Revised and Updated, May 2021
“Will Write for Food should be mandatory reading for everyone who aspires to be a food writer.” —Epicurious.com
“An engaging, informative handbook for hobbyists and aspiring professionals. Worth purchasing even if you have the first edition.” —Library Journal
“If you are a budding food writer, or know one, “Will Write for Food” by Dianne Jacob (Da Capo Press, 353 pages, $16.99), is a good volume to have on hand. Jacob, who for more than 30 years has written and edited for many publications, takes the novice through the steps of getting published in a variety of forms: from blogs and print to cookbooks and memoir. In her latest edition, she discusses monetization of food writing (the ever important how to earn income from your work). In addition to her advice, she includes interviews with successful food writers and offers writing exercises to bump up the literary skills of the reader in this thorough, well-organized reference.”— Minneapolis Star Tribune
Considered the Food Writers’ Bible
Food writing and food blogging is everywhere. It’s constantly adapting to evolving palates, publishing trends, and new technologies. It’s not just a hobby. Many food bloggers command a six-figure income. They can afford to hire employees and consultants.
This newly revised and updated edition of Will Write for Food features a new chapter on voice. While food blogging is mostly a hobby, many would like to make it a business. My chapter, “Bringing Home the Bacon,” gives readers lots of ideas on how to move forward. You’ll find insider information from content writers, brand specialists and bloggers.
Chapters, complete with skill exercises at the end, cover everything from freelancing and writing pitch letters to constructing a cookbook.
“I recommend your book widely. It’s my first point of call to anyone who wants to write a cookbook or make a career in food writing. Your book is what gave the confidence to write a proposal for The Saffron Tales despite having had no experience in food writing before. I found all your exercises invaluable. So you’ll always have a special place in my heart for the path you guided me on.” — Yasmin Kahn, cookbook author
“I purchased Will Write for Food and particularly enjoyed the first chapter, where I felt like anything I had ever written was complete crap and questioned whether I will ever know what it means to show rather than tell. I know that doesn’t sound like glowing praise, but I always enjoy realizing how much more I have to learn.” — Naomi Huzovicova, food blogger, Slovenia
“Back in 2010, when I had no idea I would live in the US someday, I had a friend sent me a copy of Will Write For Food, which took more than 3 months to arrive there. As I didn’t speak English fluently back then, I would type the whole chapters on Google Translator to be sure about what I was reading. Believe me or not, it was through your words in that book that I decided I wanted to be a food writer someday. So thank you, for everything.” — Jaine Mackievicz
Table of Contents
1: What, Exactly, Is Food Writing?
2: The Role of Voice
3: The Gastronomical You
4: The Food Writer’s Mise en Place
5: On Food and Blogging
6: Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer
7: Dining Out
8: The Cookbook You’ve Always Wanted to Write
9: Mastering the Art of Recipe Writing
10: Crafting Memoir and Nonfiction
11: How to Get Your Book Published
12: Bringing Home the Bacon
Will Write for Food comes from my own experiences as a blogger, cookbook co-author, writer and magazine editor. It contains insider information from the country’s most successful people. That includes food writers, food bloggers, literary agents, and recipe developers. I reveal what kind of food writing works now and why. I show readers how to improve their writing with concrete examples. Will Write for Food features strategic advice and “break into the business” stories from award-winning writers. It is an essential tool for food-obsessed people who want to express themselves.
Read this book review from a writer who read the first and third editions: Dianne Jacob Offers Great Tips for Bloggers in Will Write for Food.
More praise for Will Write for Food:
“Whenever someone emails me about how to pursue a career in food writing, I politely tell them they’re in the wrong place, that I have no idea what I’m doing, and to buy this book instead.”—Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen
“A thorough tour through the increasingly dense jungle of the business of food writing. Dianne’s book will prove invaluable to all writers who want a new or bigger audience for their work, whether in digital form, in blogs, in magazines, in cookboks, or in food memoir.”—Michael Ruhlman, blogger and author
“Will Write for Food is a great gift, not just for those who are new to food writing. It’s for those already ensconced in the business. Dianne’s clarity, kind suggestions, and nudges and admonitions to work well are truly inspiring.” —Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
“Considering today’s food-writing labrynth, Will Write for Food leads writers to success, step by step. It’s a must on my can’t-do-without bookshelf and a resource I always recommend to food writers.”—Antonia Allegra, past director of the Symposium for Professional Food Writers
“Dianne Jacob has done a masterful job in this book of amassing everything a fledgling food writer needs to know. Whether one yearns to review restaurants for a local newspaper or turn a passion for food into magazine articles, or even a cookbook, Will Write for Food offers invaluable practical advice along every step of the way.” –Fran Gage, author of several cookbooks
“This book does a great job of covering the nuts and bolts of food writing, for sure, but Jacob delivers much more than the usual advice: She shoots straight about the realities of the business, provides loads of insider insights and practical exercises, and radiates enough genuine enthusiasm to get both beginning writers and seasoned pros up and at ’em.” —Martha Holmberg, cookbook author and former publisher, Fine Cooking magazine
“Dianne Jacob has presented budding food writers with a clear blueprint on how to get started in the business.” -Michael Bauer, former Executive Food and Wine Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
“My only complaint about Will Write for Food—and it’s a big one—is that it wasn’t around when I started my career. If you’re serious about becoming a food writer, save yourself years of banging your head against the wall in frustration and run to the checkout with this book now.” —David Leite, food writer, and publisher and editor of Leite’s Culinaria
“You’ll find everything you need to know about becoming a food writer in this indispensable information-packed book. And if you’re already a food writer, this book will help you become a better one. Dianne Jacob takes you by the hand through every step of the process from hatching an idea to getting published. Useful writing exercises concluding each chapter help sharpen your skills. Dozens of quotes from successful food writers tell how they got started and what their working lives are really like. If food writing is your passion, then grab a copy of Will Write for Food and get busy!”—Greg Patent, winner of the James Beard Award for Baking in America
“I found your book at a time when I was in serious need of a nudge in one direction or another. It was instrumental in steering me down the winding path of food journalism. Starting out more than a decade ago I never thought I’d quite end up here, but that’s life!”— Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press
” Will Write For Food is one of the best books on writing, food and otherwise, that I’ve ever read. I use it often in my lectures.” — Mark Mayfield, former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful magazine, and food writing instructor, University of Alabama