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How To Become A Food Writer

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 Writing about food can be equally interesting as savoring it but becoming a food writer is no easy task. Writing about foods, restaurants, cooking styles etc can offer you a thrilling career and good revenues in return. Many nurture wrong perception that writing about food is easier than any other forms of writing, which is completely wrong. Perfection comes with experience is the old saying, that’s true in this case too and you can hone your skills with the passage of time. Here’s how you can begin your tryst with food writing.


Identify your niche: It’s very important for any aspiring food writer to identify his goals. For most people food writing means writing about restaurant and foods, but there is much more than that to this term. You can perhaps try out different types of writing like:  developing an ethnic cookbook; writing a recipe column in magazine or newspaper; interviewing chefs and bakers; reviewing good restaurants; or developing a food history. It is important to access, which style of writing suits your taste.


Skills needed: An astute food sense, good writing skills and an open mind are the three most important skills needed to become a food writer. With a bit of information, networking, determination and creativity you can create a good food write up.


Where to begin:  Foraying into the area of food writing is not a problem at all if you have a sense to identify the taste. The first place to begin your career is your home. You can start with experimenting in a kitchen. You can hone your cooking skills by visiting the ethnic and gourmet groceries, reading cookbooks, experimenting with ingredients, and creating your own recipes. If you wish to hone your writing skills you can enroll for a food journalism course offered by some culinary art classes.  Once again ask yourself what you want to write: a recipe, a food essay, an article or a culinary history. Next conduct the market research and try to ascertain how you can go about it.


Where to find work opportunities:  Like other writers the food writers are also identified by their published samples, like cookbooks, magazine columns, restaurant reviews, wine analysis, and food history thesis. There are plenty of opportunities in the market. You need to identify them. Here are some of the options from where you can pick up your career:


• Newspaper food writers and editors: Large to medium circulation newspapers hire food writers to cover all areas of food writing  like recipes, health issues, dining trends, culinary history, food production etc. These newspapers also hire editors whose main job revolves around fixing the articles for the week, hiring writers, and assigning jobs to assistant writers.


• Online food sites: Internet offers plethora of opportunities for food writers. You can tie up with some online food magazines, websites or blogs to contribute your writings.


• Newspaper Restaurant critics: Mostly large and medium circulation newspapers hire restaurant critics, who bring business to newspapers and restaurants uniquely. These critics also treat readers with food infotainment.


• Magazines: Magazines offer lot of opportunities for any aspiring food writer. Many of the women magazines, travel magazines and gourmet magazines hire full time and freelance food writers. You can contribute articles, essays, recipes, food history etc to these magazines as per the requirement. Woman’s Day, Saveur and Cooking Light are some of the magazines that respond to the queries from freelance writers.


How to keep up with latest trends in the food industry:  In the last decade with the advent of sophisticated marketing tools the food writing arena has evolved for better. In order to stay in competition you need to keep up with the latest trends in the food industry. Subscribe to food magazines, other food literature to understand the evolving food trends. Fusion cooking is gaining popularity over the world. You can perhaps concentrate on this area to know the changes taking place around you. There are many publications in the market which keep you posted about the evolving fusion food trends.


Tips for new and experienced food writers

• Develop your own food adjectives. Food adjectives help you to percolate into the minds of the reader. Write down all possible food adjectives in a notebook, and follow it with a list of descriptive.

• Eat out: Eating out is as important as home experimentations. To hone your knowledge about recipes, and cooking methods, you should go to the restaurants and try out the food options offered by them. Take notes, and experiment with the dish on your own.

• Organize your literature: Once you are done with research and data collection you can organize your literature before you actually start with your career.


Let your passion for food show up in your writing.


Image courtesy: eatmedaily.com 

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