Key milestones

The prize year runs from autumn to June. Each year features five ‘milestones’: the launch and opening of submissions; the closing of submissions; the longlist announcement; the shortlist announcement; and the announcement of the winner.

NB: The Orwell Prizes will reopen for entries in November 2021, with plans for an ambitious live event series in 2022, and a revised system of finalists and winners to replace the current longlist to winner structure.

More information, including eligibility and close of submissions, will be announced in November. Until then, the key milestones in the ‘historic’ prize cycle are outlined below.

1) Opening of submissions

Entry to The Orwell Prize for Political Writing and The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction opens in autumn of the year prior to the year in which the Prize is awarded, followed shortly by The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.

The Prizes recognise work published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the awards are made. For instance, the Prizes awarded in June 2021 (the 2021 Prize) recognise will recognise work first published between 1st January and 31st December 2020.

2) Closing of submissions

The Orwell Prize for Political Writing and The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction usually close for entries at the end of October in the year prior to the year in which the Prize is awarded.  If a final version in e-book/PDF is not available (for instance, if the book is being published in November or December) electronic proofs may be submitted.

The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils remain open until early January to allow for reporting published in December to be submitted.

3) Longlists

Longlists for all four Orwell Prizes are published in mid-April each year. Longlists will tend to consist of twelve entries on each list, although the judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

4) Shortlists

Shortlists are revealed in May each year. These will consist of six entries on each list, although the judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

5) Prize Ceremony

The Prize Ceremony, where the winners of all four Prizes are announced, is usually held on or around George Orwell’s birthday on 25th June.