Writing about You, History & Culture through Food
For this writing workshop, a 25% discount on tuition fees is available for BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ writers. Email Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. In addition, scholarships are available to those demonstrating financial need.
This year, like many of you, I have been experimenting in the kitchen. Naturally, I was attracted to cookbooks, but not enough to cook from one. I wanted to indulge myself with something different. I wanted a way of conversing with food to experience that same emotional gratification I got while salivating over stinky cheese and breaking bread with good friends. As a human trying to get through the loneliness of the pandemic, I was looking for something to substitute my craving for happy hour appetizers and bubbly brunches with dear friends. So naturally, I turned to writing. But food writing is hard: how can we avoid the clichés, the exaggerated details, and still engage someone in traditional familial recipes? How can we use food stories to process life issues, like joy, or loss, or injustice?
In this six-week class, we’ll explore food writing in some of its most popular forms: personal essays, reviews, social and cultural commentaries, and recipe-centered stories. We’ll read diverse work from Marissa Higgins, Rakesh Satyal, Natalie Baszile, and An-My Lê, among others, examining specific techniques for making food writing more than just appetizing. We will each work in-depth on one story, which we will brainstorm, write, workshop, and revise. Together, we will identify the key factors that separate a nostalgic recollection about life from a savory story that fills our readers up like a three-course meal.
Participants can expect assigned readings from important food writers, weekly workshops, an in-class critique of your essay, discussions about the path to publication, works-in-progress, and future writing goals. This class is best suited for new and intermediate food writers, whether you’re an experienced writer who wants to branch into food writing, or a foodie tempted to whip up a dish through words. After class has concluded, participants will have the opportunity to publish their work in an Austin Bat Cave chapbook.
This Austin Bat Cave adult writing workshop is limited to 20 students.
About the Instructor
Sarah Rafael García
Sarah Rafael García is a writer, community educator, and performance ethnographer. She’s the author of Las Niñas and SanTana’s Fairy Tales, co-editor of pariahs writing from outside the margins and the forthcoming sci-fi anthology Speculative Fiction for Dreamers as well as founder of Barrio Writers and LibroMobile. Currently, she splits her time between shipping books out to loyal readers across the nation, teaching Ethnofiction Through Contemporary Narratives, and developing an archival ethnofiction project for the life of Modesta Avila as a 2020 USLDH Mellon-Funded Grantee. Follow on Twitter: @SarahRafaGarcia.