Reasons to Attend the SFF Criticism Masterclass

The deadline to apply for this year’s SFF Criticism Masterclass is rapidly approaching. (February 28th)

Some of you may be wavering as to whether or not to apply. Here are some reasons why you should:

  • It’s a chance to spend three days immersed in discussion of books, short stories, and articles with other people interested in science fiction, who have all read the same material. This allows for the sort of in-depth discussion which doesn’t happen any where near frequently enough in other contexts.
  • It’s a chance to encounter alternative perspectives on work you’ve just read, while it’s fresh in your mind and you have the material to-hand for re-examining. You may not change your mind, but you’ll certainly have the chance to discuss others’ perspectives at length and use them to re-examine your own.
  • It’s a fantastic networking opportunity for anyone already working on any aspect of science fiction criticism in some capacity. You’ll be spending three days getting to know the tutors and the way they think much more closely, but also your fellow students.
  • It’s not a class intended for masters of criticism, but for those interested in improving their existing abilities,  whether you review lots of books on your own blog, or are a PhD student working on science fiction, or occasionally write critical essays about science fiction. It’s also useful for writers interested in genre criticism, working on improving their analyses of why some kinds of writing does and doesn’t work for a critical audience.
  • Even if you’ve taken it before, the SFF Criticism Masterclass is new and different every time, with all-new tutors to learn from and with. If you’d like to study SF Criticism with M. John Harrison, Kari Sperring, and Edward James, this is the one year you have in which to do so.

Any other reasons any of you would like to add to this list?

2 thoughts on “Reasons to Attend the SFF Criticism Masterclass

  1. The only thing that has held me back every year is the cost. I’m a U.S. grad student on a fairly limited stipend, which makes it difficult to budget the Masterclass on top of everything else. I’m trying to make it work this year, though, as I’m not attending any conferences that require flights, but there are new complications. But I’ve wanted to apply for the last three years…Desperately.

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