ACR's Last House Program Coordinator Susie Allen is excited to announce the “Last House Writing Contest,” in celebration of the style and spirit of M.F.K. Fisher, who wrote Art of Eating, How to Cook a Wolf, With Bold Knife and Fork, and approximately 30 other books and who resided in her 'Last House' on ACR's Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen until her death in 1992.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Emerging writers of all ages are invited to submit original, unpublished essays, stories or articles exploring or conveying the connection between environmental conservation, science and nature, food and drink, and the cultures surrounding them.

Entries accepted beginning August 21, 2020 through [EXTENDED] October 12, 5:00 p.m.


The judging panel, coordinated by Clark Wolf, includes some of the most accomplished, discerning writers, chefs, naturalists, and mentors working today:

  • Ruth Reichl
  • Harold McGee
  • Leena Trivedi-Grenier
  • Michele Anna Jordan
  • Elizabeth Fishel
  • Kennedy Golden
  • Jerry Di Vecchio
  • Jonathan London
  • Alice Waters

Entries accepted in three age categories:

  • Children (8 –12) (must have parent or legal guardian's consent)
  • Youth (13–17) (must have parent or legal guardian's consent)
  • Adults 18 and older

Format: Essay or short story, PDF format, 300–500 words for children and youth, 750 words maximum for adults 18 and older.

Registration fee is $10/children and youth, $25/adults. Join as a new member of ACR with a donation of $65.00 and entry fee is waived. (No preference will be given to ACR members.)

Deadline for submission of entries: 10/12/2020 at 5:00 p.m. Register at Eventbrite:

Grand prize: A 2-night stay at a waterfront house in Bodega Bay. (Winner must be 21 or accompanied by someone 21 or older.) While you're in Bodega Bay, head over to Ginochio's Kitchen, where you will enjoy a $100. gift certificate for a fabulous meal of smoked meats and seafood eats.

Other prizes include complimentary enrollment in Elizabeth Fishel’s writing workshop in 2021, two books signed by Alice Waters (“Fanny at Chez Panisse” and “Fanny in France”), ACR swag and other goodies.

ACR retains royalty-free rights to edit, reproduce, share, and/or publish all winning work. ACR welcomes people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations and abilities.

Proceeds will benefit Audubon Canyon Ranch's programs and the continuing restoration of Last House.


About M.F.K. Fisher’s Last House

Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) is restoring the legendary author's home on the 535-acre Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen to capture the spirit and the flavor of her life on the preserve and as an exclusive destination honoring her love of food, wine, literature and nature.

Fisher, described by W. H. Auden as “America’s greatest writer,” welcomed friends such as Julia Child, James Beard, and Maya Angelou. It also was at Last House that she wrote 13 books (one third of her collection) during 21 years of residence.

Built for her by landowner and architect David Pleydell-Bouverie, the two-room palazzino features a simple design, her signature Chinese red walls, built-in bookcases for over 2,000 books and arched porches that look west to Sonoma Mountain and east to the 535 acres of land protected by ACR.

Complementing the renovation are paintings, furnishings and memorabilia donated back to the house by family and friends. “Reaching out to family and friends who have lovingly shared items, memories, and stories has been rich,” said Kennedy Golden, Fisher’s daughter and an advisor on the project. Among the donated items, Fisher’s Coronomatic typewriter sits quietly in one corner, rough draft secured on the platen for curious observers.