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Learn to establish a distinctive voice, critical authority and a trustworthy reputation
There's much more to the critic's craft than sharing an opinion, no matter how acerbic, hilarious or controversial it may be. While the internet has equipped everyone with the tools to write and share opinions instantly, the web is awash with vitriol passed off as critical thinking. Guardian film critic Ben Walters leads this illuminating examination of how the best critics share their passions, enlighten their audience and make the cultural world a better place.
While paid jobs in the field are dwindling, quality criticism remains one of the best ways for talented writers to make a name for themselves, and this course offers an exacting exploration of the realities of turning pro, and how top writers make it pay. Whether you're an outspoken blogger, a budding journalist, or simply a grudge-bearing keyboard warrior, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the theory of criticism, and how to put it into practice.
This inspiring course mixes tuition in critical theory with practical advice on how to construct high quality critical writing, and tips on how to approach PRs and publications in a professional capacity. There will also be opportunities for attendees to receive feedback on their writing. Topics covered on the course include:
- Criticism in the 21st century
- What is criticism? The difference between argument and opinion
- How to do it: constructing a review; looking beyond the review
- Feel the love: why following your passion is better for your criticism and your career
- How to make a living out of criticism: getting access, placing your work, finding your niche
- Stars and gongs: the pros and cons of ratings and awards
This course is for you if...
- You're a blogger who wants to improve the quality and authority of your writing
- You're an aspiring critic or journalist and want to improve your skills as a reviewer
- You're an avid consumer of criticism and would like a better understanding of how it works, in both theory and practice
Ben Walters writes on film for the Guardian and Sight & Sound and was cabaret editor of Time Out London from 2009 to 2013. He has written books about Orson Welles, The Office and (with JM Tyree) and The Big Lebowski, and programmed seasons for BFI Southbank. Ben created BURN, a platform for moving images by cabaret artists, in 2010, and co-directed the feature documentary This Is Not a Dream (2012) and short documentary Vinegar to Jam (2013), both on performance subjects. He blogs at nottelevision.net.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.