Wednesday 02 December 2020
*Deadline extended to midday Thursday 21st January 2021*
The 2021 judging panels for The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2021 and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2021 (sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), the UK’s free-to-enter, independent and highly sought-after prizes for political journalism and reporting on social issues are announced today, as the prizes open to reporting published in the calendar year 2020. Submissions will close on Monday 11th January 2021.
Journalists, editors and award administrators are invited to submit entries via the online forms. Full rules are available here, and selected highlights are featured below. A longlist and a shortlist will be published in the spring and the Prize is worth £3,000 to the winner.
- The Orwell Prize for Journalism is awarded to a portfolio of commentary and/or reportage, in any medium, which best meets the spirit of George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. All entries must include a written element (e.g. a transcript).
- 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. The Prize encourages entries from reporting that extends the reach of traditional media and stories may be told across multiple platforms.
- The Prizes are free to enter, with no charges at any point. Journalists may enter themselves for the Prize, or be nominated by an editor or publicist.
Each year, The Foundation appoints a new panel of independent judges to award each Prize.
Professor Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Foundation, said:
The expert judges of this year’s Orwell Prizes have a great responsibility in a year like no other. Covid 19 has grimly exploited every existing social and political divide while, in the UK and across the world, independent-minded journalism faces fierce economic and alarming political pressures. We look forward to the judges finding and celebrating the writing and reporting that helps us see our predicament more clearly.”
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.
Each year the Orwell Foundation awards Prizes for the books and journalism which come closest to George Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. The Foundation currently awards four Prizes and a total of £12,000 in Prize money: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils. Each Prize is judged by a separate, independent panel, which changes each year.
Together with the Orwell Prizes for Political Writing and Political Fiction, longlists for the two prizes will be announced in April 2021, shortlists in May 2021 and winners announced on or around George Orwell’s birthday, June 25th 2021.
The 2020 winners were announced on Times Radio on 9th July 2020. Janice Turner (The Times) won the Orwell Prize for Journalism for columns and features on clearing out her family home, the invisibility of ‘cheap faceless labour’ and the fall of the Labour Party’s ‘red wall’ while Ian Birrell (Freelance: Tortoise; Mail on Sunday; The i paper) was awarded the Social Evils Prize for an investigation, informed by his family situation, into abuse within the NHS.
If you have any questions or require further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils respectively.