FABULOUS FOOD – FODDER FOR WRITERS By Christina Spence-Maharajh

Food, glorious food! There, I have your attention. We all love food, as it nourishes more than just our bodies. From memories of Mom’s homemade cookies waiting when we returned home from school, to a favorite comfort food that consoles us when we’re down, food is an enduring passion for millions of people. Now, turn that passion into profits by writing recipes to assist fellow foodies.

No, you do not have to be a gourmet chef to write recipes. In fact, most people who write them are just like you or I – lovers of good food, but definitely not professional chefs. There is a lot of money to be had for writers who can write a good recipe, and can express their appreciation of different types of food.

WRITING A GOOD RECIPE

Much food-related writing is centered on recipes. People who love food want to try new varieties, and in different ways to tantalize their taste buds. Make it easy for your readers to create a tasty new treat, and you’ll quickly gain a fan.

It is always important to write in a way that makes preparing the recipe easy for the reader. Assume that your readers know nothing about cooking, and make each recipe as complete as possible. List all needed ingredients. List the steps in a logical manner. Recruit a few friends or family members to test any new recipe. That way, you’ll know that the instructions are complete and easy to understand. A recipe should be as foolproof as possible before being published. Carefully review some of your favorite cookbooks and note how those writers write their recipes. What is it about a certain recipe that makes it appealing to you? What about another makes it seem confusing? Do your research and approach your recipe as you would any other writing assignment – with professionalism.

Try new angles on popular favorites. Let’s take your Grandma’s famous apple pie recipe. Why not convert that recipe into mini apple pies for children, and approach children’s magazines? Parents love to bake with their kids, and are always looking for new ideas. Or, use that same recipe in an article about bake sale favorites, and approach charity magazines. Look at an ordinary recipe and see how you can make it even more interesting and appealing to both editors and readers. It is this eye for detail that will set you apart from other food writers.

MARKETS FOR FOOD WRITING

There is a wide range of publications looking for recipes or food articles. Some are obvious, while others are sources that may surprise you. Here are a few markets to get you started. They are usually open to new writers, and are looking for recipes and food stories. Find even more markets by writing to editors of some of your favorite magazines, and ask if they are looking for recipe writers. Many magazines that look for filler material like recipes and food facts to fill small, empty spaces in their publication.

All of these markets are paying markets.

1. Family Fun Magazine
http://family.go.com/Resources/guidelines.doc
looks for fun family recipes that are proven favorites. This is a high paying market, with food features earning $1.25 per word.

2. Children’s Better Health Institute
http://www.cbhi.org/cbhi/writersguidelines.shtml
is looking for nutritious recipes for children. Check out their guidelines for more information.

3. Backwoods Home
http://www.backwoodshome.com/writerguidelines.html
is another magazine that looks for recipe submissions. Generally looks for traditional favorites.

4. Woman’s Touch Magazine
http://www.womanstouch.ag.org/womanstouch/doyouwrite.cfm
looks for tried and true family favorite recipes.

5. Dialogue Magazine, by Blindskills Inc.
http://www.blindskills.com/submit.html
accepts recipes as filler items. This is a low paying market.

We eat to live, but some of us also live to eat. If you can learn to write good recipes, then you may have found a virtual gold mine of writing opportunities that are so often overlooked! With a bit of practice, you’ll be selling recipes to a wide range of publications that are looking for food writers. So dig in and get started in this particularly delicious field.

Christina is a full-time freelance writer who writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. After spending years wondering “What if?” she finally gave in and devoted herself to a freelance career. E-mail her at christinam@nucleus.com to order her booklet How I Became a Published Writer in Less Than a Week, and learn how you can do exactly the same.