The Orwell Youth Prize is an annual programme for students in year 8 – 13 (or equivalent) culminating in a writing prize. Rooted in Orwell’s values of integrity and fairness, the prize and the activities around it introduce young people to the power of language and provoke them to think critically and creatively about the world in which they are living.
With a focus on social justice, the themes of the Youth Prize ask young people to respond to big ideas, past themes have included: ‘Truth vs. Lies’, ‘Identity’ and ‘A Fair Society?’. We believe increasing young people’s confidence in writing, critical thinking and interest in social justice helps to equip them for their next step, whether that be higher education, apprenticeships or work.
We seek to amplify the voices that go unheard and in doing so give young people the tools, confidence and platform to make an impact and change the world around them.
WHAT DRIVES US
An understanding of social and educational disadvantage in the UK drives our work and focus. Knowing that the distribution of resources and opportunities for young people is unequal and geographically imbalanced, we reach out to young people in the least affluent areas outside the South East. While we work closely with schools, we also place an equal weight on supporting ambitious individuals who may lack the structural support to develop their own writing. Our free online resources and feedback process are available to all.