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.

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.

Below you can find more information about the key milestones in this year’s Prize cycle.

Opening of submissions

Entry to The Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2021 and The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021 will open in September 2020, followed by The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2021 and Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2021 later in the autumn (update: the Journalism Prizes are scheduled to open by the first week of December 2020).

There are no entry fees for any of the Prizes, though in the case of the book prizes the Foundation asks shortlisted publishers to contribute £150 per title towards the promotion of the shortlist and the winner.

Closing of submissions

  • The deadline for entries to The Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2021 and Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 20201 will be Friday 30th October 2020.  If a final version in e-book/PDF is not available, electronic proofs may be submitted.
  • The deadline for entries to The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils will be Thursday 7th January 2020.

Longlists

Longlists for all four Prizes will be published in March. These will consist of twelve entries on each list, although the judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

Shortlists

Shortlists for all four Prizes will be published in May. These will consist of twelve entries on each list, although the judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

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. Unlike industry awards, you don’t have to pay for a table to attend our Prize Ceremony.