Almost eleven years ago, I decided to quit my six-figure consulting job and start a new life: I wanted to be a writer. I had no qualifications, no degrees, no contacts. I could tell a pitch letter from a paper filled with gibberish. In fact, I had pretty much NO idea what to do or how to do it.

Then, there was a miracle of sorts. An essay I had written for eGullet (a site where food lovers gathered), was picked up for a scholarship.

It was 2004 and my essay earned me a “Susan B. Langhorne Novice Writer Scholarship” offered by the legendary Symposium for Professional Food Writers at the Greenbrier.


Scholarship in hand, I went to the seminar. I met food editors, writers, authors – all who not only became my friends but also my mentors and guides. That one scholarship gave me the direction, the boost and the help I needed to move forward.

I attended a few conference there after that and each time, I walked away with knowledge, contacts and contracts!


Today, I am so honored to announce that the conference is back and that I am on their board of advisors along with so many luminaries. I am not sure I am deserving of this huge honor but I do know one thing- I am very, very grateful for it

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The newly updated conference is now open for registration. You can register now to get their early bird discount. 

Here is some more information:

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  1. What a great honor, Monica. Are you going to the conference this year? It would be worth it’s weight in gold if all those advisors including you were attending!

    1. Thanks, Aviva! I wish I could go but I am teaching at the time.

  2. Aviva, Do check out the 2016 Symposium faculty speakers at…An amazing list including Rick Bayless, Molly O’Neil, Molly Wizenberg, Holly Hughes, Joe Yonan, Russ Parsons…and the list continues! Spending 4 days honing your food writing skills with these pros as well as the talented attendees is an investment in your writing career….

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