Thursday, February 22, 2007

Criticism can be a career

Writers are always blasting or praising reviewers, depending on how their most recent works were received, but one thing I seldom hear is talk about the field of criticism as a writing market or career.

The NY Times recently posted a superb review of an old play, "Journey's End," that's being revived on Broadway. I'd never heard of the author, Fred Smoler, but I had to admire his thoughtful analysis of the play and its history. They paid him for that, and paid well, I'd guess.

Some years ago I reviewed movies weekly in my college newspaper--they gave me free tickets. Since then I've written innumerable book reviews, but making a specialty of criticism never occurred to me.

Give it some thought. You might be able to start on your local newspaper, or on the Web. For example, Gayle Surette, editor of Gumshoe , is always looking for good new mystery reviewers. Criticism is a way to get free books, or tickets to plays, operas, or concerts, but it can also be a career.


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