Long Story Short
School of Writing
'The tribute to learning is teaching.'
Mayra Calvani was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has been writing for most of her life and been a professional book reviewer for the past ten years. Her 100+ reviews have appeared on sites such as Midwest Book Review, The Compulsive Reader, Curled Up With a Good Book, TCM Reviews, Scribe & Quill, Book Review Club, The Muse, and Habitual Reader, among others, as well as on prestigious print publications like The Bloomsbury Review and Mosaic.

Mayra writes non-fiction and fiction in a variety of genres — horror, paranormal, satire, mystery, literary fantasy, and children’s. Her stories and articles have appeared in Enigmatic Tales, Twilight Times Ezine, New Mystery Reader, Long Story Short, Musings: A Magazine of Words, Writer Gazette, Scribe & Quill, Absolute Write, and El Nuevo Dia newspaper. She is editor of The Fountain Pen Newsletter and co-editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine. In addition, she keeps two blogs, Mayra’s Secret Bookcaseand The Dark Phantom Review.

She is a member of Broad Universe, Sisters in Crime, and The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

She is the co-author of THE SLIPPERY ART OF BOOK REVIEWING (Twilight Times Books, Fall 2007). To learn more about Mayra’s other books, visit her website at: www.mayracalvani.com.

For her children’s books, please visit: www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com.

Course Introduction

Are you passionate about books? Do you have a talent for easily capturing the essence of a book after having read it? Do you often feel the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers? If you’ve answered "Yes" to these questions, then book reviewing can be one of the most satisfying, rewarding activities you’ll ever undertake. In fact, book reviewing can become addictive.

In this course you will learn how to write a well-written, honest, objective and professional book review, the different types of reviews, how to rate books, the signs of an amateur, what to do with terrible books, the legalities and ethics of reviews, how to publish your reviews and even make money while you’re at it. In sum, everything you’ll need to know about book reviewing, including hundreds of sites and publications where you’ll be able to publish your reviews.

Depending on the genre of your choice, you’ll get to choose a title, write a review and receive detailed feedback. There will be other exercises as well, such as recognizing what is wrong or amateurish about a specific review.

Topics Overview

Week 1

The Five Keys to Being a Good Reviewer
What is a Review?
Reading Critically
How to Write a Book Review
The Star System: Rating Books

Week 2

Types of Reviews
The Difference Between Reader Reviews and Reviewer Reviews
The Difference Between Pre- and Post-Publication Reviews
How a Review Differs from a Book Report, a Critique and a Press Release

Week 3

Qualities of a Great Review
Signs of an Amateur (The Absolute Don’ts)
The Feelings of an Author
What if the Book is Terrible?

Week 4

Is it Unethical to Sell the Book?
Print and Ownership Rights
When the Hobby Turns into a Demanding Job
Is There Any Money in it?
What’s in it for You, the Reviewer

Week 5

Dealing with Review Editors, Authors, and Publishers
Practical Tips to Remember
Reviewers vs. Bloggers: The Controversy

Week 6

How and Where To Get Started Posting Reviews
Print Publication Reviews
-Major Post Publication Reviews
-Small Print Publications Associated with Colleges and Universities
-Other Print Publications That Pay for Reviews
Online Review Sites and Publications
-Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

Course reading requirements:
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

Start Date: Contact Instructor
Workshop Duration:  6 WEEKS
Tuition: $115
Private Mentoring:  $35
Contact Mayra.
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