I’m thrilled to return to Dubai, that hot, impossibly complicated and dizzying place of high rises, including the world’s tallest building. It was more than 100 degrees on my first trip in September 2013, and it will be about 100 degrees later this month. Sense a pattern? I’m packing light.
They popped the question over lunch, about a year ago. Freelance food writer Robyn Eckhardt of the blog Eating Asia, and professional food photographer David Hagerman brought up this event at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, CA. We had met to celebrate their book deal for a Turkish cookbook (I coached Robyn on the book proposal), which sold to Rux Martin. What did I think, they ventured, about a Turkish workshop on food writing and food photography in 2015?
I had to think about it for, maybe 10 seconds. Let’s see:
- Picturesque village of Alcati, on the Aegean and famous for its stone houses and narrow streets. Check.
- Lots of Turkish food, which fuses Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Check.
- Near the beach and Ephesus. Check.
- Gorgeous accommodations, covered in Conde Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure. Check.
- A chance to hang out with two professionals I enjoy and learn from them. Check.
Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through…
Now, where was I? Oh yes. I’ll be traveling next month to two conferences, and then a third in October, talking about book proposals, career reinvention, and making your food writing sharper. Here’s what’s coming up:
For the first time, I’m attending the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) annual conference, where I will appear on a panel September 11 called
Put on by Food Blogger Connect, the students feasted on Middle-Eastern food and high-end Asian each night of the two-day workshop. The second day featured photography and recipe writing tips by Ellen Silverman and Martha Holmberg.
It’s almost time for my next email newsletter for food writers, filled with useful links for writers, bloggers, recipe developers, cookbook authors and social media mavens. You fit into one of those categories, right? I thought so.
So you might want to sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter, if you haven’t already. You’ll get only four emails per year, I promise. Here are 10 terrific links from my earlier newsletter, to whet your appetite for what’s to come:
1. Did you miss the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in New York earlier this year? Here are videos to watch of selected panels.
2. The FTC Clarifies its Rules for Bloggers: New recommendations on
Gotta love those Canucks, eh? After years of attending food blogging conferences in the States and elsewhere, they’ve finally created their own.
The first annual conference was held at a gorgeous venue, the Hockley Valley Resort outside Toronto. There were excellent meals, wine, and snacks; tons of enviable giveaways; and most importantly, an outstanding group of Canadian speakers. Topics included writing as a skill and career, best practices for working with brands, and how people became successful as food bloggers, cookbook authors and freelancers.
Food Bloggers of Canada organizers Mardi Michels, Melissa Hartfiel and Ethan Adeland invited me to talk about getting comments on blogs and on how to get published. Speaking of that topic, I heard lots of buzz about this article on the Toronto Star Cookbook, an honest look (including advance numbers) about how hard it was to land a deal and write the book.
I had an additional qualification as a speaker: I’m Canadian, born in Vancouver (I moved to California in my 20s). Don’t get me started about how cool it was to be back in Canada, where people are polite and friendly and Nanaimo bars are on the menu. Plus, I got to stock up on Smarties, because my stash was running out from my trip to Ireland and London last year.
During the sessions and over meals, it was satisfying to hear about the lightbulbs that went off in attendees’ heads as they listened to speakers give background and tips on writing, blogging, and career paths. I caught up with my buddy David Leite, the conference’s keynoter, who charmed the crowd with stories about his writing, for which he has won many national awards in the US. I too learned from talented speakers who were self-deprecating, generous about how they do their craft, and unfailingly nice. I hope to hear more from them on social media. Now, where are those Smarties?
To read more about the conference, see these early posts:
- Key Learnings from the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference
- I am on Fire (a more personal post about the anxiety of attending a conference by oneself)
- So You Think You Want to be a Coookbook Author
- To find more, check the FBC Twitter stream or read the FBC recap page of blog posts.
I’m just back from a few days in the Okanagan wine country of British Columbia, Canada, hanging out with Canadian food and wine writers and bloggers at the second annual Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop.
Most of you are American, so I thought you should know about a food writing workshop in a gorgeous food and wine region of British Columbia, in case you ever need an excuse to visit.
I’m from British Columbia, born in Vancouver, and wanted to get back to the province to see the Okanagan again. As a kid, I remember driving up with my family (about a 4-hour drive inland) to enjoy the the fruit orchards, swimming, and to search for