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What's Cooking in the Food Market?
by Mary Ann Kerl

Consider breaking into the food market for more writing income. It is not as difficult as you may think. Simply follow our seven simple tips below.

First, be aware of the Olympics.

During thirty years of writing food articles, I’ve noticed physical fitness and nutrition articles soar during Olympic years. So, take note. Research nutrition and heart-healthy recipes. Also, low or fat-free recipes make excellent articles when aiming for Olympic-year publication. And, with today’s economy and many people growing obese, these articles are especially in demand.

Second, remember holidays.

Christmas recipes are always popular. Recipes rich in calories are acceptable for this time. Then, don’t forget, January and February issues of food magazines and newspapers feature low-calorie dishes, encouraging readers to get their bodies back in shape from rich foods eaten at Christmas.

Magazines need a longer lead time, but local newspapers are a great market right now for asking them about possible low-calorie dishes for January or February publication.

And don’t stop there.

Remember Easter, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and other holidays. Every holiday is potential material for food article and recipe sales.

Third, experiment with recipes to develop your own trend.

Food editors depend on writers to come up with trends of their own. For example, if you have delicious family recipes, experiment with them in your kitchen. Develop six to 12 recipes that feature a special slant. Maybe your family has some great recipes using chocolate. That would make an excellent article, especially if sent with Valentine’s Day in mind.

Fourth, keep a notebook of recipes and research.

I keep a hardcover loose leaf notebook for this purpose. Accurate recipe experiment accounts give an overall view of your research, so at a glance you can have the facts at your fingertips.

Fifth, get to know the food markets.

Different food publishers have different needs. For example, if you developed some simple-to-prepare and low-cost man dish recipes, look for food markets along those lines in Writer’s Market. Or how about gourmet recipes? The food gourmet magazines would be a great source.

Still other publications, like Jack and Jill and Clubhouse, love healthy food recipes and articles for children. Or do you have good family camp recipes? If so, try sending your work to some camping publications.

Sixth, read and study food ads.

I read food advertisements regularly to keep abreast of what’s cooking in today’s food market and is likely to cook in tomorrows. You can do the same.

Seventh, read and study food menus.

Many restaurant menus have superior food copy. Good menu copy reads like good food advertising copy. Short and mouth watering. Some food menu copy I’ve jotted down when reading menus are phrases like: small tender garden peas in a velvety butter sauce, extra tender sirloin sizzled to perfection, and a silky rich and oh-so-chocolate mousse. Reading menus keeps food writers in touch with what’s cooking in the food markets.

So, I encourage you to go ahead and try the food markets. You could end up earning some nice extra writing income.

© Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Kerl

A freelance writer, Mary Ann Kerl also teaches online communication courses for the University of Phoenix. Over 2,000 of her articles and short stories have appeared in over 100 different publications, including Writer's Digest, The Writer, Family Circle, Home Life, Children's Digest and others. She sold 16 books to royalty companies, including Augsburg Fortress. Her latest book is Devoted to Economizing with Devoted Books.

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