25 Feb 2018

Jay Rayner Writing Workshop

The Craft of Column Writing

Jay Rayner has been the Observer’s restaurant critic for 18 years. But just how do you write about the same subject time after time, and still keep your writing fresh, compelling and ahead of the competition? Join Jay for an afternoon’s masterclass, looking at the dynamics and mechanics of single subject column writing, complete with practical exercises and the chance to grill one of Britain’s leading restaurant critics to a turn.

The assumption is that a restaurant critic’s job is to tell the reader about the nuts and bolts of eating out: food, service and decor. In truth Jay uses his subject as an opportunity to discuss everything from politics to relationships, from love to sex and death, theatre, film and the arts. In short, restaurant reviewing is just another form of journalism with reporting at its heart. The key is working out the story, a lesson that can be applied to myriad single subject columns.

Course description

Location: Crazy Coqs, inside Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street
Time: 1.15pm-4.15pm (including break)

In this detailed afternoon class Jay Rayner will share the methods and structural tricks he uses to enable him to both stay on subject, but also examine the world around us. He’ll explain how you stay on subject by constantly changing the subject. This class would be useful for anyone interested in good writing, but who is challenged by the demands of writing about the same beat over an extended period. Suitable for bloggers looking to improve their work, public relations professionals wanting to sharpen their releases and journalists preparing to move into specialist writing. Please bring paper, or a notebook and something to write with, so you can participate in practical exercises

About Jay
Jay Rayner is the award winning restaurant critic for the Observer, a regular on television and presenter of the Kitchen Cabinet for BBC Radio 4. He is the author of nine books; his latest, The Ten (Food) Commandments is out now, published by Penguin.

Praise for Jay’s first masterclass in November 2017:

“Interesting, useful, well put-together and full of practical advice.”

“Jay is engaging, clear and practical. He gave great examples and encouraged criticism throughout”

“It is a great workshop and one I’d recommend”


Andy Hornby