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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

[Online Course] ArtsEquator Introduction to Reviewing Books

INTRODUCTION TO REVIEWING BOOKS by Kathy Rowland

Course Synopsis:

This introductory course will teach you how to think critically and review a book, by drawing on both techniques of literary analysis and criticism writing. The course will examine the various contexts of the book being reviewed, as well as the multiple platforms upon which the review might appear, and you will learn how to write an engaging book review that combines constructive criticism, thoughtful commentary, and a larger cultural context.

Date:

8 Oct – 5 Nov 2020. Every Thursday from 7.30pm – 9pm (Total: 7.5hours)

How to Apply:

Fill in the application form here. Successful applicants will be notified of the results of their application by 31 August 2020. Applications close 15 August 2020.

*Participation is FREE. This programme is open to Singaporean citizens and PR only. Eligible participants can apply for the CDSA training allowance from NAC. Spaces are limited.

Trainer Bios:

Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com. She is an editor, writer, researcher and producer. Her articles on the politics of culture have appeared in publications in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and South Korea. Her reviews and essays have appeared on ArtsEquator.com regularly since it was founded in 2016. Her essay, “Culture and the Arts in Malaysia: Playing to Multiple Galleries” is included in the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia (2015), edited by Meredith L. Weiss. Kathy edited and wrote the Introduction to Staging History: Selected Plays from Five Arts Centre 1984 – 2014 (2015), Huzir Sulaiman: Collected Plays 1998 – 2012 (2013) and Krishen Jit: An Uncommon Position, Selected Writings (2003). She was the co-Editor of ARTICLE 2013: The Singapore Biennale Review, published by the International Association of Art Critics, Singapore in 2013. She has an BA in Literature from University Malaya, and an MA (Research) from the English Department, NUS, where she researched arts policy and arts practice in Malaysia.

Guest Speaker:

Daryl Lim Wei Jie is a poet and critic based in Singapore. His first collection of poetry, A Book of Changes, was published by Math Paper Press in 2016 under the Ten Year Series imprint. His poems won him the Golden Point Award in English Poetry in 2015, awarded by the National Arts Council, Singapore. Daryl’s work has furthermore appeared in various publications and periodicals such as the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, CorditeCha: An Asian Literary Journal, Ceriph, The Southwest Review, Drunken Boat and Softblow, and anthologised in A Luxury We Cannot Afford, Call and Response, 11 X 9 and elsewhere.

Daryl was the editor of the revised edition of The Hidden Papyrus of Hen-taui (Bluback Productions, 2019), by the pioneering and acclaimed Malaysian poet, Wong Phui Nam. Daryl has also written a critical introduction to Wong’s works at poetry.sg, an online encyclopedia of Singapore poetry.

Daryl is presently working on his second collection. The literary anthology Food Republic, co-edited by Daryl together with Ann Ang and Tse Hao Guang, is forthcoming from Landmark Books in 2020.

Olivia Ho is Books and Arts Correspondent at The Straits Times, where she usually writes about books, dance and theatre. She is currently seconded to the political desk, where she was formerly a manpower reporter. She has a first-class degree with honours from University College London and a masters in modern literature from the University of Edinburgh.

Materials: Participants will receive a choice of books to read, soft copies of novel excerpts/short stories, and links to sample reviews.

 

Course Outline:
Session 1

– History of Book Reviewing

– What is a Book Review

– Different Book Review Platforms and How to Write for Them

Session 2

– Introduction to Book Genres

– Fiction vs Non-fiction

– The Difference Between a Generalist & Specialist Reviewer

Session 3

– What is Literary Analysis?

–  Plot

– Characters

– Themes

– Writing style

– Symbolism

Session 4

– How to Write an Introduction

– Developing your Voice and Style

– Adding Commentary/Context

– What is Constructive Criticism?

Session 5

– How to Make your Review Flow

– How to Write a Conclusion

– Do’s and Don’ts

Comments: 1

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  1. Good morning! I am unable to attach my CV/Bio in the google forms, after multiple attempts. Please advise on the next steps, and wondering if there is an email which I can send my particulars in. Thank you so much!