Learn to be a Critic with the Stranger’s Brendan Kiley

“Not only did this workshop improve my writing and my confidence in it, YCW led me to explore Seattle's rich culture; I saw plays and exhibits I never would have on my own.” - YCW graduate Elsa W.

The Young Critics Workshop is a writing seminar for 11th & 12th graders and college freshmen who are interested in arts criticism and critical journalism, taught by The Stranger's Arts Editor Brendan Kiley.

Professor Kiley

The Young Critics Workshop gives young writers the opportunity to explore critical journalism, meet and learn from professional critics and artists, and hone their critical writing skills in the company of peers. The YCW is a challenging and rigorous writing course. Classes will be held twice a month for five months. Approximately three quarters of the class periods will be devoted to writing instruction, with the other quarter dedicated to guest speakers and field trips to see art. Students will be asked to attend and review at least three shows over the course of the five-month workshop in addition to completing writing assignments both in and out of class. The class will be conducted in a seminar style, and students will be expected to participate in class discussions and to read and respond to one another’s work.

YCW Stranger Panel
YCW graduate Paulina P.

• The Young Critics Workshop is free of charge and open to all 11th & 12th graders and college/university freshmen.
• All classes will be held at the Center House at Seattle Center.
• Classes will be held approximately twice a month for five months. All classes will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

In the words of previous participants:

"Nitty-gritty discussions about writing in the first few classes fried my brain in the best way, while keeping things funny and casual."

"When you know what you are supposed to do you can write ok, when you know why you are supposed to do it you can write better, but when you understand that you are the middle man, the mediator, between the artist and the audience, then that's when you can write a piece of excellent criticism."

Stranger Day at YCW, with Stranger writers Brendan Kiley, Charles Mudede, David Schmader, Matthew Richter, Paul Constant, and Lindy West

Here's a blog post by YCW grad Bianca G about Stranger Day.

". . .when [Brendan] was just talking about working at The Stranger or telling stories about being a theatre critic, it was the most entertaining, memorable, and engaging part of the class."

"At the end of the short five-month run, I can proudly say that not only have my critical writing techniques improved exponentially, but my way of looking at, and reacting to, art has evolved into a more cognizant and analytical brand."

More more information about this year's YCW, click here.

To download an application, click here. Applications for the 2009-2010 Young Critics Workshop are due October 15th, 2009.

Questions? Email teentix@seattle.gov
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