School Workshops

As well as the Prize itself, the Orwell Youth Prize runs workshops in schools to introduce students not only to Orwell’s writing, but to his principles and values. Workshops are run in pairs to ensure deep and sustained impact. Teachers can find out more in the information pack.

The workshops are centred around discussion, with students encouraged to talk about issues that concern them, and to be confident in their ability to express their views. Each workshop uses an Orwell text as a starting point for a discussion, which can then develop into a way for students to think about how to approach their own writing. Generous support from Penguin means we can provide every student who participates with a copy of Orwell’s Why I Write.

In 2015 – 2016, we ran 23 workshops in schools all over the country, providing over 600 student experiences. The Workshops are run by Mick Callanan, our Delivery Director.

We take a guest writer into every school – an author or journalist who can share skills and experience with young people, and participates fully in the workshop.

The workshops are cross-disciplinary: whilst they are focused on writing, students discuss current affairs, politics, history and ethics during the lively sessions. Many workshops bring together students from different schools, allowing students to discuss their ideas with peers from outside their usual school groups.

The Orwell Youth Prize has been an outstanding experience for our students
Crispin Bonham-Carter, Alexandra Park School

Experiences such as The Orwell Youth Prize are incredibly enriching for our young students. Encouraging them to be politically aware and engaged, making their voices heard, is of the utmost importance
Anima Misra, Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College

For more information about the workshops, or if you would like to discuss running one in your school, please take a look through the information pack, and contact: jeremy.wikeley@orwellfoundation.com

Writers who have taken part in our workshops:

  • Iona Craig, winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2016
  • Louise Tickle, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2016 and longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2015
  • Alison Holt, winner of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2015
  • Martin Chulov, winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2015
  • Brian Cathcart, winner of the Orwell Prize for Books 2000
  • Delia Jarrett-Macauley, winner of the Orwell Prize for Books 2006
  • Nick Mathiason, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2015
  • Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2012 and 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
  • Marie Le Conte, journalist at Buzzfeed and founder of Words by Women
  • 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