Wednesday, January 10, 2007

[Blog Content] Food writing classes- recommendations?

Resolutions are such fun. We make all these fabulous lists and put on our game faces. Within days we are up to our ears in chocolate, debt and those new skinny jeans that don't fit but that everyone said were "in" this year.

This year I made a list, checked it twice (hah!) and it includes a food-writing course- love to write, love to eat, love to write about what I eat, so it seemed like a natural thing to do, right? Well, the challenge has been finding something near DC and it's become clear: there ain't nuthin'. I could take a class on essay-writing and call it a day, but just for giggles I looked on and found a plethora of options.

Provided I live in LA or NYC. Yikes!

I'd been looking for jobs in NYC, but found something in DC that I enjoy. There is an online version of the course, but I've always found those a headache (figuratively and literally) and not as valuable in terms of networking, my learning style, etc. And they cost the same as a regular course (even before you factor in transportation costs). I am more than willing to hop on the bus or Amtrak it to New York for one evening a week with Kate Krader of Food&Wine magazine, however I am more gung-ho than flush with cash. A contact of mine at the magazine says good things about Ms. Krader, but I think my friend is a touch biased as she works with her!

My question is this- has anyone taken any of these classes, would you recommend them, and what other resources would you recommend?

This Post was written by Liz from Good Stuff


Sarah said...

I haven't taken a course with Kate Krader, but I took one last year at MediaBistro with Pamela Kaufman, her colleague at Food & Wine. Whether you're satsified with these courses really depends on what you expect to get out of them. They promise more than they deliver, I think--they say you will end up with a portfolio of ready-to-publish articles, which probably isn't true for most people. Basically, we had one writing assignment a week and would spend the next class critiquing each person's work--a pretty standard writing workshop. After the one critique, it was on to the next assignment. Did it make me a better writer? Nah--I don't think so. But that said, the course was a lot of fun and I don't regret taking it. It was great meeting other food-obsessed writers--and perhaps that's where the value of these classes really lies. And one last thing--the class did inspire me to start my blog!

Liz said...

Thanks Sarah. I guess I should have said I want to be come a more engaging, focused writer (the fact that I left that part out shows you how much I need the course!). Also, not since college have I received honest, unbiased criticism of my writing, which I'd like because I feel it might help me professionally (and personally as well). From what you said I gather that I might get that.

On the other hand, I might well get a similar experience if I stayed home and took a local nonfiction/essay writing class, and that's good to know.

By the way, I like your blog and if the class inspired you, then that's reason enough to take it!

Sarah said...

Hi Liz--

I think you've got it totally right--these MediaBistro class are a great resource and worth it if you live in the city, but if your goal is not to learn the nitty-gritty of pitching articles to editors, but to improve your writing for its own sake, I think any writing class with a good teacher could be just as beneficial. Whatever you choose, good luck! Odd as it sounds, going back to school again is lots of fun.