The Orwell Prize in Manchester

Thursday 30 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). We’re thrilled to announce our first event with The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, hosted by our new friends at their headquarters in Manchester. The Orwell Prize is taking Dr Michael Sayeau for a discussion on Dystopian Visions of the Future. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Anthony Burgess’s dystopias (including 1985 and A Clockwork Orange) provide the starting point for the conversation in which Sayeau will be joined by Dr Eleanor Byrne (MMU) and Dr Kaye Mitchell (University of Manchester) to examine literary dystopias, and to consider the significance of dystopian ideas for contemporary readers. The event will take place on the evening of Thursday 27th June. Places are free, full details here. In the meantime, you might like to have a listen to this brilliant podcast on Burgess and dystopias.

Our 2013 Winners

The winners of our 20th Orwell Prize were announced on the evening of Wednesday 15th May at a ceremony held at Church House, Westminster. The Journalism Prize was split between Andrew Norfolk for his scoop for The Times on child grooming and Tom Bergin who broke the tax scandal for Reuters. The 2013 Book Prize went to A. T. Williams for A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa and a Special Prize was awarded to another shortlisted book, On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin. You can see photographs of the event on our Facebook page here and we’ll upload a video of the event shortly. Thank you to those who attended, it was a wonderful evening.

Deborah Levy’s response to ‘Why I Write’

Man Booker shortlisted author Deborah Levy has written a response to Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’. “Perhaps when Orwell described sheer egoism as a necessary quality for a writer, he was not thinking about the sheer egoism of a female writer. Even the most arrogant female writer has to work over time to build an ego that is robust enough to get her through January, never mind all the way to December,” says Levy of her new work entitled Things I don’t want to know. Notting Hill Editions welcome supporters of the Orwell Prize to join Levy at her launch which will take place at Daunt Books Marylebone on Wednesday 12th June, 6.30-8pm. If you’d like to join us there please RSVP to Rosamund Hutchison at

From elsewhere: a round up of winners coverage

  • No doublespeak in the Hindustan Times
  • Abuse of women and children – even nice guys are guilty of looking away in The Guardian
  • Baha Mouse Book wins Orwell Prize in The Bookseller
  • Baha Mousa book and Marie Colvin honoured by Orwell Prize on BBC News
  • Orwell Prize winners announced: A.T. Williams takes top honor for ‘A Very British Killing’ in NY Daily News
  • From the archive

    The 8th June will mark the 64th anniversary of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Arguably Orwell’s most famous and abidingly relevant work the anniversary is often met with celebration even in lieu of a particularly distinctive year. In the lead up to this you might like to look at the content we have on our website like D.J. Taylor on ‘Orwell and the rats’ or even revisit this year’s BBC series on ‘The Real George Orwell’ with The Road to Nineteen Eighty-Four narrated by Orwell Prize winner David Aaronovitch. For full details on all of our material on this consumate classic see our Nineteen Eighty-Four page on the website.

    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 You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.