Orwell Prizes 2023 open for entry

Tuesday 22 November 2022

The Orwell Prizes 2023 open today, inviting entries which aim to capture the spirit of George Orwell’s iconic work across books, journalism, broadcast and new media – including The Orwell Youth Prize for young writers and a new Prize for Reporting Homelessness.

In addition to cash prizes for the winners, finalists for The Orwell Prizes are invited to The Orwell Festival – a series of public events to discuss the most important and exciting political thinking and writing today. The next Orwell Festival will take place in June 2023.

Winners and runners up in The Orwell Youth Prize are published on our website, receive books by Orwell, and are invited to become part of the Orwell Youth Fellows programme.

There are currently five prizes in addition to the Youth Prize: two for books – The Orwell Prize for Political Writing and The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction – and three for journalism – The Orwell Prize for Journalism, The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils and the new Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness.

Categories, judges, prizes and more information about how to enter can be found below. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 22nd June 2023.


THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING 2023

The Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2023 will be judged by Martha Lane Fox (chair), businesswoman, philanthropist and public servant; Alice Bell, head of Climate and Health policy at the Wellcome Trust; Kojo Koram, writer and senior lecturer in Law at Birkbeck; Cristina Odone, journalist, editor and writer; and Sukhdev Sandhu, writer, reviewer and director at Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University.

The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is for a work of non-fiction, whether a book or pamphlet, first published in the UK or Ireland. ‘Political’ is defined in the broadest sense, including (but not limited to) entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects and can include pamphlets, books published by think tanks, diaries, memoirs, letters and essays.

Last year’s winner was Sally Hayden’s My Fourth Time, We Drowned (Harper Collins).

The 2023 Prize will recognise work first published between 1st June 2022 and 31st May 2023. Submissions close on 16th January 2023. 


THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION 2023

The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2023 will be judged by John Gray (chair), writer and philosopher; Alison Flood, comment and culture editor at the New Scientist; Julia Jordan, Associate Professor of 20th Century English Literature at University College London; and Tomiwa Owolade, reviewer and contributing writer at the New Statesman.

The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction rewards outstanding novels and collections of short stories, first published in the UK or Ireland, that illuminate major social and political themes, present or past, through the art of narrative.

Last year’s winner was Claire Keegan, for her novel Small Things Like These (Faber).

The 2023 Prize will recognise work first published between 1st June 2022 and 31st May 2023. Submissions close on 16th January 2023.


THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM & THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR EXPOSING BRITAIN’S SOCIAL EVILS 2023

The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2023 and the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2023 will both be judged by the same panel, comprising of award-winning journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown; Katy Balls, deputy political editor of The Spectator; Kurt Barling, professor of journalism at Middlesex University; Lindsey Hilsum, international editor for Channel 4 News; and Ed Thomas, special correspondent at BBC News and winner of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2022.

The Orwell Prize for Journalism is awarded to a journalist for sustained reportage and/or commentary working in any medium. Last year’s winner was the author and campaigner George Monbiot, for as series of columns published in The Guardian.

The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social supports and encourages original, insightful and impactful reporting on social issues in the UK. Entries should consist of a story that has enhanced the public understanding of social problems and public policy in the UK. The prize, first awarded in 2015, was originally founded with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The 2023 Prizes will recognise work first published between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023. Submissions are open until 31st March 2023. Entrant may enter one or both Prizes, but should make separate entries to each Prize they wish to be considered for.


THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR REPORTING HOMELESSNESS 2023

The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness, sponsored by the Centre for Homelessness Impact, is awarded for reportage and/or commentary on homelessness. Entries will be encouraged from people who are experiencing or have experienced all forms of homelessness as well as journalists writing about homelessness. The winning entry should strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’.

The 2023 Prize will recognise work first created or published between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2023. The judging panel for the inaugural Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness will be announced in the coming weeks.


THE ORWELL YOUTH PRIZE 2023

The Orwell Youth Prize 2023 is open for entries and invites young people in school years 8-13 to submit writing in response to the theme Who’s in Control?

Inspired by the writings of George Orwell, this year’s theme aims to encourage young people to think critically and creatively about systems of power and control in the world today. Entrants can submit pieces in any form of writing, including journalism, essays, short stories, poems, scripts, and video game design concepts.

The deadline for final entries is Wednesday 7th June 2023, with winners announced at the Orwell Youth Prize Celebration Day in July 2023. All entries will be read by expert, volunteer readers, and all winners and runners up are published on our website, receive books by Orwell, and are invited to become part of the Orwell Youth Fellows programme. Uniquely, all entrants are also offered personalised feedback, and the deadline for draft entries is Monday 24th April 2023.

The judges for this year’s Prize are Delia Jarrett-Macauley (chair), Orwell Prize winning novelist, biographer, broadcaster and academic; Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor for the Financial Times; Marianna Spring, the BBC’s first Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent; and Will Harris, Forward-Prize-winning poet and essayist.