The Guild of Food Writers is a professional membership organisation, which is open to all professional food writers to join. We aim to offer a supportive and inclusive community for all members, to offer professional support, training and exchange of ideas.
The Guild is managed by a team comprising the Committee and Special Officers, who serve four year terms. All serve on a completely voluntary basis and are not remunerated for their time. The opportunity to join the committee is shared in our newsletter, which is sent to all members, and we actively encourage our members equally to put their names forward. We have a dedicated Diversity officer and subcommittee who look at the issue of diversity for the Guild, and how we can do better in all of our activities. The current Diversity officer is Mallika Basu.
We consider diversity to include all protected characteristics, and we are focussing on positive actions to improve diversity within the Guild and the industry as a whole. Membership of the Guild is open to all to join, and we ask for examples of paid work to apply for membership. We do not request nominations from other members to join, and we publish our application guidelines in full on the website.
Amongst the Guild’s activities, we run an internal and external mentorship scheme, to support members and non-members in their professional endeavours, which has seen a very strong take up since it was launched. We also run the Young Food Writer of the Year Competition, to support and inspire young people from all backgrounds to consider food writing as a profession.
The Guild of Food Writers Awards is one of our biggest areas of activity, and we are working hard to ensure they are as open as possible, to enable us to champion a truly representative range of food writing talent. The Awards, now in their 24th year, are free to enter, and open to members and non-members. We publicise the Call for Entries, online, via social media, and through publishers and media outlets. We also have designated categories for self-published work, online writing and independent projects, such as zines to allow people to share their work where they do not have the backing of a publisher or publication.
The Awards are judged by our members, who give their time on a voluntary basis. We endeavour to offer this opportunity to all members on a rotating basis, as well as ensuring our panels are as balanced as we can make them, given member availability to participate. The material that is judged is reviewed on the material entered alone, and we do not request data from entrants, other than their contact details. Entries can be made by an individual entering or on their behalf. We check that material meets the entry requirements, in that it must be published in the UK within the specified dates. We do not circulate or discuss further details regarding entrants, other than the entered pieces of work, and each category is judged by a separate group of members.
The Guild of Food Writers is committed to representing all its members, as well as championing and supporting all those who work in the food writing industry.
Also of interest – please check out this page on the thorny topic of recipe appropriation.