DOWNTOWN — The third International Food Blogger Conference is scheduled for Nov. 11-13 at the DoubleTree Hilton Suites in Santa Monica.

The three-day event will feature seminars, workshops and keynotes, with Australian chef and cookbook author Michael Moore sharing the keynote honors with our very own local Pulitzer-Prize winning L.A. Weekly food columnist Jonathan Gold.

According to blog search engine Technorati, over 15,000 food blogs are currently online, and the number is growing. Over 140 of these bloggers from 20 states are expected to attend.

The conference, which previously met in Seattle and New Orleans, will enable this audience interested in food, writing and technology to exchange ideas and further spur the growth and professionalism of the online food community.

Asked why he chose Santa Monica as the conference location, Allan Wright, co-organizer and owner of Zephyr Adventures explained, “With a vibrant culinary scene that offers everything from sushi to taco trucks, Pacific-rim to vegan … Santa Monica offers the best of the best from Southern California.”

The conference kicks off Friday with a session dubbed “Blogging Your Values” that digs into the motivation behind blogging, which can range from writing for charity to writing for self promotion and product endorsements. A hot issue on Twitter, the notion of right and wrong can be quite divisive in the blogging community. For example, some don’t believe in monetizing and simply want to blog out of passion for writing, food, or simply being of service to others. Others love blogging and view it as a means to make a living — a natural next step to pursuing a hobby. Examination of the many interesting angles can help you chart a course for yourself.

The session “Food Styling & Photography” offers practical tips of how to make the most of the camera and equipment you have to take high quality photos in a range of ways using point and shoot cameras to DSLRs. Successful food photographers will share what they know about creating beautiful photos, from picture composition to equipment to optimizing your setting.

Kicking off Saturday, “Recipe Writing and Development” comes in a written word option as well as a video option and includes the process of recipe concept, its development, testing and finalization.

Since food is central to traditions, holidays, socializing, and families, the session “Writing about Food and Culture” discusses how food varies across cultures and families and how these differences and similarities affect our relationships to eating, cooking, and writing about food.

In the session “Pitching Blog to Book and Magazine,” cookbook and magazine editors share what they are looking for in a proposal, why they would read beyond the first paragraph, and what drives them to buy or not buy titles. They’ll highlight emerging trends, how you can find the best ideas to pitch them, how to stand out amongst the many, as well as how leading bloggers landed their book deals.

“Marketing Your Brand” will show you how to maximize your marketing and branding efforts and explore the business potential of your writing career. “Building Profitable Relationships through Public Relations” rounds out the Saturday offerings.

Sunday opens with “Eating on a Budget.” Many food bloggers feel compelled to try all the latest products and prepare a slew of different and expensive dinners. Savvy, budget-conscious bloggers show how they mastered clipping coupons and embracing canning, preserving, and buying in bulk. The message they offer is keep blogging, do more, and don’t break your bank account.

Are you a niche blogger: Gluten-free? Vegan? Vegetarian? Is someone you love on a specialized diet? The exclusion of one food type can be a path to discovery, so niche food blogs should focus not on the what’s been eliminated, but expand on the resulting discoveries. For example, removing gluten may force you to explore new grains. Limiting animal products could allow you to explore unique vegetables you might not have tried otherwise. Leading bloggers doing niche food blogging discuss their diets, the best ways to write about them, and what it means to eat differently. 

For more information or to register, visit www.foodista.com. The fee is $350 for all participants.

news@www.smdp.com

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