2019 membership drive launches Thursday, October 25

AFJ membership rates start at just $45 during the membership drive. We strive to keep our rates low so that we can remain accessible to a broad community with a shared intention: Preserving and perpetuating responsible food journalism across media platforms. If you align with this belief, complete this brief form and join AFJ today.

  • AFJ is offering a special membership incentive from now through the end of the year. Join now or renew your AFJ membership and receive 10 percent off the annual membership fee.

  • For just $90, receive access to AFJ membership benefits like discounted submission fees for the AFJ Awards Competition (entries due spring 2019), access to the AFJ membership directory and more.

  • That's right, $90 for one annual AFJ membership — 14 months of membership for the price of 12. Can't argue with those numbers.

  • In 2018, AFJ instituted a $20 fee for renewing members applying after the last day of February during the membership renewal period.

  • AFJ membership rates are based on the calendar year. All 2019 memberships will be eligible for renewal January 1, 2020, regardless of when members join.

    New and renewing individual membership $90

    Student membership $45

    Media organization rate, 2-3 members $144

    Media organization rate, 4+ members $220.50


Ready to make social media work for you?

Everybody understands the importance of social media to today’s food journalists. But few of them understand how to make the most of it. One of this year’s conference sessions aims to change that.

There is working on social media, and there is winning at social media. Jessica Pucci, Professor of Practice, Data Analysis and Audience Engagement at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, explores how to turn the former into the latter.

Learn to move beyond treating social media as a delivery system for your stories, finding ways to engage your audience in an authentic and reciprocal manner. Discover which platform works best for you and your content, and learn to take the more important step of measuring the impact of your efforts through analytical tools that can help you determine how best to spend your time and energy.

Learn to utilize tools like Google Trends, Facebook Audience Insights, Keyhole, RiteTag, BuzzSumo and CrowdTangle to maximize your impact through the use of advanced metrics, hashtags and social media tracking. Then learn to use free online tools to enhance your content with graphic design, data visualization, video and photo editing.

Sure, you can Facebook. Now step it up.

Check out the full conference agenda and list of speakers at afjonline.com.

Thanks for this contribution from Dominic Armato, dining critic for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and 2018 AFJ national conference committee member.

Registration for the 2018 conference in Phoenix closes on Friday, Sept. 7. Ready to save some cash? Join AFJ as a member today.

$475 for members; $525 for non-members

Can't attend all three days? Check out the day rates, with prices starting at just $125/day.


Make it easy to connect with other conference attendees by staying at our host hotel, the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Click here to book your room now and receive AFJ conference savings via this dedicated link. Please note, our hotel block rate expires on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The 2018 AFJ Annual Conference: Save Money + Experience the MIM!

A jazz organ at the Musical Instrument Museum, just one of the highlights in this collection of global instruments. Photo courtesy Musical Instrument Museum. 

A jazz organ at the Musical Instrument Museum, just one of the highlights in this collection of global instruments. Photo courtesy Musical Instrument Museum. 

The 2018 AFJ annual conference is packed with sessions designed to challenge and inspire you, including our Friday morning plenary featuring Eric Newton, Innovation Chief at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Newton's session will detail how modern-day journalism tools were predicted in pop culture and science fiction. He'll address how the past impacts the future and where things go from here. Check out the full conference agenda and list of speakers at afjonline.com.


House-made mesquite meal and Supai red corn quesadillas, a feature at Café Allegro's 2017 Eat Local Challenge. Photo courtesy Café Allegro. 

House-made mesquite meal and Supai red corn quesadillas, a feature at Café Allegro's 2017 Eat Local Challenge. Photo courtesy Café Allegro. 

The night before we get things rolling, join us for an opening reception like you’ve never experienced before at AFJ. If you’ve attended past conferences, you know that Tuesdayevening before the conference is usually low key, with perhaps a bar meet-up at the host hotel. 

Not so this year. The incredible Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) will open its doors for a private reception for AFJ conference attendees. The AFJ Board will welcome you to one of the top attractions in Phoenix, rated one of the top 25 museums in the country by TripAdvisor. 

The MIM opened in Phoenix in 2010, founded by Robert J. Ulrich, chairman emeritus of Target Corp. Inspired by the Musical Instrument Museum in Belgium, Ulrich created the Phoenix MIM to, unlike other musical museums, showcase a vast collection of instruments from every country across the globe. There is no other museum in America like the MIM.

Café Allegro, the signature eatery inside the MIM, is operated by Bon Appétit Management Co., an innovative California-based food services company known for turning the traditional corporate contract food services business model upside down. The café’s menu focus is local: Arizona produce and proteins. The photo here highlights a dish from their 2017 Eat Local Challenge, featuring house-made mesquite meal and Supai red corn quesadillas. At the Tuesday evening reception, you'll enjoy a variety of small bites from the café, paired with local Arizona wines, within the confines of one of the most interesting museums in the U.S.

The conference is open to the public. Not a member? Like saving money? Ready to save on your membership AND registration fees? 

Join AFJ as a member now! Folks who join AFJ as new members ($100) and register as an AFJ member ($375) by the June 1 deadline can save $50. Registration rates this year are based on the following tiered pricing structure:

  • May 3 - June 1 - $375 for members; $425 for non-members
  • June 2 - July 13 - $400 for members; $450 for non-members
  • July 14 - Sept. 1 - $475 for members; $525 for non-members

Don't wait. Join AFJ as a member today and join us in Phoenix this September.

AFJ would like to thank our generous sponsors Arizona Vignerons Alliance and Bon Appétit Management Company and Visit Phoenix for making this evening possible.


The 2018 AFJ Awards Competition Is Open!

It’s the top competition for food journalism, and we want you to enter.

The 2018 AFJ Awards Competition is now accepting entries. This year, there are 18 categories in print, Web and broadcast journalism. And, they include six new ones. For the first time, AFJ is accepting entries for Spanish language food story.

AFJ’s awards are open to journalists everywhere, including students, but there’s a special discount available to AFJ members in good standing. Renew before you enter, and you’ll save. Or, send in an application to join, and get the discount after you’ve been accepted.

But act quickly. The awards deadline is midnight ET, March 1. We prefer electronic entries, but you can submit by mail, too. See the details in our competition guidelines.

We’ll announce the winners at AFJ’s annual convention in Phoenix, Sept. 26-28, 2018. Just think: warm weather, southwestern cuisine and your name on an AFJ award.

Start thinking about your entries now, and get them in by March 1.

Micki Maynard, Awards Manager

Looking back on 2017 by AFJ President Kathleen Purvis

Looking back on 2017, has there ever been a year that has better shown the value of ground-breaking food journalism? Months before #metoo and attention to the career-destroying antics of Harvey Weinstein, Brett Anderson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune was already at work, chasing reports of sexual harassment by chef John Besh and disturbing patterns in his company’s treatment of female employees.

That was quickly followed by the solid reporting by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin of The New York Times on similar behavior by restaurateur Ken Friedman. Then Amanda Kludt’s staff at Eater.com broke the news on accusations against super chef Mario Batali.

As food journalists, many of us can cite times when we were dismissed as “recipe churners” or treated as lesser journalists even in our own newsrooms. But the work of these fine food reporters and editors proves that food journalism is journalism. Period.

While you’re thinking about whether to join AFJ or renew your membership, think about the value of what we all do. In the same way that many members are reinventing themselves and finding new paths for their careers, AFJ is reinventing itself, too, to play a role in supporting skills, training and professional development. And, yes, many of us can still write a mean recipe, too. 

I can’t wait to see what our members will do in 2018. But right now, in 2017, I’m proud to know you all.

Kathleen Purvis, AFJ President and member since 1994


AFJ Hosts a Members Only Webinar with Amanda Kludt, Editor in Chief of Eater

Just how far have we come since 'The Gods of Food'? In November 2013, Time magazine published a special issue titled the “Gods of Food" that listed 13 “Gods,” a chef’s family tree, and a series of articles about the key “influencers” in food today. No female chefs or restaurateurs made the “Gods” list, nor were any included in the modern restaurant lineage. Outrage followed, but are we any better off when it comes to the recognition of female chefs in 2018 than we were in 2013? This examination, through 28 pie charts, hopes to answer that question.

Amanda Kludt is the Editor in Chief of Eater, a publication covering the ins and outs of dining and food in America and around the world. Through original reporting, longform journalism, maps and guides, reviews, and video, Eater informs its audience on the latest news, tells them where to eat and drink, and highlights important issues facing the world of restaurants. Before Eater, Kludt worked at Gridskipper and Metro. She has contributed to Lucky Peach, Cherry Bombe, The Guardian, and others.

This webinar is available as a special AFJ member benefit. All AFJ members who have joined or renewed for 2018 are welcome to participate. Ready to save 10% on your 2018 AFJ membership? Take advantage of our promotional pricing available until Dec. 31, 2017. Join us today.

To RSVP or to inquire about membership, email afj.amanda@gmail.com

Amanda Kludt, Editor in Chief of Eater.

Amanda Kludt, Editor in Chief of Eater.

Next AFJ Sound Bites webinar: Inclusive Storytelling with Nieman Foundation Fellow Tristan Ahtone

Next AFJ Sound Bites webinar: Inclusive Storytelling with Nieman Foundation Fellow Tristan Ahtone

Join AFJ for "Inclusive Storytelling for Food Writers with Nieman Foundation Fellow Tristan Ahtone," on Tuesday, December 12, at 1:30 p.m. 

Drawing from personal experience and his current work on how to improve coverage of Indigenous communities, Ahtone will spend twenty minutes sharing tips and resources for culinary journalists regarding inclusive storytelling best practices. 

Tristan Ahtone is a New Mexico-based journalist and a contributing editor with High Country News’ Tribal Affairs desk. He has reported for “PBS NewsHour,” “National Native News,” Wyoming Public Radio, NPR and Al Jazeera America. Ahtone’s stories have won multiple honors, including investigative awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Gannett Foundation.

Are YOU the next AFJ Awards Manager?

We are pleased to announce that we are hiring for the next AFJ Annual Awards Competition Manager. Personal referrals can be the best route for finding excellent candidates, so we are enlisting our highly skilled network (ahem, YOU!) to fill this position. This temporary, independent contractor gig is ideal for freelancers who have time in their spring calendar. We would like to fill this role before the new year, so applications are due no later than Friday, December 8th. Keep reading for the full description.

About us

The Association of Food Journalists is a professional organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating responsible food journalism across media platforms. Annual programming includes the AFJ awards competition, which takes place every late winter/spring.

AFJ is hiring a part-time manager for its annual awards competition, which was started in 1986 and is the oldest still-functioning contest for food journalists.


The awards competition manager will work on a wide range of projects within the scope of the AFJ Awards Competition under the direction of the AFJ awards committee and the AFJ executive director.

Specific tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Communicating regularly with the committee (two to three times a month, or more as needed) to provide updates on competition status
  • Lining up judges, filling in with new ones as needed
  • Mailing category packets to judges when necessary
  • Receiving electronic entries as they come in and sharing them with the appropriate judges
  • Tallying judging results

Additional responsibilities include but are not limited to:  

  • Identifying a more streamlined online competition management platform to receive entries from entrants and share submissions with judges
  • Reviewing existing competition guidelines and making suggestions for improvement
  • Identifying skilled judges and working with the awards committee to formalize the rankings and evaluation criteria
  • Some social media support using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other emerging platforms


You should:  

  • Be a recognized self-starter by colleagues.
  • Be able to work efficiently and independently.
  • Be detail-oriented and highly organized.
  • Be knowledgeable and savvy with Microsoft Office and major social media platforms.
  • Demonstrate a high level of confidentiality.

Time Commitment

This seasonal role will begin in January and run through the end of May. The amount of time spent in this role will vary from approximately five hours a week to up to twenty hours a week during the submission processing period. Based on a successful evaluation at the end of the role, there may be an opportunity to extend the position.  The individual who fills this position will not be eligible to enter the awards competition, as he/she will be handling entries and communicating directly with judges.


This is an independent contractor position and does not include benefits. AFJ is offering a flat rate of $2,500.00 that will be paid in three monthly installments beginning in February 2018. Based on a successful evaluation at the end of the role, there is an opportunity to receive a $500 travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona in September 2018.

To Apply

Send a PDF of your cover letter, résumé and examples of your work (including at least two writing samples) as well as three recent references to AFJ executive director Amanda C. Miller no later than Friday, Dec. 8, 2017afj.amanda@gmail.com.

Q&A: AFJ member Kimberly Jackson interviews Joy R. Butler

I've always had an affinity for literature and linguine so joining AFJ was a perfect fit. Although being a member is great, I wanted to immerse myself a bit more in the AFJ community and thought writing for its blog would be a great opportunity to do so. In anticipation of this Wednesday's Sound Bites webinar Food Writers in the Legal Jungle, AFJ Executive Director, Amanda C. Miller, and I worked together to interview our special guest Joy R. Butler.

1)      How did you get started in the legal field? I’ve been practicing law since 1992. I’ve always had an interest in creative endeavors and performing arts. One way to merge my interest in law and my interest in the creative was to do work in copyright, trademark and related issues. A lot of my clients are involved in the media and creative industries so most of my work is transactional; I do a lot of contracts and advisory work. I might help them in all aspects of putting together a project; getting and protecting the idea; hiring people to bring that idea to fruition; entering into contracts for the financing, distribution and production of the idea; and protecting any creative work they may generate.

2)     How often are you approached by food writers seeking legal counsel or advice? I’m very often approached by companies and writers in publishing to protect their rights. With respect to the food writers, there have been a handful of cookbook writers and food bloggers who ask for my counsel.

3)     Do you think you haven’t been approached by more because they don’t recognize they need the counsel yet? A lot of people who are very creative in nature may not realize the business issues or want to be bothered by them until they absolutely have to be.  Counsel on certain legal issues may not be readily available to them which is the reason behind some of the books I write. They provide background on certain legal issues to help others identify whether they need to seek additional legal help.

4)     Why is it important to focus not only on the creative side of food writing but the legal side as well? It is important to ensure that anything they do on the creative edge isn’t violating anyone else’s work, copyright or trademark.

5)     What are the most common legal roadblocks/ pitfalls for food writers? Ensuring no one infringes on your copyright nor you in regards to someone else. Making sure all your original writing and illustrations are protected. When writers collaborate with photographers or illustrators on a cookbook, for example, they should always know how to sort through who owns what. Many bloggers encounter “scraping” of their site and need counsel on how to handle the duplication of their content.

6)     Other than recipes, what is considered intellectual property for a food writer? The big thing for a writer is text and visual artwork that you use in your book. Any original, creative work can be protected by copyright including text, illustrations, images, any original creation you write down or record such as transcribed interviews or cookbooks in draft or final form. If you wrote it down and it is original, it is eligible for copyright protection.

7)     Do you consider yourself a foodie? I’m not sure what the definition of foodie is but if it is someone who enjoys eating, likes to cook, likes to try new food experiences, both as a culinary preparer and as a person who frequents restaurants, then yes, I’d consider myself a foodie!

8)     The food scene is pretty hot right now in DC. What’s your favorite restaurant? With respect to restaurants, I thought that I probably do need to go out more because I can’t really name a favorite! I go to a lot of events that are frequently held in restaurants and that tends to be when I encounter new restaurants; I don’t usually choose them on my own. I also like to be very aware of what I’m eating. I’m definitely the person who stands in the grocery aisle for 10 minutes reading labels to make sure I get the yogurt with the least amount of fat. I like to know how my food is prepared and you don’t always know that when you walk into a restaurant. So unless I’m going to an event or some sort of networking get-together, you’re probably going to see me, when I’m not in my own kitchen cooking, at the salad bar in Whole Foods.

9)   Alex Guarnaschelli, one of my favorite chefs and judges on Chopped, says that food is heavily tied to memory; what’s your fondest food memory? When it comes to equating distinct foods with distinct memories, feelings and moods, I don’t have anything original to say. I remember going out as a kid with my dad to lunch and I’d always have a grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t eat them as much these days but they always give me that nostalgic feeling.

10)   If you could only eat one thing every day, for the rest of your life, what would it be? Well it depends whether or not having to eat one thing every day for the rest of my life comes with a guarantee that I’m not going to expire from an early death from coronary failure or blocked artery. If I had that guarantee than it would probably be pecan pie or sweet potato pie :)

Joy R. Butler hosts the next AFJ webinar, "Food Writers in the Legal Jungle," on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Email afj.amanda@gmail.com to RSVP today. 

Kimberly Jackson joined AFJ in 2017. Follow her culinary adventures at eatandbemerrydc and on Instagram @eatandbemerrydc



AFJ is pleased to welcome author Joy R. Butler as the host of our next Sound Bites webinar. Butler is a Washington, DC-based media, technology, and licensing attorney who excels at explaining complicated legal issues in understandable terms and proposing practical solutions to business problems. Ms. Butler’s book publications include The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Clearing Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Rights for Entertainment and Media Productions, recently updated and expanded for 2017. She also regularly blogs on media and intellectual property law issues at www.GuideThroughtheLegalJungleBlog.com.

This webinar will address legal issues of interest to food journalists including:

  • how food journalists can protect their original material (with an emphasis on available protection for recipes);
  • when and how food journalists can permissibly incorporate quotes, images, and real people into their writing; and
  • how to determine when bad reviews and online snarking cross the line into actionable defamation. 

This webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 25 at 1:30pm EST. RSVP to afj.amanda@gmail.com today.

Joy Butler will host the next AFJ webinar, Food Writers in the Legal Jungle, Wednesday, October 25th at 1:30 p.m. EST. Email afj.amanda@gmail.com to join this presentation. 

Joy Butler will host the next AFJ webinar, Food Writers in the Legal Jungle, Wednesday, October 25th at 1:30 p.m. EST. Email afj.amanda@gmail.com to join this presentation.