Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts
with Jennifer Billock
November 9, 2022 | 8 Weeks |
Write sizzling reviews and more in this online food writing course.
Do you collect cookbooks, love to cook, or religiously read anything about food? This food writing course by award-winning writer Jennifer Billock is for you. 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 time 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 food writing workshops with readings. You’ll learn the basics of several different styles of food writing. 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. Each week includes a writing assignment. Class members are encouraged to participate in critiques of one another’s work.
Food Writing Course Outline
Each week includes suggested readings, all of which will be available on the web. This course does not meet on Zoom.
Note: This course will not have lectures or assignments during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, the course is 8 weeks of material spread out over 10 weeks.
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 TRENDS
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
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. FOOD MEMOIR
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then discuss writing a memoir through the lens of food, including impactful food experiences, descriptive food wording, characters, scenes, and plot.
Assignment: Write a short memoir piece about a pivotal food moment in your life.
UNIT 6. FOOD MARKETING
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques, and any comments on the suggested reading. We will then discuss food marketing copy, like the wording on packaging and menus. We will focus on brevity and how to get the most delicious words into a small space.
Assignment: Write food marketing copy for one of your favorite products, or one you’ve made up.
UNIT 7. 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 8. RECIPE EDITING AND TESTING
First we will have a short discussion about the last assignment and critiques. We will then discuss the process to test recipes.
Assignment: Test one of your classmates’ recipes and discuss the experience.
Why Take a Food Writing Course With Writers.com?
- We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
- Small groups keep our online writing classes lively and intimate.
- Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
- Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
- Award-winning instructor Jennifer Billock will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.
Your table awaits: Join our online food writing class!
Student Feedback for Jennifer Billock:
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
This course was incredibly valuable to me - both in terms of developing the quality of my writing and learning about the business side of food writing. Jennifer's feedback on our submissions was thoughtful and very useful. The guidance she provided, and the specific feedback on my writing, helped develop both the quality of my writing and my ability to self-criticize. Steve Paris
Jennifer was great!! She truly cares about what she's teaching and she is 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 courses. I would (and have), recommend the classes. Patricia Lopez
Jennifer Billock was incredibly helpful, fast to reply to questions, present with discussions and assignments and a wealth of useful information and tips. The organization of the course and lessons was very well done, easy to follow, and engaging. She provided lots of rich examples of the styles of writing being explored and her teaching style was very friendly, respectful and approachable. I was really impressed with the course and thankful for her guidance and expertise. Claire Keeler
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