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Call for entries to the Jane Grigson Trust Award for New Food and Drink Writers 2020

The Oxford Cultural Collective is pleased to support the Jane Grigson Trust.


The 2020 Jane Grigson Trust Award for first time writers of books about food and drink is now open for entries from writers, publishers and agents. The closing date is 30 November 2019 and entries can be made at www.janegrigsontrust.org.uk.


Now in its fifth year, the £2000 Jane Grigson Trust Award, created in honour of one of the greatest food writers that Britain has ever produced, is made to a writer new to food and drink writing (although they may have written on other subjects), who has already received a commission from a publishing house but whose book has not yet been published.

The judges are keen to hear from authors, publishers and agents of books which are not necessarily traditional cookbooks but which have food or drink at their heart. In the spirit of Jane Grigson and her writing, the Award is for a non-fiction book on food and drink in the widest sense, from any genre – cookbook, memoir, travel, history – as long as the primary subject is food or drink.

Previous winning and shortlisted books include a modern retelling of a classic eighteenth-century Spanish cookbook, an exploration of vinegar, an ice-cream cookbook, a study of the cheesemaking industry and a journey of discovery into the world’s most endangered foods and disappearing flavours. The 2019 Award was shared between Elly McCausland for The Botanical Kitchen (Absolute Press, March 2020) and Dan Saladino for The Ark of Taste (Jonathan Cape, spring 2020). 

Chair of judges Geraldene Holt comments; “As we approach the fifth year of the influential Jane Grigson Trust Award for new food writers, we celebrate the success of earlier winners. We now know that by recognising the talent of a new author in extending our knowledge of gastronomy in any of its many aspects, the award can provide a flying start for both the writer and their forthcoming book.”

Joining Geraldene Holt (author and chair of the Jane Grigson Trust) on the judging panel for the 2020 award are: Angela Hartnett (chef); Karen Barnes (editor of Delicious magazine); Donald Sloan (Trustee of the JGT and director of the Oxford Cultural Collective) and Jill Norman (Trustee of the JGT, food writer and editor).

The intention is that the winner of the Award will use the prize money to fund further travel or research in the vital time between gaining a commission and delivery of the manuscript. Dan Saladino, joint winner of the Award in 2019 comments; “Winning the award made a significant difference to the direction of my first book. On a practical level it made an important research trip possible and led to new ideas and themes being added. But equally important; the award gave me a huge amount of confidence in the stories I was telling and the messages I wanted the book to get across.”

And Elly McCausland, the other 2019 joint winner says; “Winning the award was the most wonderful thing to happen in the development of my book, giving me a renewed sense of inspiration, energy and a sense of why food writing continues to matter in the world. It gave me the drive to push forward in finishing a book that I hope Jane herself would have enjoyed.”

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