About Guild Membership
Why Join the Guild of Food Writers?
Joining the Guild of Food Writers has benefits that can last the length of your career as a food writer or broadcaster.
When you become a member, you will have:
- Access to the online Food Forum, a lively debating chamber in which members share their considerable knowledge on everything from dealing with publishers to how to stop tofu falling off kebab skewers.
- A listing in the online Directory of Guild Members, which is both a showcase of our members' varied talents, and a comprehensive contacts bible listing areas of expertise.
- Regular invitations to fascinating food workshops, and events such as our annual Awards and Autumn Event.
- Access to the Guild's publications, such as our monthly email newsletter.
- The chance to get involved in the Guild's many activities - and have a say in how we are run - by standing for election to the committee.
- Access to the password-protected Members' Area of this site, which contains all sorts of information not available on the public side of the site, such as details of discounts, some considerable, offered to GFW members, by various companies and organisations and details of our Fellowship Fund and Bursaries offered by the Guild.
- The chance to seek advice on professional matters at a reasonable cost via services arranged by our Professional Issues Secretary, who organises regular pay surveys
How do I Join the Guild of Food Writers?
To join you simply need to complete our online application form and then submit recent samples of your work.
If you know any existing members of the Guild then you can ask them to propose you and second you. If you don't know any Guild members, please don't worry, just go ahead and complete the application form and we'll consider you for membership.
When we receive your online application, we will ask you to send us recent samples of your work.
Applications are considered at regular committee meetings. If an application for membership is rejected, the Committee will explain its reasons and may suggest that the applicant re-apply at a later date.
Who Can Join the Guild of Food Writers?
The Guild is an association for professionals who create and publish content about food and membership is open to those who are paid to write or broadcast about food. If you are just starting out and looking for advice on building a portfolio of paid for work, please visit How to Get Started in Food Writing.
This definition guides what the committee considers when looking at the eligibility of applications for new members. Here’s how:
By ‘creating’ we mean writing, of course, but also producing, editing and commissioning. We welcome applications from writers, presenters, producers, academics, teachers, researchers, publishers, editors and commissioning editors.
‘Food content’ might be recipes, features, journals, columns, restaurant reviews, histories, product reviews, research, ghost-writers (please note we can only accept applications from the ghost-writer, not the client), guides and so on.
Most commonly in our membership this content takes the form of either books (commissioned by a publisher or self-published, but either way, available to a paying public) or written articles for publications such as magazines, newspapers, websites and newsletters.
We recognise, however, that there are many ways of creating food content and presenting it to an audience, so we also consider those making content for other platforms such as TV, radio, podcasts, video, social media, blogs, professional and academic journals and papers, industry publications, reports, campaigns and policy documents. These platforms would ideally sit alongside published written work.
Professional and Paid
To qualify for membership you must demonstrate that you are being commissioned and paid to create content about food. To that end we ask applicants to send us examples of their work which the committee will review when considering an application.
Payment might be in the form of salary, publishers’ advances, author’s fees or book sales. It might also be journalists’ fees or freelance payments, payment from brands for creating content, income from advertising or sponsored content, appearance fees, subscriptions etc.
Please note that payment in kind (eg: gifted items in exchange for content, reviews in exchange for free goods, travel or services) does not qualify and we may ask you to provide contact details of the publication or brand that commissioned the work, or an invoice.
The Guild is open to people with a proven body of work of a professional standard, so the pieces submitted should illustrate as clearly as possible the applicant’s credentials as a professional writer, producer or creator. We suggest applicants share work from multiple platforms and include written content in their examples. We prefer recent examples of work where possible.
Whilst we do not consider it the role of the Guild to make any judgment on the applicant’s literary merit, all work should, of course, be without error, of good quality and the original work of the applicant.
Work should be written in English and published in the UK or available to a UK audience (but we welcome applications from people living all over the world.)
How much does it cost?
The annual membership subscription for membership increases from £90.00 to £92.00 per year from 2023, payable on 1 January of each year. From 2023, in your first year:
- If you join between 1 January and 31 March you pay the full subscription £92.00;
- If you join between 1 April and 30 June you pay ¾ of the subscription £69.00;
- If you join between 1 July and 30 September you pay ½ of the subscription £46.00; and
- If you join between 1 October and 31 December you pay ¼ of the subscription £23.00.
Members who have not paid their subscription by the last day of February of the current year shall no longer be deemed to be members and their name will not appear in the online Directory.
Other things to note...
Proposer: The membership application form will ask you for the name of someone you know professionally who is already a member so we might talk to them about your work. Please make sure you approach this person before using their name. This provides useful context but is not a requirement. If you don’t know anyone to propose you, this is not a problem - our Membership Coordinator will be happy to answer any questions you may have, discuss your application and propose you. In this case, make contact before applying and arrange a conversation.
Process: Applying to join the Guild is the start of a conversation. If you have any queries about the criteria please do get in touch, our door is always open. It’s also worth saying that the membership process is a two-way exchange – we might give you a call to discuss your submission or ask a couple of questions, and please do the same to us. Sometimes, if applicants are fairly new to the profession, they might not yet meet all the joining criteria. In this situation we would very much like to keep in touch with applicants to review their eligibility over the course of the following year.
Changes: Our aim is to welcome as many people as we can, so this set of criteria is regularly reviewed and updated by the committee.
Decisions: Admission to the Guild is wholly the decision of the committee and entirely at their discretion.
Guild members might be writers, producers, presenters or editors. We might be authors, YouTubers, reviewers, columnists, bloggers or historians. But what unites us all is a deep commitment to food. We care about our food world, from our farmers to our restaurants, our heritage to our innovators. Not just because it’s our living, but because we think it interesting and important.
When it comes to membership criteria, before anything else, the committee is always most excited when it sees applicants who share this commitment.