The Orwell Youth Prize 2020: Winners

We can now announce the winners of The Orwell Youth Prize 2020: ‘The Future We Want’

Congratulations to our winners, and to everyone who entered this year.

We have received a record number (over 1200!) of entries this year, with young writers from across the UK creatively responding to the theme through essays, poetry, prose, and reportage on topics from climate change to living in a more equitable world.

Every entry was read by at least two assessors, and the final winners were chosen by the 2020 judges Kerry Hudson and Kayo Chingonyi.

A big thank you to everyone who has taken part, especially in these difficult circumstances. See below for our judges’ message to you all.



Senior Winners

Junior Winners

Senior Runners Up

Junior Runners Up

 Senior Highly Commended

  • Divided We Fall, Heather Murdoch (Fiction)
  • All the Way Down, Caitlin Self (Fiction)
  • The Future We Want, Faith Falayi (Poetry)
  • Document 407, Niamh Bradshaw (Fiction)
  • A second chance at change, Connie Smith (Fiction)
  • Past Enclosures, Hollie Cole (Poetry)
  • Ad Hominem, Edmund Clark (Essay)

 Junior Highly Commended

  • Mars, Sophie Leedham-Green (Fiction)
  • Poem for the Paperback, Catherine Booth (Poetry)
  • The Greater Good, Thomas Hurst (Fiction)
  • The Trials, Asha Birdi (Fiction)
  • The Future We Want, Carrieanne Burford (Poetry)
  • Subconscious are the Stairs, Lia Marziano (Poetry)
  • Woman, Abigail Roberts (Drama)


A message from our Patron, George Orwell’s son Richard Blair:


A message to all the fantastic teachers that supported young people to enter the youth prize this year!


A message from Emma Hardy MP Hull West and Hessle who has been a fantastic support to the youth prize this year:

I always enjoyed writing while I was at school. However, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to enter a competition, so congratulations to everyone who entered for taking that step. I know a lot of entrants are encouraged to do so by their teachers so I’d like to thank them – and all those others – who have supported these young writers. This year’s title, “The Future We Want”, has asked them to consider a fundamental human question. At a time when a great deal of attention is being placed on functional education, it is important to remember that without imagination, without creativity, the ability to fashion a future significantly different to the present becomes greatly limited. There is no doubt that new ways of thinking are required to meet the challenges facing us today such as discrimination, climate change and our emotional and mental well-being. I hope that getting involved in the Orwell Prize has helped to inspire in all these young people the beginning of their own creative journeys and an exploration of the possibilities of human imagination. I wish every one of you bon voyage.”  Emma Hardy MP 


A message from Alex Talbott, Orwell Youth Prize Programme Manager: