As I read through it, what struck me was the writer’s admonition to [Read more…] about 2 Bloggers Who “Burned It All Down” with Risky Writing
When Copyright Educator and Author Lesley Ellen Harris asked if I had any copyright questions for a blog post, I put the word out on social media. Food writers asked several questions. Lesley has generously answered them — in plain English.
Here are 8 answers to copyright questions about recipes and books:
1. When someone re-publishes my recipes word for word (headnote, instructions, variations, etc.) without attribution, I usually write to them and try to work it out. But if that goes nowhere, is there a legal avenue?
Copyright law doesn’t protect the list of ingredients in a recipe. However, the language used to describe the recipe’s instructions and the headnote are protected by copyright. Attribution may be a [Read more…] about 8 Answers to Copyright Questions About Recipes and Books
Want to write the kind of food-based personal essay that delights an editor and an audience?
Of course you do. So for research, get The Best Food Writing 2016. I’ve paged through a few beautifully-written entries, but it will take several delicious hours to devour the whole anthology. (Disclosure: An essay I wrote was included.)
What makes a personal essay eligible in this year’s edition? Says Editor Holly Hughes, she chose pieces based on trends, those that reacted against trends and food snobbery, those based on the foods we eat together as a family, and essays about the human connection.
Right there, I hope you got lots of ideas for stories. Now, on to the craft of writing.
What can you do to up your personal essay game? Implement these eight writing techniques:
1. A strong voice. Your voice is what differentiates you on the page. It’s your personality, a way to make your story unique from everyone else’s. Therefore, if everyone else is writing [Read more…] about 8 Techniques for Writing Personal Essay
Cookbook author and writer Michael Ruhlman returned to blogging recently, after a couple of months off. In his post, he wondered if people still read food blogs.
It never occured to him that the big question might be about video, not text.
Fortunately for him, Elise Bauer of [Read more…] about As The Web Goes to Video, What Happens to Writing?
You might think that writers who win awards have natural talent and dash off their stories in an afternoon. That’s the stereotype. Yes, a story I wrote called The Meaning of Mangoes won two national awards! But I didn’t dash it off, and it took me forever.
Here’s the path of my mango essay and what I learned:
Sixteen years ago, I wrote a piece about my parents and mangoes. A start-up website published it. It happened because I sat next to a woman during an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference, and told her a few stories. The next day she [Read more…] about On Writing an Award-Winning Essay
You’ll be delighted by All Under Heaven, Carolyn Phillip’s new cookbok about the 35 cuisines of China. I’m giving away a copy. Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite Chinese food. Sorry, the giveaway is for US winners only, says the publisher.
UPDATE: The winner is Annie Fenn of the Jackson Hole Foodie blog.
Now, on with the story…
If you look up “overachiever” in the dictionary, you’ll find this photo of Carolyn Phillips. A woman of voracious intellect, determination and cheeky humor, she did a deep dive into Chinese culture early in adult life. Carolyn has mastered Mandarin fluently. She can read and write it. Further, she lived in Taipei, married a fellow intellectual from Beijing, and cooked her way through [Read more…] about “Write Like Your Life Depended on It,” says author Carolyn Phillips
A few years ago, I went outside my comfort zone. I contacted a stranger and asked to meet.
The stranger was John Birdsall, now a double James-Beard winning writer and essayist. At that time he was a restaurant reviewer for a local newspaper here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I loved his restaurant reviews.
John has since moved on to narrative non-fiction or personal essays, often about the intersection of gay culture and food. I know he’s already won awards and was published in prestigious places, but I feel like he’s just getting started and has so much more to offer us.
Here’s his take on restaurant writing, personal essay writing, and taking risks. He also has good insights about his former writing and the role of an editor. I asked him to write his answers (rather than me interviewing him), so you can get a sense of his style:
Q. How does your background as a restaurant and catering cook influence your food writing? Do you believe that people who write about food should have professional experience or culinary training?
A. For a long time I didn’t think it did: Cooking seemed a prelude disconnected from [Read more…] about “Memoir Has to Risk Something,” says John Birdsall