Amy Tan MasterClass Review


Are you ready to get schooled by one of the greatest authors of our time? Join me as I share my experience taking Amy Tan’s MasterClass and learn how to hone your craft and create beautiful stories like she does.


Welcome to Introduction to Literature with Amy Tan. This MasterClass course will guide you through the process of analyzing literature and authors’ choices, including various types of writing, different voices, and language techniques. You will be equipped with the tools needed to evaluate different texts in a meaningful way, as well as tips and insights into the writing life.

Amy Tan is an award-winning author and has been published in 35 countries. Her books have become bestsellers throughout the world and have been adapted into movies. She has written short stories, novels, essays, nonfiction books and children’s books. In this masterclass she explains her approach to analyze stories from their beginnings in order to better understand why certain writing techniques were used by authors and how those techniques worked-or didn’t work-to convey a desired effect or emotion.

In this masterclass you will explore topics such as:

  • Different types of literature (drama verses novels; realistic fiction versus fantasy),
  • The narrative voice one uses for a particular story or plotline (first person versus third person) language devices (metaphors/similes),
  • Plot devices (conflict/theme),
  • Developing characters that are three dimensional and believable (round characters versus flat characters) as well as other elements that help bring out the most from a story within context (tone/mood).

Along with these lessons Amy provides insight into her personal journey as an author; her writing process; her unique thought process when reading stories; advice on plot structure; revision tips & tricks; exploring settings & character arcs within your own work; struggling with “writer’s block” and many other challenges faced when creating meaningful works of art. Lastly she goes over ways to preserve your finished pieces whether it be self publishing or submitting it for consideration with traditional publishers & literary agents.

By taking this course you are sure to gain valuable knowledge about literature which can help shape your very own tales of fiction!

Amy Tan’s Background and Career

Amy Tan is a bestselling author known for her fiercely honest stories about the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. Her 1989 novel, The Joy Luck Club, has achieved great success and lasting popularity. Throughout her career, eluding to the themes of mother-daughter relationships in her work, Amy Tan has remained a steadfast advocate for women’s rights.

Amy Tan was born and raised in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrant parents. She received her Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University and studied linguistics at UC Berkeley before beginning a full-time career in writing. Before she was an internationally acclaimed novelist and memoirist she was a speechwriter for corporate clients, working on synthesizing complex research into accessible messages.

In 1989 Amy’s first full-length novel The Joy Luck Club became an immediate journalistic sensation, selling millions of copies worldwide while becoming adapted into an iconic movie four years after its publication. The book follows the lives of four mothers who immigrated to the United States from China and the struggles their daughters go through as second generation Chinese Americans. Drawing both criticism and praise for its true displays of cultural assimilation within America, the novel captivated readers from all around the world.

Her other works include Saving Fish from Drowning (2005), The Opposite of Fate (2003), The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2001), Kitchen God’s Wife (1991) along with twelve other books currently in print as well as two essays published by Time magazine in April 2017 regarding Asian American conservatives and President Donald Trump’s inauguration day remarks on immigration policies.

Amy Tan continues to entertain readers around the world with her sincere exploration feminism, cultural exchange and family ties still today at age 65 – living together with Lou DeMattei, her husband since 1974 since they got married 3 months after they first met each other while Amy worked at KQED radio in San Francisco while still studying creative writing – is remarkable proof at human resilience even after various heartbreaks throughout life!

Overview of the MasterClass

Amy Tan’s MasterClass is an insightful learning experience, with more than 20 video lessons up to 8 hours of instruction. It reveals Amy’s techniques, process, and best practices for writing a successful and compelling story. This MasterClass covers topics from outlining a story idea to knowing the craft of storytelling.

The journey also includes discovering the tools for setting and sculpting characters; finding agents & publishers; and dealing with criticism to stay motivated throughout the creative process.

Amy Tan provides valuable advice on specific components such as:

  • Plot structure
  • Character development
  • Theme analysis
  • Point of view choices
  • Voice development
  • Visual writing

all to help you shape a skillful narrative that engages readers in your characters and their journeys. Amy walks through exercises to help find motivation within even the most difficult challenges in order to discover the stories that really matter – the ones that move us deeply when we read them or hear them told as tales.

You will learn editing strategies that polish your drafts so they shine and get ready for publication or film adaptation. The ultimate goal is not only reaching readers but inspiring them too so they can apply what they’ve learned from your work into their own unique journey.

Course Content and Structure

Amy Tan’s MasterClass gives students a complete overview of the craft of writing fiction, from developing characters and storytelling to marketing and promoting. Tan uses her decades of experience as one of the most successful authors of our time to provide a comprehensive education in the creative process.

The course is made up of 24 video lessons that explain each step in detail. Tan takes each aspect slowly, giving students quick tips and helpful critiques along the way. Whether it’s improving dialogue or understanding point-of-view, she takes time to explain why each technique is important. In addition to watching videos, there are also written assignments which can be accessed through the “My Assignments” tab on the main page.

Students will learn how to develop compelling stories by:

  • Creating characters with depth
  • Exploring different themes and genres through exercises
  • Creating believable settings
  • Building tension between characters

Tan also goes into detail about marketing your work: she teaches you how to find agents or publishers and offers advice on how to handle rejection gracefully. Through her straight-talking yet nurturing guidance, you’ll leave with a better understanding of how to share your writing with the world.

Benefits of Taking the MasterClass

The ‘Amy Tan Teaches Creative Writing’ MasterClass offers a comprehensive exploration of creative writing, under the guidance and tutelage of renowned author Amy Tan. Here, participants learn to build characters, structure stories and create vivid settings with the tried-and-true techniques that have served Tan throughout her illustrious career.

This interactive learning experience includes video lessons, interactive writing exercises and helpful worksheets that guide students as they develop their craft. The lessons are designed to inspire confidence and purpose through in-depth instruction on topics like plot and point-of-view. Additionally, students will receive instructions for activities designed to strengthen their understanding of grammar, formatting rules and constructive feedback from peers.

By signing up for this course, students will receive entry into an online community featuring notable literary figures from all over the world who can help provide valuable commentary along the way. Through this platform, narrative enthusiasts will have access to meaningful dialogue exchange with a uniquely diverse group of people who share their passion for writing – a feature unique to Amy Tan’s MasterClass that is sure to prepare participants in more ways than one!

Pros and Cons

Amy Tan is an award-winning author known for writing books such as ‘The Joy Luck Club’, ‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’, and ‘Saving Fish from Drowning’. She is highly regarded in the literary world and has been applauded for her unique style of writing.

This MasterClass offers a thorough and comprehensive look at her personal life, her insights into the craft of writing, advice on how to tackle common problems, and more. In this review, we will be evaluating some of the key pros and cons of taking Amy Tan’s MasterClass.


  • Amy Tan is a highly experienced and knowledgeable instructor who offers candid advice on the craft of writing.
  • The course structure is easy to follow with useful tips throughout pertaining to specific elements of storytelling such as plot points, character development and setting.
  • Throughout the class, you are encouraged to write practice pieces using what you have learned so that you can begin to develop your own style of writing.
  • In addition to the video lectures, there are also supplementary discussions boards with students engaging in conversations related to the lecture topics. This allows students to share their thoughts or experiences in order to gain deeper insights into developing their techniques.
  • At the end of each module there is a unique Q&A session which provides an opportunity for students to submit questions about any element which wasn’t discussed during class time.


  • Although Amy Tan excels at providing detailed instruction on elements such as plotting points or building suspenseful settings there isn’t always an opportunity for more broad conversations about literature theory or researching for background knowledge before committing fiction ideas down on paper.
  • Students are given very little time within each module so it might be difficult for those wanting further engagement from the instructor outside lecture hours.
  • Although short practice pieces are assigned throughout each lesson it remains challenging for those who may want more practical feedback opportunities during class hours due its length constraint over 12 weeks long span.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this MasterClass was an enjoyable and engaging experience. Amy Tan’s teaching style is practical, yet gentle and inviting. Throughout the course, she emphasizes the importance of an open mind when it comes to writing and encourages her students to explore their own creative boundaries. Her examples of personal journeys and philosophies are also a great way to connect with what she is trying to teach.

Although the course content does lean heavily towards autobiographical writing, it does touch upon topics such as:

  • Character development
  • Setting description
  • Coming up with creative solutions for challenging scenes and story arcs that apply beyond just autobiography.

At a price point of $90, the Amy Tan MasterClass does provide a good value for money considering her extensive resume as one of America’s most accomplished Chinese-American writers. The online video lessons are easy to follow along and if you can commit to watching all 22 videos (which serves as an overview on writing stories), then you’re certainly better-equipped with useful takeaways that can help enhance your writing skills in any genre.


In conclusion, Amy Tan’s MasterClass is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their skills in writing fiction. Tan provides a wealth of knowledge on every aspect of the creative process, from character development to plot structure to dialogue. With her engaging teaching style and thoughtful insight into the craft of writing, students will come away with a more comprehensive understanding of what goes into crafting an emotionally compelling story.

Ultimately, this is an investment that any aspiring author will benefit from immensely – and have a great time doing it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What topics does Amy Tan cover in her MasterClass?

A: Amy Tan’s MasterClass focuses on the craft of writing, from finding inspiration and developing characters, to creating vivid settings and structuring compelling plots. She also offers advice on the business of writing, including how to publish and promote your work.

Q: How long is the Amy Tan MasterClass?

A: The Amy Tan MasterClass consists of 22 video lessons, which total to about 4.5 hours of instruction.

Q: Does the Amy Tan MasterClass provide feedback?

A: Yes, the Amy Tan MasterClass includes feedback from Amy Tan on student work, as well as the opportunity to connect with other students in the MasterClass community.

Mike Samuels
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