Howdy cookbook fans!
I hope you are thoroughly enjoying your Wednesday. I was delighted to chat with Neda Ulaby at All Things Considered about catharsis cookbooks—cookbooks to open when you want to cook your feelings. And in another corner of food internet, I had the honor of profiling Somekind Press for Food & Wine’s Game Changers issue, about how this hyper local, super focused publisher is changing the cookbook world and helping out restaurants impacted by the pandemic. Go, read!
Programming Notes: SPN Summer Break
Today I write with slightly bittersweet news: because of a few big projects coming down the pipe, I need to take a break from Stained Page News. In the long term, this is exciting news, but there are only so many hours in the day and something had to give. I will send issues if and when I have time, and I hope to be fully back at it by early August for fall cookbook preview. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, feel free to respond to this email.
A few more things:
Paid Subscriptions Are Now Paused
As of this morning, paid subscriptions are paused. This means no one will be charged monthly or annual subscription fees until after SPN is fully back, and all interim issues will be free. Paid subscribers will have access to all the old paid content and ability to comment. When SPN starts back up again, your subscription will resume—if you have 11 months left in your subscription, you’ll have 11 months when we start back up. If you have 5 days left in your subscription, you’ll still have 5 days when we unpause.
Now Accepting Pitches!
I am also officially on the hunt for new pitches for when we come back in August. I pay $200-$300 per piece, depending on the amount of work that goes into it. At the moment, I can only commission pieces from writers based in the US, apologies. Email me with “SPN PITCH: <subject>” as the subject line.
The ideal SPN piece is:
About cookbooks. The pitch must be about cookbooks. (You’d be surprised.)
Under 1400 words, with 800ish words as a sweet spot. Go shorter for art-heavy pitches.
The nerdier and snackier the better. Think blog posts. Think goofy. Think bullet lists and lots of photos. Think meta cookbook topics—not about the food but about the book.
I am looking for:
Q&As with cookbook authors and other pros.
Guides to cookbooks from a specific corner of the world and/or cookbook subgenres are great. Tell me about your collection of antique British baking books! Tell me about the zine cookbooks from the 90s you have in a box in your closet! Tell me about the cookbooks you grew up with in Peru!
Explainers on subsections of the cookbook world—what exactly does a prop stylist do? What goes into designing a cookbook cover? What are the hallmarks of a successful celebrity cookbook?
Analysis: I would LOVE a few sharply angled deep-dives on the the form and function of the recipe. What goes into the language that allows readers to “recreate” the author’s dishes in their own kitchens? Is that even actually possible? What does it mean that we try? And how might the recipe evolve to better serve home cooks?
Pegs to fall cookbooks—anything coming out after September 1.
I am not looking for:
Pitches that are simply “this book is great, here’s why.”
Pitches that are about newspaper recipes, food TV shows, or other non-cookbook recipe media. (A beat is a beat.)
Pitches about cookbook stores, unless there’s a specific angle. (IE not a profile of a cookbook store, but rather “what cookbook store owner x can tell us about y.”)(Pitches from cookbook store owners welcome.)
Anything New York-specific.
Here are a few recent SPN pieces I’ve loved to give you some examples:
Associate Editor Wanted!
Frankly (obviously?) this newsletter has outgrown what I am capable of managing on my own. So I am looking for help: specifically, a part-time associate editor. Details:
This is someone junior-but-not-green who has experience and/or demonstrated passion in cookbooks—1-3ish years experience as a digital journalist with clips specifically about cookbooks.
Exact duties will depend on your particular skills, but will include lining up recipes for book club, helping stay on top of news, helping build out the news digest issues, collecting new release data, and, of course, writing short pieces about cookbooks. Will discuss/work this out with the right person.
20-25 hours a month til the end of the year, with potential to extend beyond.
Starts at $750/month (based on experience).
Bye for now. Stay cool, never change, have a great summer.