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.
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