Why go to a conference or workshop? I can think of a million reasons. It’s fun. It’s a great way to hear speakers you admire, or people you only know online. You’ll be energized, you could make contacts leading to more writing assignments, and you’ll definitely get out of your usual routine.
In the sessions, even if you think you’ve heard it all, you could:
- Be inspired to reach for a new goal
- Remember something important that you need to work on
- Think about a current project in a new way, breaking through clutter or obstacles
- Hear messages you’ve heard before, but this time they sink in!
Whether you’re a food writer, food blogger, or food historian, here’s a big list of upcoming food-based conferences to tempt you (and some where I’m speaking):
December 9 – 10, Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Conference. Held at the University of Las Vegas campus, this conference attracts academics who speak on agriculture industry, geography, culture and aesthetics and policies. Las Vegas, NV
January 28, 2012, Food Blog South. This year’s one-day conferences features a keynote by Kat Kinsman, managing editor of CNN’s food blog Eatocracy, and vice chair of the James Beard journalism committee. I’ll be speaking on food blog ethics, a favorite topic. Birmingham, AL
February 9 – 11, The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference. Tracks on the past, present and future of the cookbook, with panelists from the cookbook, agenting, publishing and literary worlds. New York
March 16th – 18th, Food Sense: 8th Annual MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium. This symposium investigates “how our taste for food is shaped by biological triggers, cultural norms, economic activity, and social surroundings and will examine how individuals, communities, and societies can make healthy choices about food in this context.” Columbia, MO
March 27, Creating and Selling Your Dream Cookbook, a one-day class by publishing insiders. I am one of the speakers. New York
March 30 – April 4, International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference. I’ve attended this conference almost every year for the last dozen years. Next year’s theme is Fashioning Food, where speakers will “examine, challenge and celebrate the ways in which the food world interacts with other cultural events.” New York
April 13, Nourished Food Blogger Conference. A one-day conference for bloggers with special diets. I’ll be teaching a writing class.
April 20 – 21, TechMunch. connecting 100 local bloggers with speakers in a technical format. Tampa, FL
April 23 – 28, Food Writing Workshop in Tuscany. Speakers include Barbara Fairchild, former editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit, blogger David Lebovitz, and cookbook author Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Tuscany, Italy
May 4 – 6, Camp Blogaway. Not your usual hotel location, but cabins with decks in the wilds of California, and fewer than 100 attendees. Angeles Oaks, CA
May 8 – 11, Food and Love, 34th conference of the International International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. (ICAF) The conference will feature papers on the subjects of food and sex, nutrition and affection, and food and emotion. Daroca (Zaragoza), Spain
May 18, TechMunch, connecting 100 local bloggers with speakers in a technical format. New York
May 18 – 21, Plate to Page, food photography and writing workshop. A hands-on, 2.5-day writing and photography intensive. Somerset, England
June 8 – 9, BlogHer Food. Last year’s conference reached around 500 attendees, which makes this the mother of all food blogging conferences. Seattle, WA
June 20 – 23, Meetingsof the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), and the Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. In addition to sessions on “Cities, Agriculture, and the Future of Food Systems,” this conference includes tours, such as rooftop gardens and foraging in Central Park. New York
July 6 – 8, Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, St. Catherine’s College. This year’s subject is “Wrapped and Stuffed Foods” from every culinary tradition. “Papers are invited on the cultural, practical and historical context in which these diverse preparations exist.” St. Catherine’s College, UK
August 18 – 21, 18th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Societe International d’Ethnologie et de Folklore. Turku, Finland
August 24 – 26, International Food Blogger Conference. Brought to you by the founders of Foodista. Portland, OR
Other events where organizers have not announced dates yet:
Eat. Drink.Blog. A conference that brings food and drink bloggers together. Australia
Eat Write Retreat. Hands-on panels include photography, food styling, and culinary workshops. US
Food Blog Forum. Regional events focused on food photography, technology, and social media. US
Food Blogger Connect. A conference for food bloggers, based on inspiring and nurturing creativity, innovation and professionalism. London
Food Buzz. “Annual Blogger Festival” for subscribers, usually held in November. San Francisco
Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop. Held in picturesque farm and wine country. This summer event focuses on professional development and food and wine education. Penticton, Canada
The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at the Greenbrier. The grandmother of all food writing conferences is now in its 21st year. White Sulphur Springs, WV.
So, I know it’s a long list, but what did I miss? If I’ve left out other good reasons to attend conferences, please add them.