I never thought of myself as a food writer until I obtained the book, Make Money as a Food Writer in Six Lessons by Pamela White from BookLocker.com. This book showed me that there is more to food writing than cookbooks, recipes, and restaurant reviews. I realized that my dream food stories are from historical and cultural perspectives. So, I pitched to Matador Network an article on the history of the Russian holiday salad Olivier – and it was published. But, are there more markets for these kinds of stories?
“Whatever your dream, the market is out there somewhere for you,” encouraged Pamela White. Inspired by these words, I researched for publications whose editors would appreciate my passion for history, culture, and food – and I found them! So, I decided to share some of these paying markets with the readers of WritersWeekly. If you get excited when learning about the history and culture of the food you enjoy, then some of these publications may be right up your alley!
Smart Mouth Newsletter
Katherine Spiers, the editor, is looking for 300-500 words posts (reported pieces or essays) on culture, food, or food culture topics. As she describes it, “A mix of history, progressive food politics, and just fun frothy stuff.” Payment is $400. Find their submission guidelines here: http://www.smartmouthpodcast.com/home/2019/12/18/smart-mouth-newsletter-pitch-guidelines
This publication is “a leading resource for all things food and drink.” Editors are interested in articles on food history for the Culture department. Caution: When writing your pitches, beware of words banned by editors! https://www.seriouseats.com/2012/04/our-secret-list-of-banned-words.html. According to thefreelancersyear.com, they pay $0.20 per word. Email pitches to editor (at) seriouseats (dot) com.
Eaten is a beautifully designed magazine dedicated to food history. It goes out 3 times a year. Emelyn Rude, the editor, is interested in “pieces that primarily focus on something that happened in the past that may or may not have a tie into the present. In the best stories, this relevance to the present will be evident in the history in and of itself.” To receive the editor’s call for pitches (sent early February, June, and October) and the topic of the upcoming issue, you need to sign up here: https://www.eatenmagazine.com/editorial-newsletter. Payment is $300 for 800-1,500 words.
Editors of this wine publication are interested in articles that “look at the intersection of wine and culture.” Although they don’t advertise their rate of payment, according to FreelanceWriting.com, compensation is as follows: $750-$2,500 for assigned articles; $750-$2,000 for unsolicited articles; and $0.50/word for website articles. You’ll really need to know your subject material. Find their writers’ guidelines here: https://www.winemag.com/contact-us/#submission_guidelines
According to their website, “EatingWell is the only national food magazine that focuses exclusively on eating healthfully.” Its readers also enjoy “eating culture and traditions.” Editors welcome new writers. For the column Food/Culture-based Travel Stories, editors prefer to work with established writers. Payment is up to $1 per word (for all rights). All the details are found in their guidelines at: https://www.eatingwell.com/article/290691/writers-guidelines/
“Atlas Obscura” touts itself as “The definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders.” Within this website, you’ll find “Gastro Obscura”, which is a section that covers food from around the world and how it melds with its country’s culture. Editors look for “hidden histories, people on quests large and small, and food stories about amazing aspects of places around the world.” They want history articles that are “not pure history stories. Instead, they connect the past to the present.” Reported payment is $0.40 per word (according to thefreelancersyear.com).
This magazine “decodes and demystifies what it means to live a well life.” Jessie Van Amburg, Senior Food and Health editor, is looking for “expert-driven nutrition stories, personal essays or experiences, and well-researched thought pieces about how food, health, and culture intersect.” Payment is $150-$500+ (500-1,200+ words) for reported stories and $200-$400+ (600-1,000+ words) for personal essays. Read their guidelines for more details. https://www.wellandgood.com/pitching-guidelines/
So, if you have some great stories about how food, culture, and history intersect, reach out to one (or a few!) of these publications and turn your knowledge into money!
- Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You: Ten Tips For Food Writers By Melissa Bradley Diskin
- FABULOUS FOOD – FODDER FOR WRITERS By Christina Spence-Maharajh
- How I Launched My Food Writing Career By Emily-Jane Hills Orford
- Cash in on History By Mikel Weaver
- Food Writing’s Almost Always on the Menu – Phyllis Ring
Tatiana Claudy is a freelance writer living in Indiana. Her bylines appeared in Creation Illustrated and Mystery Weekly Magazine, TRAVEL THRU HISTORY, Writing-World.com, and FundsforWriters e-publications.
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