Writing Overview

Versatile, award-winning writer with successful track record in a variety of industries, primarily food, travel, and educational publishing. Solid background in a wide range of media: magazines, newspapers, trade books, textbooks, reference, corporate communications, newsletters, blogs, and Web sites. Additionally, a stock photographer (primarily travel, culture, geography) and public speaker (travel and food history). (Click on "Speaking" link at left to learn more about my public speaking. See below for links to my three blogs.)

Food, Travel, and Lifestyle

Published more than 500 articles covering a diverse array of topics, though focusing on food, travel, profiles, lifestyle, and human interest.

Author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland (University of Illinois Press, 2015), Pigs, Pork and Heartland Hogs: From Wild Boar to Baconfest (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018), and Destination Heartland: A Guide to the Midwest's Remarkable Past (University of Illinois Press, 2022)

Midwest Maize was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2015 by the Chicago Book Review and was short-listed for the Jon Gjerde Award for best Midwestern history of 2015. In addition, it was awarded an honorable mention in the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. 

 MidwestMaize.com is also the name of the blog where I share more stories about travels and discoveries around the Heartland.

Pigs, Pork and Heartland Hogs was named to the Choice Reviews Outstanding Academic Titles list for 2019!

And my newest work, Destination Heartland: A Guide to the Midwest's Remarkable Past, released in spring 2022, offers people a wonderful way of re-engaging with the open road. You can order directly from the publisher: University of Illinois Press, though it is also on Amazon and in book stores.  And if you want to know what someone else thinks of the book, here is a review from New City Magazine.

 Have already begun work on another book of food history, while continuing to write for various outlets, both online and in print.

Contributed to The Chicago Food Encyclopedia.

Contributed two chapters (on Mongolia and Jordan) to the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia.

Contributed entries to Street Food Around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.

Contributing editor for multiple years for North Shore Magazine, Hungry Magazine, and Foodservice Equipment Reports. (And won an award from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association for profile of Chef Michael Maddox that I did for North Shore Magazine.)

Completed assignments for local and national corporations and publications, including:

In addition, author of Waltzing Australia, winner of the Mom's Choice Award® for travel writing. For more info on the book, as well as on Australia, you can visit the Waltzing Australia blog. (Blog has been honored, as well. In 2013, the National Library of Australia notified me that my blog was "selected for archiving because we have judged it to be an important component of the national documentary heritage. We want it to be available to researchers now and in the future.”)

Edited and contributed to South American Table, Maria Baez Kijac's widely acclaimed book on South American food. (Won "Best of the Best" Gourmand World Cookbook Award, 1996-2008 awarded in Frankfurt, Germany.  Previously named best Latino cookbook, 2003 in Barcelona, Spain. Worked again with Kijac on Cooking with Ancient Grains, a cookbook that focuses on lesser-used grains of Latin America (quinoa, amaranth, chia, kaniwa--published September 2014).

Wrote food history and travel articles, restaurant reviews, and book reviews for three years for the online food journal, Hungry Magazine. (You can hear me talk about Hungry Magazine, as well as other food-related topics, on this Restaurant Guys Radio podcast.) Wrote food and lifestyle articles for North Shore Magazine for four years.

Wrote a multiple-award-winning food history column for thirteen years.

Have been interviewed about food history for outlets as diverse as Eater,  Panera Bread, and the New York Post.

Also speak on food history. See "Program Topics" link at left.

Have written destination pieces and restaurant reviews for online travel sites.

Maintain a food and travel blog (for places other than Australia or the Midwest) titled The World's Fare.

Online Writing Samples:

Articles for Newcity Magazine

Article: The Big Cheese; Monroe, WI

Article: Foraged and Farmhouse Beer

Article: Showing Off Gelato

Article: Profile of Chef Michael Maddox

Article: Feeding Chef's Kids

Article: History of Cloves

Article: The Spice House


Midwest Maize (everything Midwestern)

Waltzing Australia (travel to and info about Australia)

The World's Fare (food, travel, and food history from everywhere else)

Educational Writing and Editing

Have written and edited student texts, teacher's guides, readers, and ancillary materials in wide range of subjects. Majority of work has been in the areas of history, geography, literature, and grammar and composition.

Completed assignments for local and national corporations and publications, including:

Educational Writing Project List

Recommendations on LinkedIn Profile

Travel Experience

Traveled extensively world-wide, including Australia, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, India, Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Iceland, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, much of Europe, and most of the United States.



Selected by Illinois Humanities Council for their Road Scholars speaker bureau and for their association with the Smithsonian. Association with Illinois Humanties Council repeated 2019-2020, 2021-2022, and 2023-2024.

Also registered with the speakers bureaus of the Chicago Writers Association, Culinary Historians of Chicago, and Society of Midland Authors.

All material copyrighted: artwork ©Darch Clampitt; text and photos ©Cynthia Clampitt