Orwell and Society

Friday 10 May 2013

The Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, is supported by the Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly, AM Heath and Richard Blair (Orwell’s son). Last week The Orwell Prize went to Leeds Metropolitan University where our Operations Manager, Katriona Lewis, gave a lecture on ‘Orwell and Society’ to third year Journalism students. We talked through the life of George Orwell, the experiences that shaped his writing, views and values. We talked about terms he coined like newspeak, room 101 and big brother, as well as where Orwell can still be seen in society today from Wigan pier to his cautions against a world like Nineteen Eighty-Four. We looked at what makes his writing distinctive; the rules of ‘Politics and the English Language’.

The Orwell Prize ceremony is next week

The winners of the 2013 Orwell Prize – our 20th prize – will be announced next Wednesday evening 15th May at Church House. We would love to see as many of our friends and supporters there possible. The event is free but booking is essential, get your place here. You can see the full list of six journalists here and seven books here. Each of the shortlisted journalist’s submitted articles are available on our website and extracts from each of the books are now available too. This year’s judging meetings were very lively and full of intelligence. Shortlisted for journalism is Christina Patterson on the state of the NHS, Tom Bergin on corporation tax, Andrew Norfolk on grooming in the North of England, Ian Cobain on British complicity in torture, Jamil Anderlini on corruption in China and Kim Sengupta on conflict. The shortlisted books are Burying the Typewriter, a personal story on childhood in the Romanian surveillance regime, From the Ruins of the Empire on the recent history and evolution of Asia, Occupation Diaries on daily life in Palestine, A Very British Killing a painstakingly detailed account of the death of Baha Mousa, Injustice on the death row trial of Kris Maharaj, Richard Holloway’s memoir Leaving Alexandria and the collection of Marie Colvin’s journalism, On the Front Line.

From elsewhere

  • Nikita Lalwani on judging The Orwell Prize, The Guardian
  • Rory MacLean’s top 10 books on Burma, The Guardian
  • The sun is at last setting on Britain’s imperial myth by shortlisted Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian
  • The diaries

    Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Wartime Diary, Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. You can sign up to our newsletter If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on katriona.lewis@mediastandardstrust.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.