4 Mar 2008

Learning to write

Back in September 2007, I began a course that I had umm’ed and ahh’ed about for a while, not sure if it was another faddy interest of mine. I have always been a bit of a nerd, and remember spending a whole Easter holiday as a teenager hiding away in my mums’ bedroom (away from the distractions of my own) with piles of folders, text books and notes studying for my exams. Secretly I absolutely loved it, and a few years on I openly admit to loving books, researching and learning. I get a real thrill from absorbing information from the “experts” and eagerly search the internet and events listings for something interesting – and let’s admit usually related to food.

So the course I started last year was an evening course in Food and Drink Journalism at City University. Given my then, recent diagnosis with coeliac disease and having just left work in the corporate food world, it seemed a timely moment to peruse other career opportunities, doing something I enjoyed.

The course is currently run by Lulu Grimes from Olive Magazine and Guy Dimond the food and drink editor at Time Out, and it has to be said that it was one of the best course I have taken. The content was varied, covering restaurant reviews, recipe writing, blogging, drinks writing, cookery book publishing, radio journalism, all dotted with visits from guest speakers, including Richard Erlich who writes for Good Housekeeping and Time Out and the producer of the fabulous Radio 4 Food Programme.

As part of the course there was a fair amount of homework – something I always secretly thrive on – and one such piece was to pitch and write a feature, which would then make up that terms class magazine. This process of pitching and writing was supported by some incredibly detailed and valuable feedback, and I have to admit to loving every second of the writing. Anyway, to cut what could be a very long story short, after the final submission of my feature, at the bottom of the page, Guy asked if I would be interested in working on the piece a bit more, to get it published.

Did he need to ask? Did he think I would say “nah, you’re alright thanks”?

I couldn’t believe what I was reading!

Guy thought this was good enough for publication? You can imagine my yelps of woohoos!

So, here it is. Six full months after beginning a course that I thought would just keep me occupied on some cold Monday nights, it actually led me to being a published! It was the most incredible experience, full of the highs and lows that come with learning something new, and I learnt more than I ever could have imagined. To read the article, click on the link below:

Time out - Fishing in the Thames

In the spirit of life long learning, I always welcome (constructive) feedback, so feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you think.

I hope you learn something too.

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