Shortlist announcement and debate on 24th April

Friday 13 April 2012

The Orwell Prize 2012 shortlist announcement and debate will take place in less than a fortnight at the Boardroom, University of Westminster, Regent Street W1B 2UW. As Jean Seaton highlighted in a recent press release, we are concerned by the lack of submissions from black and ethnic minority journalists for the 2012 prize. Subsequently the subject open for debate at this year’s shortlist announcement will be; Our overwhelmingly white media are inevitably delivering ‘white news’. A panel will be chaired by Orwell Prize journalism judge, Brian Cathcart. Further details on speakers will follow on the website shortly. The event will begin at 6.30pm and all longlisted books will be available to buy from a stand put on by Marylebone Books. If you would like to attend please write to to request a place.

The Price of Civilization

Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding, Jeffrey Sachs’ book was mistakenly entered to The Orwell Prize for books this year. Since it was not published first in the UK but simultaneously with the US it was not eligible. The book has been removed from the longlist, it will not be replaced.

From the archive

“Spring is still Spring,” says Orwell in his witty colourful essay ‘Some thoughts on the Common Toad’ first published in The Tribune 60 years ago. This week the 75th anniversary of Orwell’s first novel The Road to Wigan Pier was reported on by Radio National, Australia and Orwell enthusiasts Paul Mason and Beatrix Campbell discussed Orwell and The Road to Wigan Pier with Radio National. ran a piece on Stephen Armstrong’s new book The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited in which he re-traces the steps of Orwell in the rural North of England deep in 1930s depression drawing parallels with our 21st century recession. Both Campbell and Armstrong spoke at our Oxford Literary Festival The Road to Wigan Pier event.

From elsewhere

  • 2010 winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism, Peter Hitchens talks to ABC about his new book The Rage Against God.
  • The Bread and Roses Award for ‘radical publishing’ released their debut shortlist

  • The wartime diaries

    This week, entries were published on 10th and 11th April. Over the next week, entries will be published on 18th and 19th April. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. 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.