Deadline for 2020 Orwell Prize entries extended to 21st January 2021

Thursday 07 January 2021

With reporters under immense pressure to cover an intense and chaotic start to the year, the Foundation is extending the deadline for entries to The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils to midday Thursday 21st January 2021.

This extension will not change the date for the Prize Ceremony and the rules remain the same.

Journalists, editors and award administrators are invited to submit entries via the online forms. Entry should only take a few minutes, but please read the instructions on the form carefully to make sure you have the necessary material ready before you begin. Full rules are available here, and selected highlights are featured below.

Longlists and shortlists will be published in the spring. Each Prize, announced on or around George Orwell’s birthday on the 25th June 2021, is worth £3,000 to the winner, and the awards will be accompanied by a programme of events, including genre-crossing conversations between the writers and reporters nominated that year.

  • The Prizes are independent and free to enter, with no charges at any point. Journalists may enter themselves, or be nominated by an editor or publicist. The Prizes are administrated by a  charity, The Orwell Foundation, which appoints new panels of independent judges each year.
  • The Orwell Prize for Journalism is awarded to a portfolio of commentary and/or reportage which best meets the spirit of George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Entries may be in any medium, including broadcast and radio, and on any topic, international or domestic. All entries must include a written element (e.g. for broadcast entries, a transcript should be included).
  • The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is awarded to an investigation that has enhanced the public understanding of social issues in the UK and is named after the task which Rowntree set his organisation ‘to search out the underlying causes of weakness or evil’ that lay behind Britain’s social problems. The Prize encourages entries from reporting that extends the reach of traditional media and stories may be told across multiple platforms.
  • Journalists and articles can only be entered for either The Orwell Prize for Journalism or The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils in one year, with the following exception: individual journalists may enter The Orwell Prize for Journalism in a personal capacity and be nominated for The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils as part of a small team, or vice versa, providing there is no significant overlap in the material submitted.

About this year’s judges

The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2021 panel is chaired by Carrie Gracie, former BBC China editor and author of Equal: How We Fix the Gender Pay Gap. She is joined by doctor, editor, journalist and broadcaster Kamran Abbasi; Rosie Blau, Editor of the Economist’s sister magazine, 1843 Magazine; Iain Martin, co-founder, editor and publisher of Reaction and journalist, and newsreader and presenter Clive Myrie.

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2021 panel is chaired by Paul Kissack, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He will deliberate alongside 2020 ‘Social Evils’ winner Ian Birrell; Rianna Croxford, multi-award-winning correspondent at BBC News; ‘public service pioneer’ Professor Donna Hall CBE and Alice Miles, Director of Strategy and Policy for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.