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Greenbrier Food Writers' Conference

Maedl's picture

Is anyone going to the Greenbrier Food Writers' Conference? I went last year and am going again, because I think it is an excellent program and has helped me to get started writing and actually producing material that I can place in magazines. It's expensive, but I think you get good value that you can put to work for yourself. In addition, you get to stay at the Greenbrier, a beautiful, old Southern resort-hotel--certainly not the kind of digs I choose on my own!

Here's the link: http://www.greenbrier.com/site/foodwriters.aspx

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
bunnycook's picture

(post #36803, reply #1 of 9)

Did you get to tour the bunker?
It's beautiful--never stayed there, but drove up and looked on the drive to DC. --Bunny

Maedl's picture

(post #36803, reply #2 of 9)

Yes, I did tour the bunker and it was quite a sobering experience. It made me think about how close we have come to having to use something like that. It also made me feel so sad that there were no places for family members in there.

On the other hand, the Greenbrier is lovely and the programs that are offered as part of the conference are useful and interesting. The food and wine isn't bad either!

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
jrobin's picture

(post #36803, reply #3 of 9)

I'm confused.  It says it is for professionals, but you said you went to get started. 


Were you writing then got a push from this program? 


If you don't mind, would you go into more detail?  WV is not far from me, so I'd like to look into it more seriously but need some more of your experience.


Thanks!


Jennifer

Maedl's picture

(post #36803, reply #4 of 9)

The "professional" part discouraged me for quite a few years, too. However, I interpret it as meaning it's as much for people who are seriously interested in writing about food as it is for people who are already doing it.

The background: I wrote a lot as part of my job. I had articles published in several Smithsonian publications, so I knew I could write on a professional level. When I began thinking about retiring, I wanted to continue some sort of active professional work and decided that my greatest interests were in food, politics and culture.

I decided to apply to the Master's program that Slow Food offers in Parma, Italy, and try to get into food writing through that. I visited the campus, talked to the Slow Food people who encouraged me to apply, spent several years going to conferences and programs focusing on various aspects of food, and went through the very tedious application process which entailed having ALL of my educational transcripts beginning with high school on, translated into Italian. Talk about expensive! Then, after all that, I got turned down because the admissions committee didn't think I was serious enough.

So much for that path--that was just over a year ago. I decided that I'd have to find an alternative way and began signing up for programs that would give me good background and contacts. The program at the Greenbrier was one of the programs, and although it is expensive, I think it has helped me to make some progress. I have had two pieces accepted for publication in a magazine, and I'm sure it wouldn't have happened without learning some of the things I did at the Greenbrier program.

Hope this helps!

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
jrobin's picture

(post #36803, reply #5 of 9)

It wouldn't make sense to only have conferences and teach to other professionals who are already in the business.


If I compare myself to your qualifications, they wouldn't want me there.  Especially taking only 90 people.  Wow. 


But from my perspective/age the best and fastest way for me to learn is by going and taking quality classes in anything I have an interest in.  I'm just not one to screw around.


Oh, but that list of speakers is so impressive! I'm drooling.


Jennifer

Maedl's picture

(post #36803, reply #6 of 9)

I'll bet that if you sign up and get your deposit in, you'll attend, no questions asked!

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
jrobin's picture

(post #36803, reply #7 of 9)

How about filling me in on what you did at the last one?  Wait....did I read you were at the last one? 


Is there a lot of one on one stuff? Or is it like any conference where it is large group lectures.


Jennifer

Maedl's picture

(post #36803, reply #8 of 9)

The topic that stands out in my mind focused on using the web for publishing, particularly blogs. They also had a very interesting session on finances--how much people make as food writers and how people actually make a decent living at it--the secret is to be very diversified and have your fingers in a lot of pots. I also learned a lot about the the process and business of publishing, which was all new to me since I had worked in the government and never had to worry about that aspect.

As to contact with others: yes, I would say there is quite a bit of opportunity to talk with the presenters as well as the participants. I thought it was a very social group--talking over meals, reading sessions, late night bull sessions.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
qwx7fy2GDb's picture

Greenbrier attendance for novice writers (post #36803, reply #9 of 9)

The conversation between the two of you tells me there is some confusion about entry to the Symposium for

Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier. Here's the deal: Over the 21 years of this conference, it has been clear that

If you are dedicated to writing - in your future or present - do apply to join the intense, small conference September 11-5 this year.  Yes, novices do fit in as long as you see writing in the your future, including writing books or magazine articles or blogs or TV/radio or other forms of the art of wiriting about food. I recall one cheese maker who came with hopes that she might be able to write a cheese/cookbook which she did within a year and one-half. Also, we all remember a woman who worked in a bank, but wanted to write about the food of her native Kerala/India. Not only did she write a book, she self-published it and has won

awards for her writing. If you consider the fact that we are all writers and storytellers, this IS the conference for you! We look forward to seeing you at The Greenbrier.

Antonia Allegra, Symposium Director.