The Orwell Prize 2015 Shortlists announced

Friday 01 May 2015

  Six Books, journalists, and pieces of social reporting announced for the Orwell Prize Shortlist

  • First-time writers on Book Prize shortlist: Louisa Lim’s The People’s Republic of Amnesia and Dan Davies’ book on Jimmy Savile In Plain Sight
  • Journalism Prize shortlist features reporting and comment on a range of issues, from Peter Ross on Scottish independence to Kim Sengupta on Gaza and Ukraine
  • Housing crisis, care of the elderly, and gambling all feature on multi-format shortlist for innovative new Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils (sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

The shortlists for the Orwell Prize 2015, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, were announced at a debate held at the University of Westminster between Stephen Armstrong and Martin Moore on the subject of ‘Unreported Britain’. The ‘Unreported Britain’ series, a collaboration between the Orwell Prize and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has been published in the Guardian in the weeks leading up to the debate. Its revelations have attracted substantial attention online and from several other news sources. The judges for the 2015 Book Prize are Claire Armitstead, Gillian Slovo, and Tony Wright. The judges for the 2015 Journalism Prize are Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Stewart Purvis, and Caroline Thomson. The judges for the 2015 Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, which has been sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, are Anushka Asthana, Richard Sambrook, Nicholas Timmins, and Julia Unwin. The three £3000 prizes will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday the 21st of May 2015. The director of the Orwell Prize, Professor Jean Seaton, said: “Orwell was never parochial. His work spans international events and the national condition, and that range is represented in the shortlist: the books place Britain’s circumstances alongside those of India and China; the entries shortlisted for the Journalism Prize, which range from risk-taking foreign reporting to subtle analyses of our contemporary national issues, are all following in Orwell’s footsteps. Our new social reporting prize allows us to consider the new media that Orwell surely would have been using. As a snapshot of our condition, you need to read it all. The judges who decide upon the shortlists always find judging refreshing. It alerts them and us to how much good work is being done.”   Book Prize shortlist: Rana Dasgupta, CAPITAL: THE ERUPTION OF DELHI (Canongate) Dan Davies, IN PLAIN SIGHT: THE LIFE AND LIES OF JIMMY SAVILE (Quercus) Nick Davies, HACK ATTACK (Chatto & Windus) David Kynaston, MODERNITY BRITAIN (Bloomsbury) Louisa Lim, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF AMNESIA (Oxford University Press) James Meek, PRIVATE ISLAND: WHY BRITAIN NOW BELONGS TO SOMEONE ELSE (Verso)   Journalism Prize shortlist: Rosie Blau, The Economist Martin Chulov, The Guardian Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi,, Lacuna, New Statesman Mary Riddell, The Daily Telegraph Peter Ross, Scotland on Sunday Kim Sengupta, The Independent   Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils shortlist: George Arbuthnott, Slaves in peril on the sea Aditya Chakrabortty and Guardian team, London’s housing crisis Alison Holt, Care of the elderly and vulnerable Nick Mathiason, A great British housing crisis Randeep Ramesh, Casino-style gambling Mark Townsend, Serco: A hunt for the truth inside Yarl’s Wood Notes to editors: 1. The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, prizes are awarded to the book and journalism entry which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Each Prize is worth £3000. 2. The Prize was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in its present form in 1993, awarding its first prizes in 1994. The Prize is sponsored and supported by the Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly, AM Heath, Richard Blair, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 3. For further information, please visit our website, or contact Alex Bartram at or 0207 848 7930.