Friday, July 24, 2009

Win cash prizes and publication in Madison Magazine

Inspired by the talents of Michael Pollan, REAP Food Group has announced a writing contest as part of the 2009 Food for Thought Festival, the annual Madison tradition that celebrates local food and sustainable food systems. Pollan, acclaimed author on sustainable food, will be giving the keynote address at this year’s festival on September 26.

With support from Madison Magazine, the contest will solicit entries now through September 4 in the categories of Poetry (500 words or less), Memoir (800 words or less), and Short, Short Fiction (1,200 words or less). Winners in each category will be announced and invited to read at the festival. Each will receive $100 and have their piece published in a future issue of Madison Magazine. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and submit a $12 registration fee that will support REAP’s programs. More details and the online entry form are available at

“In recent decades we’ve become disconnected from our food, but now Americans are beginning to ‘take back the table,’” says Terese Allen, REAP Board Chair. “They’re getting to know food again, paying attention to where food comes from, shopping locally and seasonally, and reconnecting with heritage recipes. All of these things are great fodder for stories about food, and how food connects us to the people and land around us.”

The Food for Thought Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26 along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard off the Capitol Square. The festival aims to reconnect people with food on a local level through speakers, presentations, and demonstrations; kids’ activities; information booths from more than 60 local vendors and food producers; and more.

Michael Pollan’s appearance scheduled for 10:00 a.m. is made possible in partnership with The Center for the Humanities; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE); the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy; the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation; UW-Madison Libraries; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In its 11th year, the festival is organized by REAP (Research, Education, Action, and Policy) Food Group, with support by Williamson Street Grocery Co-op, Eating Well Magazine, Whole Foods Market, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Fromagination, Organic Valley, MATC Johnson Block & Associates, the Madison Area CSA Coalition, Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, St.. Mary’s Hospital, and Wisconsin Cheese Originals.

For a festival schedule and more, go to, e-mail or call (608) 310-7836.

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