Back to All Events

Getting Started as a Book Critic

  • Flatiron Writers Room 5 Covington Street Asheville, NC, 28806 United States (map)

Getting Started as a Book Critic

Book criticism is an art that can be really rewarding to a writer who values literary citizenship.

As a book reviewer, you can position yourself as a literary taste-maker, be a champion for emerging or lesser known authors, and provoke the audience’s deep reflection and thought about a specific work. Reviewing books for literary magazines and other national outlets probably sounds like a dream job: get compensated to read and write about books you love. But there are key differences between simply “book blogging” and practicing the craft to become a professional and thoughtful book critic.

Brandon Amico and Catherine Campbell will host an overview discussion followed by a Q&A and walkthrough of how to get started as a book reviewer and stay organized for success.


Participants will take home a mini-workbook kit to help them review, pitch, and write their first book review.

During this workshop, participants will learn:

  • How to get comfortable reviewing books through online platforms
  • Questions and prompts to help you write your review
  • The foundations of a good book review
  • How to keep track of quotes, scenes, and themes you want to address after reading
  • How to start or host your own book reviewing platform to establish your credibility
  • Researching and requesting galleys or advance reader copies (ARCs) from publishers
  • Pitching reviews to literary magazines and national outlets
  • Working with editors on your criticism and reviews
  • Editorial etiquette
  • The ethics of book criticism
  • The case for getting paid for your work
  • How to share and promote your work as a book critic
  • Literary citizenship and supporting authors


Part 2 of the Business of Writing 4-Part Series

$35 // this workshop only


$125 // package rate for all four workshops (10 hours of writing career advice)

Everything You Need To Know

This 2 1/2 hour workshop takes place at the comfortable and crafty bungalow, Flatiron Writers Room, in West Asheville.

Limited off-street parking is available. You can also park on Covington Street or across the street in the gravel parking lot. Please do not park at UpCountry's Brewing parking lot next door!

Wheelchair accessibility is available. Please email me if you need other accessibility needs met prior to the class. 

Entrance is the front door. Please feel free to arrive between 6:15-6:30pm, relax and get settled. We will have water, hot tea, and coffee available. We will take a stretch break during the workshop, and you'll have the option to stand up and move around whenever you like. 

Please bring: a recent review to share with the group, a pad of paper, a pencil or pen, a light shawl or jacket to make sure you're comfortable. Cell phones must be turned to "silent" mode. Laptops or tablets are optional.

Bring your questions! This is an interactive, dynamic workshop, so don't be shy to ask questions.

meet your co-instructor:

Brandon Amico is a writer living in North Carolina. His poetry can be found in journals including The Awl, Booth, The Carolina Quarterly, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hunger Mountain, New Ohio Review, Sixth Finch, Slice, Southern Humanities Review, Waxwing, and Verse Daily. His reviews have been featured by 32 Poems, The Los Angeles Review, Mid-American Review, The Rumpus, and Southern Humanities Review. He is a 2017 BOAAT Retreat Fellow and served as the assistant poetry editor for Tahoma Literary Review.