On the Thickness of Skin

Column by Annie Neugebauer June 6, 2018
On the concept of writers needing to develop a "thicker skin," and why it's a damaging myth.

Analyzing The Last Two Decades of Online Film Criticism

Column by Bart Bishop
A look at the last 20 years of the online film criticism community through the lens of Jeremy Smith's upcoming book "When It Was Cool".

Why You Should Name Your Artistic Nemesis

Column by Annie Neugebauer
What is an artistic nemesis, why do you want one, what should you look for, and how do you find them?

What Happens When You Stop Writing Negative Book Reviews

Column by Peter Derk June 12, 2017
This is what happens when you stop being real and start getting polite.

Subjective Preference vs. Objective Quality: A.O. Scott's 'Better Living Through Criticism' and Why Everyone is a Critic

Column by Bart Bishop
A look at A.O. Scott's recent book on criticism, and why it's natural and necessary.

How Harlan Ellison's 'Watching' Predicted Film Twitter, or Why Film Criticism Will Save the World

Column by Bart Bishop
In which the author channels Harlan Ellison's film criticism, collected in 1989's 'Watching', to explain why critics are actually modern shamans teaching secret messages of empathy.

When Critics Are Assholes: 8 Great Books That Got Slammed

Column by Ed Sikov October 2, 2015
In the literary justice system, critic-based offenses are considered particularly heinous. Idiots are to blame. These are their stories.

Giving Up the Ghost: How to Bury Dead Writing

Column by Leah Dearborn March 27, 2015
Giving up on a piece of writing seems counterintuitive. We’re told from an early age that if we just keep trying, one day we’ll succeed. But sometimes effort just isn’t enough.

Readers Do Not Owe Writers Anything

Column by Max Booth III January 8, 2015
Every new book is a first date trying to convince the reader to take it home and get naked.

The Basics of Starting a Writing Group

Column by Daniel Hope August 27, 2014
A few essential steps that will give your writing group (and consequently your writing) the best chance of success.

The Rookie's Guide to The LitReactor Writer's Workshop: Short Story vs. Essay/Non-Fiction

Column by Brandon Tietz July 30, 2014
Critiquing a short story vs. essay/non-fiction — A how-to guide for all you workshoppers out there.

Death Threats and the Death of the Book Review

Column by Dean Fetzer March 7, 2014
Are we entitled to some kind of reciprocal linking if we review someone’s book (particularly if we write a good review)? More's to the point - is there any point to book reviews?

Storyville: How to Write a Book Review

Column by Richard Thomas January 28, 2014
Some tips on how to write a compelling book review.

I’LL KILL YOU! Amazon, Goodreads, and the Death of Criticism

Column by Keith Rawson January 27, 2014
Do Amazon and Goodreads reviews suck or is Keith Rawson just an a$$hole? Or maybe a little of both?

Thickening Skin: 6 Tips for Taking Criticism

Column by Robbie Blair September 4, 2013
Tips for how to take criticism—including both constructive feedback and more volatile attacks on your work.

Roger Ebert Dies at 70

Column by Ed Sikov April 5, 2013
An appreciation of the most famous film critic in the world.

Think Through Twitter: Questions for the Social Media Artist

Column by Phil Jourdan January 31, 2013
The creative potential in social media platforms is obvious, but what about the other side? Phil Jourdan looks at the way Twitter can encourage new ways of thinking critically about the arts.

No Thanks, Mr Franzen, I Like My Novels Difficult

Column by Phil Jourdan March 14, 2012
Never mind Jonathan Franzen's rants on eBooks and Twitter. He poses a more serious threat: the decline of literary difficulty.

Transgression in Theory: The Idea of a Fight Club

Column by Phil Jourdan February 29, 2012
A critical look at how a fight club could turn into Project Mayhem — as part of a new series of columns on transgressive fiction.