Winners Announced

Food Writing Competition 2019

Essay — What's on the menu?

* This competition is now closed but you are more than welcome to read through the published writing and blog posts. * 

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.” This month, give us some food for thought, in essay form. Whether you write about a family ritual, the impact of diet on climate change, or schoolyard gardens, we hungrily await your entry.   
And remember, dear writers, food writing matters because “it’s not really about the food,” as the journalist and cookbook author Ramin Ganeshram puts it. 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:  
Food Writing Checklist:
  • 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 grab your reader and refuse to let go? 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?
  • THE ESSAY FORM: Have you drafted an essay (as opposed to a poem or story)? You can find examples of past winning entries here and here
Who is Eligible?  
Young writers ages 13-18  
600 – 1,000 words

Guest Judge 
Stephanie Alexander AO is one of Australia’s great food educators.
Her reputation has been earned through her thirty years as an owner-chef in several restaurants, as the author of 15 influential books and hundreds of articles about food matters, and for her groundbreaking work in schools through the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
Stephanie’s fifth book, The Cook’s Companion is regarded as an Australian classic, and has sold 500,000 copies.
  • 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 6: Competition Opens  
May 13: Submit draft for Expert Review (Optional. We will review the first 100 drafts submitted.)      
May 17: Reviews returned to Writers  
May 21: Final Submissions Due
May 31: Winners Announced  
Upcoming Competition
Our Fantasy Writing Competition opens Monday, June 3rd.
Stay tuned for more details!  
All final submissions will automatically be published on Write the World’s website.


Iris Joo on her Winning Food Writing Competition Entry

June 20, 2019

Writing a piece that’s laugh-out-loud funny is a lot harder than it seems. And to expertly infuse it with poignancy, introspection and social commentary is an even greater feat. But that’s exactly what Iris Joo did in her winning essay, “It Tastes Like Cabbage”. Today, in our interview with the Australian writer, we’ll learn more about the ingredients Iris used to whip up this fantastic piece.

Read More Here

​Food Writing Competition Winners Announced!

May 31, 2019

For this month’s Food Writing Competition, we had a smorgasbord of essays to select from; we salivated over each other’s favorite family recipes, learned why some of us choose a plant-based diet and caught a glimpse into the future with a piece on “robot cooking”. Today Guest Judge Stephanie Alexander shares which of these outstanding essays earned the prize for Best Entry and Runner Up. And the editors at Write the World highlight their favorite Peer Review.


Read About the Winners on Our Blog

​Stephanie Alexander Gives Us the Key Ingredients to Writing an Engaging Piece About Food

May 24, 2019

Stephanie Alexander, Australia’s leading food educator, passes along a few of her best tips on food writing, tells us what it felt like when she first became a published author, and explains why it’s important to learn about quality food at a young age.

Head Over to the Blog

​Three Ingredients for Deliciously Good Food Writing

May 13, 2019

Food writing is much more than a description of a scrumptious snack. At it’s best, it’s a gateway to culture and history, a family ritual, or a deeper environmental understanding. Take a look at what our experts say are the essential ingredients for great food writing.

Read More Here