The Orwell Prize 2015 Shortlists announced


6 Books, journalists, and pieces of social reporting announced for the Orwell Prize Shortlist


  • Three first-time writers on Book Prize shortlist: Louisa Lim on China, Rana Dasgupta on Delhi, and Dan Davies’ book on Jimmy Savile In Plain Sight
  • Journalism Prize shortlist features reporting and comment on a range of issues, from Peter Ross on Scottish independence to Kim Sengupta on Gaza and Ukraine
  • Housing crisis, care of older people, and gambling all feature on multi-format shortlist for innovative new Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils (sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

The shortlists for the Orwell Prize 2015, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, were announced at a debate on ‘Unreported Britain’, held at the University of Westminster between Stephen Armstrong and Martin Moore. The Unreported Britain series, commissioned by the Orwell Prize and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has attracted national attention since its initial publication in the Guardian in March and April.

The judges for the 2015 Book Prize are Claire Armitstead, Gillian Slovo, and Tony Wright. The judges for the 2015 Journalism Prize are Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Stewart Purvis, and Caroline Thomson. The judges for the 2015 Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, which has been sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, are Anushka Asthana, Richard Sambrook, Nicholas Timmins, and Julia Unwin. The three £3000 prizes will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday the 21st of May 2015.

The director of the Orwell Prize, Professor Jean Seaton, said: “Orwell was never parochial. His work spans international events and the national condition, and that range is represented in the shortlist. The books place Britain’s circumstances alongside those of India and China. The entries shortlisted for the journalism prize, which range from risk-taking foreign reporting to subtle analyses of our contemporary national issues, are all following in Orwell’s footsteps.

Our new social reporting prize allows us to consider the new media that Orwell surely would have been using. As a snapshot of our condition, you need to read it all. The judges who select the shortlists always find judging refreshing; it alerts them and us to how much good work is being done.”


Book Prize shortlist:

Rana Dasgupta, CAPITAL: THE ERUPTION OF DELHI (Canongate)


Nick Davies, HACK ATTACK (Chatto & Windus)

David Kynaston, MODERNITY BRITAIN (Bloomsbury)

Louisa Lim, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF AMNESIA (Oxford University Press)



Journalism Prize shortlist:

Rosie Blau, The Economist

Martin Chulov, The Guardian

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi,, Lacuna, New Statesman

Mary Riddell, The Daily Telegraph

Peter Ross, Scotland on Sunday

Kim Sengupta, The Independent


Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils shortlist:

George Arbuthnott, Slaves in peril on the sea

Aditya Chakrabortty and Guardian team, London’s housing crisis

Alison Holt, Care of the elderly and vulnerable

Nick Mathiason, A great British housing crisis

Randeep Ramesh, Casino-style gambling

Mark Townsend, Serco: A hunt for the truth inside Yarl’s Wood





Notes to editors:

1.     The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, prizes are awarded to the book and journalism entry which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Each Prize is worth £3000.

2.     The Prize was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in its present form in 1993, awarding its first prizes in 1994. The Prize is sponsored and supported by the Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly, AM Heath, and Richard Blair. The Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils is sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

3.     For further information, please visit our website, or contact Alex Bartram at or 0207 848 7930.