Everyone's a Critic with Ed Sikov

Contemporary media is overflowing with crap criticism. Learn to stand out by finding your critical voice in this two-week workshop with film critic and memoirist Ed Sikov.

Your Instructor: Ed Sikov: biographer, film critic, professor, and memoirist

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 40 students

Price: $99

Class Description

It's an old axiom: Everyone’s a critic.

Only now it’s true.

Everything that can possibly be described, reviewed, rated, and reduced to a couple of stars (or thumbs up, forks, musical notes, or even—in the case of at least one porn review column—splurts) has a website devoted to evaluative criticism.

Trouble is, almost all of them suck.

Contemporary media is overflowing with crap criticism. Literally millions of know-nothings have commandeered what used to be the art of critical writing; now it’s just blather, and there’s more of it than ever. The lack of solid, readable reviews of everything from films and books to restaurants and tourist attractions serve to devalue the art of criticism, and the art of the place under review.

Finding Your Critical Voice is LitReactor’s first class to cover the basics of critical writing. To develop your voice and do it right. And you'll be led by Ed Sikov, a biographer, film critic, professor, and memoirist.

In this two-week class, you will learn how to write reviews with honesty, intelligence, and most of all—skill. Reviews can and should be well-written. Sadly, it's becoming a lost art form. 

Besides studying the craft of criticism, you'll also learn the business end. Ed will offer advice on how to break into critical writing as well as where to send or post your work to get maximum exposure. 

What This Class Covers

Week One:

You'll focus your attention on your first assignment: fairly and accurately describing a film, book, performance, restaurant, song, theater piece, TV show, marching band, or amusement park of your choice. You can write about anything you choose—as long as it’s able to be the subject of critical discussion.

Ed will teach you to distinguish between the work you’re reviewing and your opinion of the work; in other words, the difference between accurate and indisputable description, and arguable personal opinion. You'll go far beyond simple plot summaries and get deeper into the meaning of the work so that your readers can get a clear sense of the work’s quality.

And you'll develop the ability to blend description of the work with subtle evaluation of the work—a mix that will make it difficult for others to challenge your opinion.

Week Two:

Ed and your fellow students will critique your assignment from the first week, and in the second week you'll re-write it, and move toward a final draft.

In addition, you'll learn to market yourself as a critic by determining the best outlets for your work, finding websites or publications in which to place your reviews, and work toward actually placing the review you write in the class. 

And along the way, there'll be opportunities to discuss critical writing with Ed, so that you can tap into his years of experience. 

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn the difference between criticism and opinion
  • Refine your writing skills
  • Learn how to break into critical writing
  • Develop a review—and get it critiqued by Ed and your fellow students
  • Work toward placing that review you write
  • Find your critical voice!
About Our Classes Class FAQs