Instructor: Naomi Tomky
Next date: TBD, summer 2024
Duration: three active weeks spread over six weeks
Price: $290, scholarships available.
Note: this class is only open to alumni of Focus on Food Writing
This refresher course offers more valuable feedback and important insights for alumni of Write Like a Honey Badger’s Focus on Food Writing. The summer-paced course gives former students a chance to workshop a new piece, read through snackable “refresher” lessons, and receive personalized critiques.
Each lesson will be in a quick-read format to help you remember and reframe what you know and keep it front-of-mind as you continue moving forward with your food writing.
The summer pace means you will have two weeks, rather than the usual one, to complete each of the three lessons and three assignments. Here’s the schedule.
- Post your bio by the first Friday, midnight wherever you are
- Snackable “refresher” lessons will post every other Wednesday by noon
- Assignments need to be in by midnight the following Tuesday
- We will post critiques by midnight Friday, every other week
- Peer comments need to be done by midnight Tuesday, a week after submissions post
Please note: this course doesn’t workshop pieces about dieting or disordered eating, in order to keep the classroom a safe space for everyone.
FOCUS ON FOOD WRITING CURRICULUM
The class is asynchronous, meaning you never have to be online at a particular time. Naomi’s written lectures post every two weeks, along with assignments. You then receive critiques from her, as well as feedback from your peers. Students can ask questions and start discussions throughout the course.
Week 1/2, Setting the Table: Refreshing what makes great food writing, narrative structure, and pitching.
Assignment: Pitch the piece you’d like to workshop or two mini-pitches, if you’d like help picking one.
Week 3/4, Cooking up an Article: Reviewing the nuts and bolts of food writing, including ways to approach description, action, and quotes/outside sources.
Assignment: Write the first draft of your piece
Week 5/6, Serving with Style: Going over the tips and tricks that make editing a breeze — or at least a less painful process.
Assignment: Turn in a second draft
REVIEWS OF NAOMI AND FOCUS ON FOOD WRITING
“The course was very well structured and the lessons built off one another well. It was very accessible and has provided me a wealth of information, I’ve noticed my writing getting much more effective after the class.”
“This workshop really helped me to clean up and rethink my food writing. I definitely recommend Naomi’s class for anyone interested in culinary writing, whether you’re brand new or well seasoned (all pun intended).”
“Naomi’s class is a wonderful guide to food writing! Lectures cover writing mechanics, industry expectations and pitching guides, and encourage us to develop our own perspectives on food writing. The reading lists and feedback are specific and immensely helpful. Additionally, she sets clear guidelines for the workshop portion of class and ensures class comments are productive and respectful.”
“Focus on Food Writing was the perfect introduction to food writing. I learned about the different types of food writing as well as the writing techniques used in the genre. I also learned how to center storytelling. The weekly feedback I received from the instructor as well as my peers challenged me to think more critically and expansively. I look forward to re-visiting the curriculum as I continue to build my skills and highly recommend this class!”
“I loved each week’s assignment and Naomi’s detailed and thorough feedback. Her comments were wonderful and I learned daily from them. If she did another food writing class with different goals, I would be interested in taking it.”
“Naomi is a wonderful teacher. I learned so much about my writing and habits from her feedback.”
“As an unemployed service worker aspiring to break into food writing, Naomi Tomky’s class was a gift that all writers could benefit from.”
SELECTED WORKS FROM ALUMNI OF FOCUS ON FOOD WRITING
- Farm Profile; Sagging Fence Farm in Local Food by Sally Zalac
- My Secret Ingredient is Always My Playlist in Shondaland by Kurt Suchman
- Los Kentubanos: Digging Into Louisville’s Cuban Side in Condè Nast Traveler by Zac-Jones-Gómez
- Grocery Shopping Used to Be My Self-Care—Now It’s Overwhelming in Self by Colleen Stinchcombe
- This Might Be the Best Airport Meal in America. But Is It Worth $995? In Fodor’s Travel by Jeremy Tarr
- A Short History of Challah Bread, and How It Got So Sweet in America in The Nosher by Liz Susman Karp
- This Bollywood Actor’s Cooking Videos Are Getting Me Through the Lockdown in Self by Rathina Sankari
- The Little Splurge I Made for My Freezer That’s Totally Paid for Itself in The Kitchn by Meleyna Nomura
- The Most Underrated Bakery Near You Is Your Neighbor’s Front Porch in Bon Appétit by Carrie Honaker
- What’s a Food Writer Anyway? My Complicated Feelings with Calling Myself One in 14East by Robin Mosley
- How This Ancient African Religion Keeps Diaspora Foodways Traditions Alive in Fodor’s by Anneliese Wilson
- Vegan barbecue is carving out a place in traditional meat-smoking regions in The Washington Post by Jessica Eng
- Celebrating Indigenous culture with Haudenosaunee boiled cornbread in The San Diego Tribune by Lauren J. Mapp
- An Indigenous Community Reclaims Land in Chile for Organic Agriculture in Modern Farmer by Colleen Stinchcombe
- After a call to boycott Goya, Philly Latino home cooks lean into traditional recipes in The Philadelphia Inquirer by Alisha Miranda
- Hurricane Sandy battered NYC 8 years ago. Since then, how has the city shored up against future superstorms? in The Counter by Carmen Russo
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the course suitable for experienced writers?
The class covers everything from the basics through the nitty-gritty details and includes personalized reviews of each student’s writing. Some of the elements may be a refresher for more experienced students, but overall there will be plenty of information for seasoned veterans as well as rookies.
I haven’t taken Focus on Food Writing but would like to participate
This class is only open to alumni, sorry!
Where are the classes held?
We’ll be working on a browser-based teaching platform. This allows files to be shared easily, without cluttering your inbox, and gives you classroom access from any net-wired terminal, anywhere in the world. But you’ll still have options to push alerts to email, if that appeals.
When does the bell ring?
Never! Go online whenever you please — the classroom is open 24/7 and the lectures are written. But the course does take place within a six-week timeframe.
What sort of success can I expect?
Your writing will improve and you will feel inspired and ready to move on to the next level in food writing, whether that’s getting your first piece published or getting that marquee byline.
What stops other writers from stealing my ideas?
The class is a safe space to share ideas–each of us will be writing on our own topic and abide by the ethics of journalism, which include not borrowing or stealing other people’s ideas.
What if I have another question?
Email us at email@example.com. (Please note: we supply this address so we can assist students and alumni. We do not accept proposals to improve SEO or app/web-dev proposals. All off-topic emails will be reported as spam.)