Call for entries for 2021 Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing


2021 Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing opens
The residents’ library at the Old Parsonage Hotel with it’s carefully curated collection of books is the perfect space in which to relax, read & enjoy a festive tipple.

Entry for the Ninth Annual Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing is set to open on 04 November. Entries for the 2021 prize will be accepted from then until 13 January 2021 through an online form on the Mogford Prize website at https://www.mogfordprize.co.uk/

Your short story should have a maximum of 2,500 words. There is no minimum and the title is not included in the word count. There is an entry fee of £15 per submission, payable at the time of entry, a proportion of which will be donated to the charity Pen International.

Food and drink must be at the heart of the winning tale, and the short story could, for instance, be about crime or intrigue; about a chance meeting over a drink; a life-changing conversation over dinner; or perhaps the details of a relationship explored through food or drink.

The prize was founded by Jeremy Mogford, owner of a collection of independent hotels and restaurants in Oxford comprising the Old Bank Hotel and Old Parsonage Hotel, Quod Restaurant, Parsonage Grill and Gee’s Restaurant. Jeremy founded Browns Restaurants in 1973 with then-business partner John Mayhew, before selling the group in 1996 to Bass Brewery.

Every year Jeremy invites two judges to join him in choosing the winner of the £10,000 award – one a writer and the other a journalist involved in the food and drink industry. Past judges have included Lawrence Norfolk and Rick Stein in 2016; Philip Pullman and Mary Berry in 2017; and Bill Bryson and Lorraine Pascale in 2018.

Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing
Past guest judges have included Mary Berry

The Long List of 25 will be announced on the Mogford Prize website in March 2021, and the winner will to be announced in April 2021.

Laura Theis, from Ottobrunn near Munich, was selected from 1,280 entries from writers all over the world as the winner of the Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing 2020. Laura’s short story, ‘The Lift’, was chosen by Jeremy, and guest judges; actor and writer Stephen Fry, and television presenter, cookery writer and novelist, Prue Leith.

Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing
Jeremy Mogford set up the Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing in 2013

Jeremy Mogford said “I am lucky enough to have enjoyed a lifetime in the hospitality industry with my involvement with Browns Restaurants, Rules in London and my current Oxford collection … Wishing to give something back to the hospitality industry which has been very good to me and combining it with my longstanding link to literary Oxford, in 2013 I decided to sponsor a brand new short story prize which had to specifically relate to the subject of food, drink or both. And so the Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing was born…”.

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