Students invited to submit creative food stories for new publication

Building on the Student Cookbook success!

The York St John Student Cookbook was created by an editorial team of 21 volunteer students from 6 different degree programmes, sharing recipes and stories of students’ food memories, identities, values and challenges. 

Student Cookbook editors and writers holding CookbookDownload the cookbook: York St John Student Cookbook 2023 (PDF, 2.9 MB)

The book offers an array of tasty and cheap recipes as well as guidance and inspiration for navigating a student kitchen, often with minimal ingredients. It is a comprehensive resource designed to empower students with essential cooking skills, budgeting tips, and innovative ways to minimise waste. Alongside the recipes are personal food stories and self-help resources designed to help students survive and thrive in their kitchens as they find their feet with university life. The book is now offered for free to all students in York St John University accommodation this September, and is available digitally.

What next? A creative, activist publication

The Food Stories magazine is an activist publication tackling issues regarding food cultures, food politics, food sustainability and food security in the cost-of-living crisis. Employing the talents and skills of many departments within the university and led by PhD researcher Mie and publication MA student Amie, the multi-media magazine will bring awareness to social dilemmas within our food system.

YSJ Students are invited to submit a wide range of writing, whether it’s creative work (such as fiction, poetry, flash fiction etc) or an article or essay commenting on issues regarding food and how/where we source it.

Info for students from the Food stories team:

You could write an opinion piece, a book review of a food-related novel or play; you could curate a reading list; write a profile on a member of the community fighting against food waste/food poverty. We’re particularly interested in issues occurring in and around York, and the community’s responses to these issues.  

There’re no restrictions in terms of form, genre, or tone of the writing; it can be as formal or informal as you please. 

Submissions window: 

All submissions should be sent by Monday 15th April 2024, 00:01 GMT. 

Submissions sent outside this window may not be considered for publication.

If you wish to be involved in the production of the magazine, come along to our workshops on Wednesdays at 1:30 pm in FT/114. These will run between the 28th of February and the 3rd of April. Please note that there will be no workshop on Wednesday 20th of March.  

What you can submit – some ideas!

Creative writing

Students from York St John University leading on Food Stories project

If you fancy writing a creative piece, but are usure what to write, here are a few prompts to get you going: 

  • Write a spec-fic piece on futuristic food. 
  • Write about someone/something hunting for their food – is the food something we’d expect to see on the dinner table? 
  • Write about food on another planet/by another species. 
  • Get weird with it – write about someone eating/craving something they shouldn’t be. 
  • Write a fictional dinner party – is it a disaster, or a success?


If you’d prefer to write an article, please see below some topics that may interest you: 

  • Who benefits/ who suffers from the way our food is sourced and manufactured? 
  • Has there been an increase or decrease in food bank usage in/around York? 
  • How does our culture influence what we eat? 
  • What projects/organisations in York are fighting against food waste/food poverty? 
  • What impact does modern food production have on the environment? 
  • Has the cost-of-living crisis affected people’s access to food? 
  • What does our personal and collective relationship with food mean to us? 

Submissions guidelines: 

You may submit multiple pieces of writing in varying forms, however, please note that not all submissions may be successful. All rights will be retained by the creator. Any work that is considered offensive or defamatory will not be published. 


Submissions should not exceed 1500 words. We will accept two pieces of fiction per writer. 


Poetry submissions should not exceed 60 lines. You may submit multiple poems provided they do not exceed 60 lines in total. One poem per author will be accepted if successful.  

Flash Fiction 

Submissions should not exceed 500 words. We will accept two pieces of flash fiction per writer. 

Creative Non-fiction 

Submissions should not exceed 1500 words. We will accept two pieces of creative non-fiction per writer. 

Non-fiction/ articles 

Written work should not exceed 200 words.  

How to submit: 

Please send your submissions to with the subject line ‘Food Stories Submission 2024’.   

Attach your work as a Word document or PDF, with a title and your name. If you are submitting multiple pieces of work, please attach all files in the same email.