In this three-week online crash course for nonfiction writers interested in starting to write about food, we will explore food writing in all its forms: service pieces, personal essay and memoir, recipes and cookbooks, profiles, criticism, and more. Through writing exercises (an original recipe with headnote, a short personal essay, a review), short lectures, close readings (articles in food publications like Bon Appétit and Food52, excerpts from recipe blogs and food podcasts, articles in non-food publications like The Atlantic and Longreads) and group discussion, you will acquire the tools—such as interviewing, historical research, recipe testing, and food photography—to start your career in the competitive food writing market. By the end of the course, you will have the beginnings of several salable pieces, as well as a sense of potential markets and suitable contacts. You will also learn about the essential elements of an effective pitch, and how to sell the story.
- Close readings of various sub-genres of food writing to provide introduction to breadth of salable food writing;
- Generative writing exercises to strengthen to provide material to pitch;
- Written lectures, as well as the instructor-led group discussion to explore craft, useful writing practices, and tools for building a career as a food writer.
Week 1 – Introductions; Close readings of various sub-genres of food writing, such as recipes, memoir, and travelogues; Writing exercises.
Week 2 – Close readings; Writing exercises; Understanding markets for food writing, and uncovering “hidden” markets.
Week 3 – Pitching and publishing.
Pooja Makhijani is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press), an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. She is also the author of Mama's Saris (Little Brown Books for Young Readers), a picture book. Her bylines have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, WSJ.com, Teen Vogue, VICE, Pacific Standard, Bon Appétit, Saveur, BuzzFeed, CityLab, and espnW among others.