The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing
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 of the Old Bank Hotel and Quod, the Old Parsonage Hotel and Gees Restaurant.
The city of Oxford has been an historical centre for literary excellence, so it seemed the perfect idea to create and sponsor an annual short story prize which specifically included the subjects of food and/or drink within the plot. The first prize of £7,500 was awarded in 2013 and the prize has steadily grown in popularity, attracting over 450 entries in 2015 and over 600 in 2016.
We were, up until 6th March this year, inviting entries for the fourth annual prize which was awarded during the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on 7th April 2016.
Food and Drink had to be at the heart of the tale. The story could, for instance, be fiction or fact about a chance meeting over a drink, a life-changing conversation over dinner, or a relationship explored through food and drink. It could be crime or intrigue; in fact any subject as long as it involves food and/or drink in some way.
Applicants were invited from anywhere in the world. They can be published or unpublished authors, but the entry itself must be previously unpublished. The story was to be up to 2,500 words and must be written in English.
The 2016 Winning Story
Entries for this year’s competition have now closed. Our long list of 16 applicants, who’s stories stood out as the best of the very impressive 600+ stories we had submitted this year, were as follows:
Amber Medland, Owen Matthews, Peter Poole, Stuart Delves, Vina Prasad, D.W. Wilson, Tahira Yaqoob, Kristine Stephenson, Martin Pevsner, Cara Marks, Semyon Venikov, William Blythe, Emily Monaco, Shannon Coghlan Reiss, Lynda Green & Jeremy Worman.
The shortlist of four stories was selected from this list and the winner was decided by our judges. The judges for this year’s prize were Jeremy and Hilary Mogford, the well-known chef and restaurateur Rick Stein (www.rickstein.com) and the acclaimed novelist Lawrence Norfolk (www.lawrencenorfolk.com), author of John Saturnall’s Feast (2012).
This years winning story, ‘Çay’ by Martin Pevsner, was announced and the prize of £7,500 was presented to Martin at the annual Quod Party held during the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival at the Old Bank Hotel on Thursday 7th April 2016.
A special mention goes to this years three runner-ups who, in no particular order, were as follows:
‘Marlow Bridge in Summer’ by Jeremy Worman
‘Let Them Eat Cake’ by Tahira Yaqoob
‘A Manual for Living With Defeat’ by D. W. Wilson
Martin Pevsner’s winning story is now available here in an audio format produced by The Story Player. It read by the actor, comedy writer and performer, David Jackson Young and is to be linked into National Short Story Week scheduled for November.