Part of Robert McKee’s


Full Program Details


3-Part Webinar Series

Enrollment for the Spring Program closed on June 30, 2024.


Action stories are difficult to write well because they have been done so often. Empathy with protagonists in peril provides wonderful excitement to the audience, but audiences know their action stories, and clichés or missed archetypal moments of excitement will disappoint. The Action genre is a specialized and coded story form requiring deep awareness, discipline and a writer who has mastered its principles. In this 3-part series, Robert teaches the core principles of the genre, the structure of action stories, and how to design set pieces in order to maximize the excitement of your audience.

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What You’ll Learn




What You’ll Learn



The Foundation of Action

In Part 1 of the series, McKee teaches the core principles essential to every action writer, the most effective ways to begin and end your story, and how to maximize the excitement in between.

Topics covered include...
  • Introduction: The Love of Action
    Why do audiences return again and again to action stories?
  • The Core of Action
    What are the key elements of the genre?
  • Action Structure
    How to hook your audience, drive your story and pay it off with an exciting climax.
  • Convention vs. Cliché
    The difference between the two, and why action stories are the hardest to write.



The Shape of Action

In Part 2 of the series, McKee breaks down the core cast of action, how to perfect its design, and the importance of power dynamics in an action story that works.

Topics covered include...
  • The Core Cast of Action
    The essential cast members of the genre.
  • Cast Design
    What are the differences between roles and characters?
  • Institutional vs. Tactical Powers
    A breakdown of power dynamics in action stories.
  • Praise and Mockery
    How to maximize your dialogue to express the balance of power in your story.



Set Pieces and Subgenres

In Part 3 of the series, McKee delivers a masterclass on the action writer’s full range of creative choices within the genre, and the strategies you need to craft effective set pieces.

Topics covered include...
  • Set Pieces
    What strategies can writers use to craft compelling action sequences?
  • The 16 Subgenres of Action
    What kind of action story are you writing?
  • Conclusion: Form vs. Formula
    Dispelling the myth of foolproof story models.

How it Works


Learn online from Robert McKee

This webinar series consists of three live writing lectures delivered online by Robert McKee via Zoom. Each session is 2 hours in length and starts at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada). This series runs from Tuesday, April 9, through Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Students like the online format because...

“I feel like I am part of a brilliant international writing community just by logging in to Zoom in the evenings from my small living room in the middle of Sweden.”

Elin Olofsson

Q&A Sessions

Ask McKee Anything

Every webinar concludes with a Q&A session during which Robert answers your questions on the topics covered during the lecture, or on any aspect of the writing craft. Participants can submit their questions during the live session or in advance by email.

Students like the Q&A periods because...

“I didn’t realize in the beginning how much the questions would help me learn, but it turns out they are just as important as the lectures. I think that is in large part to the careful attention Robert gives to each one.”

Billie Tomlinson

Live & On Demand

Can’t attend live? No problem!

If you can’t join us live, you can catch up at your convenience. Recordings are made available within 24 hours of the conclusion of each event, and can be viewed as many times as you like within the access period.  Recordings will be available through June 30, 2024. 

Students like recording access because...

“It’s really great to have the chance to watch these webinars at my own convenience and not having to take time off work to attend. I hope he continues to do them, I’ll continue to take them. Can’t wait for the next class.”

Marcos Meconi

Contact us if you’re interested in attending a future session.

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What Attendees Are Saying

“There are too many reasons why Robert is undisputedly the Master of Storytelling, and all of those reasons are self-evident in every one of his lessons. I am a McKee disciple – there is no greater writing apprenticeship possible.”

Natasha Phillips

“I believe that I now have the tools to not only effectively create my own stories but to intelligently evaluate those of others. Besides, McKee is a hoot!”

Marlene Simon

“Out of all the writing classes I’ve attended, every professor and self-proclaimed ‘master’ I’ve learned from pales in comparison to Mr. McKee. He is by far my favorite teacher I’ve ever had. I’m very grateful for his teachings and all the hard work that goes into his compelling lectures.”

Matt Isner

“I joined the spring webinar series and it was groundbreaking for me in every way. What a privilege – I literally felt like I was sitting by the desk of a master, just taking it all in!”

Jane Olander

“A big thank you for the wonderful, inspirational teachings from Robert! I‘m so glad to be part of this, and taking so many new thoughts and ideas from it for my own writing!”

Friederike Giley

“I had several ‘light bulb moments’ as I took notes, and was able to incorporate his ideas into my work-in-progress immediately. This webinar was well worth the time and money.”

Erin Brescia

“In the past, I’ve always considered attending an in-person seminar but life always seemed to get in the way. This format is so much more conducive to repeat viewings, studying and note taking. I hope he will continue to offer his deep knowledge and experience in this format. Thank you!!!”

Ed Han

“I am thoroughly enjoying these sessions and have learned so much beyond my collegiate studies. Robert has inspired, encouraged, and empowered me with his wonderful teaching.”

Becky Bulebush

“I am really enjoying the seminars and am so glad that I signed up. These webinars are inspiring me to make more effort to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) and pursue my ambitions. I must say that I have attended several different writing courses over the years, but none as inspiring as Robert’s.”

Sharon Grey

“Thank you for offering this online option. I am finding fascinating insights and it’s inspiring me to sort issues within my own existing work. I knew something wasn’t right, but now I know what it is and how to fix it.”

Rebecca O'Reilly

“My grasp of craft is immeasurably stronger by virtue of having attended Mr. McKee’s seminars and read (and reread) his books. I strongly recommend him. He’s one of the best speakers I’ve ever encountered, and his palpable delight at all aspects of storytelling is always infectious.”

Barry Eisler

“The amount of information blew me away.  Wish I had taken Robert’s classes much earlier in my writing process… This was an incredible experience and I’ll definitely approach my screenplays with an entirely different approach.”

Cheryl Willis

“This was more than I bargained for. New understanding, insight & inspiration with practical, USEABLE tools, excellent!”

Carol Roscoe

“Robert McKee is truly a master, not only of the art of story, but the art of teaching it as well. One of the most rewarding and informative weekends of my life, and worth every penny.”

Robert Robertson

“The passion and depth at which Mr. McKee dove into this material gave me a sense of infinite possibilities and growth potential. I’m really excited to use all of his principles and tools to analyze other screenplays, which I think will really allow me to grow as a writer and storyteller.”

John Jurko

“McKee’s teachings are invaluable.  I just want to express my appreciation and gratitude to you.  For your devotion to the significance, scope and magnitude of ‘storytelling’ and the writing process.”

Barbara Seyda

“For years I’ve heard about this seminar and thought the accounts about it were exaggerated. I can reassure you they are not. Robert is both hypnotic and mesmerizing… So happy I attended. An experience I will savor for the rest of my life.”

Lilly Chen

“I cannot tell you how fabulous these seminars are. Robert McKee explains things so simply. It’s a succession of lightbulb moments.”

Varda Tully


2024 Genre Festival

To support your commitment to the craft, we’re offering bundle deals on the Genre Festival.
Save when you enroll in multiple webinars.


Love Story

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Crime Thriller

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