Guild of Food Writers Awards 2017

What are the Guild of Food Writers Awards?

The Guild of Food Writers Awards recognise outstanding achievement in areas where food writers work and have influence. They are awarded annually and are the only awards judged entirely by professional food writers, editors and broadcasters.

The Guild Awards were inaugurated in 1996 and reflect the Guild’s commitment to encouraging new and established food writers.

Who is eligible for entry?

Entries have closed for the Guild Awards 2017. You do not need to be a member of the Guild of Food Writers to enter. However, the work you are entering:

  • must have been published or broadcast, in the English language, in the UK, in the calendar year 2016;
  • must have been published in the UK before publication in any other country;
  • must, if published online, be from a site based principally in the UK;
  • must be a work of non-fiction.

Any work that does not meet all these requirements cannot be considered.

The winners will be announced at the presentation ceremony sponsored by Tenderstem® on Thursday 22 June 2017 at The Oval Space in Bethnal Green.

What are the categories?

There are 12 main categories as follows:

British Food Award

Sponsored by Aspall

This award goes to the writer or broadcaster whose entry contributes most to promoting British food; the work may be specialised or wide-ranging, text-led or recipe-led, and can be broadcast, online or in print.

This is awarded in memory of Michael Smith, a great supporter of British foods and traditions.

Campaigning and Investigative Food Work Award

Sponsored by the Organic Trade Board

This award highlights the importance of food writers in the field of food policy. Entries could include, for instance, work informing the public about agricultural and manufacturing processes, or campaigning to raise standards in the food supply chain. It is open to work in broadcasting as well as print and online, and to works by single authors or by organisations.

This is awarded in memory of Derek Cooper, the Guild’s first president.

Cookery Book Award

Recipes and, if appropriate, the practicalities of cooking should be the main focus of entries to this award. The subject may be any cuisine, historical period, specific ingredient or diet.

Cookery Writing Award

Sponsored by Gold Top

This award goes to the writer of the best recipe-led work published in a magazine, newspaper or newspaper supplement or on the internet. Material may be nominated only if the author has been commissioned and paid for the work and it is not self-published. Five pieces should be submitted.

This is awarded in memory of Evelyn Rose, a former Guild Chair.

First Book Award

This award is given to a writer of any age, provided that the entry is his or her first cookery book or food book.

This is awarded in memory of Jeremy Round, a talented food writer and restaurant critic, and author of The Independent Cook.

Food and Travel Award

Sponsored by Tebay Services and Gloucester Services

This award is for a writer or broadcaster who has best captured both the atmosphere and the food of the places described, and shows an understanding of culture and context. It is open to work in broadcasting, online or in print, which evokes a destination rather than simply describing the food that characterises it.

This is awarded in memory of Kate Whiteman, a Guild committee member who loved to travel.

Food Blog Award

Sponsored by Satellite PR

This award recognises the particular skill and dedication required to create and maintain a brilliantly written food blog. Blogs are eligible if they are written by up to two individuals who may or may not write professionally. They may be text- or recipe-led and will be judged on the basis of five posts, to which the nominator should provide links.

Food Book Award

Sponsored by Lakeland

Entries for this award may be a biography, a historical study, or a study of the gastronomy or food culture of one or more cities, countries or regions; it could be a guidebook, encyclopaedia or compendium, even a technical handbook. Recipes, if they form part of the work, should serve to illuminate the text, rather than lead it.

Food Broadcast Award

Sponsored by the Norwegian Seafood Council

This award recognises excellence in a television or radio programme. The entry may be a complete programme, series, or one part of a single programme. Where a series is nominated, the whole series should be supplied, and a single programme should be nominated for juries to consider in the first instance.

Food Magazine or Section Award

Must-read food magazines and sections combine excellent writing and design, and are the result of skilled editing. This award is given to the editorial team responsible for magazines and periodicals which take food as their main subject and are published four or more times a year, or food sections comprising a collection of articles. Online nominations should have clearly-defined issues or food sections which are emailed or made available to subscribers as a collection of content published together on the same date. The award is judged on the basis of four magazines or sections.

Food Writing Award

Sponsored by SuperFast Thermapen®

This award is given for the best food-related articles published in print or online. The work may contain recipes, but recipes should not form the bulk of the text. Material may be nominated only if the author has been commissioned and paid for the work and it is not self-published. Five pieces should be submitted.

Restaurant Writing Award

Sponsored by Food & Drink Devon

The best restaurant writers present their opinions in a readable, reliable and responsible way. Entries for this award will be judged on the basis of five reviews which may be from the same or different publications and may have appeared only online (including blogs), in print or both. Reviews must not be based on complimentary meals.

Special awards

The Guild Committee may at its discretion make one or more Special Awards. To nominate someone for a special award, write to the Awards Co-ordinator. For further information about specific awards, please email

Inspiration Award

Sponsored by Scotch Beef PGI

The Guild also presents the Inspiration Award to celebrate an individual or group who is making an inspirational difference to how we eat today. This award is unique amongst the Guild awards as the only people who can submit nominations are the Guild’s own members. Nominations for this award will be sought in February 2017.

How do I enter?

The online entry form must be completed by midnight on Tuesday 14 February 2017 for entries to be eligible. You may nominate work in as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a separate online entry form for each nomination.

You may nominate your own or someone else’s work. In either case, you are responsible for deciding in which category or categories it is to be entered, but jury leaders may at their discretion reallocate works to a different category. In this event, the nominator will be required to supply copies of the work to the new jury.

If you are uncertain as to which category work should be entered, please contact the Awards Co-ordinators for advice (

You are also responsible for ensuring that a total of six complete copies of the material being entered are delivered to:

  • each of the five jurors for that category
  • the Awards Co-ordinator

The names and addresses or email addresses of members of the jury for the relevant award will be sent to you upon receipt of the application form. All Awards communications and nominated work must be clearly marked with the relevant category and nominator’s details.

Whoever completes the entry form is responsible for making sure that copies of the work(s) are despatched in good time for jurors to receive them by Tuesday 28 February 2017, regardless of who is despatching them. The Guild regrets that if entries arrive late, the work cannot be considered for the awards.

With the exception of books, juries prefer to receive links to or pdfs of the nominated work whenever possible.

The Guild Awards celebrate the UK's best food writing. Where entries are a collaborative effort, the Guild asks that those nominating the work, be they authors or publishers, acknowledge this on the application form.

How are the awards judged?

For each award category, the Committee of the Guild of Food Writers appoints a jury leader. The remaining four jurors are selected at random from the Guild membership. No jurors may have any of their own work entered in the category they are judging. The recipient of each award is (are) the writer(s) or presenter(s) of, or in the case of the Magazine or Section Award, the editorial team behind, the winning work. No discussion or correspondence, outside the meetings of the juries, will be entered into. The juries’ decisions are final.

How will I know who has won?

The shortlisted writers or broadcasters will normally be notified by telephone or email as soon as possible after judging has finished, usually during May. Anyone who does not give either a telephone number or an email address will be notified by post. The shortlist will also be published on the Guild’s website.

The winners of each prize will be announced at the Guild of Food Writers Awards ceremony sponsored by Tenderstem® on Thursday 22 June 2017 at The Oval Space in Bethnal Green.

Is there a prize?

The winning entry in each category will receive a prize of £500 and an engraved glass trophy.

Awards co-ordinators
This year’s Awards co-ordinators are Jayne Cross, Samantha Bilton and Emma Sturgess. 

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