A visit to Wigan

Friday 23 November 2012

In February the Orwell Prize will be running a series of writing workshops for young people with Stephen Armstrong (author of The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited) in Wigan. Stephen piloted the project with writers including Will Self last year and the Orwell Prize is delighted to be getting involved. On Wednesday The Orwell Prize went to Wigan with Stephen to talk about our plans. On arrival we were given a tour of the town. We saw the canal where the original Wigan Pier had been (and where the Orwell pub now sits). We saw the plaque on a stone commemorating Orwell’s time in Wigan. At Sunshine House, the community centre hosting and supporting us, we met a group of young writers who told us about their work. We look forward to telling you more about this as the project develops.

An Orwell Prize chat with Raja Shehadeh

It’s been a very busy week for us. Today we had the pleasure of meeting Raja Shehadeh who is in London for his new play. Raja told us about the power imagination has to evoke change, he talked about his new book Occupation Diaries and watching the play, Arab Nights, come together. Our full interview will be published as a newsletter special next week.

From the archive

If you missed Stephen’s recent guestpost on his time retracing Orwell’s steps you can read it here. You can also read the first chapter of Raja Shehadeh’s Orwell Prize winning Palestinian Walks as well as clips of Raja talking at events and a narrated slideshow of the book here.

From elsewhere

  • Arab Nights, the play co-written by Orwell Prize winning Raja Shehadeh, opened at the Soho Theatre on Wednesday. Tonight he will be delivering a talk on Palestine and the Arab Spring. Tickets are still available here
  • Befriend a Family are hosting their very first Christmas concert with a reading from shortlister, Gavin Knight. The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 5th December at Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair. Proceeds will support families accross Westminster. Buy your ticket here
  • Last night the 2012 Orwell lecture took place at Birkbeck. We will upload footage of Christopher Andrew’s excellent talk soon.
  • The diaries

    Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Wartime Diary, Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. You can sign up to our newsletter If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on katriona.lewis@mediastandardstrust.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.