Course overview

This course is designed to introduce participants to the varieties, contexts and issues of food writing and, to develop food writing skills in a range of styles and approaches. A range of writing techniques and forms will be critically examined with a view to enhancing practice. Emphasis will also be placed on the practice of writing for publication.

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: differentiate between various food writing genres critically analyse specific forms of food writing write within the specific conventions of a chosen genre or media practice in the context of food writing demonstrate skills in re-writing and self-editing for successful publication apply appropriate research methods and skills for writing in specific food contexts A number of perspectives are critically examined with the aim of developing or enhancing knowledge, applicable across a number of domains, as well as affording opportunities for the uptake of new skills and practices, and the honing of creative processes that provide the basis for the art of creative writing. Who is this course for? Passionate foodies; restaurant reviewers; aspiring writers; freelance writers, bloggers and social media content creators, all of whom want to write about food and in original and delectable ways. Instructor: Justin Bergman Justin Bergman is a long-time Asia Pacific correspondent for Monocle magazine and has been a regular food and travel contributor to a variety of publications, including The New York Times. Justin has also taught classes in Magazine and Travel Writing as an adjunct professor in Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Creative Writing program. Justin has travelled far and wide in search of unusual food stories, trekking to remote western China to report on the emerging wine industry in the Gobi Desert, visiting the kitchens of Estonian chefs seeking to create a new culinary identity in the former Soviet republic, and meeting the street food hawkers taking part in the first World Street Food Congress in Singapore. Career Opportunities Journalism, freelance writing, blogging, publishing, media and public relations.

Course details

Who is the course for?

Introduction: Developing Sellable Ideas Meet Justin Bergman, your instructor. In his first lesson, Justin helps you start by brainstorming ideas for stories you’d like to write for publication. He talks about the types of stories you’re going to write and the differences in tone and structure. Finding Your Writing Voice Food writing is an art that necessitates starting with the basics, namely how to write. This week, we’ll discuss the finer points of the craft, including choosing the appropriate words to describe food, avoiding obvious clichés and using all of the senses in your writing. Restaurant review This week, you’ll identify the right kind of restaurant to review - a newly opened place, or one with an interesting backstory. We’ll also discuss the important tips to keep in mind when reviewing a restaurant. Short-form food story This week, you’ll be tasked with writing a more objective food trend piece or restaurant/bar/winery opening story. Specific attention will be paid in the difference in tone from a review, as this is more objective writing. Preparing for a chef interview This week is devoted to the art of interviewing and preparing to interview a chef. You’ll identify the individual, make contact and set up a time to chat, then prepare a list of proposed questions. Write a pitch to an editor Now that you’ve tried your hand at a couple of entry-level food stories, you’ll write a pitch for one of these stories, specifically tailored to a magazine, website or other food publication you’d like to write for. Reporting the feature This week is devoted to research and developing an outline for your long-form feature story. Organising your thoughts and writing the introduction The writing process starts with organisation and a battle plan. First transcribe your research notes and develop an outline for the structure of the story. Then, craft a colourful, attention-grabbing introduction to draw the reader into your story and make them keep reading. Finishing the feature This is a writing-intensive week, with a firm deadline. You will write the rest of the feature, making sure to stick closely to your outline and include the right amount of character and scene development, dialogue, quotes and background information. Editing and workshopping Learning to write gets easier when you also try your hand at editing and providing feedback. You’ll be paired with another student and read each other’s stories, bringing a keen eye to the structure, colourful descriptions and other essentials that contribute to a great food story.