£10,000 Mogford Prize Awarded to Writer from Germany

Apr 15 2020

The 2020 Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Short Story Writing has been awarded to Laura Theis, originally from Ottobrunn, near Munich, but has lived in Oxford since 2011. Her story, ‘The Lift’, was selected from 1,280 entries from all over the world. This year’s short-list was judged by Prize founder Jeremy Mogford, award-winning actor and writer Stephen Fry, and television presenter, cookery writer and novelist, Prue Leith, CBE.

Runners-up, who receive cheques of £250, are the Irish writer Fergal Greene, who works in Brussels, for ‘If it’s Good Enough for Swift it’s Good Enough for Me’; Mary McGrath, an Irish writer based in the UK, for ‘Sup’; and the Oxford writer Peter Adamson for ‘Boiled Egg with Rosie’.

The not so good news is that, in view of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, we had to take the very regrettable decision to postpone our annual party where the winner of the competition is announced.

The winner of the 2020 Mogford Prize, Laura Theis, was raised in Bavaria and is an award-winning musician, writer and poet. Her work has been broadcast or published in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Canada and the United States. In 2020 Laura won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet competition; in 2018, both the Hammond House International Literary Award for Poetry and the Curtis Bausse Short Story Prize; and, in 2017, the AM Heath Prize.

Founded by Jeremy Mogford to support the literary achievements of established or novice writers, the Mogford Prize carries a £10,000 first prize. Now in its eighth year, the prize is awarded annually for a short story on the theme of food or drink. Past judges have included Julian Barnes, Mary Berry, Bill Bryson, Lawrence Norfolk, Philip Pullman, and Rick Stein. The winning story is published in the form of booklets that are placed in the guest rooms and public spaces of the Old Parsonage and Old Bank Hotels in Oxford. The work can be read, and an audio version listened to, on the Mogford Prize website: mogfordprize.co.uk.