Otis Anderson otis-anderson

Location: Atlanta


How to Write for Food Magazines

Anyone passionate about food, wine, or cooking, along with an interest in freelance writing, can learn how to earn money writing for culinary magazines.

Make Money Writing About the Culinary Arts

From smoothie recipes to fine dining and restaurant reviews, there are plenty of possibilities for freelance writers with a bit of culinary knowledge to get paid to write for food magazines. All writers have to start somewhere, and while the pay may be low in the beginning, with time and dedication it's possible to start a career in food writing.

I write my paper in detail, so read a few tips for freelance writers seeking culinary magazines that might publish their work.

How to Find Food Magazines

The quickest way to find a variety of culinary magazines is through a search engine, such as Google. Even print magazines will most likely have a website that will give the reader an idea of what kind of articles they publish.

Another option is searching websites that post jobs and calls for submission, such as Craig's List. Some magazines and blogs pay very little (or in some cases, nothing) for articles. However, that does not necessarily mean they aren't worth trying. Published clips are necessary for a new writer to build his portfolio.

Aspiring culinary writers should also consider starting a blog dedicated to food. Blogs are free and easy to keep up with, and the posts will provide work and clip samples that many editors want to see. Writers can use this blog to develop their niche, establish expertise, and connect with other writers and editors in the food community.

What Food Magazine Editors Want

The first step to submitting an article to a magazine is to first research the publication carefully. Many writers are tempted to send a massive amount of queries to dozens of sources, but this is not time effective. Never submit a story without browsing the magazine and reading the editor's guidelines.

There are several categories within the topic of food writing. While having the ability to write in many areas will certainly open more doors, writers should develop a niche, a specific subject in which they can call themselves an expert and be in demand. A few examples of food niches include:

  • Gourmet meals

  • Budget meals

  • Recipes

  • Restaurant reviews

  • Wine

  • Health food

  • Diets

  • Food safety

The more focused a writer is on a niche, the more in demand he will become. For example, a food writer who lived in Beijing for a year will stand out when querying a magazine that focuses on Asian cuisine.

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How to Pitch an Article to a Food Magazine Editor

Again, take time to read submissions guidelines and a few articles before contacting the editor. Pitching an article about a great brownie recipe to a magazine focused on healthy living will not increase the writer's chances of publication.

Every editor will have different submissions requirements. Many publish "on spec", meaning the article must be completely finished before the editor will consider publishing it. Others will accept only a query, which is a summary or pitch of the story idea. Writers should be careful to follow instructions exactly when submitting a query.

Earn Money as a Food Writer

All freelance writers start out with a small income, but it is possible to make a living writing about food. The best way to start is by starting a food blog, researching, and submitting queries – and of course, writing!

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