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Announcing the Orwell Lectures 2017: Grayson Perry & A.L. Kennedy

The Orwell Foundation’s flagship lecture – which has attracted notable speakers including Ian Hislop (2016), Dr Rowan Williams (2015) and Dame Hilary Mantel – has been given annually since 1989, originally in Birkbeck and Sheffield, but has recently been held solely in London.

We are delighted to announce that from next month there will once again be two annual Orwell Lectures – the established Orwell Lecture given at University College London, and a new Orwell Lecture in the North, which will take place in Sheffield.

Artist Grayson Perry will deliver the first Orwell Lecture in the North in almost 20 years at the University of Sheffield in November. A new partnership between the Orwell Foundation and the Sir Bernard Crick Centre at the University of Sheffield will see the re-establishment of the prestigious event in the North of England.

In his lecture, titled ‘I’ve read all the academic texts on empathy’, Grayson Perry will give an artist’s view on our emotions around politics and identity.

I am an artist and I am a great believer in the power of culture to communicate in ways that are particular to the arts, a more holistic style of relaying information that talks not only to the intellect but the heart, body and soul as well.

We need to harness and grow this power as a force for good, a force that can bind us in deep and lovely ways we did not even know were happening.

 

The following week, award-winning author, journalist and stand-up comedian A.L. Kennedy will give the Orwell Lecture at University College London on the subject “Orwell with women”. 

Deeply associated with political thinking – and our increasingly rapid descent into newspeak and unhistory – Orwell was also a meticulously close observer of women and placed them at the centre of his imaginative life. A famously self-contained man, often part of all-male groups, Orwell nevertheless had an enduring and vital relationship with the female. The talk will look at the different threads of this relationship.

Alison (A L) Kennedy is an award-winning author, stand-up comedian, journalist and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. Her fiction includes Day (winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award 2007), The Blue Book and Serious Sweet, as well as the Doctor Who novel The Drosten’s Curse. Among her radio plays are Confessions of a Medium, That I Should Rise and Love Love Love Like The Beatles.

 

Booking for the Orwell Lecture with A.L. Kennedy will be available via The Orwell Foundation website. Tickets for the Orwell Lecture in the North are available via the University of Sheffield

 

The Orwell Lecture in the North 2017

GRAYSON PERRY: I’ve read all the academic texts on empathy 

Wednesday 15 November, 6.30pm

The Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield, Clarkson Street, S10 2TQ

 

The Orwell Lecture (in London) 2017

A.L. Kennedy : Orwell with women

Wednesday 15 November, 6.30pm

The Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield, Clarkson Street, S10 2TQ

 

 

 

The New Poverty

The Orwell Foundation will be hosting a debate to mark the launch of Stephen Armstrong’s The New Poverty (3rd October, Verso). Stephen’s book draws on stories written for Unreported Britain, a project from the Orwell Foundation in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. We ask what role the media has in reporting the stories of people in poverty.

Thu 12 October 2017 | 18:30 – 20:00 BST

The House of St Barnabas, 1 Greek Street, London, W1D 4NQ

Find out more, and book your free ticket here.

Find out more at www.orwellfoundation.com/unreportedbritain

Announcing the winners of the Orwell Prize 2017

The Winners of the Orwell Prizes 2017 were announced today at the Orwell Prize Ceremony, held at UCL.

The Orwell Prizes reward the writing that comes closest to achieving English writer George Orwell’s ambition to ‘make political writing into an art’.

The Winners were presented with their £3000 prize money by Richard Blair, Orwell’s son.

The winner of the Orwell Prize for Books 2017 is Citizen Clem: A Biography of Atlee, by John Bew

Judge Jonathan Derbyshire said:

“Citizen Clem is both a magnificent renewal of the art of political biography and a monument to the greatest leader the Labour party has ever had. It presents us with a man whose socialism was learned, not acquired. Attlee’s career, in John Bew’s telling, is a tribute not to sham consistency or inviolable purity of principle, but to the primacy of politics – what Weber called the ‘slow boring of hard boards’.”

Judge Bonnie Greer commented:

“The timing of The Orwell Prize winner could not be more apt. The political battle in the UK since 1948 has always boiled down to one simple fact: the upholding or the whittling away of what Clem Atlee built. Post-war Britain was literally built by a man who built his own self: a self which was forged by war and the concern for a just and equitable society. ‘Citizen Clem’ will go a long way towards re-balancing the Churchillian narrative that currently dominates us.”

Judge Erica Wagner added:

“A book both magisterial and gripping, this biography of Labour’s unlikely postwar hero offers a portrait of a modest man whose achievement was not modest at all: the building of the modern Welfare State. Revealing both the strength of an individual and the strengths of a society, this is necessary reading in 2017.”

The judges for The Orwell Prize for Books were Jonathan Derbyshire (Executive Comment Editor, Financial Times), playwright and author Bonnie Greer, writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson, and writer and critic Erica Wagner

The winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 is Fintan O’Toole

O’Toole was selected by the judges for writing in the Irish Times, the Guardian and the Observer.

Dame Liz Forgan, one of the Judges. commented:

“It’s not often that penetrating intelligence, a keen historical understanding and sparkling prose coincide in one journalist. When he is also uniquely placed to write about one of the biggest issues of the day from an unusual but highly important perspective we are all in luck. 

Fintan O’Toole knocks the usual Brexit arguments about City jobs and fruit-pickers into proper shape by focussing eloquently on the existential implications of the referendum for everyone on the island of Ireland.  If only the whole campaign had been conducted with such style and seriousness…”

The judges for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 were Dame Liz Forgan, former BBC special correspondent Allan Little and journalist, writer and broadcaster Francis Wheen.

The winner of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils is Felicity Lawrence

Felicity Lawrence wins the prize for cross-platform reporting of British social issues and public policy for her reporting of migrant gangwork in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The judges of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017 commented:

“Felicity Lawrence’s reporting on migrant gangwork in Wisbech represents investigative journalism at its best and was a clear winner in a very strong field. Felicity persistently pursued this story for several months: her report, which includes voices from the whole community, both victims and residents, draws together a wide range of issues relating to organized crime and migrant labour which have significant, urgent resonance for our understanding of social evils in a post-Brexit Britain.” 

The judges for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017 were Claire Ainsley (Director of Communications and External Affairs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation) journalist and Front Row presenter Samira Ahmed and Professor Julian Le Grand (Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics).


The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, three prizes are awarded to the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’: the Orwell Prize for Books, Journalism and Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.

The Orwell Prize is awarded by The Orwell Foundation, a registered charity (number 1161563) providing free cultural events and resources for the public benefit.

The Orwell Foundation uses the work of George Orwell to celebrate honest writing and reporting, to uncover hidden lives, to confront uncomfortable truths and, in doing so, to promote Orwell’s values of integrity, decency and fidelity to truth.

The Orwell Prize was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in its present form in 1993, awarding its first prizes in 1994. The Prize is supported by Political Quarterly, Richard Blair (George Orwell’s son) and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The Orwell Foundation is based at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies. For more information about the Institute of Advanced Studies and its activities please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies.

1984 Live

In order of appearance, the Readers of 1984 Live were:

Richard Blair

George Orwell’s adopted son

Archie Blair

George Orwell’s great-grandson

Gavin Blair

George Orwell’s grandson

Bill Hamilton

Literary Agent. Executor of the Orwell Estate

Harry Mount

Journalist and Editor, The Oldie.

Nicci Gerrard

Writer. Winner of The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2016.

Hugh Levinson

Editor, BBC Radio Current Affairs.

Lord Ken Macdonald QC

Lord Macdonald QC, Chair of The Orwell Foundation and Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords.

Michela Wrong

Journalist, Author and former Foreign Correspondent.

Quentin Kopp

Son of Georges Kopp, Orwell’s commander in the POUM.

Helen Pearson

Editor, Nature journal. Author of The Life Project (2016), longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Arifa Akbar

Journalist and Literary Critic. Curator of M-Fest: A Muslim Festival of Books and Ideas. Deputy Editor of Wasafiri Magazine.

Catherine O’Shaughnessy

George Orwell’s niece.

Peter Ross

Award-Winning Journalist, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2015.

Kathy Harvey

Deputy Director, the Orwell Foundation

Liam Wantenaar

Member of the Public

Caroline Criado Perez

Writer, broadcaster and award-winning feminist campaigner. Author of Do it Like a Woman (2015).

Rebecca O’Brien

Producer, most recently “I, Daniel Blake”

Isabel Ogilvie-Smith

Member of the Public

Fatima Al Rayes

Member of the Public

Paul Lay

Editor, History Today.

Peter Hitchens

Journalist, Columnist at the Mail on Sunday. Winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2010.

Gary Younge

Writer and Journalist. Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Hector Parsons

Member of the Public

Lucie Benaiteau

Member of the Public

Anna Wharton

Journalist and Writer, most recently co-author of Cut (2016). Longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Fiammetta Rocco

Editor of Books and Arts, the Economist

Professor Anthony Julius

Solicitor and academic best known for actions on behalf of Princess Diana, Deborah Lipstadt and Heather Mills.

Frances Barber

Award winning theatre actor. Credits include: “Silk”, “Dr Who” & “Antony & Cleopatra”.

Professor Simon Schama

Historian, University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University.

Dr Martin Moore

Director, Centre for the Study of Media, Culture and Power, King’s College London.

Hibo Wardere

Somalian-born campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM). Author of Cut (2016). Longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017

Gideon Rachman

Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times. Winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2016.

Billy Bragg

Singer-Songwriter and activist. Albums include Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, and Shine a Light with Joe Henry.

D.J. Taylor

Critic, Novelist and Biographer. Author of Orwell (2003) award-winning biography of George Orwell.

Rick Edwards

Television Presenter and author of None of the Above (2015).

Gillian Furlong

Head of Special Collections and Archivist in UCL Library Services

Ruth Dudley-Edwards

Crime fiction writer, Biographer and Historian. Shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Mark Adair

Head of Corporate and Community Affairs, BBC Northern Ireland.

John Seaward

Actor. Recent credits include “The Inbetweeners Movie” and “The Philanthropist”.

Ros Wynne Jones

Journalist, creator of The Road to Wigan Pier Project, Daily Mirror. Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017.

Guy Pewsey

Journalist, London Evening Standard.

Baroness Patience Wheatcroft

Journalist and Conservative Member of the House of Lords. Former Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Journal Europe.

David Olusoga

British-Nigerian Writer, Broadcaster and Historian. Author of Black and British, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books.

Professor Maya Jasanoff

Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard Univeristy.

Professor John Bew

Professor in History and Foreign Policy at King’s College London. Shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Taniya Welmillage

Member of the Public

Ece Temelkuran

Turkish Journalist and Author. Fired as a columnist from Habertürk after writing articles critical of the government.

Hugh Montgomery

Head of Culture, the Daily Telegraph.

Lord Melvyn Bragg

Broadcaster, author and member of the House of Lords, best known for the BBC Radio 4 Programme In Our Time.

Ken Loach

Award-Winning Television and Film Director, most recently I, Daniel Blake.

Nick Cohen

Journalist. Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017.

Matthew Norman

Writer, Political Commentator and Journalist. Media diarist for The Independent.

Jack Monroe

Writer, Journalist and Activist.

Professor Stella Bruzzi

Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL.

Mark Ravenhill

Playwright whose work has been produced by the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Court Theatre. He lost his virginity in 1984.

Alan Johnson

Former MP for Hull West and Hessle, former Home Secretary and winner of The Orwell Prize for Books 2014.

Dame Harriet Walter

Actor. Most recent work : Boa, Brutus, King Henry and Prospero in the Donmar all-female Shakespeare Trilogy. Recent films include “The Sense of an Ending”. Author of Brutus and Other Heroines.

Guy Paul

Actor. Recent credits include: “Boa”, “Death of a Salesman” and on film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

Salena Godden

Poet, performer and author. Contributor to The Good Immigrant (2016).

Jennifer Lim

Actor and filmmaker. Founding member of British East Asian Artists.

Daniel York Loh

Actor and writer. One of 21 featured essayists in the award-winning The Good Immigrant (2016).

Professor Jean Seaton

Director, The Orwell Foundation

Phyllida Lloyd

Director best known for work in theatre and as the director of Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady

Neal Ascherson

Scottish journalist and writer. Visiting Professor of Archaeology at UCL.

Samantha Michelle

Canadian actress, filmmaker and DJ with a love for classic literature, soul music, love itself and understanding

Bonnie Greer

American-British playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster. Book judge for The Orwell Prize for Books 2017.

Come on board: the Orwell Foundation is hiring

The Orwell Foundation is recruiting for the role of Programmes Manager.

We are looking for a Programmes Manager to manage the day-to-day running of the Foundation’s activities and the Orwell Youth Prize. The role is predominantly project management and administration. Alongside this, the Programmes Manager is responsible for working with the Director and board of the Orwell Foundation to develop strategy and to build partnerships.  The manager will also work on fundraising and grant applications, and will be the central link between the different strands of the Orwell Foundation’s work.

The responsibilities of the Programmes Manager are broad – from charity administration and events organisation to meeting high profile individuals and organisations. There is much scope for independence and leading your own projects: no two days are the same. The Orwell Foundation has developed enormously in the past three years. This is an opportunity to join a vibrant and ambitious organisation at an exciting time, managing a small team.

The Programmes Manager reports to and works closely with the Director of the Orwell Foundation, the Chair of the Orwell Prize and the Administrator. The Director, Programmes Manager and Administrator work closely with two active Boards of Trustees.

A full list of duties and responsibilities is included in the job description.

There is a possibility of an additional part-time post. Please indicate in your covering letter if you would be interested in this position.

Job Description Programmes Manager May 2017

To Apply

To apply, please read the Job Description and send a CV and Covering Letter, together with the completed Recruitment Questionnaire (found below) to recruitment@theorwellprize.co.uk by 23.59hrs on Friday 23rd June.

Successful candidates will be contacted by 7th July 2017.

Interviews will be held during the week of 10th July 2017.

Start date: Tuesday 29th August (latest).

Job Description Programmes Manager May 2017

Recruitment Questionnaire (word)

Recruitment Questionnaire (PDF)

 

Announcing the Orwell Prize 2017 Shortlists

The shortlists for the Orwell Prizes 2017 were announced today at a special shortlist lecture by Ruth Davidson MSP, co-hosted by the Constitution Unit, University College London. Following a year in which Orwell’s name has returned to the heart of political discourse, The Orwell Prize judges for Books, Journalism and the Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils choose their most compelling examples of political writing of 2016. You can read about all the shortlisted and entries on our website.

The winners of each £3000 prize will be announced at the Prize Ceremony, UCL, Thursday 15th June 2017. 

The Orwell Prize for Books 2017 judges were Jonathan Derbyshire, Bonnie Greer, Mark Lawson and Erica Wagner. The Orwell Prize for Books shortlist is:

  • Citizen Clem by John Bew (Quercus)
    • Biography of the post-war Labour Prime Minister by an author praised as ‘the outstanding historian of his generation’.
  • The Seven by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Oneworld)
    • A critical re-examination of the Easter Rising and the ‘fundamental questions and myths surrounding Ireland’s founding fathers’.
  • All Out War by Tim Shipman (HarperCollins UK)
    • Contemporary history of the EU referendum campaign from political reporter Tim Shipman, ‘based on unrivalled access to all the key politicians and their advisors’.
  • Island Story by J. D. Taylor (Repeater)
    • With a rusty bike and a tent, new name J. D. Taylor cycles round Britain in search of the answer to the question – ‘what is life like on this island?’
  • And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany (Faber & Faber)
    • A book about ‘what arrived in the wake of unquestionably the most controversial tragedy in the post-war era of Britain’s history’.
  • Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (Guardian Faber)
    • The Guardian writer Gary Younge focuses on Saturday November 23rd 2013, when ten children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States.

The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 judges were Dame Liz Forgan, Allan Little and Francis Wheen. The Orwell Prize for Journalism shortlist is:

  • Rosie Blau (The Economist)
  • Carole Cadwalladr (The Observer)
  • Aditya Chakrabortty (The Guardian)
  • Nick Cohen (Standpoint, The Observer)
  • John Harris (The Guardian)
  • Fintan O’Toole (The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Observer)
  • Paul Wood (The Spectator, Harper’s Magazine)

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017 judges were Samira Ahmed, Claire Ainsley and Julian Le Grand. The Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils shortlist is:

  • Behind Closed Doors by Anna Hall, Erica Gornall & Louise Tickle; True Vision Aire and The Guardian
  • Drug company profiteering exposed by Billy Kenber; The Times
  • From Brighton to the Battlefield; how four friends were drawn to Syria by Mark Townsend; The Guardian
  • The gangsters on England’s doorstep by Felicity Lawrence; The Guardian
  • The RBS Dash for Cash by BuzzFeed UK Investigations team; Tom Warren, Jane Bradley & Richard Holmes (Editor: Heidi Blake)
  • Real Britain column by Ros Wynne-Jones; Daily Mirror

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, which is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is named in recognition of the task Joseph Rowntree gave his organization to ‘search out the underlying causes of weakness or evil’ that lay behind Britain’s social problems.

The Orwell Prizes for Books, Journalism and Exposing Britain's Social Evils: Announcing the 2017 Orwell Prize Longlists

Longlists for the Orwell Prize for Books, Journalism and Britain’s Social Evils were announced today, following a year in which George Orwell’s name has returned to the heart of political discourse. 14 books were longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books and 14 journalists were longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism. 12 entries were longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Britain’s Social Evils.

 

The Orwell Prize for Books  2017 longlist:

  • The Power by Naomi Alderman (Viking)
  • Citizen Clem by John Bew (Quercus)
  • The Seven by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Oneworld)
  • The Return by Hisham Matar (Viking)
  • Black and British by David Olusoga (Macmillan)
  • The Life Project by Helen Pearson (Allen Lane)
  • Easternisation by Gideon Rachman (The Bodley Head)
  • All Out War by Tim Shipman (William Collins)
  • The Marches by Rory Stewart (Vintage, Jonathan Cape)
  • Island Story by J. D. Taylor (Repeater)
  • And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany (Faber & Faber)
  • Enough Said by Mark Thompson (The Bodley Head)
  • Cut by Hibo Wardere, in collaboration with Anna Wharton (Simon & Schuster)
  • Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (Guardian Faber)

The judges for the Orwell Prize for Books 2017 are Jonathan Derbyshire, Bonnie Greer, Mark Lawson and Erica Wagner

The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 longlist:

  • Ian Birrell (Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The i Paper/The Independent, The Guardian)
  • Rosie Blau (The Economist)
  • Edward Carr (The Economist)
  • Carole Cadwalladr (The Observer)
  • Aditya Chakrabortty (The Guardian)
  • Nick Cohen (Standpoint, The Observer)
  • John Harris (The Guardian)
  • David Hayes (Inside Story)
  • Patrick Kingsley (The Guardian, The Observer)
  • Anthony Loyd (The Times, The New Statesman)
  • Douglas Murray (The Spectator, The Sunday Times)
  • Sarah O’Connor (Financial Times)
  • Fintan O’Toole (The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Observer)
  • Paul Wood (The Spectator, Harper’s)

The judges for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 are Liz Forgan, Allan Little and Francis Wheen

The Orwell Prize for Britain’s Social Evils:

Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

  • A Journey on the 25 by Peter Yeung
  • Behind Closed Doors by Anna Hall, Erica Gornall & Louise Tickle (True Vision Aire and the Guardian)
  • The business of single mothers on benefits by Rossalyn Warren (BuzzFeed News/Freelance)
  • Drug company profiteering exposed by Billy Kenber (The Times)
  • Football sexual-abuse scandal by Daniel Taylor (The Guardian/The Observer)
  • From Brighton to the Battlefield; how four friends were drawn to Syria by Mark Townsend (The Guardian)
  • The gangsters on England’s doorstep by Felicity Lawrence (The Guardian)
  • The Nazi Foodbank by Stephen Stewart (The Daily Record)
  • The RBS Dash for Cash by BuzzFeed UK Investigations team; Tom Warren, Jane Bradley & Richard Holmes (Heidi Blake – Editor)
  • Real Britain column by Ros Wynne-Jones (The Daily Mirror)
  • The UK Housing Crisis by Dawn Foster (The Guardian)
  • Zero-hours Britain: Undercover at JD Sports by Channel 4 Investigation Unit; Ciaran Jenkins, Andy Lee & Lee Sorrell (Job Rabkin – Editor)

The judges for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017 are Samira Ahmed, Claire Ainsley and Julian Le Grand

 

The Orwell Prize announces 2017 events programme

Today The Orwell Prize released an expanded events programme for 2017 in celebration of its move to UCL, announcing a series of lectures alongside its usual Prize events.

The Orwell Prize Lectures 2017

  • The Orwell Lecture 2017: A. L. Kennedy, writer
  • Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
  • Josie Rourke, Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse

The Orwell Prize also announces a live public reading of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, to be held in conjunction with UCL during the UCL Festival of Culture 2017, on 6th June 2017.

All events are free and open to the public.

Alongside it’s usual events programme – including the Orwell Prize Shortlist Debate and the Orwell Prize Ceremony – the Orwell Prize is delighted to announce additional events for 2017. The Orwell Prize is the UK’s most prestigious prize for political writing, and also a registered charity dedicated to the promotion of public understanding of and interest in politics. All events run by the Prize are free and open to the public. The Orwell Prize is based at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies, and is sponsored by the Political Quarterly, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Richard Blair.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said:

“Next year we have an exciting menu: politics three ways. For the first time we are running three major lectures, each of which takes an Orwell theme and relates it to writing, politics and culture. And in June: come and be part of 1984 Live. Feel the resonances. In the original Ministry of Information, with Orwell’s own son, the political, literary, intellectual inheritors of the day and you, the people, reading 1984 all of a long summers’ day in London”.

Rt. Hon. Ruth Davidson MSP

Ruth Davidson is the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Formerly a journalist and signaller in the Territorial Army, she was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011. Ruth Davidson will give a one-off lecture in 2017.

Josie Rourke

Josie Rourke is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse theatre. Josie is currently directing Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Liev Schreiber and Janet McTeer at The Booth Theatre, New York following the sold out run of her production of PRIVACY, starring Daniel Radcliffe at The Public Theater, New York. She also directed The Vote which was live broadcast on More4 on Election Night 2015.

The Orwell Lecture 2017: A. L. Kennedy

A. L. Kennedy has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards – including the Costa Book of the Year for her novel Day. She lives in London and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at Warwick University.

The Orwell Lecture was founded by Professor Sir Bernard Crick and has been given annually since 1989. Originally held at Birckbeck, University of London and the University of Sheffield, the Lecture is now held at University College London, where the Orwell Prize is based, each autumn.

Ian Hislop will give the Orwell Lecture 2016. Recent Orwell Lecturers include Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury (2015), Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford (2013) and Dame Hilary Mantel, two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize (2009).

1984 Live – 6th June 2016

In 2016, UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies became home to the Orwell Prize, bringing the Orwell Prize and the Orwell Archive, which was given to UCL on permanent loan by Orwell’s wife, together

at UCL. In celebration of this partnership, and of one of the world’s most incisive and relevant writers, UCL and The Orwell Prize are delighted to present this unique event as part of the UCL Festival of Culture 2017: A live, start-to-finish reading of Nineteen Eighty-Four in Senate House, University of London.

For the first time in the UK, hear Nineteen Eighty-Four read by a host of actors, writers, journalists and members of the public over the course of a single day in the centre of London. This unique event, part of the UCL Festival of Culture 2017, will be free and open to the public.

George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1948, just before he died of tuberculosis in University College Hospital.  Senate House – where Orwell’s wife worked during the war – provided inspiration for the Ministry of Truth, which Orwell so chillingly depicted in the novel. Nineteen Eighty-Four has become perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century. This unique event will offer the opportunity to hear Orwell’s seminal work read aloud in the building which inspired the literary world’s most fearsome building.

For further information or to get involved, go to http://www.orwellfoundation.com/1984live

For further information, please contact stephanie.lelievre@orwellfoundation.com  or on 020 3108 1618

ENDS

  1. The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing and a registered charity (number 1161563), providing free cultural events and resources for the public benefit.
  2. The Prize was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in its present form in 1993, awarding its first prizes in 1994. The Prize is supported by Political Quarterly, Richard Blair (Orwell’s son), A. M. Heath, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  3. The Orwell Prize is based at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies. For more information about the Institute of Advanced Studies, please see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies
  4. For further information, please contact lelievre@orwellfoundation.com or on020 3108 1618
  1. Find out more at orwellfoundation.com

The Orwell Prize 2017 is now open for entries

The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, awarded to the book and journalism which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’.

Entry is free, and there is no limit to the number of entries a publisher or publication can make. All entries must have a link to the UK or Ireland (see our rules for more details). The Prize is open to fiction, non-fiction and journalism first published in the calendar year 2016. For the full rules, please see here.

There are three categories:

The Orwell Prize for Books

The Orwell Prize for Journalism

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The Orwell Prize for books will be judged by Jonathan Derbyshire, Bonnie Greer, Mark Lawson and Erica Wagner; the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 will be judged by Liz Forgan, Alan Little and Francis Wheen; the Orwell for Exposing Britain’s Social evils, sponsored and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will be judged by Samira Ahmed, Claire Ainsley and Julian Le Grand.

The Orwell Prize 2017 opens for entries today, 31st October 2016 and closes on the 12th January 2017. Enter the prize  or email the administrator jeremy.wikeley@theorwellprize.co.uk.

Scholars should be free to pass without hindrance

Ken Macdonald QC, Chair of the Orwell Prize

Wednesday 19th October 2016

At the launch of the Orwell Prize 2017 , Lord Ken Macdonald QC, Chair of the Orwell Prize, made the following address:


“Before we embark on the evening’s proceedings, I’m delighted to announce that the Orwell Prize has a new home- in the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL. And I’d like to thank Professor Jo Woolf, previously Dean of Arts at UCL, and now of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford, for his role in securing this important and hugely appropriate association.

This move is particularly pleasing to us, not just because UCL already contains the Orwell Archive, but also because it is the university of Bentham and a great international, a great transnational institution. London’s Global University, as it nattily styles itself.

When Europe’s first university was established, in Bologna, in 1088, 200 hundred years before the University of Oxford, its origins were these: groups of young foreigners who came together in mutual aid societies for protection against city laws which imposed collective punishment upon them, as foreigners, for the crimes and debts of their fellow countrymen.

Having joined together in this way, these young men hired scholars from the city to teach them- and in time they decided to form a larger association, or ‘universitas’. A University.

It is perhaps because it was born in this way that the University of Bologna’s founding charter proclaimed the revolutionary principle that scholars should be free to pass without hindrance, they should not be oppressed by borders.

Of course this notion was both real and a metaphor, for if scholars were to be allowed to pass freely across Europe, then so too would ideas in their wake.

This idea, conceived in eleventh century Italy, now seems obvious to us. Today, it’s really quite impossible to conceive of a national university, except in vaguely sinister terms, just as it’s impossible to contemplate a national science without hearing ugly echoes from history.

So although my university, the University of Oxford, is situated physically in the heart of England, it is a European university. It is a world university.

In my College alone, 20 per cent of the undergraduates come from overseas, many, of course, from the European mainland. Around 65 per cent of our graduate students are also from abroad, and our fellowship is heavily international.ken-macdonald-3

This is the difference between Lysenko and Wittgenstein. And in the difference lies our protection against the evil, the anti-university evil, identified by Orwell himself when he wrote that if thought isn’t free, if the intellect is bound and national, if it is constrained and bordered, we live with the danger that any inquiry that is followed may lead to a forbidden thought.

It is quite mad to see incoming students from abroad as a symptom of a loss of control, or to believe that any control that’s lost by their arrival is worth mourning. To believe that foreign scholars amount to a problem, we’d have to imagine that the intellect they bring with them is somehow immigrant intellect, and less welcome for that reason. And that bad dream is accompanied by its own especially ugly historical resonance.”

 

The Orwell Prize Moves to UCL

Film by Rob Eagle, UCL Communications

The Orwell Prize has announced that it will now be based at The Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, home to the Orwell Archive.

The announcement, which marks the start of an exciting new era for the Orwell Prize, were made at a debate to celebrate the launch of the Orwell Prize 2017 on ‘Experts, the Media and Politics’ featuring Jamie Bartlett, Ashwin Kumar, Christopher Snowdon and Polly Toynbee.

The Orwell Prize also announced that Ian Hislop will give the Orwell Lecture 2016 on Tuesday 15th November 2016 and The Judges for the Orwell Prize 2017.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said

“Arriving at UCL – home of the Orwell Archive – is an exciting moment in the development of the Orwell Prize. Orwell’s focus on the slipperiness of political language is particularly compelling in our own uncertain times, and this year’s Orwell judges will be unearthing a selection of the best, bleakest, most inspiring, most intelligent thinking in writing and journalism. The Prize depends on both the authority and variety of tastes that the judges bring to the process and this year we have a stellar collection. But the first thing we have to offer is one of the great public moralists of the moment, Ian Hislop, giving the Orwell Lecture 2017”.

Professor Tamar Garb, Director of UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies, said

“The Orwell Prize’s move to UCL is as logical as it is exciting. UCL has been home to the Archive since 1960 – it was deposited at UCL on permanent loan by his widow, ten years after Orwell’s death from tuberculosis at University College Hospital –  and has hosted the Orwell Lecture since 2013. Now, the Orwell Prize will be based at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies. The Orwell Prize is a natural fit within our commitment to critical thinking across conventional disciplinary boundaries. We look forward to working with The Orwell Prize to develop Orwell scholarship, and to stimulate cultural and political discourse in the name of one of the world’s most incisive and relevant writers.”

The Orwell Prize is now based at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL. UCL is home to the Orwell Archive, the most comprehensive body of research material relating to George Orwell anywhere. The Orwell Prize expects to be able to develop Orwell scholarship and cultural and political engagement in the sympathetic and stimulating environment of the IAS, which is committed to critical thinking across conventional boundaries.

Ian Hislop to give The Orwell Lecture 2016

 

The Orwell Prize has today announced that Ian Hislop will give the Orwell Lecture 2016, at University College London on Tuesday 15th November 2016. The Lecture will be titled ‘The Right to Dissent (and the Left too)’

To book tickets, please see the event page.

THE ORWELL LECTURE

The Orwell Lecture was founded by Professor Sir Bernard Crick and has been given annually since 1989. Originally held at Birckbeck, University of London and the University of Sheffield, the Lecture is now held at University College London, where the Orwell Prize is based, each autumn.

Recent Orwell Lecturers include Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury (2015), Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford (2013) and Dame Hilary Mantel, two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction (2009).

The Orwell Lecture is open to the public and tickets are free.

IAN HISLOP

Ian Hislop is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He has been editor of Private Eye since 1986. He is probably best known for his role as a regular team captain on the BBC show Have I Got News for You.

He joined Private Eye in 1981, and became editor in 1986. He has appeared on BBC Question Time, written and presented documentaries for television and radio about various subjects including the History of Tax, female hymn writers, Dr Beeching, Victorian Philanthropists, the First World War, and The Stiff Upper Lip. In 2016 he presented a documentary on Victorian Benefits: Workers or Shirkers. He co-wrote a dramatisation of The Wipers Times with Nick Newman, which was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Single Drama of 2014, and won the Best Single Drama Award in Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, 2014. In 2016, he and Nick Newman wrote the critically acclaimed 2016 Radio 4 comedy drama Trial By Laughter.

Ian has received numerous awards, including a BAFTA Award in 1991 and a British Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards 2011 for Have I Got News for You,  Editors’ Editor, British Society of Magazine Editors in 1991; Magazine of the Year, What the Papers Say in 1991; Editor of the Year, British Society of Magazine Editors, in 1998; Channel 4 Political Awards, for Political Satire in 2004; and a Channel 4 Political Award, for Political Comedy in 2006, A Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award for Excellence in Broadcasting 2009, Political Studies Association. Diamond Jubilee Award. Best Political Satire, 2010, a Liberty Human Rights Award for Private Eye in 2011 and Trip Advisors Travellers’ Choice in 2012. Have I Got News For You won a BAFTA in 2016 for Best Comedy Programme.

The Orwell Prize announces Judges for 2017

The Orwell Prize has announced its judges for 2017, and that it will now be based at The Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, home to the Orwell Archive.

The Orwell Prize for Books 2017 will be judged by Jonathan Derbyshire, Bonnie Greer, Mark Lawson and Erica Wagner.

The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 will be Judged by Liz Forgan, Alan Little and Francis Wheen.

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017, which is sponsored and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will be judged by Samira Ahmed, Claire Ainsley and Julian Le Grand.

Read more about the judges here

The announcements, which mark the start of an exciting new era for the Orwell Prize, were made at a debate to celebrate the launch of the Orwell Prize 2017 on ‘Experts, the Media and Politics’ featuring Jamie Bartlett, Ashwin Kumar, Christopher Snowdon and Polly Toynbee.

The Orwell Prize also announced that Ian Hislop will give the Orwell Lecture 2016 on Tuesday 15th November 2016.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said

“Arriving at UCL – home of the Orwell Archive – is an exciting moment in the development of the Orwell Prize. Orwell’s focus on the slipperiness of political language is particularly compelling in our own uncertain times, and this year’s Orwell judges will be unearthing a selection of the best, bleakest, most inspiring, most intelligent thinking in writing and journalism. The Prize depends on both the authority and variety of tastes that the judges bring to the process and this year we have a stellar collection. But the first thing we have to offer is one of the great public moralists of the moment, Ian Hislop, giving the Orwell Lecture 2017”.

Following the launch, the Orwell Prize 2017 will open for entries on Monday 31st October and will close on Thursday 12th January.

Encountering Orwell

To celebrate the launch of our new website, The Orwell Prize is publishing a new set of Encounters in our Encountering Orwell Series. In 2014, to Celebrate our 21st Birthday, we collected and published a series of Encounters with Orwell: winners, judges, board members and friends were asked to share their experiences of reading George Orwell. Over the coming days, we will publish a series of new Encounters on our website, beginning with Dr Rowan Williams’ which you can read today. Follow us on twitter to keep up to date.

You can read the first collection of Encountering Orwell here.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said:

Books are mind-altering things. They speak into the intimate inner-ear of the reader, subtly altering how the world is understood from the inside out. Reading builds and re-directs a person. Books can enlarge (but also constrain) how people see things, places and events. Some reading does more than that – it changes mentalities – sets a whole stance on the world. But any particular reading is also an odd synthesis of personal history and historical moment. Good books need their readers primed to read them as well.

So the Orwell Prize is excited and honoured to publish a new collection in its series of Orwell Encounters featuring great writers and doers – people who have shaped our collective thinking – such as Rowan Williams, Melvyn Bragg, Clive Stafford Smith who founded Reprieve, Shami Chakrabarti and journalists and critics like Robert Colls and Alison Holt. All of them evidently enjoyed pinning down that first significant meeting with Orwell the writer. When original, thoughtful people meet a thought-provoking original, the encounters lead in many unexpected directions. Encounter them encountering Orwell