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Q & A with Dianne Jacob: Will Write For Food

Dianne Jacob is one of the most seasoned food writers and editors around and has become quite well-known because of the excellent advice and guidance she’s generously been giving out to other writers. A journalist since 1978, Dianne is also a writing instructor and coach that helps aspiring authors hone their craft. You can read more about her work and read her articles at her website.

Her latest book, Will Write For Food, is a comprehensive guidebook to the world of food writing. I can’t say enough good things about this book and it’s the first place I send anyone who asks me about the nitty-gritty on what it takes to write about food; from how to write your first proposal to how much you can expect to make from the finished book.

With helpful tips from well-known chefs and food writers like Harold McGee, Alice Medrich, Amanda Hesser plus powerful literary agents and top-notch cookbook editors—Will Write For Food is a must read.

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David: Hi Dianne, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for me and my readers. As someone who’s a seasoned writing coach and editor, what are the three most important tips you would give to aspiring food writers?

Dianne Jacob:

1. Win the lottery to make up for your income.

2. Take writing classes if you are cook; take cooking classes if you are a writer.

3. Be persistent.

David: Will Write For Food has become a classic, especially among food bloggers. But also amongst others interested in learning more about food writing, including restaurant reviewing, writing a memoir, and of course, cookbook writing. In fact, just about everyone I know has a copy.
What made you write it in the first place?

Dianne: I had been teaching food writing classes for years, and wanted a resource for my students. I couldn’t find one.

David: And was it difficult to find a publisher for the book?

Dianne: Are you kidding? Four New York publishers wanted it.

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