Mogford Prize


Apr 7, 2021

The winner of the 2021 Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing was Finlay Taylor with his short story: ‘Madame Blini’s Disdain’. Finlay’s short story was picked out of nearly 800 entries by Jeremy Mogford and two guest judges; the playwright, broadcaster and poet Lemn Sissay OBE, and the talented crime and thriller writer Mick Herron.

The runners-up for 2021 were Scottish-born writer Lorna Fergusson, from Oxford, for ‘Mrs Esslemont’s Tea’; Jessica E Sinyard, a screenwriter working in film, television, and videogames, for ‘Black Coffee’; and IP lawyer Emma Teichmann for ‘An Acquired Taste’.


Finlay Taylor is a professional stand-up comedian – at least, he was when that was a thing! Feeling an increasing pull towards fiction, and with live comedy in deep freeze during the pandemic, he began writing in April 2020.

Having grown up in Oxfordshire, he remembers the Old Bank – the hotel his Scottish granny would stay in when she came to visit. He now lives in South London where he is currently working on a comic novel. Finlay is yet to be published, and while itching to return to the road, writing prose has been a salvation during a year of dark stages; he intends to stick at it, regardless of if/when his old world returns.

More details about Finlay can be found here on his website…


The first thing you need to know about Madame Blini is she only eats in bed. It is Arlo Gegenschmäcker who attends her. Serving her in bed is not even the worst part, for that would be her eyes. Those cold, unblinking, merciless black eyes. He cannot escape them even in sleep, alongside those wispy white curls that frame her face, her protruding nose and those thankless eyes, as black and impenetrable as the ocean floor.