Tanglewood Picnic Book Call for Submissions

As blog themes are added to my weekly social networking to-dos, I learn all sorts of interesting things about my friends and fans.  Let me introduce you to Gina Hyams.  Her current endeavor speaks directly to our Picnic/Outdoor Dining theme this week.  As I peruse recipes for tomorrow night's gathering on the Tanglewood Lawn, delve into her guest post all about the book she is conjuring up! Author Gina Hyams at Tanglewood. Photo by Dylan Cole-Kink.

I am creating a book titled The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires. Scheduled for publication summer 2015, the gift book will celebrate the tradition of picnics held on the Lawn during concerts at Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer campus in Lenox, Massachusetts.


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For nearly 80 years, music lovers have flocked to Tanglewood to picnic. It’s a rare time when we get to slow down with our loved ones, enjoy good food and drink together, and hear glorious music in a relaxed and beautiful setting. I’ve found that when you ask people to describe Tanglewood picnics, more often than not, the first word out of their mouths is “magic.” I envision my book as a collective love letter to this quintessential Berkshire summer experience.


Veteran Tanglewood goers Rick Tillotson and Robin Grigg Tillotson have their picnic strategy down to a science.


I am seeking photos of Tanglewood picnics, favorite picnic recipes, outdoor dining tips, and related Tanglewood picnic ephemera (such as invitations and menus) from all eras of the festival’s history. Submissions of multiple images are welcome.


If you have photos of your parents or grandparents picnicking, that would be fantastic. I’d love to see photos of people who met on the Tanglewood Lawn when they were young and still picnic there today. I hope to see picnics in the rain, 4th of July-themed festivities, and hippie picnics held during those legendary 70s rock concerts.


I’m looking for photos of over-the-top picnics with bouquets and candelabras, as well as for joyful, modest ones. Food doesn’t necessarily need to be shown in the image, so long as it represents a meaningful aspect of the Tanglewood experience. Several people have already submitted photos of children frolicking and napping at Tanglewood and I can tell that theme will warrant its own chapter.

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Due to print quality restrictions, only high-resolution images can be considered for inclusion (300dpi+). Please note caption information, including as much of the following as is known: date, occasion, names of people in the image, types of foods pictured, the name of the photographer, and estate to credit as necessary. Include your name, address, and phone number. Please also answer this question: What do you love about Tanglewood picnics?


The deadline to submit images: September 30, 2014. Submissions will be considered for both print publication and posting on the project’s blog: www.tanglewoodpicnic.com. Email submissions to: tanglewoodpicnic@gmail.com.


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Gina Hyams is a Berkshire-based writer and editor who specializes in food, travel, and the arts. She has published eleven books, among them Country Living Decorating with White (Hearst), In a Mexican Garden: Courtyards, Pools, and Open-Air Living Rooms (Chronicle Books), and Pie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest (Andrews McMeel Publishing). For more information, please see www.ginahyams.com.


A picture postcard start to the 2014 picnic season at Tanglewood Family Fun Fest. Photo by Gina Hyams.