A message to youth prize entrants from Orwell’s son Richard Blair

As the ageing son of Eric Blair (George Orwell) I sometimes fall into the trap of many older people who think that the younger generation of today do not have the independence of thought that we believed we had when we were younger. There is a tendency to label today’s generation as “snowflakes” and think they are unable to accept thoughts outside their own circle of like-minded friends.

The Orwell Youth Prize has continually challenged any tendency I might have to align with this viewpoint (along with my own teenage grandchildren!). When attending past youth prize Celebration Days, I have always been amazed and encouraged to listen to and read the writing submitted.

I am therefore heartened to suggest that you will not be any different to those that have gone before you. I urge you to be like my father and be not afraid to speak and write your mind, not in a muddled, sensationalist way, but with clarity of thought and in a style of words that cannot be misunderstood. I wish you all the very best wishes.

Don’t be afraid of being honest.

Richard Blair, Orwell’s son and Orwell Youth Prize Patron