Entries open for AA Gill Award for emerging food critics

Posted on: April 22, 2020 by admin

Entries are open for the second annual Sunday Times AA Gill Award for emerging food writers in conjunction with the Society of Editors.

In recognition of the current pandemic, and taking on board the inability for entrants to visit restaurants at the present time, the entries can also be of a restaurant experience.

The award, held for the first-time last year, is open to anyone who is not employed as a food writer or restaurant critic.

Named for the late Sunday Times journalist and food critic AA Gill, the award makes a point of ignoring spelling and grammar in submissions in recognition of Gill’s own dyslexia.

Ian Murray, SoE executive director and one of the judges said: “The inaugural AA Gill Award to find new talent in food writing proved incredibly popular. I’m certain that even though we are facing the current Covid-19 restrictions this year’s event will be just as well supported.”

The winning work will be published in The Sunday Times and the winner will receive a cash prize of £5,000.

Last year’s winner was Kitty Drake who collected her award at a prestigious ceremony held at the River Café in London, with guests including politician and former wife of Gill, Amber Rudd, and their daughter Flora Gill.

On winning the award Drake said, “Journalism can be a closed world. Winning the AA Gill Award has meant that editors read my pitches, and I have the invaluable support of his daughter Flora, whose writing I also love.”

Entries for the prize

We are looking for a piece of writing on the subject of a restaurant or the memory of a restaurant experience, including service, atmosphere and wine; or the wider subject of food by delivery, or takeaway. Entries must be between 1,000 and 1,200 words and the competition is open to anyone over 21 who is not employed as a food writer or restaurant critic and does not earn their main revenue from food or restaurant writing. The article they submit must be previously unpublished.

In honour of AA Gill’s dyslexia, entries will not be judged on spelling or grammar. The winner will receive a prize of £5,000 and their review will be published in The Dish, the food section of The Sunday Times Magazine. Runner-up and third place will receive a prize of £500 and £250 respectively.

The judges are Flora Gill, Jeremy Clarkson, the restaurateur Jeremy King, our restaurant critic, Marina O’Loughlin, and food editor, Lisa Markwell, plus Ian Murray from the Society of Editors.

Entries close on Tuesday, May 26. Enter at For more information and to read the full T&Cs, visit