South Australian food writer Christina Soong’s The Hungry Australian blog has beaten more than 1100 entries to be named the overall national winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition.
The title, awarded annually by the Australian Writers’ Centre, comes with a prize of a seven-night guided holiday of Turkey, $1000 cash from Random House, a mentoring session with the publisher, and a voucher for $1500 worth of writing courses at the centre.
“Christina’s blog The Hungry Australian is a mix of deeply personal anecdotes, useful information, and beautiful imagery,” Australian Writers’ Centre national director Valerie Khoo said. “It keeps readers engaged and entertained.”
Soong, founder of the Adelaide Food Bloggers group, told InDaily the win was both exciting and a little surreal.
Having worked in senior marketing and event management roles, as well as doing freelance writing, she began The Hungry Australian blog about three years ago while on maternity leave.
“I actually started my blog because I thought it would make me become a better writer, and it did … it became like a portfolio because people asked me to write for them.”
The paid work kept rolling in, and now Soong does freelance photography, recipe development, food styling and consulting. She also has ideas for a book, which the mentoring aspect of her prize may help bring to fruition.
The Best Australian Blogs Competition comprises six categories – food, lifestyle, commentary, personal, words and writing, and business – with the overall prize awarded to the best entry across all sections. As well as praising Soong’s writing style, the competition judges commended the fact that she was transparent about sponsored posts and work done for clients.
Soong’s advice to other novice bloggers is to play to their strengths, be that writing, photography, or recipe creation.
“And follow your passion … you have to put in a lot of hours. I don’t think people realise how many hours you have to put in without any feedback, without any comments or love in the beginning.
“But always do your best work, because you never know who’s reading.”
Christina Soong shares her Red Berry Soup recipe with InDaily here.
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