Enter The Skinny Food & Drink Writing Competition

Emerging food writers, The Skinny is calling – here are details of our new Food and Drink Writing Competition

Feature by Peter Simpson | 11 Jan 2021
  • Food and Drink Writing Competition

2020 was, as any second-rate national newspaper columnist will tell you, a year like no other. Cinemas – shut. Live music – forget about it. Going round to your friend’s house to watch the telly – nuh-uh, buddy. While some parts of life were changing enormously, and some were hobbling along as ever, food and drink was doing a bit of both.

When we ventured outside we were confronted by a very different environment than we’re used to; harder to go where we wanted to, spending less time when we got there, and all taking place amid a weird sense of collective denial. It forced us to reassess what it is we want from the merry old world of hospitality, and to think about what we’ve been doing up to now.

With more of our time spent inside, we were reflecting on our personal relationships with food. We were trying out new things, pondering the impact of our consumption, and doing a lot of cooking with varied levels of success.

It’s been a time of change, and a time for thinking about things a bit differently. That’s why we’re launching The Skinny Food & Drink Writing Competition. If you’re an early career writer, you’re based in Scotland, and you have something interesting to say about food, we want to hear from you.

But what counts as ‘something interesting to say about food’? We want to cast the net as wide as possible, partly because we want to be surprised and excited by the submissions we receive, but mostly because food and drink really does cut across most other parts of our lives.

Maybe you have a favourite cafe or bar that sparks a particular emotion, or has a particular resonance in your community. Your street might be packed with interesting or slightly odd shops that deserve to be known by a wider audience. The food in your neighbourhood could have a particular set of eccentricities that make it different from anywhere else. You might sit on Twitter wondering why no-one seems to know about your favourite food TV show, or favourite cookbook, or favourite childhood chocolate bar (RIP the Cadbury Fuse, gone but never forgotten).

You might have an interesting take on food history, or the politics of food and how it's distributed, or how 'we' decide which is 'our favourite' cookbook or chocolate bar. You could look at food as art, food as a way to share stories with people, you could examine your personal relationship with food. You might have something to say that doesn't meet any of these criteria, but is an interesting look at food nonetheless. New perspectives, fresh ways of thinking, hot spicy takes and cool, well-chilled analysis – we want to read them all.

If you want to get involved, send your submissions of up to 300 words to food@theskinny.co.uk by Mon 1 Mar. We’ll work with the winning writer to develop your idea into a full-length feature for publication in our April issue, and offer a £200 top prize. We’ll also publish a further selection of entries in our April issue, and we’ll pay each of the selected writers for their work.

We’re also planning on running some online workshops for those of you who want some help getting your ideas together, and a Q&A if you have some specific questions that would be easier to ask us in person rather than waiting for us to write another 600 word article. Keep your eyes on our socials and the website for details.

Eating and drinking are universal but individual. We all experience the world of food in different ways, and we all have stories to tell; if you want to share yours, here’s your chance.

For an in-depth guide to Pitching To The Skinny,
head to theskinny.co.uk/about/pitching-to-the-skinny-guide