The Art & Science of Book Reviewing
Learn how to craft a review and develop a review practice.
Book reviews and criticism are an essential part of the literary landscape. Reviews are a powerful way to connect books and readers, elevating otherwise obscure works to national attention. Reviews can help readers find books they love, increase the reach of diverse voices and literary styles, and deepen and strengthen the ongoing national conversation around great literature. For the writer, reviewing hones critical reading skills, offers an outlet for publication, and provides an opportunity to contribute to literary citizenship.
In this interactive seminar, we explore both the art and science of book reviewing. The art of the review includes a wide variety of styles; we examine the various forms a book review takes, from shorter book summaries to longer and more essayistic work. We also look at the practical issues involved in finding outlets and landing assignments: the science of book reviewing.
Writers come away with the knowledge to craft their own reviews and the tools they need to begin developing a book review practice tailored to their goals and interests.
Book reviews have been a vital part of my writing career. I love the challenge of formulating and condensing my responses to a book, and I’m thrilled to be contributing in this way to literary conversations. Reviewing has improved my writing, strengthened my connections to other writers and readers, and made me both a better reader and literary citizen. It also provided an essential outlet for publication during the long slow burn of finishing my first novel. – Jennifer Carson
Meet Your Instructor: Jennifer Carson
Jennifer Carson is a novelist, book critic, professor, and founder of the literary organization To the Lighthouse. Her criticism and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Barnes & Noble Review, Science, Los Angeles Times, Six Hens Journal, and Coast magazine. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College. She was the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods Writer in Residence in 2015 and an Artist in Residence at Hypatia-in-the-Woods in 2022. She also holds a BS in physics from MIT and a PhD in astrophysics from UCLA. She is represented by Stephanie Cabot at Susanna Lea Associates.
Project Write Now offers no refunds or credits once registered, except in the unfortunate case a class or event is cancelled. We reserve the right to change instructors if necessary. We reserve the right to cancel, postpone, or reschedule any class, workshop, or event because of low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. Contact us at email@example.com or call 908.675.0467 for more information. Please note that when you register for a class you are reserving one of a limited number of spots available. Your registration also counts toward our consideration of class minimums.
Our organization was founded to help amplify the voices of those who are often not heard—including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, and other historically marginalized groups. We have witnessed how writing and sharing stories has the power to effect change by generating greater love, compassion, and empathy in the listener. In all of our programs, we provide an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment. We do not tolerate writing that perpetuates harmful stereotypes or fuels hate. Failure to align with our philosophy can result in your removal from class.