Newsletter: Blogging Orwell’s Wigan Pier diary

Monday 31 January 2011

We’re delighted to announce that from today, Monday 31st January, we’ll be ‘post-blogging’ Orwell’s 1936 Wigan Pier diaries. Between 31st January and 25th March 1936, Orwell travelled around the Midlands and the north of England, keeping a diary which would form the basis for The Road to Wigan Pier (published in 1937). We’ll be posting each diary entry 75 years to the day since it was originally written at Visit our flickr stream for some archive material from Orwell’s travels, or visit the Google Map and follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with his progress.

The Orwell Prize 2011

This year’s Prize has received a record-equalling 212 entries for the Book Prize, and record-breaking 87 journalists for the Journalism Prize and 206 bloggers for the Blog Prize. To see a full list of entrants, visit our website. The longlists will be announced on 30th March 2011.

From the archive

In addition to the new blog, and the archive images on our flickr stream, there’s more about The Road to Wigan Pier on our website. We have the first chapter, a transcript of Orwell’s appearance on a radio programme answering a question about Wigan Pier, and letters by Orwell and his wife Eileen about the book’s publication. We also have the introduction to Orwell’s England (a Penguin collection which included Wigan Pier) by the late Ben Pimlott, and Peter Davison’s very useful note on the text, which gives a brief history of Wigan Pier’s publication. Also, George Orwell: A Life in Letters, wonderfully edited by Peter, is now out in paperback. You can watch video of him talking our director, Jean Seaton, through the new book on our site.

The wartime diaries

Last week, entries were published on 22nd and 26th January. The next entry will be published on 7th February.

The Wigan Pier diaries

This week, entries will be published on 31st January and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th February. 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. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.