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The Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing

An introduction from Jeremy Mogford:

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 and Gee’s.

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, with this year’s prize being increased to £10,000 we received a staggering 1,020 entries.

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The 2018 Competition Opens 26th October 2017, The Terms & Conditions Of Which Can Be Found Here >


Nicky Winder is the fifth winner of the annual Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing. Her story story ‘Bait’ was selected from more than 1,000 entries from across the globe, including stories from China, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Macedonia, Croatia, Poland, South Africa, Argentina and Surinam. Jeremy Mogford, sponsor of the prize, presented Nicky with a cheque for £10,000 and an engraved award at the Mogford Prize party held at Quod Restaurant & Bar in Oxford on Wednesday 29th March.

Nicky has been an English teacher for over twenty-five years, and has also worked as a psychotherapist since 2013. She published a book of humorous letters, called The Xmas Files (2007), on behalf of a (decidedly unflattering) version of Father Christmas, and has also written and contributed to several student textbooks. She has just begun a PhD in poetry-writing at Essex University.




Food and/or drink must be at the heart of stories entered for the Mogford Prize. Nicky’s story is about a determined Madame de Roubigné, who makes plans to murder her twelve-year-old daughter by creating deliciously tempting treats to fill a picnic basket that her child then carries into the forest to meet her fate. It is a beautifully written fable with a twist in the tail.

The judges for this year’s prize were Jeremy and Hilary Mogford, the celebrated author Philip Pullman, and the acclaimed cookery writer and television presenter Mary Berry. Besides Nicky Winder, the short list featured three other writers from the UK: Ian Shine, Claire Bullen, and Johnny Reed. Those on the long list were Amy Myers (UK), Kirstin Zhang (UK), Chin Siew Ten (Malaysia), Ash S. Walker (Australia), Susan Cameron (UK), Nick Hanna (UK), Nigel de Bussy (Australia), Kate Elizabeth Downes (South Africa), Sarmed Mirza (UK), D.W. Wilson (Canada), Patrick Roycroft (UK), and Tracy Fells (UK).

Nicky Winder’s winning story can be read online or enjoyed in an audio format produced by The Story Player read by the British voice-over artist Claire Ottewell.