Everybody’s a Critic! – Arts Criticism

Event Details

  • Event Date:
    Monday, June 24, 2024 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Register by:
    Jun 23, 2024 at 12:00 pm
  • Members:
  • Non-Members:

How to break in as a critic - and how to get your books, indie films, and projects noticed too! A panel discussion and Q&A

A Recording of this event is now available to purchase!

  • Members:
  • Non-Members:

Event Description

How to break in as a critic – and how to get your books, indie films, and projects noticed too!
A Panel Discussion with Q&A

Mon. June 24 at 6 PM Pacific

In today’s multi-platform, multi-media universe, how does a writer, performer/musician, filmmaker, artist, or “content creator” get noticed by professional critics and influence — especially if they’re a small-press, self-published, or an indie filmmaker or performer? And what qualities do critics most respond to — and run away from — in what they’re reviewing in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram? What role do trained, professional critics play in today’s arts and entertainment ecosystem?

And how can you become one yourself?

This month, on June 24th, Writers and Publishers Network will present a star-studded panel of top-tier critics, academics, and biographers to discuss all these issues and more. We’ll also address racial, gender, religious/cultural, and age diversity in both critics and in the films and books they criticize, professional ethics, trends in book and movie/TV reviewing and the performing arts, touching on AI and social media, and taking Q&A from our Zoom audience.

Meet Our Panelists


Award-winning writer/actor/TV personality HERBIE J PILATO is the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books including Connery, Sean Connery – Before, During, and After His Most Famous Role (BearManor Media, 2023), Retro Active Television: An In-Depth Perspective on Classic TV’s Social Circuitry (which the Los Angeles Book Festival named “Book of the Year” when it was published Headline Books in 2023), The Bionic Book  (“Special Commemorative Edition,” BearManor, 2023), The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas: A Treasure House of December Memories Revealed (Archway Books, 2022), Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story (Jacobs Brown, 2019), and Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery (Taylor Trade, 2012), among several others. Pilato’s upcoming new books are One Tough Dame: The Life and Career of Diana Rigg (September 2024, University of Mississippi Press), and Christmas TV Memories: Nostalgic Holiday Favorites of the Small Screen (November 2024, Applause Books), the latter of which features a foreword by Marlo Thomas. For more information, visit HerbieJPilato.com..


RAY RICHMOND worked as a television critic and columnist as well as an entertainment reporter and editor for a number of publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, The Orange County Register, Deadline Hollywood and the preeminent Hollywood awards website Gold Derby. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family; This is Jeopardy!: Celebrating America’s Favorite Quiz Show; and the 2022 coffee table biography Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life. Most recently, he wrote the coffee table collector’s volume The Sopranos: The Complete Visual History to be published in October 2024.

Richmond also ghostwrote and collaborated on many memoirs, including those of the legendary late actress Janis Paige and the renowned character actor William Sanderson. He teaches a graduate course in TV history each fall as an adjunct professor at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Author Ray Richmond


Commissioner BRANDON CHASE GOLDSMITH, PhD is a writer, producer and co-director for The Western District a feature length documentary, play, and book. He is CEO of BCG Creative Solutions where he designs social media videos and television commercials for small businesses and local cities. Dr. Goldsmith serves as a commissioner on the City Advertising and Promotion Commission of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Sebastian County Director for Western Arkansas Mountain Frontier and was a Visiting Instructor of Media Communication at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. He is the Co-Founder of the River Valley Film Society and MidAmerica Film Market, Executive Director for the Fort Smith International Film Festival and Arkansas Cinema Society’s Director of Advocacy. See also midamericafilmmarket.com and fortsmithfilm.com


JUSTIN LEE is Associate Editor of First Things magazine. Previously, he taught in the Composition Program at the University of California, Irvine, where he earned an MFA in Creative Writing. The recipient of an Emerging Writers Grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Vice, The Saturday Evening Post, The Spectator, The Independent, FLAUNT, Compact, and elsewhere. His collection of short stories, A Prisoner’s Cinema, will be published in Fall 2024 by Passage Press.


Telly Davidson

TELLY DAVIDSON has moderated numerous programs for Independent Writers of Southern California and written for National Review, Al About Jazz, FrumForum, American Conservative, Attn.com, Guitar Player, FilmStew, Yahoo Movies, and several PBS and NBC specials. He is the author of Culture War and the Emmy Academy-cited TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows, and is currently Operations Manager at Porter+Craig Film & Media having worked with CEOs Jeff Porter and Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig on the cable/digital or theatrical distribution of nearly 200 indie film titles and documentaries over the past dozen years.

Buy a recording of this event