BBC Maestro and Lee Child team up to launch a new fiction writing course

Lee Child

BBC Maestro has announced its latest course, Writing Popular Fiction from the multi-million bestseller Lee Child.

Providing a rare look into how Lee created his iconic Jack Reacher series, Writing Popular Fiction covers everything from the power of storytelling, nailing the opening sentence and creating convincing characters, to how authors can make the best of the publishing process – and make a living from writing.

Launched in October 2020 to incredible success, the BBC Maestro platform sees world-class experts share exclusive knowledge and insight into their craft. Lee joins Edgar Wright, Alan Moore, Marco Pierre White and Gary Barlow in sharing wisdom, expertise and industry secrets.The BBC Maestro platform features a series of extended, in-depth lessons filmed in 4K with an eclectic mix of prestigious experts, and allows participants to indulge in new areas of learning from the comfort of their own home. The commercial online education platform developed and operated by Maestro Media Ltd offers individual courses which can be purchased for £80.

With over 100 million books sold, hitting the #1 spot on the NYT and Sunday Times bestseller list numerous times, and with fans as varied as Kate Atkinson, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami and Phillip Pullman, Lee Child has maintained an incredible level of commercial success. He is the recipient of a CBE for services to literature and was named Author of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2019.

Now, for the first time, Lee will share the secrets behind his 26 books, lifting the lid on his unique creative process and showing how he put as much thought into planning his career as an author as he did into his prose. Spanning over 6 hours and presented in Lee’s inimitable style, the 35 bespoke course lessons include: Ditch the Airs and Graces, Research is a Dish Best Served Cold, Don’t Fall in Love with Your Hero, How Not to Make Your Reader Seasick, If You Want to be a Writer, You Have to be a Reader First, and The Back End of a Big Machine, a unique introduction to the publishing industry!

Lee Child’s course on Writing Popular Fiction is available to pre-order from 5pm Friday 30th September via Those who pre-order will get early access to three lessons: Lesson 3 - If You Want To Be A Writer, You Have To Be A Reader First; Lesson 5 - How I Wrote My First Book (Part 1); and Lesson 15 - Don’t Fall In Love With Your Hero.


Praise for Lee Child

‘The coolest continuing series character’ - Stephen King

‘I always seize the latest Lee Child with pleasure’ - Philip Pullman

‘His books are absolutely addictive’ - George R. R. Martin

‘Great pace, drama, language’ - James Patterson

‘Jack Reacher is today's James Bond’ - Ken Follett

‘Nothing makes for a great weekend quite like quality time with Jack’ – Lisa Gardner


Notes to editors

● The course costs £80 for lifetime access to Lee’s 35 lessons, and comprehensive

downloadable notes

● Lessons include Plot is a Rental Car, Character is King and Suspense is Not Like Baking

a Cake


About Lee Child

James Grant, better-known as Lee Child, is one of the world’s most successful contemporary

fiction writers. Born in Coventry in 1954, Lee’s career started in TV, working as a

presentation director at ITV’s Granada for 18 years, until he was fired in 1995.

Turning this setback into an opportunity, Lee decided to start writing novels, stating that

they were ‘the purest form of entertainment’. His debut novel, Killing Floor, released in

1997, was a global success and would become the first in a 27 novel-long, two-decadespanning

saga featuring military policeman, Jack Reacher. Written in the style of American

thrillers, Lee decided, after his first book’s success, to move there himself. Over a career of

nearly 30 years writing Reacher novels, Lee has maintained an incredible level of

commercial success, selling one hundred million copies. In addition to his commercial

achievements, Lee is the recipient of honours including a CBE for services to literature and

being named Author of the Year award at the 2019 British Book Awards. Lee has

characterised his books as revenge stories – a theme attributable to the anger first felt after

his sacking. Lee’s prose has been described as ‘hardboiled’ and ‘commercial’ in style. In

January 2020, Lee announced that he would be retiring from writing the Jack Reacher book

series, and gradually hand the role of writer to his brother Andrew Grant.


About BBC Maestro

BBC Maestro launched in October 2020 to phenomenal success. The first four courses

attracted more than one million people to the service, with thousands signing up to learn

from their favourite Maestro. Whether you are a novice or an amateur enthusiast, BBC

Maestro allows you to indulge in your area of passion from the comfort of your own home

and learn from the experts. Each course is beautifully filmed in 4K and offers several hours

of content, broken down into 20 to 40 easily digested lessons accompanied by

downloadable course notes filled with hints, tips and a breakdown of each course. Lee Child

will join Alan Moore, Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson, Peter Jones, David Walliams, Gary

Barlow, Marco Pierre White, Vineet Bhatia, Jancis Robinson, Pierre Koffmann, Richard

Bertinet and Line of Duty creator, Jed Mercurio. Coming soon are Doreen Lawrence, Sir Tim

Rice and more – all imparting wisdom, expertise and industry secrets.

BBC Maestro taps into the fast-growing space of e-learning – because of the way technology

has revolutionised teaching and learning, lessons no longer must be confined to the

classroom. In 2020, the number of people using online learning videos rose dramatically,

with an estimated 200 million users worldwide. The global ‘Mass Open Online Courses’

market size is expected to increase from $3.9 billion in 2018 to $20.8 billion by 2023.

BBC Maestro is a commercial platform developed and operated by Maestro Media Ltd

under licence from BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. BBC is a trademark of the British

Broadcasting Corporation and is used under licence.


About BBC Studios    

BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group with profits (EBITDA) of £226 million on sales of £1.6bn (21/22). Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents, with three-quarters of its revenues from non-BBC customers including Discovery, Apple and Netflix.  Around 2,400 hours of award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Bluey and Doctor Who., BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, has 139 million unique browser visits each month. 

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