Food Writing Fridays

Our Food, Ourselves. Five food writers on their craft.

Live broadcast on Instagram TV every Friday @ 2 pm EDT in July.

Food is often a vehicle by which we see our culture, and writing about food can lead us to write about cultural history, family, religion, regional economies, immigration, and more. In this special month-long series of online programs, we’ll explore stories about food, but we’ll also see how creative nonfiction opens windows into the human experience.

Presenters will speak about their research process and how they use narrative/creative nonfiction storytelling to connect food with larger issues. Each session will include a recipe, plus a writing prompt with time for participants to start a small piece of writing on their own and an opportunity to engage with the presenter and other participants.

Join us on CNF’s Instagram channel every Friday in July @ 2-3 pm EDT:

  • July 3    |  Hal B. Klein, food critic for Pittsburgh Magazine
  • July 17  |  Suzanne Cope, author of Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits, and the Return of Artisanal Foods and the forthcoming Power Hungry: The Untold Story of the Women Who Fed the Civil Rights Movement
  • July 24  |  Marissa Landrigan, author of The Vegetarian's Guide to Eating Meat: A Young Woman's Search for Ethical Food
  • July 31  |  Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff writer, whose current project is “A Pittsburgh Family Cookbook”
  • Aug 7    |  Sherrie Flick, senior lecturer in Chatham University’s MFA and Food Studies programs

Follow us on Instagram and tune in live to join!

* All events are free and recordings will be archived and available through CNF's Instagram page. View the presenters' writing prompts and recipes here.


Hal B. Klein  |  July 3  |  View Recording

Hal B. Klein is a Pittsburgh-based food and drinks writer. Hal is a finalist for the inaugural International Association of Culinary Professionals award for Best Food Section of a City Magazine for his work as dining critic and de facto food section editor for Pittsburgh Magazine. His work at the magazine weaves nuanced restaurant reviews, breaking industry news and thoroughly researched, credible lists with longer-form pieces exploring aspects of western Pennsylvania’s food systems. Those longer stories range from learning how food helps refugees find a new sense of home to touchstones of Pittsburgh‘s quirky culinary history, such as that of our greatest sandwich, the Turkey Devonshire (don’t let anyone tell you it’s “that french-fry-filled Pittsburgh sandwich”). In his free time, Hal is an avid cook and gardener.

Suzanne Cope  |  July 17  |  View Recording

Suzanne Cope is the author of the book Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food and the upcoming Feeding The Revolution. Her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, NPR, Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, among others. She is also a professor at St. John's University and the New School, teaching writing and experiential learning.

Marissa Landrigan  |  July 24  |  View Recording

Marissa Landrigan is the author of The Vegetarian's Guide to Eating Meat (Greystone Books, 2017), and her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Guernica, the Atlantic, the Rumpus, and others. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, where she teaches creative, professional, and digital writing courses.

Gretchen McKay |  July 31

Gretchen McKay is an award-winning feature writer with more than 20 years of experience at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Much of her current work focuses on the culture of food and home cooking, and she also frequently writes about running, health and travel. She is a 2014 Les Dames d'Escoffier Legacy Award winner and in 2016 received a fellowship to attend the National Press Foundation's "The Future of Food and Agriculture" program.

Sherrie Flick  |  July 10 Rescheduled! August 7

Sherrie Flick is the author of a novel and two short story collections. Stories from her most recent collection, Thank Your Lucky Stars, have recently been performed for PRI’s Selected Shorts. Her nonfiction appears in the Wall Street Journal, Ploughshares, and Creative Nonfiction, and is forthcoming in the anthologies Flash Nonfiction Food and The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Guide Book. She served as editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018, is a senior editor at SmokeLong Quarterly and co-editor for Flash Fiction America, forthcoming from Norton in 2022. She lives on the South Side Slopes of Pittsburgh.

This project has been supported by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.