • Not a lot of location variety
  • The workbook is drab and boring

A few frequently-asked questions

Let’s start by answering some of the most common questions about Judy Blume’s MasterClass.

Do I need a subscription to access this course?

All MasterClasses, including Judy Blume’s MasterClass, require a subscription to the service.

How long is the MasterClass?

The Judy Blume MasterClass is made up of 24 online lessons that take 4 hours and 50 minutes to complete.

Does MasterClass have a cancellation policy?

All three MasterClass subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is the Judy Blume MasterClass worth it?

The Judy Blume MasterClass is time well spent for anyone who has even thought about writing a book.

Take the Judy Blume MasterClass today!

About Judy Blume

Judy Blume is one of the biggest names in children’s and young adult fiction. Some of her more famous works include Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Blubber, among others.

Many of Judy Blume's books
Judy Blume and her works

Blume is known as a daring pioneer, as her books were some of the first children’s books to tackle “adult” themes that were once considered taboo for younger readers. Some of these include masturbation, menstruation, death, and teen sex.

Today, many adults credit Judy Blume with teaching them a lot about the world through her pivotal works.

Her books have sold more than 82 million copies. They’ve also been translated into 32 different languages.

How much does Judy Blume’s MasterClass cost?

Blume’s MasterClass is available with a MasterClass subscription. Every subscription boasts complete access to the MasterClass library, including courses from other authors like Neil Gaiman, James Patterson, and Dan Brown.

There are three different MasterClass subscription levels to choose from. The main difference between them is how many devices you can use simultaneously.

Pricing for Judy Blume MasterClass subscriptions

The Standard Plan for MasterClass is $15 per month, billed annually. You have full access to all MasterClasses and can take them on one device at a time. All online classes come with supplementary learning materials, typically a workbook.

Then there’s the MasterClass Plus Plan at $20 per month, billed once a year. You’re getting everything offered on the Standard plan, but you can access classes on two devices at the same time. With this plan, you can also download videos on iOS devices.

The Premium Plan costs $23 per month, billed annually. You get everything included with the Plus Plan, and you can watch classes on six simultaneous devices. This plan is perfect for a business or large family.

Pick the best MasterClass subscription plan for your needs

What is included in the Judy Blume MasterClass?

Runtime:  4 hours and 50 minutes

Course Value: 5/5

Lessons: 24

Supplementary materials: Supplementary workbook

Supplementary workbook

Workbooks are standard for all MasterClasses. These supplementary guides lay out the lessons and offer assignments or resources to expand your knowledge.

An excerpt from the Judy Blume MasterClass workbook
An excerpt from the Judy Blume MasterClass workbook

Judy Blume’s MasterClass has such a workbook, but don’t expect a lot from it. Every page is laid out the same with no visual aids to help you retain knowledge. It’s essentially a massive text wall.

A complete breakdown of the Judy Blume MasterClass curriculum

Judy Blume breaks her MasterClass down into 24 online classes. We’ve laid them all out for you below so you can see whether the subject matter of this course appeals to you.

Curriculum:

  • Introduction
  • Judy’s Childhood
  • Finding Ideas – Part 1
  • Finding Ideas – Part 2
  • Idea Case Studies
  • Writing for Younger Readers – Part 1
  • Writing for Younger Readers – Part 2
  • In the Unlikely Event Case Study – Part 1
  • In the Unlikely Event Case Study – Part 2
  • Creating Memorable Characters – Part 1
  • Creating Memorable Characters – Part 2
  • Writing Dialogue
  • Dialogue Case Studies
  • Creating Plot Structure – Part 1
  • Creating Plot Structure – Part 2
  • Judy’s Writing Process – Part 1
  • Judy’s Writing Process – Part 2
  • Getting Ready to Submit
  • Working with Editors
  • Rejection
  • Marketplace
  • Controversy and Censorship
  • Career Journey
  • Closing

Course summary:

If you’ve never heard of Judy Blume by name, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about her work.

Books like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and many others were transformative in many people’s formative years. Millions of readers identify and appreciate Blume’s writing. I think there’s a simple reason for this.

She respects young readers.

Judy Blume explains her ideas on writing
Judy Blume reading one of her works in her MasterClass

Judy Blume isn’t afraid to go there. She knows that kids have questions about the world, their bodies, death, and other subjects some adults try to shield them from. For many kids, Judy Blume was the first adult who said, “it’s alright, let’s talk about this.”

And that’s also what I love about her MasterClass.

Judy Blume sits you down and levels with you about writing. She talks about her process but notes that it might not work for you.

Every writer is different, and your process is sacred for you as a writer. The process that made one writer a multimillionaire might not help another writer get a single book published.

Instead of saying, “I’m an expert, and this is the only way to do this thing that I’ve mastered,” she simply smiles and says, “Hey, this is how I see things. You might see them differently, and that’s ok.”

Even as adults, Judy Blume still reassures us, and that’s beautiful.

Judy Blume smiling as she lectures in her MasterClass
Judy Blume smiling as she lectures in her MasterClass

As a presence, she’s so comforting and kind. She’s constantly smiling, and I found that smile to be welcoming. It put me at ease for sure.

On top of that, the information she provides is exceptional.

She speaks at length about inspiration, plot structure, and characterization. I found her chapter on writing dialogue to be especially helpful — it changed how I look at character dialogue, and I’ll carry that lesson into my next book.

But she doesn’t stop there.

Blume talks about the writing industry, including submissions, rejections, editing, the marketplace, and even dealing with censorship.

Judy Blume explains her ideas on writing
Judy Blume explains her ideas on writing

I learned a lot from this class, and below I share some of the most impactful lessons for me.

What I learned

I’ve been a professional writer for 16 years and a published fiction author for five years. But as writers, we never stop learning, and even years into my career, I learned so much from Judy Blume.

Many lessons reaffirmed things I already believed about living characters and inspiration, but some sections were eye-opening epiphanies to me as a writer.

Let’s dive into some major takeaways from Judy Blume’s MasterClass.

9 takeaways from this MasterClass

1. You get ideas from everything out in the world:

The world around you is a never-ending source of inspiration that authors can pull from. Ideas can come from what you see or hear. It can come from something you’ve read or something someone tells you.

2. The best stories come from deep inside, but not necessarily from your life:

Your story inspiration comes from deep inside your mind and heart. It’s not necessarily something you’ve felt or experienced in your own life. For example, when Blume wrote Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret; it came from deep within her imagination. But Margaret’s family and friends were nothing like Judy’s. Sometimes you hear something that just resonates with you, and that can become your story.

3. There are no rules:

Judy took a class before writing Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. In that class, she was told that there were several rules one had to follow when writing a children’s book. It was stuff like everything needed to be tied up neatly, and children weren’t allowed to eavesdrop. She decided to ignore those rules and set out to tell stories the way they had to be told.

4. When you write for children, you have to tap into your inner child:

The famed children’s author Maurice Sendak said, “I’ve never had children, but I was a child.” We were all children once, and to write for kids, we have to remember what it’s like to be one. You have to tap into that inner child and write a story you would have loved in your teens.

5. Write about real life when writing for kids:

Blume wanted to read about real things when she was a child. Kids endlessly wonder about what goes on in the real world. Be honest, and don’t be afraid to explore that world. You don’t need to shy away from difficult subjects, including sexuality, divorce, depression, etc. As long as it advances the story or elevates the character, get it in there.

6. You have to spend time with your characters:

Characters are what drive a story, more so than even the plot. Because of this, you have to ensure you’re properly developing your characters. No matter how much you’ve planned, you won’t know your characters on your first day of writing. You have to write to get to know who they are. You can make them say, do, or feel whatever you want, but if it doesn’t feel natural, readers will know. Often, while you’re writing, vivid characters will do unexpected things. When that happens, you know they’re real. Get to know them and come to believe in them as if they are real people.

7. Dialogue has to move the story:

Dialogue is a tool that advances the story. It helps you learn who the characters are and educate them about the world around them. Any dialogue that doesn’t push the plot forward is superfluous. Your dialogue also needs to be realistic. Conversation is give and take. People don’t usually monologue whole paragraphs. Just listen to how people around you speak (and how they interrupt each other).

8. Use simple words.

It’s common for new writers to sit and write with a thesaurus (I was guilty of this when I wrote my first book!). Judy talks about an early unpublished novel of hers where she refused to use the word “said.” Eventually, when you do something like that, you’re going to realize that simple is usually better. Throw away your thesaurus. It’s not doing you any good.

9. Beware of slang

Unless your book is set in a specific period, avoid slang. Slang goes in and out of style, and using the vernacular of the day might be great when you release your work, but if you’re trying for something timeless, then avoid slang at all costs.

See what you can learn with the Judy Blume MasterClass

Memorable quotes from this MasterClass

“To me, this is a class about being free. But you have to be willing to take that chance. It’s risky.”

– Introduction

“Nobody could teach me to write. I can’t teach you to write. What I hope I can do in this MasterClass is share with you what I’ve learned about writing over 50 years.”

– Introduction

“You never know where an idea is coming from. It certainly comes from your own life and experiences, but it also comes from everything out in the world.”

– Finding Ideas: Part 1

“From Margaret, what I remember is saying ‘now I’m going to write a book, forget the rules.’”

– Idea Case Studies

“It’s the characters that make the story work.”

– Creating Memorable Characters: Part 1

“Writing dialogue is my greatest pleasure when it comes to writing.”

– Writing Dialogue

“Nobody can have too much imagination, let alone a writer.”

– Closing

Judy Blume MasterClass pros and cons

Before you sit down and dedicate nearly five hours to the Judy Blume MasterClass, review these lists of pros and cons to see if the positives outweigh the negatives for you.

Pros

Judy Blume puts a lot of thought and care into this MasterClass, and it shows. Here are some of the pros of taking this online class:

  • Uses case studies from her novels
  • Warm and welcoming
  • Speaks well
  • Doesn’t force feed her vision of what a writer is supposed to be
  • Great lessons on dialogue
  • Chapters on the publishing business

Judy Blume uses her own work as a case study for her MasterClass
Judy Blume uses her own work as a case study for her MasterClass

Cons

Before you start that first lesson, make sure that these Judy Blume MasterClass cons aren’t dealbreakers for you:

  • Not a lot of location variety
  • The workbook is drab and boring

Do I recommend this MasterClass?

If you’ve ever sat alone in a room and thought to yourself, “I want to write a meaningful book,” then you should absolutely take this MasterClass. Judy Blume brings the writing world to life and makes you genuinely excited to start getting your ideas and your characters down on paper.

I highly recommend the Judy Blume MasterClass. It’s one of the best in a catalog full of excellence.

If you need help with improving the quality of your writing, check out our review on the best grammar checker.

Write your book today with the Judy Blume MasterClass