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£500 if your love of food's the write stuff

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

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YOUNG food writers have the chance to win a top award and have their work published.

The second Carol Trewin competition has just been launched by Topsham food and drink writer Marc Millon and James Crowden, author and publisher.

"We are looking for people who are passionate about the food of the South West," says organiser James, who runs the Somerset-based publishing company Flagon Press.

James lost his long-term partner Carol Trewin to cancer in 2009. Carol died at the age of 56 after a long battle with leukaemia. She worked as a food writer.

James decided to set up The Carol Trewin Young Food Writers' Award in her memory in 2010.

"Carol believed in looking deeply into the issues surrounding food and how it is produced. She always wanted to go beyond the press release and really find out what was going on," says James.

"She was very attached to the Westcountry, its landscape and its traditions. The idea of this prize is to encourage the next generation of food writers and journalists to take food and drink seriously, as she did."

Since the competition was first launched two year ago, it has attracted entrants from many talented writers.

"It is open to everyone who lives in or has links with the Westcountry," says James. "I'm want this award to inspire many people who love the food and drink of our region, as Carol did."

Carol was multi-talented but above all it was her food writing that brought her to national attention. She was the author of three books: Gourmet Cornwall, Cornish Fishing and Seafood, and The Devon Food Book.

Westcountry Chef Rick Stein said: "We were very lucky to have a journalist of Carol's calibre covering food and drink in Devon and Cornwall. She had a real love of everything local but because she was such a good writer whatever she chose to write about, from local fishing and seafood through to her overriding passion for the Devon and Cornwall food industry, was of great value."

Michael Caines, two star Michelin chef, from Exeter's ABode Hotel said the award was a great way to promote local food and drink.

"Food journalism is an important part of our culture. There is no better example of this than Carol Trewin's work," he said. "It is important that we encourage and nurture future generations of food writers and this competition does exactly that."

Megan Saunders, from Payhembury, the winner of the first award, said she would encourage anyone interested in writing about food to enter.

"The knowledge and connections gained during the experience helped me to explore my interests around food writing and to define what I would like to pursue in my professional future," she said.

Marc Millon, food and wine writer and co-organiser of the award, said it is one of very few awards that encourages intelligent and investigative food writing and the first competition had attracted a host of impressive entries.

"They were all of a high standard and any one of them could have been a winner," he said. "But Megan's essay stood out for its originality, as well as her first-hand research and the vibrancy of her writing.

"Carol herself was brilliant at digging deeply into the soil of a story, getting her hands dirty, pulling out the tenacious roots that truly reflected the realities of food, farming and life.

"So it is great that her award is now encouraging and inspiring young people to do the same. I was so impressed with the quality and depth of the first year award finalists' finished stories. They too dug deep, got their hands dirty, and explored their varied topics with real passion and vigour.

"I hope that this year's award will inspire more young food writers to get out and explore, investigate, taste and write."

For more details on the award visit: www.caroltrewin.org.uk

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