Writing about food

Course Dates: 01/05/19 - 19/06/19
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Nikki Spencer

Love food and want to write about it? There’s never been a better time with so much happening - from street food markets, pop-up restaurants and supper clubs to 24-hour fine dining and gourmet takeaways - and so many opportunities, with new publications, websites and, of course, blogs.

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Writing about food


What is the course about?

This practical course, led by experienced food journalist and tutor, Nikki Spencer, will cover everything from restaurant reviewing and pitching feature and book ideas to blogging and recipe writing. As well as talking and writing about food there will be plenty of opportunities to sample it too, with classroom tastings to get the creative juices flowing, along with a visit to a nearby restaurant (to be paid for by students). The course will also, subject to availability, include Q&A sessions with an established food blogger, a freelance food writer and a food PR.

The Tutor
Nikki Spencer is an experienced freelance journalist and media tutor. She has written about food for numerous publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Independent and for years she was a regular contributor to Michelin’s website, ViaMichelin. She is a member of The Guild of Food Writers and has judged their food writing awards on numerous occasions. Nikki was Series Producer of Channel 4’s Sophie Grigson TV series Taste of the Times.

City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

- The opportunities for writing about food.
- Restaurant reviewing.
- Food features – coming up with ideas and pitching to editors.
- Writing your own blog.
- Getting paid for your work.
- Pitching book ideas & self-publishing.
- How to improve your writing.
- Doing your research.
- Working with PRs.
- Recipe writing.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the key elements of restaurant reviewing, recipe writing and food features.
- Know what food editors want and how best to approach them.
- Have a better understanding of the world of food blogging and what makes a good blog.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course. You will need a reasonable standard of English to keep up with the course and an enthusiam for writing about food.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will have a strong practical focus with writing exercises, in groups and individually. In addition to the restaurant reviewing task there will be plenty of opportunity to develop your writing and get class feedback on your work.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Yes - we will visit a nearby restaurant for dinner during the course. The price of this visit will be met by the students individually. It will be reasonably priced (£25 a head max for two courses) and will cater for vegetarians.

It would be helpful if you can bring an example of a piece of food writing you like to the first class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

Write a review
I took the Writing about Food course to help with my newly launched blog. I've never written before so I was apprehensive about staring the blog, writing about food, recipes, pitching - I had no idea about these things. The tutor was inspirational, I had no confidence when I started the course and certainly no self-belief. I left the course having made some fantastic friends that I'll keep in touch with, having more confidence about my writing and how to approach editors etc....She is a fantastic teacher, I was sad to say goodbye.
Course Rating
Review by Helen / (Posted on 17/07/2017)
I have just recently finished Nikki's Food Writing course and thought it was fantastic. When I started I had no confidence in my writing but I happy to confident to write my food blog and approach editors. The course covers all aspects of food writing so you get to experience blogging, feature writing, restaurant reviews etc. Nikki is inspirational and encourages self belief.
Course Rating
Review by Wine Woman / (Posted on 14/07/2017)
I took the Food Journalism course in June 2016 and loved it! I have always been interested in how to make a career out of my passion for writing and food, but was never too interested in being a restaurant reviewer. The Food Journalism course was excellent because I learned about the different types of food journalism careers available - restaurant reviewing is not the only way!

The classes were filled with practical advice and we also had guest speakers talk about different topics, such as publishing a cook book or launching a career in Restaurant PR. Even when we discussed restaurant reviewing, I learned really useful "real-world" tips for how to interview people, feature them in blogs, how to pitch blogs or articles to editors, etc.

Coming out of the course, I started working as a marketing consultant for a recently launched restaurant in London. The tips I took away from this class have been invaluable. I highly recommend this course!
Course Rating
Review by Serina / (Posted on 10/11/2016)

Book your place

Course Code: HJ042

Wed, day, 01 May - 19 Jun '19

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £169.00
Senior fee: £169.00
Concession: £68.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

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Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.