Since the first annual Orwell Prizes were awarded in 1994, many distinguished figures from literature and journalism have served on its judging panel.
Previous judges include Carmen Callil, Bonnie Greer, David Hare, Richard Hoggart, Lisa Jardine, Penelope Lively, Andrew O’Hagan, Tom Paulin, Esme Percy, Lynne Truss, Marina Warner and Samira Ahmed. Sir Bernard Crick was chair of the judges until the 2006 Prize. Professor Jean Seaton became Director of the Prize from the Orwell Prize 2007. The Director is no longer on the judging panel.
The judges are appointed each year by the Board of Trustees and the Director. The judges for the Orwell Prizes 2018 are:
- Books: Lord Andrew Adonis, Kit De Waal, Lorien Kite and Alex Clark
- Journalism: Sir David Bell, Professor Suzanne Franks and Elinor Goodman
- Exposing Britain’s Social Evils: Campbell Robb, Felicity Lawrence and Farrah Storr
2018 Book Judges
Alex Clark is a critic, journalist and broadcaster who lives in London, and the current Artistic Director for Words and Literature at the Bath Festival. She writes on a wide range of subjects for the Guardian, the Observer, the Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement. She has judged many literary awards, including the 2008 Man Booker prize. She regularly chairs live events, appears on radio and is the host of a monthly podcast for Vintage publishing.
Kit de Waal
Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014. Her first novel, My Name is Leon, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award in 2016. Her second novel, The Trick to Time will be published by Penguin Random House in March 2018.
Lord Andrew Adonis
Lord Adonis is chair of the National Infrastructure Commission and a Labour peer. He was previously an adviser to Tony Blair, heading the Policy Unit from 2001 to 2005. After joining the Lords, he became Minister of State for Education, and then Transport, before joining the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport. Before his political career, he was a journalist at The Observer and the Financial Times. He is an avid reader and writer, having published books on: his mission reforming the state education system, the aristocratic system in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century, and the post-2010 election coalition negotiations.
Lorien Kite is the books editor at the Financial Times. He started at the newspaper in 2000 and worked as an editor on the Comment and Analysis pages before taking on his current role in 2011. In 2014 he was a judge for the Samuel Johnson Prize (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for Non-Fiction.
2018 Journalism Judges
Elinor Mary Goodman is a UK journalist, best known as political editor of Channel 4 News from 1988 to 2005. Goodman joined Channel 4 News as political correspondent in 1982. Prior to her employment at Channel 4, she worked for the Financial Times. Goodman was appointed in 2005 to chair the Affordable Rural Housing Commission established by DEFRA. When she retired, she acted as a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme The Week in Westminster she served as one of six panel members of the public inquiry led by Lord Justice Leveson into the hacking of phones by News International.
Sir David Bell
Sir David Bell is a non-executive director of the Economist. He retired as a director of Pearson plc and Chairman of the Financial Times at the end of 2009 after thirteen years on the Board. David was appointed Chief Executive of the Financial Times in 1993 and became Chairman in 1996. In July 1998 he was also appointed Pearson’s Director for People with responsibility for the recruitment, motivation, development and reward of employees across the Pearson Group & in June 2003 he became Chairman of Pearson Inc in New York. David, born 30.9.46 in Henfield, Sussex was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania is married with three children and lives in Islington. David received his knighthood for services to industry, the arts and charity.