For writers honing their craft, reading is an essential skill. To learn through reading, though, can be a bit more complicated than just picking up a book or story and jumping in. Writers approaching reading as an opportunity to study craft, structure, voice, and pacing can take a page from reviewers, training their eyes to see what’s going on beneath the plot and action, to the mechanics embedded within. Learning how to engage in reading critically can help writers learn the tools of the trade and train them in their uses. It’s a form of writing education that can be enduring, ongoing, and, if needed, solitary.

Just as importantly, reading like a reviewer can help writers gain a better understanding of their own tendencies, inclinations, and processes. Instead of examining whether someone enjoyed something (or not), reviewers consider why. By interrogating that reading and enjoyment (or lack thereof), writers can start to consciously engage with what effective storytelling means to them, building up a definition that is personally satisfying and motivating. Which can be foundational in understanding a writer’s voice, and being able to write more intentionally. 

This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $35 fee.

Unless otherwise stated, all times listed are US Pacific Time.

We offer a limited number of scholarships for each class to Black and Indigenous writers and writers from other marginalized backgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Please email us at with a one-paragraph statement about your scholarship interest and/or need. Please include the name of the class you would like to apply the scholarship to.

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.