Oct 182010
 

Last week I started teaching a class on cookbook writing at Book Passage bookstore. I begin by browsing the cookbook section (not that I need prompting), picking up books to show the class that fit my criteria of great ideas. Here are five:

1. The subject is timely and capitalizes on a trend. For this criteria I found the new Twitter cookbook, with an introduction by former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni.

Author Maureen Edwards set up a twitter account, @cookbooks, to attract recipes, and published hundreds of them in this playful book.

Yes, it’s a gimmick. Gimmicks often work.

2. It’s about your area of expertise. D-I-Y Delicious capitalizes on the trend to make your own foods from scratch, with recipes for everything from cheese to sodas to ketchup. Written by chef Vanessa Barrington, it’s aimed at people who are into urban homesteading and crafty projects.

3. You are passionate about the subject. Pastry chef Fany Gerson spent years traveling around her native Mexico Continue reading »

Oct 262009
 

cookbooksI love to teach, but most of my classes on food writing and publishing take place in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. On a regular basis, someone asks if I’m ever coming to their town.

Usually I’m not, but next month, I’ll be coming to wherever you are,  with a 1-night seminar on writing a killer cookbook proposal. All you need is a phone.

The award-winning writer David Leite and I started talking about teaching for Leitesculinaria.com a few years ago. Now he has a roster of exciting one-night classes on food writing coming up.

My November 10 class tells you How to Write a Killer Cookbook Proposal. If you’ve been working on a cookbook or food memoir, or plan to write one, this seminar tells you exactly how to prepare an irresistible proposal for editors and/or agents, and how the publishing industry works. These days, it’s harder than ever to get published, so learning what’s required will make your book proposal that much less likely to land in the rejection pile.

The class is a 2 1/2 hour conference call, both lecture and discussion, with plenty of time for questions. A private podcast of it, available only to participants, will be posted online for one month at no additional cost. Come join me for a lively discussion, and get the tools and information you need to move forward as a book author.

Take a look at the rest of the roster, too, coming up quickly. You might benefit from a November 2 class on Finding Your Voice with blogger and cookbook author Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl; or the October 29 class on Writing Perfect Recipes or a Winning Pitch Letter on November 5 with Renee Schettler, former Food Editor for Real Simple and Deputy Editor at Martha Stewart Living.

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