Sunday, June 25, 2006

Do You Want to Be a Food Writer?

I never fancied myself a food writer though I did, over the years, put together a few pieces with recipes included. I also posted a few favorite family dishes at in the Writer's Corner.

Last year, I noticed that Garden & Hearth was looking for some new micro editors. They listed a number of topics. Most were rather general. One was quite specific--Barbecue Master. That one jumped out at me, since we cook outside all the time. I filled out the application, and that's how I got started writing about barbecue and food.

I'm sure a lot of onliners love to cook and eat and toy with the idea of writing about food. It's a fun topic, and it gives you an excuse to eat more. Gotta love that.

A good way to get started is with a blog. I actually did things in reverse order. I started writing about BBQ for Garden & Hearth and then pitched some other micro site ideas. In that list was Southern Cooking, and Kim (the site owner) liked that idea. At about the same time, I was picked up by Suite 101 to cover Southern Cuisine.

Writing articles is a bit more structured. If you're trying to get started in that market, then a good spot to visit is Absolute Write Water Cooler forums. A lot of writers gather there and share ideas, tips, and market leads. I think that's where I found the Garden & Hearth and Suite 101 openings.

If you want to get your feet wet first, then a blog is a good idea. It's less structured. You can write about food and anything else going on in your life. There are no deadlines. It's very relaxed.

Another good thing about blogs is that there are spaces online (like here at where you just grab a template and fill in the blanks. It can seem a little daunting to start with, but it's really easy once you get the hang of it. There is a forum space at Absolute Write Water Cooler where you can lurk or jump in and get help with blogging. Ted (one of the regulars) also has great tips for blogging at Cobwebs of the Mind.

If you're visiting here and thinking, "Hey, I could do this," then give it a whirl. If you get a food space going, then let me know. I always enjoy hearing what others are saying about good eats.


INKcogKNEEdough said...

Hey cyndi,

Just found your site via the absolute write forums. I am still poking around but so far i love it. Cooking is one of my hobbies. It is one that i am FAR from good at but i HAVE come a long way from the pot pies and top ramen of just a few years ago. The beer butt chicken caught my eye immediately as i have tried that one before...AWESOME! Anyhow, just wanted to say hello, nice blog and keep up the good work.


PS....Thanks for making me hungry Right before bedtime!!!


Dawno said...

Hi! Enjoying your blog - my SO just got a new grill and we're trying new stuff - the cabinet is full of sauces and olive oil and rubs and herbs...I'll be sure to keep visiting.

Thanks for mentioning our little forum, too. In case anyone wants to peek in we're at AW Blogging Forum ;-)

I've finally gotten around to updating my blogroll and just wanted to visit some of the ones I've added - glad I did.


Barbecue Master said...

Hi Ink--I was the designated dishwasher growing up. I burned everything I was put in charge of watching. That includes Pop Tarts. The corner got stuck that time. Black smoke rolled out. So much for an easy breakfast.

When I got a job as a house manager in a group home and had to cook 3 meals a day, I started learning to cook. We had some "yuck" stuff there for a while, but I eventually got the basics and then continued on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Barbecue Master said...

Hey there Dawno--I know your name from the blog board and remember putting mine up for the roll (-: It's a great space. Glad you put the direct link. Anyone reading and thinking about blogging should check it out. Everyone is very helpful even if you don't know what you're doing (to start with).

Glad you enjoyed Barbecue. It's been a lot of fun working on it. The tips at Absolute Write Water Cooler have helped tremendously. My blog looks much better than when it first went up.