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4-Week Online Everyone’s a Critic: Writing About Pop Culture, starts January 11th, 2021
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4-Week Online Everyone’s a Critic: Writing About Pop Culture, starts January 11th, 2021

Unit price per

Begins Monday, January 11, 2021


Open to All writers!

Taught by Lisa Levy, a contributing editor to Literary Hub and a founding editor of Crime Reads.

We all engage with pop culture every day: we check gossip sites, we hit Spotify, we read about an actor and his new movie, we look at fashion layouts, we play an alphabet soup of games, we scan websites, or watch a YouTube video, or binge a Netflix show. There are as many forms of popular culture are there are ways to write about it. We live in an age of democratized criticism: the only thing stopping you from writing about your favorite show or game or app is you. This class is going to help you get started. In this class, you will write about what you love, whether it's reality TV, sneakers, travel, gaming, TV, Tik-Tok videos, movies, crime, or YouTube channels. You can explore your passion for romance novels or geek out about the latest gadgets—all forms of pop culture are up for analysis, description, and debate.

Over our four-week class, we will read and practice different critical approaches, starting with the simple review, then looking at new forms that have been popularized by the Internet (listicles, recaps, hot takes, deep dives), teasing the personal from the critical in the essay, and thinking in larger terms about the critic's role. If we can all be critics now, do we have any responsibility to announce our biases, or to proclaim our objectivity? Is it objectivity we want from critics, or people whose taste echoes our own?

Required readings will be posted to Wet Ink and may include work by Anne Helen Petersen, Pauline Kael, Lester Bangs, Lorrie Moore, Pete Wells, Roxane Gay, Brian Moylan, Jacqui Shine, Ellen Willis, Hanif Abdurraqib, Wayne Koestenbaum, Jessica Hopper, Parul Segal, AO Scott, and anonymous Yelpers, Goodreads fiends, and Amazon customers.

You will also be required to produce your own writing each week in the form that we are studying. By the end of the class, you will have four pieces of writing that you can work on revising for possible publishing.


This class is entirely asynchronous with weekly deadlines and there is plenty of interaction with Lisa and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment. You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Each writer will have one opportunity to workshop a piece of writing, receiving detailed feedback from their peers as well as Lisa; follow-up questions and conversations often occur. Lisa engages with these discussions throughout the week.

You can pay for the course in full or use Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Lisa Levy

  • Class size limited to 12 writers

  • Class Starts January 11, 2021

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Instructor Lisa Levy is a writer, essayist, and critic. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New Republic, the LARB, the Believer, the Millions, the Rumpus, TLS, the CBC, and Lit Hub, where she is a contributing editor. She is also a columnist and contributing editor to Crime Reads. She has an essay in the collection Talking About Pauline Kael and one in the forthcoming anthology Dating & Sex: The Theory of Mutual Self-Destruction. She is pursuing an MFA in nonfiction writing at Goucher College and working on a collection of linked essays about chronic illness and cultural ideas about life narrative, progressive time, and futurity, as well as a critical study about women and crime fiction. Aside from reading, writing, and squeezing in some reality TV, Lisa collects all sort of things: MOD dresses, varieties of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, etiquette books, dated essay anthologies, Lilli Ann coats, and old copies of the Partisan Review. She posts a dress of the day on social media; Instagrams her night reading; eats her chocolate and loves her coats (none of which are really warm enough for Canada). Lisa moved from New York City to Toronto in the summer of 2019. She lives with her husband and their Basset hound, Daisy, in the Leslieville neighborhood in Toronto. She considers herself an amateur Canadian. Read her work here.

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