Friday, September 30, 2011

Travel and Food Writing Workshop with L. Peat O'Neil

What’s your favorite food memory? What cuisine do you identify with? What do you eat when you travel? Come join us at Annapolis Center and learn about crafting culinary experience into a story, the life of the travel and food writer, and how to find publication outlets.

In the upcoming Food and Travel Writing workshop (Oct 4, 11, 18 at Annapolis Center), we’ll explore the types of travel articles and opportunities for food writers. Mindful of market trends and the current publishing environment, the group will brain-storm to develop and critique ideas for travel articles with a culinary theme.

Ideas are only part of the process. A travel writer with an interest in food needs a skill-set and knowledge base to handle the content effectively for various print and online publications. This might include how to locate and interview culinary experts, as well as the process of creating and testing recipes. On the writing side of the toolkit is honing a compelling voice. I’ll lead you through several in-the-moment writing exercises that lead to bright, energetic prose-craft.

You’ll bring a rough draft or notes of a travel and/or a food article to the first workshop meeting, and for three sessions, we’ll work on transforming manuscripts into articles, book chapters or essays. The goal is to help you project your point of view through vivid narrative. By the second meeting, you’ll bring copies of a revised draft for reading and feedback by me and the workshop group. I’ll also help class participants who are interested in blogging on to start a travel or culinary theme blog during the course, but this is optional.

Most writers are eager to discover strategies for reaching editors and securing publication opportunities. Throughout the workshop, we’ll cover aspects of article structure, marketing and promoting your work.

L. Peat O'Neil's workshop, Travel and Food Writing, will take place at the Annapolis Center on Tuesdays 10/4-10/18 and Thursdays 10/13-10/27. Sign up for her workshop here and here.

A few words about me: I’ve taught food and travel writing for Smithsonian Resident Associates, the Graduate School USA, L’Academie de Cuisine and online at the University of California, Los Angeles. Sometimes the workshop is a small group of strong writers who seek guidance on voice, structure and pace. I’ve also worked with travel writers and culinary professionals who are shaping notes into finished articles or blog entries.

In addition to Travel Writing: See the World-Sell the Story, Pyrenees Pilgrimage and other books, I’ve written essays, short stories and poetry for literary journals and reviews. My professional writing background includes nearly two decades in The Washington Post newsroom, numerous freelance travel and food articles (Gastronomica, National Geographic News, Elle, Travel+Leisure, etc) and a four-year stint as a social media content writer for the U.S. Department of State.

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