$315 | 8 Weeks
Note: During the current global situation, we will tailor this course to students depending on what is possible in your communities each week.
Do you collect cookbooks, love to cook, or religiously read anything about food? This course is for you. With award winning writer Jennifer Billock. Food writing is a foodie’s paradise, an opportunity to not only read, write, and share your thoughts and methods for food, but also to spend your career eating delicious meals and hobnobbing with famous chefs.
Food is also a revealing cultural and historical exploration. What does one country’s eating style reveal about the population, the climate, the local ingredients, the history? With the interviewing and food writing skills learned in this course, you can find out.
This eight-week class combines weekly writing workshops with readings. You’ll learn the basics of writing about food for publications and the web. We’ll cover writing effective restaurant reviews, food history stories, chef profiles, and food trend pieces. You will also learn the basics of recipe writing and editing. Participants in the class will receive a list of potential food writing markets, including emails and pay rates. Each week includes a writing assignment. Class members are encouraged to participate in critiques of one another’s work.
Each week includes suggested readings, all of which will be available on the web.
Unit 1. Restaurant Reviews:
I will introduce the class and how it works and go over discussion participation guidelines and best practices. Then we will read a standard restaurant review and discuss the basics of writing your own.
Assignment: Post your bio in the discussion section. Go to a local restaurant and write a review, post it in the discussion section, then critique other students’ reviews.
Unit 2. Chef Profiles:
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then read a chef profile and discuss why it was successful, and talk about the basics of writing these pieces.
Assignment: Interview a chef or find a published Q&A of one and write a narrative profile.
Unit 3: Food Trend Articles:
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then read a food trend article and discuss why it was successful, and talk about the basics of writing these pieces.
Assignment: Write an article about the most overrated food trend you can think of; discuss why it’s a trend and why it’s overdone.
Unit 4: Food History Articles:
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then read a piece about food history and discuss why it was successful, and talk about the basics of writing these pieces.
Assignment: Investigate a food-related topic and write an article about the history.
Unit 5: Misc. Food Writing:
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then discuss other types of food writing and read a few selections.
Assignment: Pick a food topic and put a unique spin on it. Write an article.
Unit 6: Recipe Writing:
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then discuss recipe writing and the proper way to document and record the things you cook at home.
Assignment: Cook something at home and write down the recipe as you make it, post the recipe.
Unit 7: Recipe Editing and Testing.
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques. We will then discuss style guides for editing recipes and the process to test recipes for publication.
Unit 8: Market List and Pitch Workshop:
Each student in the class will receive a list of publications looking for food-related content, including pay rates and editor emails. After discussing the reading and assignment critiques, we will talk about best practices for pitching stories and read some successful queries.
Learn more about how our courses work here, and contact us with any other questions.
I could not be happier with Jen’s commitment both to my personal development and the class as a whole. Jen went above and beyond in creating a supportive workshop environment. Not only did she provide thoughtful criticism of our weekly assignments. She helped me build the confidence to pitch and land my first food writing piece, with a second on the way! Jen is kind, enthusiastic, and a smart reader—basically, she’s the whole package as an instructor and writer. Jenn Hall
Jennifer was great!! She truly cares about what she's teaching and she very open and responsive. Will highly recommend Jennifer and if she offers another course I'd be very interested in taking it. Sequoia Armstrong
I enjoyed the class, content and dynamism of Jen throughout the class. My writing has improved considerably since I started doing these coursesI would (and have), recommend the classes. Patricia Lopez
I loved this class. I though the lessons and assignments were varied enough to cover multiple aspects of food writing. I enjoyed exploring sides of food writing that I would not have ventured into on my own, like writing recipes and covering a science-related food story. - I really enjoyed working with Jennifer. Her feedback was very useful, and I liked that she got to know the three of us in the class individually. Plus, although she is a successful and busy writer, she wasn't condescending to us newbies. Pamela Hunt
The content was relevant, engaging, and challenging. Jennifer was great! I've never used Writers.com before, and after my experience with Jennifer, I will def try another course. Katherine Levey