Winners Announced

Food Writing Competition 2018

Reflection / Essay — Vital nutrients.

*This competition is now closed but you are still welcome to respond to the prompt.*   

Food—and the way we grow, source, prepare, and eat it—links us to our families, our histories, our culture, our health, our environment, and our bodies… not to mention to tradition, ritual, and celebration!
On the importance of food, J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.” And another literary superstar, George Orwell, had this to say: "Changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented.” Orwell went on to marvel at how rarely food is recognized for its influence. “You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market-gardeners." 
This month, dear writers, we invite you to move food to the front burner! Whether you write about your grandmother’s sumptuous steamed buns, the carbon cost of food production, or the sugar in school lunches, we hungrily await your entry. 
And remember, food writing matters because, as the journalist and cookbook author Ramin Ganeshram puts it, “it’s not really about the food.” We’re not looking for five-star restaurant ratings or writers waxing poetic about overpriced escargot and the velvet pioppini (that’s a mushroom). Food writing can be an investigation, an exposé, an odyssey, or a memoir. Here’s a taste of what we mean:  
  • MORE THAN FOOD: How can your piece be about something more than food? Can you draw connections to culture or politics or family or geography? What is the underlying importance of your subject? Even if you're writing about your favorite recipe, how can you dig into the social or historical or ethical elements of that food?
  • OPENING LINES: Does your beginning tantalize your reader? How can you make your reader bite at the first line?
  • MEMORABLE DETAILS: Have you drawn on sensory details? Taste and smell perhaps? Or texture? Sound? 
For more ideas, check out the resources "How to Cook a Wolf" and "Recommended Reading," and be sure to read Lisa Hiton's blog post, Eating Like a Writer

Who is Eligible?  
Young writers ages 13-18  
600 – 1,000 words
Guest Judge
Jerrelle Guy 

Best Entry: $100 (winning piece + author interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog) 
Runner up: $50 
Best Peer Review: $50 (reviewer interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog) 
What’s Different about Write the World Competitions? 
Prizes: The winning entrant(s) will receive $100, and the best peer-reviewer will receive $50.       
Professional Recognition: The winning entry, plus the runner-up and best peer review, will be featured on our blog, with commentary from our guest judge.       
Expert Review: Submit your draft by Monday May 14th and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.   

Key Dates 
May 7: Competition Opens  
May 14: Submit draft for Expert Review (Optional. We will review the first 100 drafts submitted.)      
May 18: Reviews returned to Writers  
May 22: Final Submissions Due
June 1: Winners Announced  
Upcoming Competition
Our Science Fiction Competition opens Monday, June 4th.
Stay tuned for more details!  


​Meet Food Writing Competition WINNER Gabriel Yap

June 16, 2018

Singaporean writer Gabriel Yap drew all of us in with his sensory explosion of a Food Writing Competition entry. His piece, “The Fusion Identity”, had a strong narrative arc with elements of history infused with delicious descriptions of his grandmother’s home cooking. His piece caught the eye of baker and writer Jerrelle Guy who awarded “The Fusion Identity” with the distinction of “Best Entry”. Gabriel shares an inside look at his intricate writing process in this blog post.

Check it out


June 1, 2018

For our May writing competition, writers from all corners of the globe wrote about food; eating it, cooking it, farming it, politicizing it, and so much more. We’re thrilled to celebrate some of the standout entries from a delicious crop of entries. Check out guest judge Jerrelle Guy’s commentary on her favorite pieces! 

Read About the Winners

Q&A with Food Writing Guest Judge Jerrelle Guy

May 15, 2018

Writer Jerelle Guy came into the food blogging world in an interesting way. For most of Jerrelle’s life, she identified as both a writer—penning poems and short stories—as well as a painter. It was only when she attended art school that she decided to explore how she could combine her love of writing with her love of art and food.  As a result, her widely read vegetarian food blog, Chocolate for Basil, was born.
We’re so excited to have Jerrelle share her secrets  on how to invite your readers to your table through words as well as the outlets she turns to for epicurean inspiration.

Check it out here

May Spotlight: Eating Like a Writer

May 6, 2018

Writing about food is so much more than a Yelp review or a rating out of 5 stars. For our Food Writing Competition (opening this Monday!), you might consider penning a piece about “food deserts” in urban areas where buying fresh food is nearly impossible. Or, you might talk about the huge amount of water waste that goes into producing meat. For ideas on how to start thinking like a food writer, check out resident blogger Lisa Hiton’s May Spotlight. 


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