Booksquare discusses Judging Writing, with particular reference to Sam Sacks's "The Fiction Machine" in New York Press.
Recently, I was reading a book I was thinking of reviewing and, about a third of the way into it, I realized that it exemplified everything that had prompted me in 1966 to give up a fellowship and leave grad school for good. To be a good writer what you need to do is read a lot -- not in order to analyze it, but just to let it sink deep down into your consciousness -- and write a lot. Most of all you need on-the-job training in life. What you don't need is to sit around with a lot of other aspiring writers talking about writing.