Cookbook Writing: Tell Stories Through Recipes
Take readers on a journey of culture and flavor by creating a cookbook that combines recipes with storytelling
“Food is the greatest medium of storytelling because it teaches you about people, and it transcends language and cultural differences”, says creative writer and food educator Sumayya Usmani. Her work weaves recipe writing and heritage together to create food narratives with soul that evoke feelings and memories. She has published award-winning books, and written and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times and The Guardian. Sumayya regularly appears on the radio, podcasts, and at multiple book festivals, where she shares her knowledge and expertise.
In this course, she teaches you how to create content for a cookbook that tells a story as you explore narrative storytelling and recipe writing. Learn about the elements needed to write a clear, easy-to-follow cooking process, how to give your food context inspired by personal experiences, and how you can take your book from page to publication. Share recipes full of heart and flavor.
Begin the course by meeting award-winning creative writer and food educator, Sumayya Usmani. She explains the childhood experiences that became the foundations for her love of food, along with the writers who have influenced her career.
Sumayya discusses why cookbooks should be written, the different types that exist, and considerations when writing one, including market research, photography, and recipe testing. Then, dig deeper into the main elements of a cookbook as Sumayya takes you through the different steps of producing one. Learn how to create a theme for your book, and break down and establish the chapters. Look at creating enough material to pitch your cookbook to a publisher, and how to put a proposal together.
Delve into storytelling and recipe writing. Discover how to incorporate narrative into the introduction of a chapter, using Sumayya’s real-life memories as a guide. Learn to write a story surrounding a recipe, exploring ways to weave in personal experience, and how to inspire readers to cook. Then Sumayya explains how to write a simple recipe, before moving on to how to write your two-step recipe. Next, she shows you how to conclude your cookbook, including acknowledgements and credits if they’re relevant to your work.
End the course with Sumayya’s advice and insight on how to get published, including how to pitch your book to potential publishers as well as tips on how to self-publish.