The Tenth Annual Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing opened on 08 November 2021.
Entries for the 2022 competition will be accepted until 12 January 2022 through an online form on the Mogford Prize website. And it’s open to writers of any nationality aged 18+ at the closing date of the competition.
Stories should be in English with a maximum of 2,500 words, not including the title. They should not have been previously published anywhere – this includes self-publication, publication on websites, blogs and online forums, or broadcast via TV, radio or podcast.
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.
There is an entry fee of £15 per submission, payable at the time of entry – with 10 free entries available for writers on low incomes on a first-come, first-serve basis – limited to one entry per author. All stories should be the sole work of the entrant.
The Long List of 25 will be announced on the Mogford Prize website in March 2022, and the winner will be announced in April 2022. But be aware that no matter how brilliant the story is, no matter how thrilling the plot and no matter how electric it is – if the story does not adhere to the prize’s theme and rules, it is unlikely to get a place in the shortlist.
The prize was founded by Jeremy Mogford, owner of The Oxford Collection – 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.
Every year Jeremy invites two judges to join him in choosing the winner of the £10,000 award. 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. This year, the entries will be judged by Michael Morpurgo and Andi Oliver.
Michael Morpurgo (who hardly needs an introduction!) is the author of over a hundred novels over his 45-year career. Michael’s stories have been shortlisted for or won prizes. His novel War Horse was adapted into an Olivier Award-winning stage play and an Academy Award-nominated film directed by Stephen Spielberg.
Andi Oliver is an award-winning writer, chef and presenter with a passion for food and culture. She is a familiar face to viewers of the BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’, Sky Arts’ ‘Book Club Live’ and Channel 4’s ‘Food Unwrapped’. When she is not broadcasting, she co-runs Andi’s Restaurant in London with Kelly Miles.
Finlay Taylor, from South London, was selected from 755 entries from writers across the world as the winner of the Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing 2021. Finlay’s short story, ‘Madame Blini’s Disdain’ was selected by Jeremy and guest judges – gifted playwright, broadcaster and poet, Lemn Sissay MBE and talented crime and thriller writer Mick Herron.
Commenting about the prize, Jeremy 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…”