Category Archives: Emma’s thoughts

Jeremy Mogford Award for Food & Drink Writing

I was recently delighted to receive the inaugural Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, run by the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in association with Oxford Gastronomica. More than 400 entries were received from 15 countries for the award.

I was awarded the prize for my story, A Dish of Chocolate Ice Cream, at a gourmet dinner at the beautiful Gee’s Restaurant in Oxford, as a highlight of the Oxford Literary Festival. The evening was attended by many of the country’s finest chefs and food writers including Raymond Blanc, Madhur Jaffrey, Atul Kochhar and Claudia Roden, as well as authors including Booker Prize winner Ben Okri.

The panel of judges was made up of Prue Leith (writer, journalist & cookery expert), Donald Sloan, (Director of Hospitality at Oxford Brookes University), Roma Tearne  celebrated author) & of course Jeremy Mogford himself. Hotelier Jeremy Mogford was inspired to offer the award after the success of his son Thomas, who is now an established author of crime fiction, and also as a celebration of the fabulous food, drink & hospitality offered by the Mogford hotels and restaurants.

Donald Sloan, head of Oxford School of Hospitality Management, and one of the judges, said: “We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of the entries. It has been fascinating to read such diverse works of fiction, all of which reveal something about the complex roles that food and drink play in our lives. With Jeremy Mogford’s very generous support, this competition will encourage established and aspiring writers from around the world.”

There’s a link here to the story, if you would like to read it for yourself!!
For more coverage, see:

Paraxis Magazine – new story published

Paraxis is an online publisher of short stories (

and you can find one of my latest stories, Saving Face, here to read for free.

This story is part of a planned collection of 7 interlinked pieces, with each

tale picking up one of the characters from the previous story, and taking them in a whole new direction.

The story is carried along the chain from a magician to a mother to a convict to a chaplain to a young girl in danger to a lonely musician to a dying man to a beautiful divorcee who meets a mysterious magician….

Keep visiting this site for updates on the complete collection of stories…


Thrilled, terrified, delighted, awed, excited and ecstatic! (My thesaurus is running out of words to describe how I feel…)

My novel, ‘Lookeylikey’, has been shortlisted for the 2012 Novelicious award… and I really, really, REALLY want to win!!

There’s no point pretending to be nonchalant about this, and saying ‘It’s the taking part that counts’… with something so close to my heart, the taking part is fab, but winning would be…. AWESOME!

I’ve never considered myself a ‘chicklit’ author, but then ‘chicklit’ has evolved to embrace a much wider range of writing than sugar-pink covers, ditsy heroines, shopping and snogging. Now it simply means a book written by a woman, with wide commercial appeal… and ‘Lookeylikey’ certainly qualifies on both counts.

This story is a romance, of course; but then all great stories have love at their heart, because love in its many facets should be the central theme of all our lives.  But ‘Lookeylikey’ embraces showbiz sparkle and emotional darkness as well, and I hope that spicy combination of real-life emotion in glamorous situations will win each reader’s heart (and vote…)

If you’d like to read more, leave a comment about the first chapter of ‘Lookeylikey’ or read the other authors’ extracts and vote, please visit:


I have VERY mixed feelings about the 2012 Olympics….


In July 2005 I was deeply emotional after giving birth to my first child, and remember so well the razzmatazz and tears of joy when London ‘won’ the event… and the horror and tears of grief when London was subsequently targeted by suicide bombers. The two events are inextricably linked in my mind, and I suppose that connection is what has tainted my attitude.  

As the Olympics get nearer, I still find it hard to feel enthusiastic, despite all the hoo-ha and hype, the strangely deformed-looking Mascots, the clunky childish logos, the over-priced merchandise and frankly bizarre sponsorship deals (Pampers? really?)   Coming from a family who viewed sporting endeavour as something that got your pocket-money docked, I have never been able to get enthused about watching other people play games. And in the depths of this hideous recession, all I think about when I see pictures of the new Olympic venues is… Oh God, all that money!  Living so far away from London, the claim that the money is regenerating run-down areas and providing jobs and tourism income seems rather hollow… I can’t see the direct benefits for anyone who’s not on the gravy-train. 

I do hope I’ll get caught up in the excitement once the competition gets underway; watching the very best athletes compete at the highest level should always be a privilege. Watching the Olympic torch procession at Seale-Hayne last weekend did make me feel a tiny spark of (carefully stage-managed) inclusion, a little thrill at being part of something encompassing the nation… and maybe the Jubilee celebrations next weekend will bring out my latent patriotism and get me fired up.

And this man with his flamin’ head? Well, that’s the closest I came to seeing the genuine Olympic Flame (and it seems quite apt; after all, it is the Feast of Pentecost today….)