Next month, the Austin Food Blogger Alliance will hold its first-ever conference, Byte of Texas. This is a really, really big deal for a lot of reasons. Firstly, there isn’t an organization of food bloggers anything like what we’ve got going on with AFBA. In less than five years, this group has swelled to more than 150 members, has hosted several philanthropic events (including this summer’s Big Chill, benefiting Meals on Wheels), published a community cookbook, and is a powerhouse support system for writers and photographers who are passionate about food.
Thanks to the generosity of The Harvard Press and Bob’s Red Mill, the AFBA is able to offer conference scholarships for three lucky members. Here’s why I’d like to attend Byte of Texas:
- It’s happening the weekend of my birthday, and any birthday weekend that involves thinking and talking and writing about food — not to mention eating good food — is a winning birthday weekend.
- I’m excited to get inspiration for my blog, which tends to go fallow when I run out of ideas/time. (You may have noticed.)
- Dinner at Salty Sow.
- While the entire conference agenda is compelling, I’m particularly interested in the following panels:
- A conversation with Lisa Fain. I’ve long been a fan of Fain’s Homesick Texan blog, and was so happy to meet her at Foodways Texas this past spring (and to review her recent cookbook). She’s sort of become an ambassador for Texas food in the broader national conversation and for that I admire her.
- Writing Texas Food Culture. Rachel Laudan is highly respected in these parts, and since my interests lie at the intersection of food and culture, this discussion has my name all over it.
- Writing for Other Publications. I’m always looking for ideas and encouragement when it comes to pitching publications. We all have Achilles heels: pitching is mine.
So, there it is. Just the tip of the iceberg, really. And when you look at the agenda, you can see that there truly is something for everyone at this conference. Will I see you there?