Two approaches to food writing: Memoirs and Cookbooks

We know that our members share our fondness for food writing - after all, many of us love to read cookbooks as much as cook from them. So we thought these two articles from Dianne Jacob's blog, Will Write for Food, would be fun to point out.

In the first article, Dianne challenges her readers to "Go On a Quest: Write a Food Memoir." First, she distinguishes between a biography and a memoir: "Memoir is about your ability to tell a story well. As these examples show, it's not about your whole life. That's an autobiography, much harder to get published unless you're famous. Autobiographies tend to be big messy stories that  need lots of focusing and shaping, because they cover decades. " 

Then she proceeds to describe a writing approach that will take about a year: "The trick is to come up with an intriguing adventure and tell a concise tale with a plot. Memoirs are considered narrative non-fiction, so these books have tension and a story arc that propels readers forward. It would also help if you were transformed by the journey, write with introspection, research your subject well, and oh yes - you write with humor and self deprecation."

She gives a writing challenge -- and is willing to comment on your responses. So we're challenging our members to take the plunge: What's to lose?

The second article is an interview from one of our favorite authors, Peter Reinhart, who just published, "The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking." If you've ever attempted to bake bread, you will certainly have heard of him. His 8 cookbooks (check them out here) cover all aspects of bread and other types of baking, including no-knead, pizza, and now gluten-free. In this interview  "he talks about the value of sticking with the same publisher, learning a new subject, and why you need a thick skin to grow as a writer." The interview is quite interesting as he discussed learning about gluten-free grains and sugar-free substitutes. We especially liked his conclusion:

"The first advice I give them is, "Are they doing a blog?" What better way for getting practice, getting the word out, getting feedback? And if you're really a writer, you've got an opportunity to get practice so you can develop your own voice.

"Food blogging is a tremendous resource for the next generation of writers. Not everybody's looking at is a career. Sometimes they want to share their ideas and thoughts and talk about their family. Sometimes you hit that magic button that people respond to. Don't write the blog because you think you're going to be the next Julia Child or Pioneer Woman. You just do it. And if you've got the talent, people will see that.

Write as much as possible. Don't get discouraged, be flexible and don't burn bridges. You never know when you're going to need to rekindle a relationship with people. You have to have thick skin in order to grow."

Joy of Gluten-Free Baking

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