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Not all writing courses can teach you how to become a food critic, but they can teach you how to find success as a food writer. The basic concepts of writing, editing, proofreading, and catching an editor's attention are the same no matter what you write. Knowing a few tips of the writing trade will help you in your quest for paid food writing jobs.
For example, why spend hours (maybe days) working on a food article that nobody has seen or requested yet? Instead, take the time to write a winning query letter that will spark an editor's interest. Open the letter with a bold statement or description of the topic you want to write about. Follow that up with the reasons why you're the person to write about it, and finish the letter with a short list of other places where you've been published. Haven't been published before? That's okay. Draw on your culinary expertise and experience to land that first writing job.
Once you get the go ahead, then you can work on the article itself. You may have to do some research, but chances are that you've got the knowledge to get the piece done without too much strain. Draw on your education, personal anecdotes, and maybe add quotes from other respected chefs. This combination will go a long way in securing food writing jobs. In fact, the skills you learn as a food writer may be the stepping stones to teach you how to become a food critic as well!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|