Sound Bites Webinar Series

Although AFJ is an international organization, we believe in bringing our members to the same table to explore best practices in freelancing; food trends and professional development. 

Sound Bites webinars are generally free to the public. AFJ members can access the recordings. Occasionally we offer special webinar events that are only available to members in good standing. Email Amanda C. Miller for details.


Celebrating African Heritage Cuisines in the U.S. with Adrian Miller - THURSDAY, December 6, 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. EST

Adrian Miller is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown University Law School.  After practicing law in Denver for several years, Adrian became a special assistant to President William Jefferson Clinton and the Deputy Director of the President’s Initiative for One America.  The President’s Initiative for One America was the first free-standing White House office in history to examine and focus on closing the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities in this country. The One America office built on the foundation laid by the President’s Initiative on Race by promoting the President’s goals of educating the American public about race, and coordinating the work of the White House and federal agencies to carry out the President’s vision of One America.

Adrian is also a culinary historian and a certified barbecue judge who has lectured around the country on such topics as: Black Chefs in the White House, chicken and waffles, hot sauce, kosher soul food, red drinks, soda pop, and soul food.  Adrian’s book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time was published by the University of North Carolina Press in August 2013. Soul Food won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship. His most recent book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas was nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work–Non-Fiction.”

August 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving in Virginia. In this webinar, James Beard Award-winning author Adrian Miller will share several ways that you, as food writers, can commemorate the culinary legacy of that tragic historical moment in our nation's history.

All are welcome to join Mr. Miller’s webinar. Only AFJ members will be able to access the recording. RSVP to

 Adrian Miller. Learn more about the Soul Food Scholar at .

Adrian Miller. Learn more about the Soul Food Scholar at


AFJ members can access recordings of past webinars, just email


Nikita Richardson is a staff writer at New York Magazine's Grub Street blog. Her work has appeared in Bloomberg BusinessweekEntrepreneurBon AppetitFast Company and Brooklyn Magazine. In her spare time, she hosts bar trivia in Bushwick and plays the violin in the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra

Richardson's webinar will be a discussion of the lack of black visibility in food media and the  inspiration for her recent article, "Where Are All The Black Restaurant Critics?". She'll talk about the genesis of the idea for the article, which came after she made the transition from a business magazine with a diverse team to the largely-white food world. There will be a focus on the idea of diversity versus equity, an overview of the current state of food media, and how hiring practices and internal culture can be changed to make food media a more welcoming place for people of color on staff. 

anna roth, content strategy for food journalists, a two-part webinar - july 11 and august 1

Anna Roth is a content strategist at Google, a freelance writer in New York and an AFJ member. In past lives, she's written restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly, a book on West Coast road food, and more food features, listicles and trend pieces than she can count. Last year, she received last year's AFJ award for Best Food Essay.

Anna's webinars will focus on what you need to know about content strategy, a growing field in the tech industry that draws on many of the same skills as journalism — reporting, researching, interviewing, writing, planning coverage — but doesn't require complicated programming know-how. Anna will talk about her transition from full-time journalist to content strategist and how she's been able to leverage her skills and experience in the tech world. The goal is to help you walk away with the vocabulary and confidence to start tapping into those tech industry dollars, whether it's finding consulting clients or a job in-house.

Webinar 1: Weds., July 11, 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. - What is content strategy? How do I break into it? And do I need to go back to school for it?   

  • Here are the major skills you need as a content strategist (project management, content at scale, data analysis, storytelling, etc.)

  • Experience it helps to have (work with product teams, understanding of basic SEO and content marketing, copy writing, whatever)

  • But even if you don't have all that experience you can still get a job, we'll cover that in the next session!

Webinar 2: Weds., Aug. 1, 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Practical tools for getting into content strategy

  • Resume keywords to use

  • Keywords to use when searching for jobs

  • How to craft your story in an interview even without a ton of digital experience

  • Technical skills you may want to take a course in if you want to go deeper, like UX research

Susan DoSier - wednesday, may 23, 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT

Want more visits to your website? Act like you're in high school. Whether you’re at a major newspaper, blogging, freelancing or leading culinary trips abroad, your website has a secret life behind the pretty pictures on your home page. We’ll talk about three ways to achieve higher organic search rankings (that means your site or blog comes up higher in the list of search results — and more people see you). Susan will give you a way to think about what search engines look for and how you can improve your website in three concrete ways. And she promises to use language you can actually understand. This isn’t about writing catchy headlines for your stories (although that helps)….it’s about the “bones” and web strategy that support those stories.

Susan Dosier is an 18-year veteran journalist turned PR and marketing pro. In 2005, Susan voluntarily left her role of executive editor at Southern Living to return home to her beloved North Carolina. She served as PR Director of LKM, working primarily with the Visit North Carolina Tourism program. The changing media landscape and her ongoing learning about how websites, social media and advertising work together profoundly shaped her approach to media relations. Today, as President of DK Communications Group she represents The Asbury and The Dunhill Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, Heart of North Carolina Tourism (home to the NC Zoo and the Pottery Capital of the USA), two South Carolina tourism districts and more.

Silvia Killingsworth - Wednesday, April 25

Silvia Killingsworth is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn. She is the series editor of Houghton Mifflin's Best American Food Writing for 2018 and 2019. She was the editor of The Awl and The Hairpin, and before that she was the managing editor of The New Yorker, where she wrote restaurant reviews for the magazine's Tables for Two section.

Silvia plans to address some of the socioeconomic blind spots we have when we talk about food; specifically what it means to "eat well," and how much that actually costs, not just in terms of money but also in time, nutritional education, and government subsidies. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) is under increasing scrutiny, with proposed changes limiting choice and access. The obesity epidemic in poor communities is a uniquely American conundrum, and the movement towards health-conscious eating has largely only changed the eating habits of the country's wealthiest citizens. It's worth talking not just about what food we should eat but whether we can all eat it.

amanda kludt, editor in chief of eater - WEdnesday, january 31, 2018

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.

inclusive storytelling for food writers - tuesday, december 12, 2017

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. He additionally was part of the Al Jazeera team that received a Delta Chi Award in 2015. A member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, he is currently a fellow with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University studying how to improve coverage of Indigenous communities with a particular focus on creating ethical guidelines, protocols and codes of conduct. 

Please RSVP to Amanda Miller and include your professional title and affiliation as well as any other information our speaker may use to better understand the audience. Please let us know if you have specific points you would like Ahtone to address, keeping in mind he will do his best to work within the brief time allocated. 

FOOD WRITERS in the legal jungle - october 25, 2017

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

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 took place Wednesday, October 25.


Writing a mouthful: Incorporating Diverse Voices in food journalism with author AdRIAN Miller

We are looking forward to Adrian Miller hosting the next AFJ webinar on Friday, August 11th at 1:30pm EST. Miller is the author of The President's Kitchen Cabinet. He'll lead us through a presentation on diversity in food journalism in his webinar, "Writing a Mouthful: Incorporating Diverse Voices in Food Journalism". Miller plans to address points like incorporating people of color into reporting stories, reaching diverse audiences and identifying implicit bias. August 11, 2017

  Photography credit - Felicia Perry with Food Seen Photography

Photography credit - Felicia Perry with Food Seen Photography

10 Steps to capturing a great image

What does the floor, a spoon or a shutter have to do with food photography? Just about everything. Professional food photographer Felicia Perry with Food Seen Photography broke down how to beautifully capture culinary subjects in ten simple steps. May 12, 2017


FInding food stories in public records

Find food news hiding in plain sight! In this webinar, former food editor (Grub Street/New York Magazine) and current journalism professor Aileen Gallagher helped attendees navigate municipal government and public records. Attendees learned how to get the most news out of public meetings and filings from city zoning and planning boards. March 3, 2017

Banner photography credit -