Tips for aspiring writers?

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Leslie Mansfield' started by nicko, Mar 27, 2003.

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  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Former Chef
    Leslie,

    I know there are many writers within the ChefTalk community that I am sure would appreciate hearing some suggestions or tips on how to pursue a career in food writing. What are some suggestions you have for someone pursuing a career as a food writer?
     
  2. leslie mansfield

    leslie mansfield

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    Dear Nicko,

    A career in food writing is incredibly interesting and fun. It is always different and hey, you get to eat your words!

    I would say to get started, you should find a subject that you are passionate about and begin developing recipes and headnotes. Pretty soon a book or proposal for a book will take shape.

    When developing recipes (I try to develop 4 new recipes a week) make sure that you take exact notes so that you can write them up on you computer later. I have spiral notebooks that I use when I cook, and write down the ingrediants or spices that I use in small increments as I cook. Then always retest your recipes three times to make absolutely certain that the results are the same.

    A great book for guidelines for recipe writing is called "Recipes into Type" by Whitman and Simon. Remember that writing recipes is essentially technical writing because you must convey clear instructions for you readers to follow.

    Once you know what you want to write, books or magazines for instance, the next step is marketing your work. A great source is called "The Writers Market" and a new edtion comes out every year.

    The most important thing to remember is that you must never get discouraged! Every writer has stacks of rejection slips and you just have to find the right publisher that shares your vision.

    Leslie
     
  3. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Cook At Home
    I've tried finding an agent, and that has been a three year exercise in frustration. (I have a young adult historical novel to sell.)

    I've used The Literary Marketplace, which does help focus searches so you don't waste time, energy or hope soliciting people who don't publish what you have to offer. That business is so fluid- maybe only slightly less than the restaurant business- that it pays to keep checking such publications for the latest prospects.
     
  4. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    First, let me thank you for this opportunity. :)


    I only have one question, which I am sure will surprise many on CT :cool:

    Is there a technique to organizing your work?


    Ive tried taking a crack at writing a few times but short stories seem to come easier. Is there a technique or writing exercise I can do to organize my thoughts? Or should I stick to short stories and build from there?


    Thanks,

    Jodi
     
  5. leslie mansfield

    leslie mansfield

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    Dear Mezzaluna,

    The best way to find an agent is to go to a literary symposiam. I knpo of two: Maui Writers Conference and there is a new on up in the San juan Islands. My editor goes to these and other conferences specifically to meet new authors. You might check on the internet for these since I don't kno much about them. Add what you are diong by checking the Literary Marketplase and the Writers Market is a good way to find the publishers that print your type of books.

    Leslie
     
  6. leslie mansfield

    leslie mansfield

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    Dear Jodi,

    For me as a nonfictiong writer, I actually use a spiral notebook for my jottings, then put the finished recipes in filing cabinest under files such as cookies cakes, etc.

    Perhaps a creative writing course at a community college or books on writing fiction could help.

    Leslie
     
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