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Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks Blogs Reviews Memoir and More

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  453 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The success of Julie & Julia highlights the newest trend in food writing: blogging. Noted journalist and food-writing instructor Dianne Jacob has revised her award-winning book to include a chapter covering all the how-to's of food blogging as well as updated resources and new information on working in other wildly popular genres, namely cookbooks and food memoirs. Inc ...more
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Published July 27th 2010 by Da Capo Press (first published April 10th 2005)
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Hope
For anyone thinking of writing food pieces in any medium, this book is a must have. The field is extremely competitive, but determination and work will result in publication, even if that publication will be developing a strong personal blog. Some food bloggers are making a living and have started major trends in writing. The most famous of these is food52.com, led by Amanda Hesser, editor of The New York Times Cookbook and regular NYT contributer. The Pioneer Woman, while not a pro, has an extr ...more
Rebecca
Good advice on good writing. Everyone I've ever read and respected makes an appearance, from MFK Fisher to Hemingway to Deborah Madison to the author of that Jewish cookbook Katie gave me for Hanukkah to the guy from Gourmet whose blog I just started reading. And, best of all, everyone I haven't read yet! My to-read list is now overflowing with gems of food writing.

Oh, yeah, and there's all kinds of industry advice here that seems indispensably helpful if you're actually trying to get published
...more
Cory Van Horn
I was so excited with I first bought the book. Since it had won an award for great writing, I figured with would provide me with new insights into the food writing world. Sadly, the book was so boring I had to retire it to the “will read later pile” after finishing the second chapter. The author seems switch between her own narrative and quotes from other books almost every other paragraph. This causes the book to take on a textbook feel.
Meghan
If you are interested in writing a book about food or filled with recipes, I would definitely suggest you read this book. Very interesting and full of information, plus the author interviewed several authors who are actually writing in this genre to find out what they had to say. Each chapter has writing activity suggestions to help you put into effect what she has taught you. Just one warning: Be prepared to take a lot of notes. :)
Nicole
This is a great reference chocked full of practical information, frank advice, and examples of how to work intelligently. I am impressed that the author got so many famous food writers to share their personal stories, too!
Rose
Great for anyone beginning to think about writing professionally. Good tips on crafting and refining. I enjoyed all of the stories from well known food writers.

Mike
When I saw ‘Will Write for Food’ on a bookshelf in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, I was surprised and excited that a book existed for such a narrow topic. I don’t usually do this, but in this case, I bought it immediately without even browsing the chapters and rolled the dice that the author (Dianne Jacob) had done her homework. As I was walking home, I realized how easily a book like this could be slapped together and sold to people like me, who just started a food blog (WithoutTakeout.co ...more
Robin
According to Goodreads, I’ve been reading this book since April 24, and it is now November 17. It’s time to admit that it’s likely I won’t finish it right now, and to put it back on the shelf. How ironic that I got stuck in the chapter “Memoir and Nonfiction Food Writing,” since this is the closest chapter to what my food blog, Seasonal Eating is about.

IMHO the best way to read this book is to go right to the chapters that are about the kind of food writing that you do or aspire to do and read
...more
FreshGrads .Sg
Especially in foodie-haven Singapore, food writing is everywhere – in magazines, newspapers and most prevalently on the world wide web. If you are an aspiring food blogger or simply a foodie looking for extra sources of income to supplement your guilty indulgences through writing, this is the book for you.

Will Write for Food is based on the author Dianne Jacob's own experiences as a blogger, cookbook author, freelance writer and former magazine editor. The comprehensive book covers, in individua
...more
Lauren
A bible for all things food-writing, I highly recommend this for anyone that has any interest in the area at all. Written in a tone that seems like you are having a conversation with a friend, this is a must-read that you won't want to put down. Chapters include information on writing a food blog, developing a cookbook, the art of memoir, fiction that includes food, freelancing, writing restaurant reviews and getting published.

Jacob not only provides a wealth of information for the aspiring writ
...more
Murissa
I am a food and travel blogger and I have been wanting to write a novel with a food focus. I also have been writing food and travel articles for free and was thinking about getting my work published. I bought this book to help me in all aspects of my writing. I graduated university with a major in creative writing and found myself out of my element when it came to writing articles about restaurants, food history etc. so I looked to this book for help and direction. I definitely found every chapt ...more
AJ
Blogs must not have been big in 2005, when this book was published, because otherwise I'd be shocked at their almost complete lack of existence in this book about food writing. A food blog is why I picked up this book, to get some helpful ideas for writing my own recipes, critiquing other peoples' recipes, reviewing restaurants and the like.

Will Write for Food takes a comprehensive look at the food writing "industry" and informs readers how to hone their food writing skills in many ways, and no
...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Excellent reference work on writing about food - it's a style guide that's customized for food writing. Jacob offers comments and insights from well known and much loved writers along with her own perspectives gained from her experience and her blog by the same name. A nice feature are the writing exercises that are included at the end of each chapter. Great for beginning writers and wanna bees with good content for the experienced writer. And no recipes to detract from the writing! Well deserve ...more
Julie Davis
#66 - 2010

Not sure why I picked this up except that, flipping through, I noticed there were nuggets of insight offered by many big food writing names. Reading books about writing can be interesting even if you do not plan on writing, as reading On Writing by Stephen King proved to me. I skimmed some sections, such as those on writing recipes or writing cookbooks, but read all the others. Probably only people somewhat familiar with the food writing world would be interested in reading this if the
...more
Leigh  Kramer
Great resource for anyone interested in writing about food. While I don't personally have that goal, I do read a lot of food memoirs and cookbooks and thought this would have good behind-the-scenes insights, which it did. I read the 2005 version, which did not cover the rise of food blogs (they had not yet risen) or even how food memoir has grown even more popular in the intervening years. This appears to be included in a revised version.
Mightyko Jackson
This book is so important if you are interested in any kind of food writing-- books, blogs, news... It gives a lot of background to the food writing industry, techniques on improving yourself as a food writer, as well as insight on good writers' lives and beliefs about writing. This book also helped me to focus in on what my purpose is as a writer and whether I wanted to be more serious/realistic about it.
Dianne's blog is also wonderful for issues in food writing. I encourage you to follow it.
Karen
pretty interesting and this author talked to everyone who is anyone. my opinion is i really didn't think the author's writing was that good. as a result, the book was lackluster and could have been huge. i did learn some things. my favorite sentence was "Who are these people who like muffins?" i was amazed with the story of Judy Kancigor's family cookbook turned Melting Pot Memories. pretty awesome though i can't find it's still in print.
Serge Pierro
Dianne Jacob's book on food writing is probably the best source of information on the subject currently available. However, the book does lack a certain "spark" and seems to be more of a gathering of anecdotes, than an original source of instruction. Lots of topics are covered, and for the neophyte, lots of foundational information. But for the food writer with any previous experience, the material is somewhat pedestrian.
Linda
If you are a writer, or read a few books on writing/getting published, you might not get anything new from the “how to” parts of this book. But, I enjoyed the stories by established food writers about how they got started & what inspires them. She interviewed some of the best in the field, although in spots I felt she was just name dropping. The bibliography itself was worth the walk to the library to pick it up.

Lori
This was an excellent book on food writing in lots of ways. I read the updated version that is not on Goodreads which includes a ton of information on food blogging. I learned lots of things that I am putting towards my own blog and I can see an improvement in my own writing already. This is a must read for anyone who wants to be a food writer in any capacity. Highly recommended.
Angela Boyle
This book read like a conversation with the author. She has such a friendly style and she includes so much useful information. I can't recommend it enough. I think you could even apply the information in this book to other types of niche writing, like knitting. There are many examples that would not apply specifically but will still get the point across.
Nicole
The Bible for anyone that wants to be involved in the Food business: whether it be cookbook writer, food writer, or food blogger, you need to own this book now. Jacob puts everything on the table in a clear and concise way so you know what you're getting into and how to improve your chances on getting published. Excellent.
Tiffany
A great how-to guide and resource for aspiring writers. Jacob offers the same advice I'm finding in many of the writing books I'm reading - write every day, use the active voice, read, learn, etc - but she also adds lots of online and print resources ... not only for selling material, but for self-education as well.
Erin Nudi
An essential guide for anyone who is currently involved in, or wants to be involved with, food writing. Everything is covered from food blogs to writing cookbooks to restaurant reviews - even food writing in fiction is briefly delved into. Definitely a book I will be referring back to frequently.
Lisa
I'm working on developing a cookbook, and I picked up this book in order to become better informed on how to write strong recipes. I found that it helped me think about my writing in new ways; I learned a lot and it far exceeded my expectations. Overall: Informative and an enjoyable read.
Liz De Coster
A thorough look into the world of food writing, featuring both aesthetic and commercial perspectives. I read this more because I do a lot of food reading, including blogs, cookbooks and memoirs, than because I'm interested in becoming a professional food writer, but it was still interesting.
Jessica
For the most part, I really liked this book. It contains very good information for those new to the field of food writing/food blogging/publishing. I think the only complaint I have is that it tries to cover a lot of ground, and I think therefore loses an opportunity to be more useful.
S.
I had to return this one to library before I was able to finish it but I'll be buying it soon. It's an incredible resource with lots of really helpful information. It covers the entire food genre and what it doesn't go into detail on, it gives references to what books to look at.
Camper
Well I'm already a drink writer so I was looking at this book for improvement tips and inspiration. I didn't find too much that I didn't know. I still enjoy reading her blog though (http://diannej.com/blog/) and am thoroughly jealous of the number of comments that she gets per post.
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