Jane Grigson Award

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About the Jane Grigson Trust Award

Jane Grigson was one of the greatest food writers that Britain has produced. Her books - especially her ground-breaking Good Things, Vegetable Book and Fruit Book - are still regarded by many leading food writers and cooks as major inspirations for their work.

In honour of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Jane's death, The Jane Grigson Trust launched an Award for new food writers in 2015.

Jane's observation on writing, made in the last year of her life, has been a guiding principle in setting up this award:

Writing a book is for me an act of faith and folly. You have a plan of course, but you bluster about in the work, following blindly, one step after another, slogging it out in the early stages. Then suddenly you come across one thing, one reference, one passage, that explains to you why you are writing this particular book, that gives you the theme, that shows you the way. You have in a sense to earn this discovery. It is a reward.

Literary prizes are usually given for newly published works or for books already on sale. The Jane Grigson Trust Award is, however, to be given to a promising new writer ahead of publication in order to help them discover 'one thing, one reference, one passage... that gives you the theme, that shows you the way'.

The £2000 award 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. In the spirit of Jane, the Award is for a non-fiction book on food and drink in the widest sense - so it could be a cook book, memoir, travel, history or anything else for that matter, so long as the primary subject is food or drink.

The Jane Grigson Trust intends that the writer will use the Award for further travel/research to deepen their knowledge of their chosen subject in the vital time between gaining a commission and delivery of the script.

Jane Grigson Trust Award 2017

The Award is open for entry from 14 June 2016 to 31 October 2016.

The judges for the 2017 Award are:

Geraldene Holt (author, chair of the Jane Grigson Trust); Henrietta Green (food writer and broadcaster, Trustee of the JGT); Felicity Cloake (Guardian food writer and New Statesman columnist, Trustee of the JGT); Matthew Fort (Guardian food and drink editor, author); Diana Henry (Sunday Telegraph food writer and author).

For Rules of Entry, click here
For How to Enter, click here

Jane Grigson Trust Award 2016

The winner of the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2016 was:

The Magic Bay Leaf by Alex Andreou

In The Magic Bay Leaf, writer, blogger and actor Alex Andreou brilliantly blends memoir, travel writing and food writing to reveal the hidden art of real Greek food. The Magic Bay Leaf will be published by Chatto & Windus in Autumn 2017.

Alex Andreou said of winning the Award:
'At precisely the point when the project looked far too titanic to tackle, when I had begun to doubt myself - as every writer must - the Jane Grigson Trust Award put the wind back in my sails. It gave me the boost, focus and breathing space to break through my barriers. I will be ever grateful for Jane Grigson's vision and the Trust's faith.'
The two runners-up were:

A Greedy Queen: Eating with Queen Victoria by Annie Gray
A history of nineteenth-century royal kitchens (to be published by Profile Books in Spring 2017)

On the Side by Ed Smith
A cookbook celebrating side dishes (to be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2017)


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