I’m a Food Writer

I am a Food Writer

It’s not on my passport yet, but I’d love to put it on the next one right next to where it says ‘Profession’. That for me is the key. I’m not playing at this, nor earning pin money. I’m doing it properly. At the moment I have a contract with a web site for my versions of 200 recipes from around the world. They want photographs as well – bitmaps are best. If you don’t know how to do these grab the nearest teenager and twist their arm until they tell you.
My main advice to anyone is keep trying and keep writing. Not one query letter but many, many. No answer doesn’t mean necessarily that your work is of poor quality. Editors receive many more items than they can ever publish. Many more good pieces than they can ever publish. Have you tried overseas? The U.K and North America are not the only places where English is spoken and published. Eventually someone will respond positively. Not writing in long batches with longer gaps in between, but everyday writing. And if you aren’t writing, prepare. We have recently come back from a trip to France – every shop was full of food ideas to be thought about. Now we are back and those ideas are becoming reality. Not copies but inspirations.
Read the magazine or web site before sending in your article .Do they have rules for submissions? Do they pay or do you just get a free copy? Even that may be a good thing if it is publicity.What kind of food are they concerned with – the expensive and exotic, or the family friendly and quick? Is it aimed at the weightwatcher, the young business woman, working mothers, men living alone, the rich or those on a budget? Adjust your language and recipes accordingly. Do they use American or British English? What kind of measures are acceptable – metric, Australian or American volume measures or even avoir du pois i.e pounds and ounces, or a mixture of these. Are oven temperatures recorded in Celsius, Fahrenheit or Gas marks? Getting these right is half the battle. If you aren’t sure there are web sites with conversion charts or they can be found in many cookbooks.
Finally if photographs are required train the family. Nobody is to eat anything until it has been photographed! If you are buying a new camera the more pixels the better and a zoom lens will make life easier.
I’d better not give you more advice or you will be doing me out of a job. Good cooking , Margaret Watson

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