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Food Fit for a Queen – Young Food Writer of the Year

Young Food Writer or the Year logo in partnership with The Week Junior and an illustration of Queen Victoria

Are you a keen writer with a fascination for food? Then we’ve got the competition for you. The Week Junior is hosting The Guild of Food Writers’ Young Food Writer of the Year 2022 competition, sponsored by Sacla'. It began in 2008 and is the only national food writing competition that is aimed at children and young people up to the age of 18.

How to enter

To be in with a chance of winning, write a short story or poem around the theme of “Food Fit for a Queen”. You can explore the theme in any way you want. You could write about a tea party you are planning to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year, or imagine a meal with a real queen, a culinary queen or even a fictional queen like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

For example, you could imagine dining with your favourite historical queen. What would it be like to have dinner with Queen Victoria or Elizabeth I? Would it be exciting or scary? What would their table manners be like, and what would be on the menu? This is a great opportunity to write about fancy foods, as well as unusual meals from the past.

The competition is divided into three different age categories, each with a different word limit: 

  • 10 and under – 250 words
  • 11-14 – 500 words
  • 15-18 – 750 words

The judges will choose a winner and a runner-up in each category, based on the stories’ relevance to the theme, food content, structure, originality and use of language. Your story or poem needs to be written without the help of a parent. Please include the word count at the end of your story, and send your entry by email to competitions@theweekjunior.co.uk by 30 April 2022. All entries must include your name and age, as well as the address, email address and phone number of your parent or guardian. Good luck!

What you can win

  • An invitation to The Guild of Food Writers’ tea party on 22 June where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a chat with the judges before the Awards Ceremony (including an accompanying adult if you are under 18, or a guest if you are 18)
  • Recognition of your outstanding work will be featured at The Guild of Food Writers Awards Ceremony on 22 June and on the Guild’s website
  • A £100 book token per category winner
  • You will have the opportunity to write a blog post for Sacla' to publish on their website and promote on social media
  • A certificate per category winner
  • A year’s subscription to the Week Junior magazine for the winners of the two younger age categories (10 and under and 11-14) and your story featured in The Week Junior
  • The opportunity to visit The Week Junior’s offices for the winners of the two younger age categories
  • For the 10 and under and 11-14 category winners: The winners’ stories will be featured in The Week Junior, and you'll also win a year's subscription to The Week Junior.
  • For the 15-18 category winner: a visit to the offices of delicious. Magazine and their story will be featured on the magazine website
  • One runner up per age group will win a £25 book token

The Judges 
Karen Barnes – Lead judge
Yotam Ottolenghi
Xanthe Clay
Stefan Gates
Sam Goldsmith
Kalpna Woolf
Tom Parker-Bowles
Vanessa Harriss
Ben Isaacs

Terms and conditions
This Week Junior competition is open to those aged 18 and under on 31 August 2022 who are residents of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, except employees of The Week Junior, Future Publishing and any associated companies and their families.

The Week Junior will not share your personal details with third parties. The Week Junior will only use personal details to contact the competition winners and to arrange delivery of your competition prize. Further details about how we manage the data you provide can be found at futureplc.com/privacy-policy/.

No responsibility can be accepted for entries that have been lost or damaged in transit. The Week Junior will not enter into any correspondence. Proof of emailing will not be accepted as proof of delivery and no responsibility can be accepted for any technical failure or for any event that may cause the competition to be disrupted or corrupted. Entries must be received before 11.59pm on 30 April. Entries received after this time will not be accepted.

All winners will be notified accordingly by 31 May via the parent/guardian’s contact information provided with the entry. No cash alternative for any prizes will be offered. The winner may be required to partake in media activity relating to the competition. The winning entries will be published in The Week Junior magazine and on the Guild of Food Writers website, and by entering the competition all entrants give permission for their writing to be published online. Copyright of the writing remains with the entrant. Entries cannot be returned to senders.

The prize(s) described are available at the date of publication. Events may occur that render the promotion or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond Future Publishing’s control, which may at its discretion vary or amend the promotion and the reader agrees that no liability shall be attached to Future Publishing as a result thereof. If the winners of the competition are unable to take up a prize for any reason, the Editor-in-chief reserves the right to award it to an alternative winner, in which case the first winner chosen will not be eligible for any share of the prize whatsoever.

Winning stories featuring a sensitive subject matter may not be reproduced in the The Week Junior magazine or website, at the editorial team's discretion.

The judges' decision is final and it is a condition of entry to any competition that the entrant agrees to be bound by these rules whether they be published or not, and that the decisions of the Editor-in-chief and judges on any matter whatsoever arising out of or connected with the competition are final.

No purchase of the magazine is necessary.

Entries must state the word count to include the title.

The competition is divided into three age groups. Entrants must be within the age range on 30 April 2022:

  • 10 yrs and under (maximum of 250 words)
  • 11–14 yrs (maximum of 500 words)
  • 15–18 yrs (maximum of 750 words)

Entrants must be available on 22 June 2022 to attend the winners' ceremony.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to the theme
  2. Food content
  3. Structure
  4. Originality
  5. Language

One entry per person. No joint entries.