Announcing the Orwell Prize 2017 Shortlists

Monday 15 May 2017

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.