Kathleen Flinn doesn't restrict enrollment in her popular food writing boot camp to published food writers. Even eaters who've never before written about food are welcome, she says.
Although the majority of "Hungry For Words" students assume they'll use skills gained through the Hugo House course for professional purposes, with the course leading to at least one successful book proposal, Flinn recalls a pupil in her late 70s who wanted to record family recipes for her children.
"What I want people to take away is an understanding of the landscape of food writing, and leave with ideas, inspired to read and write," Flinn says.
The author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry and The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, Flinn has been teaching her two-day course since 2006. The curriculum includes writing exercises, discussions of great food writing, idea-generating sessions and an overview of recipe development, which features Flinn sharing one of her marked-up manuscripts. "We go through what happened when an actual food editor got a hold of it," Flinn says.
Additionally, students receive a reading list and 125-page workbook, which Flinn says she's spent years compiling.
The class meets on May 18 and May 19, and tuition is $290.
Flinn will also be at Hugo House on Mar. 19 at 6:30 p.m. for a Works in Progress reading. The event will mark the first time she's involved the public in her workshopping process.
"I'll have a small buffet of sneak preview bites from the new book," Flinn promises. "People who attend will get sheets with questions and can provide feedback on what they hear. I take that feedback seriously. In the past, the readings have had a major impact on my final work."