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Beyond Summary: An Online Workshop in Book Criticism with Katharine Coldiron


  • This four-week online book reviews workshop starts on September 15, 2019 

  • Cost is $135, limited to 12 people

  • Review book is included in the price of the workshop

  • Participants will take a guided tour through the process of writing a book review 

What’s This For? 

In this course, you’ll be asked to consider a variety of questions about the nature and execution of book criticism. We’ll read a novella and build a review of it, week by week, paragraph by paragraph. This course is less of a workshop, as writing workshops usually go, with critique and revision, than it is four weeks’ worth of guidance and conversation about book criticism. Expect to think more profusely than you write, and to write a distilled teaspoon of what you think. This course is ideal if you don’t know how to write a book review, but you love books and want to give it a try, or if you just want to know how book reviews work under the hood. 

What’s the Setup? 

Participants will choose one novella (either The White Death: An Illusion by Gabriel Urza or If You’re Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki) to use as an example text across the course modules. Each week will include questions and assignments to deepen your thinking and writing about the novella. Gradually, out of all this, we’ll build a sample book review. Discussion boards will be open for participants to cross-pollinate ideas, and multiple writing resources will be available to you. The course will run on Canvas, a fairly easy-to-use learning management system. 

Who Is Katharine Coldiron? 

Author photo of Katharine Coldiron

A prolific and vocal literary critic, Katharine Coldiron has published approximately 125 book reviews across the past two years. Her criticism has appeared in the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, NPR, the Guardian, BUST, the Houston Chronicle, the Kenyon Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and many other places. She is a regular reviewer for Locus, the Women’s Review of Books, Book & Film Globe, and the Arts Fuse, and she serves as the book reviews editor for Barrelhouse. As for non-critical work, Katharine’s novella, Ceremonials, is forthcoming from Kernpunkt Press in 2020, and her hybrid essays and fiction have appeared in the Rumpus, the Collagist, Storm Cellar, Hobart, the Offing, and elsewhere. Find Katharine at or on Twitter @ferrifrigida


Read Some of Katharine’s Reviews: 

B. Catling’s The Cloven at Locus

Emmalea Russo’s G at Anomaly

Kristen Roupenian’s You Know You Want This at Book & Film Globe 

Carolyn Kirby’s The Conviction of Cora Burns at the Adroit Journal


Since spots are limited to 12, we need to be kind of strict about cancellations and refunds. Here’s the deal:

You can cancel and receive a full refund up to two weeks before the workshop start date.

After that, we’re locked in and can’t provide a refund.

Sign Up!