An Invitation

Friday 04 May 2012

This year’s Orwell Prize awards ceremony is taking place on Wednesday, 23rd May, and it would be wonderful if you could join us. The 2012 winners – of the Book Prize, Journalism Prize and Blog Prize – will be announced from 7pm, with drinks from 6.30pm, at Church House, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ. Shortlisted books will be on sale beforehand courtesy of Marylebone books. If you’d like to come along, email to reserve your free place. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Buxton Festival

We are delighted to announce that The Orwell Prize will also be returning to the Buxton Festival this summer as part of its programme of public events. Tony Wright (Former MP for Cannock Chase, Professor of Government and Public Policy at UCL, co-editor of Political Quarterly) will chair an Orwell vs. Kipling debate 10.30am on 16th July. Speakers for Orwell are Paul Anderson (journalist, author, academic, editor of Orwell in Tribune: ‘As I Please” and other writings 1943-7’) and Stuart Evers (Author of ‘Ten Stories about Smoking’ (Picador 2011) and ‘If This is Home’ (Picador 2012); book reviewer). Speakers for Kipling are Jan Montefiore (Professor at University of Kent, author of ‘Kipling’ (2007) and editor of Kipling’s forthcoming ‘The Man Who Would be King and other stories'(2011 Penguin Classics)) and Charles Allen (historian, author of Orwell Prize-longlisted ‘Kipling Sahib’). You can book tickets here.

From the archive

Orwell’s essay ‘Confessions of a Book Reviewer’ was published in the Tribune 66 years ago this week. The piece is a beautiful insight into Orwell’s own experiences of writing that are still familiar to many writers today.

From elsewhere

  • We have had a wonderfully overwhelming response to our Twitter competition for a chance to win a set of all the 2012 longlisted books. The winner is Adrian Wooster. If you missed this competition join us on Twitter and standby for the forthcoming chance to win a set of the 2012 shortlisted books.
  • Today is World Press Freedom Day and here at The Orwell Prize we are celebrating by re-reading ‘The Freedom of the Press.’ This piece was originally intended as Orwell’s preface to Animal Farm but was in fact first published posthumously in a Times supplement on 15th September 1972 with an introduction by Sir Bernard Crick. Ian Angus found the original manuscript in 1972.
  • The wartime diaries

    This week’s entry was published on 29th April 1942. Next week’s entries will be published on 6th, 8th and 11th May 1942. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on or follow us on Twitter.