Event Details

  • Event Date:
    Monday, March 27, 2017 from 7:30 pm to 9:15 pm

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Event Description

How to Get Your Projects Noticed by Top Critics (and how to become one yourself!)

Monday, March 27, 2017
7:30 to 9:15 p.m. (networking follows the program)

Here’s a question that perplexes every writer, no matter their genre:

What Do Critics Want?

How does a book writer, novelist, screenwriter, or filmmaker get noticed by professional critics and bloggers – especially if the author is published by a small press, or is self-published, or is an “indie” filmmaker?

If a screenwriter or book author is lucky enough to make a film deal, there are further questions. With hundreds of film festivals around the globe and hundreds of channels of content on TV (let alone the internet), what determines whether a TV show or movie is one of the best – or one of the rest?

And we’ll throw in another angle: writing criticism yourself.

  • In today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest, what sets professional TV, film, and book criticism apart?
  • What is the ROLE of the professional critic today?
  • If you are a writer and want to share your love of novels, essays, cinema, or story in all its myriad forms, how can you become a professional critic yourself? A paid critic?

All this and more will be on the docket for this writers’ panel.

We’ll ask our panel of professional critics questions like these:

  • How do I get my book (or play or Indie film) noticed and reviewed by critics?
  • How can an author help a critic read our book or see our play/film — to make it easier for them to possibly cover it?
  • What elements make a good (or bad) movie, play, TV show, or film — in the eyes of the top critics?
  • How have gender, preference, and racial diversity impacted arts criticism and writing?
  • How does one break into criticism, or writing about culture?

Our Panelists:

Janice Littlejohn, photo by Paul Gregory

JANICE RHOSHALLE LITTLEJOHN is a senior editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and co-author of Swirling: Hot to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed (Artira, 2012). Her first movie script, Those People: A Love Story was selected by the DreamAgo 2016 Plume & Pellicule international screenwriting atelier.

In addition to filmmaking, Janice has an extensive career as a journalist. She contributes to Zocalo Public Square, Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy and other sites; was a columnist for the Associated Press and for BlackVoices.com (now a column at Huffington Post); and her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Essence, Vibe, and more.

Janice holds a Masters degree in Fiction from USC, and a BA from Loyola Marymount, and is a Fellow at the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

Debra Levine
Debra Levine

DEBRA LEVINE is the founder of ArtsMeme.com and a veteran arts journalist for the Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post.

A two-time Fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Journalism Institutes, Debra curated and hosted All That Jack (Cole), a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and co-hosted a full evening of Cole-choreographed classic films on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) alongside Robert Osborne.

Debra earlier produced multi in-person screening events starring Oscar-winning actor/dancer George Chakiris of West Side Story, including George Chakiris: A Life in Film.

A 30-year veteran of writing about dance, live theatre, and film, she has addressed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Oscars), UCLA Film & Television Archive, American Cinematheque, and Dance Camera West.

Debra has also been featured in publications as diverse and worldwide as La Opinion, South China Morning Post, Dance Magazine, and the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Follow her on Twitter at @artsmeme.

Tim Cogshell
Tim Cogshell

TIM COGSHELL — Los Angeles Film Critics Association member Tim Cogshell is a veteran Film Critic, Journalist, Producer, and Filmmaker.For more than 25 years he has written about film for national and regional magazines and newspapers in print and online. Tim is a regular critic on Larry Mantle’s FilmWeek, the weekly film review and discussion program that broadcasts from Pasadena-based NPR affiliate KPCC 89.3; he is a regular contributor to KPCC’s Off-Ramp with John Rabe, and other NPR programming. Tim is a regular commentator on KNBC and FOX News in Los Angeles, for the BBC and other concerns.

He’s a producer, screenwriter, editor, and documentarian whose films have been featured in numerous festivals.

Tim’s website is CinemainMind.com.

film critic Justin Chang
Justin Chang

JUSTIN CHANG is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and a regular contributor to NPR’s Fresh Air Weekend and FilmWeek. Before joining The Times, he was Chief Film Critic at Variety.

He is the author of the book FilmCraft: Editing and serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

In 2014 he received the inaugural Roger Ebert Award from the African-American Film Critics Association.

A Southern California native and USC graduate, he lives with his wife and daughter in Pasadena.


Telly Davidson
Telly Davidson

Longtime IWOSC-guy TELLY DAVIDSON just came out with his newest book, Culture War, which has attracted rave reviews from critics as wide-ranging as John Powers, David Frum, and PBS’ Book View Now (which he will be appearing on later this year.

Telly was senior film and TV reviewer for bestselling pundit David Frum’s FrumForum from 2009-12, has written about movies, TV, and music for FilmStew, 213 Magazine, iF Monthly, Entertainment Today, Guitar Player, AllAboutJazz, The American Conservative, and Attn.com.

He also wrote the Emmy-cited media tie-in TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows, works alongside top indie film producer’s rep Jeff Porter of Porter Pictures on the placement of independent films, and worked in the past on TV specials for NBC and PBS, including the Emmy-nominated Pioneers of Television.


IWOSC panel: Panel WRITING CULTURE: How to Get Your Projects Noticed by Top Critics (and how to become one yourself!) (from left) Debra Levine, Tim Cogshell, Janice Roshalle Littlejohn, (standing) IWOSC president Gary Young, Justin Chang, panel producer-moderator Telly Davidson. Photo: Flo Selfman
Discussions after the presentation

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