Arts Reviewing : A Practical Guide book cover
1st Edition

Arts Reviewing
A Practical Guide

ISBN 9781138675124
Published September 12, 2017 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

Arts Reviewing: A Practical Guide is an accessible introduction to the world of arts criticism. Drawing on professional expertise and a range of cultural reviews from music, film, theatre, visual arts, television and books, Andy Plaice discusses different approaches to arts criticism, with tips on crafting great reviews.

Chapters explore:

• a brief history of arts criticism;

• researching and preparing for an assignment;

• legal and ethical boundaries when reviewing;

• finding your own writing style;

• starting and sustaining a career in arts criticism in the digital age.

The book is underpinned by over 20 interviews with leading practitioners from across Britain, America and Australia. They offer fascinating insights into the life of a critic, including their best and worst career moments and the debates impacting the field of arts criticism. Interviewees include Neil McCormick, rock critic at the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner and television critic Mark Lawson (BBC/ the Guardian).

New approaches to reviewing techniques and writing style are combined with real-world advice from leading professionals in the field, making this book an ideal resource for students and graduates of journalism, cultural studies and media studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction, 1. The Role of the Critic 2. A History of Arts Criticism 3. Preparation and Research 4. Writing the Review: Part One 5. Writing the Review: Part Two 6. The Impact of Criticism 7. Legal and Ethical Boundaries 8. Everyone’s a Critic 9. Breaking into the Business 10. The New Reviewer: Making it Pay, Conclusion, Index


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Andy Plaice is a senior lecturer in journalism at De Montfort University, Leicester, having previously edited local newspapers. As a feature writer and theatre and TV critic, he has written for The Stage, The Times, Sunday Express, Writing magazine, The Arts Desk and WhatsOnStage.


"A comprehensive and insightful analysis of the critic’s art and impact, which confronts the various challenges facing critical journalism in a rapidly changing world. A must read for anyone interested in the past, present and future (yes, there is one) of arts reviewing."

Dave Simpson, Guardian music critic and lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, UK