Of Dresses and Events Coming Up

Omnivore-signing.2010
The 2010 signing of Will Write for Food, 2nd edition, at Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I still have that dress! Now I have to remember not to wear it. (Photo by Heather Luhan)

The third edition of Will Write for Food came out last week, and I’ve been busy with promotion. I love in-person events best because I get to see people in real life versus virtual, and wear dresses. Sometimes friends show up for support, which makes these events even more fun, kind of like parties.

So far my summer book promotion — that all-important six-week window — is going [Read more…]

Eating Well in Dubai and Egypt

Dubai-Students.2015
Food writing students at my class at the Dubai International Writers’ Center.

I’m just back from two weeks away, teaching in Dubai and vacationing in Egypt. I have so much to say about this trip and the foods I ate but I will try to condense it into a few paragraphs:

1. Dubai

This city is a non-stop party for food writers and bloggers. There are dozens of publications to write for, and bloggers get invited to such events as [Read more…]

Woo Hoo! I’m Teaching in Dubai

DIWC_
The recently-opened Dubai International Writers’ Center, which hosts talks, coaching and workshops.

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.

Last time I was a guest instructor for Bethany Kehdy, who runs [Read more…]

Join Me in Turkey for a Food Photography and Writing Workshop, October 2015

david-hagerman_alacati
Want to take photos this good? Dave will show you how. (Photo by David Hagerman.)

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.

[Read more…]

See you in September? (Or October?)

Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through

And why are those guys singing in suits on the beach? 

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:

Association-of-Food-JournalistsSeptember 8-11, 2014
Panelist and Workshop Leader
Association of Food Journalists Annual Conference
The Peabody Hotel
Memphis, TN

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 [Read more…]

Dubai, Jordan and Israel

Food-Writing-Workshop-Dubai
Food writing students at my Dubai workshop, working on a writing exercise on using the senses.

It’s been an incredible three weeks away, starting with a writing workshop in Dubai. Our group comprised local Dubai food bloggers and three students from South America, Lebanon and Pakistan.

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.

Our workshop caught the attention of the local Dubai paper, which interviewed me and listed the top bloggers of Dubai, some of whom attended my class. That’s quite an honor.

Food Blogger Connect founder Bethany Kehdy, fresh from her fabulous cookbook signing in Lebanon, coordinated the first-ever Dubai workshop  with her sister Joslin Kehdy. [Read more…]

It's the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, Eh?

Food writers, bloggers and emerging writers at Canada’s first conference, networking and schmoozing during a break. That’s Alison Fryer on the right, owner of Toronto’s 30-year old bookstore, The Cookbook Store. She moderated many of the sessions with wit and a stopwatch.

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.

Keynote speaker David Leite tasted his first Nanaimo Bar.

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: