Rules

The Orwell Prizes, named in memory of George Orwell, the British journalist, novelist and essayist, aim to encourage good writing and thinking about politics.

The winning entries should strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. They should be of equal excellence in style and content – the writing must be both political and artful – and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.

The Orwell Prizes are awarded annually in the summer and recognise work published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the awards are made. The Prizes awarded in June 2019 recognise work first published between 1st January and 31st December 2018. Individuals may be entered for any number of the prizes in the same prize year.

There are currently four prizes:

In November 2018, the Orwell Foundation will launch a new prize for political fiction. Therefore, the Orwell Prize for Political Writing (previously, the Orwell Prize for Books) is restricted to non-fiction. Full rules, including eligibility, for the political fiction prize will be released with the call for entries on 14th November 2018.

In addition, Special Prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

You can find the rules for each prize below, or jump to the relevant prize using the links above.

 

THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING

INTRODUCTION

1, The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is awarded annually and recognises work published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the Award is made. The Prize, awarded in June 2019 (the 2019 Prize), recognises work first published between 1st January and 31st December 2018.

2, It is named in memory of George Orwell, the British journalist, novelist and essayist.

3, The Orwell Prize for Political Writing aims to encourage good writing and thinking about politics. The winning entry should strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. It should be of equal excellence in style and content – the writing must be both political and artful – and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.

4, ‘Political’ is defined in the broadest sense, including (but not limited to) entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects and can include pamphlets, books published by think tanks, diaries, memoirs, letters and essays.

5, The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is worth £3,000 to the winner.

ELIGIBILITY 

6, Works of non-fiction should be first or simultaneously published in the UK or Ireland in the calendar year 2018. If you have any questions about eligibility, please get in touch.

7, There is no limit to the number of books a publisher or imprint may enter.

8, Original paperbacks first published in 2018 are eligible for the prize. Paperbacks of a hardback edition first published in 2017 are ineligible.

9, A single author, or very small team of authors, must be clearly identifiable. Anthologies consisting of work by more than one author will not be accepted, but books where co-authors, up to a maximum of three, have worked on the entire book together are eligible.

10, Revised editions and reprints will not be considered, unless the revisions are so major as to effectively render the entry a new publication.

11, We do not accept works in translation.

12, We do not accept self-published books where the author is the publisher or where the book is published by a company set up by the author.

13, Publishers may enter as many of The Orwell Foundation Prizes for which the work is eligible in the same year – i.e. a writer can enter The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Journalism Prize, and the Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils in the same year.

14, There is no entry fee to enter the Prize however, we rely on the support of publishers and authors to promote the Prize and we ask shortlisted publishers to contribute £100 towards the production and distribution of marketing materials.

15, A completed submission consists of the three entered books, and a completed entry form. Submissions must be received by the deadline or bear a postmark from before the deadline. Electronic copies and cover images can be uploaded to the website.

16, A disclaimer is required for all entries (a checkbox on the online form) – either from the author or a representative of the publisher – stating that the entrant’s work is all their own and has not been plagiarised or is otherwise primarily the work of somebody else.

17, The final decision on the eligibility of a submission rests with the director and administrators of the Prize, subject to the oversight of Trustees of The Orwell Foundation.

18, Judges are not permitted to enter the Prize in the year they are judging.

19, Members of the boards of any of the Foundation’s partners or Trustees of The Orwell Foundation are not permitted to enter.

If you have any questions about eligibility, please get in touch.

PROCESS

20, In the first instance, three copies of each book or pamphlet, one copy of the book in electronic form where available and a high-resolution image of the front cover, accompanied by a completed online entry form, should be submitted. You may then be asked to submit further copies for consideration and prize promotion. However, if further copies are not possible, it should not prevent a book from being entered.

21, Publishers may be asked to provide copies of the books in electronic formats for the judges to consider.

22, The entry form can be found here

23, The deadline for entries is Friday 2nd November 2018. Proofs will be accepted but finished copies must be submitted by Friday 14th December 2018.

Entries should be sent to: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, Room 18, First Floor, Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

24, Judges may call in any eligible titles they wish to consider.

25, The longlist will be published in early April 2019. Typically, this will consist of twelve books. The judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

26, The shortlist will be published in May 2019, selected from the entries on the longlist. Typically, this will consist of six books or pamphlets. The judges may opt to shortlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

27, If shortlisted, the author is expected to make themselves available for interviews and attend the annual Awards Ceremony which is usually held on or around George Orwell’s birthday on 25th The winner of the Prize will be announced alongside the winners of The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Journalism Prize and the Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.

28, If shortlisted, the author may be briefed about The Orwell Youth Prize, and asked to consider taking part in a school workshop. Orwell Youth Prize school workshops give young people the opportunity to meet professional writers.

29, The winner may be asked to write a piece for The Orwell Foundation website, speak at events, and represent the Prize when requested.

30, The Prize expects as much assistance as possible from publishers of longlisted, shortlisted and winning works in publicising the achievement. This includes carrying the news on their websites and in press releases, and highlighting the achievement in future editions of successful books, making the award of the Prize clear on subsequent reprint covers etc.

31, If a book is successful at the shortlisting stage or wins, ‘Shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2019′ or ‘Winner of The Orwell Prize 2019′ stickers will be available alongside other marketing materials. The contribution from shortlisted publishers is £100 and we will make digital files of the promotional material available to publishers and booksellers. If the book reprints we ask that you put ‘shortlisted or winner of The Orwell Prize’ on the cover or jacket.

32, Publishers are asked to provide a digital copy of the first chapter or a suitably relevant extract of any longlisted books for The Orwell Prize website and publicity.

THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM

INTRODUCTION

1, The Orwell Prize for Journalism is awarded to a journalist for sustained reportage and/or commentary, working in any medium. The Prize, awarded in June 2019 (the 2019 Prize), recognises work first published between 1st January and 31st December 2018.

2, It is named in memory of George Orwell, the British journalist, novelist and essayist.

3, The Orwell Prize for Journalism aims to encourage good writing and thinking about politics. The winning entry should strive to meet George Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Work should be of equal excellence in style and content and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.

4, Judges are appointed each year by the Director of The Orwell Foundation, subject to the oversight of the Board of Trustees.

5, The Orwell Prize for Journalism is worth £3,000 to the winner.

ELIGIBILITY

6, Journalists may include work produced for more than one organisation in their entry and there is no limit to the number of journalists that may enter from a single publication or organisation. Journalists may complete the entry form themselves, or they may be nominated for the prize by an editor, publicist or awards administrator.

7, There must be a written element to all submissions. In the case of television or radio items, this should be a script or a transcript, as appropriate.

8, Entrants must show a discernible link to the UK or Ireland. In most cases this will mean they meet one of the following criteria:
• The articles submitted were first published in the UK or Ireland
• The articles submitted were first published internationally, and the journalist is a UK or Irish citizen

If you have any queries about eligibility, please ask the administrator.

9, A single author, or very small team of authors, must be clearly identifiable. Entries consisting of single articles by different authors will not be accepted, but entries where co-authors have worked on all three pieces will be. Entries where a named journalist has written two articles alone and presented a television programme with a larger production team would also be accepted.

10, Judges are not permitted to enter the Prize in the year they are judging.

11, Members of the boards of any of the Foundation’s partners, or Trustees of The Orwell Foundation, are not permitted to enter.

12, The final decision on the eligibility of a submission rests with the Director and administrators of The Orwell Foundation, subject to the oversight of the Trustees of The Orwell Foundation.

PROCESS

13, A completed submission for The Journalism Prize consists of three items: three printed articles, three television or radio broadcasts, three blog entries, or a combination of different media making three items (e.g. one printed article, one television package, and a blog entry).

14, The online entry form can be found here

15, Every submitted written piece must be sent as a PDF, accompanied by a permanent, accessible, non-expiring URL where available. Television or radio items should be submitted as a permanent, accessible, non-expiring URL, together with a PDF transcript.

16, A byline photograph with no rights reserved must accompany every entry form.

17, Judges may call in any eligible journalist’s work they wish to consider.

18, A longlist will be published in early April 2019. Typically, this will consist of twelve journalists. The judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

19, A shortlist will then be published be May 2019, selected from the entries on the longlist. Typically, this will consist of six entries. The judges may opt to shortlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

20, If shortlisted, the journalist is expected to make themselves available for interviews and attend the annual Awards Ceremony which is usually held on or around George Orwell’s birthday on 25 June. The winner of the Prize will be announced alongside the winners of the Foundation’s other prizes: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.

21, If shortlisted, the journalist will be briefed about The Orwell Youth Prize and asked to consider taking part in an Orwell Youth Prize school workshop. The Orwell Youth Prize school workshops give young people the opportunity to meet professional writers.

22, Shortlisted and winning journalists may be asked to write a piece for The Orwell Foundation website or blog, speak at events and represent the Prize when requested.

23, The Foundation expects as much assistance as possible from longlisted, shortlisted and winning journalists and editors in publicising their achievement.

THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR EXPOSING BRITAIN’S SOCIAL EVILS

INTRODUCTION

1, A submission for The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils should consist of a story that has enhanced the public understanding of social problems and public policy in the UK. The Prize, awarded in June 2019 (the 2019 Prize), recognises work first published between 1st January and 31st December 2018.

2, The prize, sponsored and supported by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is named after the task which Joseph Rowntree set his organisation ‘to search out the underlying causes of weakness or evil’ that lay behind Britain’s social problems.

3, Journalists may include work produced for more than one organisation in their entry and there is no limit to the number of journalists that may enter from a single publication or organisation.

4, Judges are appointed each year. Judges are appointed by the Director of The Orwell Foundation, subject to the oversight of the Trustees of The Orwell Foundation.

5, The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils is worth £3,000 to the winner.

ELIGIBILITY

6, The story must be clearly and primarily concerned with an aspect of UK society.

7, Entries may be communicated across any number of the following platforms: journalistic writing, video content, audio content, social media, or photojournalism.

8, A single author, or very small team of authors, must be clearly identifiable. Entries consisting of single pieces of work by different authors will not be accepted, but entries where co-authors have worked on all of the submitted pieced will be.

9, Judges are not permitted to enter the Prize in the year in which they are judging.

10, Members of the boards of any of the Foundation’s partners, or Trustees of The Orwell Foundation, are not permitted to enter.

11, The final decision on the eligibility of a submission rests with the Director and administrators of The Orwell Foundation, subject to the oversight of the Trustees of The Orwell Foundation.

If you have any questions about eligibility, please get in touch.

PROCESS

12, Entries may consist of any combination of media, up to a maximum of three items in each platform. There is no obligation to submit items in more than one platform, or to submit more than one item in any platform. For example: an entry might consist of two podcasts and one piece of video content, or one piece of journalistic writing and three items of photojournalism.

13, The entry form can be found here

14, Entrants may submit up to three pieces of journalistic writing, which must be submitted as a PDF. The entrant should also provide a permanent, accessible and non-expiring URL where available.

15, Entrants may submit up to three pieces of video content by providing a permanent, accessible, and non-expiring URL. Large files may also be submitted by WeTransfer: please contact the administrator.

16, Entrants may submit up to three pieces of audio content. For each piece of audio content submitted the author must provide a permanent, accessible, and non-expiring URL. Large files may also be submitted by WeTransfer: please contact the administrator.

17, Entrants may submit up to three collections of social media content. Each collection of social media content submitted can be uploaded as a PDF (containing up to a maximum of 3000 characters, or screenshots/links of up to 20 tweets) or as a link to a curated social media collection such as Wakelet.

18, Entrants may submit up to three pieces of photojournalism. Each piece of photojournalism submitted must be uploaded in an accessible file format (e.g. JPEG, PNG, PDF). Large files may also be submitted by WeTransfer: please contact the administrator.

19, A byline photograph with no rights reserved must accompany every entry form.

20, Judges may call in any eligible journalist’s work they wish to consider.

21, A longlist will be published in early April 2019. Typically, this will consist of twelve projects The judges may opt to longlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

22, A shortlist will then be published be May 2019, selected from the entries on the longlist. Typically, this will consist of six entries. The judges may opt to shortlist fewer or more entries at their discretion.

23, If shortlisted, the journalist/s are expected to make themselves available for interviews and attend the annual Awards Ceremony which is usually held on or around George Orwell’s birthday on 25th The winner of the Prize will be announced alongside the winners of The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the Prize for Journalism.

24, If shortlisted, the journalist/s will be briefed about The Orwell Youth Prize and asked to consider taking part in an Orwell Youth Prize school workshop. The Orwell Youth Prize school workshops give young people the opportunity to meet professional writers.

25, Shortlist and winning journalists may be asked to write a piece for The Orwell Foundation website, speak at events and represent the Prize when requested.

26, The Foundation expects as much assistance as possible from longlisted, shortlisted and winning journalists and editors in publicising their achievement.

SPECIAL PRIZE

1, There are no submissions for the Special Prize, unless the judges decide to announce at the Prize launch that they are inviting submissions for a Special Prize around a named subject or medium.

2, The award of a Special Prize is entirely at the discretion of the judges – they do not have to award a Special Prize if they do not wish to do so.