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Announcing the second edition of writing course for critics
Kirjoittajakoulu kriitikoille
The writing course aims to support the participants’ professional development and to strengthen their collegiality. It will also result in a series of podcasts that will deal with the significance of criticism.

The Finnish Cultural Foundation will organise a course for critics in the spring of 2024. The aim is to reinforce professional identities and collegial relationships, and to teach new skills that support professional competence. The participants will update their understanding of the significance of art and critique, and familiarise themselves with international discourse around art. 

The course will be held in the premises of the Kirpilä Art Collection, and will comprise eight training days, as well as mentoring and personal feedback sessions. The course content is designed by the online publication Long Play, which is known for its high-quality writing courses, with editor/journalist, author and writing teacher Anu Silfverberg and editor, author and music critic Sonja Saarikoski as the responsible teachers

Other teachers on the course will include literary critics Maaria Ylikangas and Vesa Rantama, pop critic Oskari Onninen, film critic Kalle Kinnunen, arts critic Sanna Lipponen, postdoc researcher and music critic Nuppu Koivisto-Kaasik, former Helsingin Sanomat theatre critic and communications expect Suna Vuori, and theatre and dance critic Maria Säkö. Additionally, there will be guest lectures from artists from various fields.

The participants’ final coursework will consist of a series of podcasts dealing with the significance of art criticism. The course will also include a study and work trip to Berlin. The chosen participants will receive a working grant for the coursework.

The 2020 course received extremely positive feedback; some participants even described it as pivotal for their careers.

Anu Silfverberg, Long Play: “When we ran the course for the first time, the best thing for me as a teacher was to notice the great strides that the participants took in their writing, and their careers, during the semester. The strengthening of peer support among professionals was also beautiful to witness: critics are often fairly lonely in their jobs, and it was great to see how infectious encouragement and enthusiasm – however small – can be in the field. Based on last time’s feedback, we will now try to set aside enough time for dialogue.”

Susanna Pettersson, CEO, Finnish Cultural Foundation: “Critics play a central role in cultural discourse, which should be characterised by diversity, a multiplicity of voices, and a variety of channels. Our writing course offers critics a unique opportunity to hone their expression and deepen their professional competence.”

The course is possible thanks to the Cultural Foundation’s donor fund named after art critic E. J. Vehmas, whose designated purpose is to support art critics.

Applications for the course are accepted until 4 pm on 10 October 2023.