The Orwell Youth Prize is much more than just a Prize. We take leading authors, journalists, poets and reporters into schools, universities, and community centres to work with young writers and teachers.
Scroll down to read about the various events we offer, or skip to a particular section below:
In 2023, The Orwell Youth Prize piloted a new programme, working in partnership with the University of Sunderland and Coventry University to deliver Regional Hub events for outreach schools in these areas. The days consisted of a series of creative writing workshops across different forms, from screenplays and podcasts to video game design, responding to the Orwell Youth Prize theme ‘Who’s In Control?’ Participants also took part in a ‘press conference’ with Orwell’s son and our patron, Richard Blair, and received Orwell goody bags, including Orwell books donated by Penguin. Local Members of Parliament, writers, journalists and news crews also attended.
We will be returning to Sunderland and Coventry in 2024, and also plan to expand our programme to reach more areas throughout the UK in 2024 and beyond. If you know a university or centre which would be interested in hosting a Hub event in your area in future years, please get in touch at email@example.com.
YOUTH FORUMS AND OUTREACH SEMINARS
Working in partnership with higher education access programmes, we organise interactive youth forums that include debates, guest speakers, provocations and writing seminars.
Our forums are designed to spur young people to think about the change they want to see in society and communicate their ideas with impact and confidence. In 2019 we held an Injustice Commission at the Great North Museum in Newcastle and we held a similar event in collaboration with the University of Hull and #thehullwewant in 2020.
The Youth Prize has also contributed to outreach programmes in other ways, such as providing writing workshops for the University of Warwick’s Writing Wrongs programme and in collaboration with the University of Southampton.
In 2023, we hosted our annual Celebration Day at University College London. The day brought together shortlisted Orwell Youth Prize writers from throughout the UK, to take part in a workshop with the poet and writer Anthony Anaxagorou, to share extracts from their shortlisted writing with an audience of family, friends, Orwell Foundation staff, trustees, and receive ceritificates and goody bags, before the announcement of the winners and runners up.
In 2022, we held our first in person Celebration Day since 2019 at University College London. The day brought together shortlisted Orwell Youth Prize writers for political writing workshops with Orwell Prize winning author and 2023 Orwell Youth Prize Judge, Delia Jarrett-Macauley, and Orwell Prize shortlisted journalist Ria Chatterjee. Find out more and see pictures of the 2022 Celebration Day here.
Prior to 2020, Youth Prize Celebration Days were previously hosted at Pembroke College, Oxford, bringing together over 100 young people from all over the country for a day of writing seminars, debate, and celebrating the winners of the Prize.
The Orwell Youth Prize is about hearing voices from across the UK. The closure of schools under lockdown meant that some young people and some communities were harder to reach than usual. In response, the Orwell Youth Prize worked with Stephen Armstrong to host workshops with community centres in Paisley and Wigan. Click on the links to find out more about the Wigan Sunshine House Workshop and Paisley Workshop.
Just some of the brilliant writers who have taken part in Youth Prize workshops over the years:
- Iona Craig, winner of The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2016
- Louise Tickle, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2016 and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2022
- Alison Holt, winner of The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2015
- Martin Chulov, winner of The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2015
- Delia Jarrett-Macauley, winner of The Orwell Prize for Books 2006
- Ria Chatterjee, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2022
- Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2015
- Mark Townsend, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2015
- Dan Davies, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books 2015
- James Ball, shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2016
- Tom Sperlinger, academic and author of Romeo and Juliet in Palestine
- Stephen Armstrong, journalist, author of the ‘Unreported Britain‘ Series and Trustee of the Orwell Youth Prize