Orwell Prize 2013 Longlists Announced

March 20, 2013

  • 14 journalists: take on Starbucks and the NHS, expose grooming in Rochdale, atrocities in Aleppo and the UKs complicity in torture
  • 12 books: journey from Mexico to Romania, examining the lives of the super rich and prisoners on death row, confessing doubt and covering conflict
  • The longlists for this year’s Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, have been announced today, Wednesday 20th March 2013. The Prize is supported by the Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly, AM Heath and Richard Blair (Orwell’s son).

    Director of the Prize, Jean Seaton, said:
    “Anybody reading newspapers this last year would think that British journalism was in a parlous state, but the entries for the Orwell Prize tell a different story. The entries were a stunning display of professional investigative brilliance. All of the judges were inspired by just how much good journalism is going on in Britain. This year’s longlisted books show just how carefully they have to be crafted. The range of writing, the passion of the research and the variety of manners in this marvellous set of books show a confident important writing culture. Go out and read them.”

    Book Prize
    
12 books were chosen out of 210 by this year’s judges, Nikita Lalwani (Desmond Elliot award-winning author), Arifa Akbar (assistant books editor, The Independent) and Baroness Joan Bakewell (Labour Party life peer, broadcaster and writer).

    The longlisted books are:
    
Carmen Bugan Burying the Typewriter (Picador)
    Marie Colvin On the Front Line (HarperPress)
    
Chrystia Freeland Plutocrats (Penguin)
    
Ben Goldacre Bad Pharma (4th Estate)
    
Ioan Grillo El Narco (Bloomsbury)
    
Richard Holloway Leaving Alexandria (Canongate Books)
    
Pankaj Mishra From the Ruins of the Empire (Allen Lane)
    
Paul Preston The Spanish Holocaust (HarperPress)

    Raja Shehadeh Occupation Diaries (Profile Books)
    
Clive Stafford Smith Injustice (Harvill Secker)
    
Daniel Trilling Bloody Nasty People (Verso Books)

    A. T. Williams A Very British Killing (Jonathan Cape)

    Bloody Nasty People is Trilling’s debut book. 2010 winner Raja Shehadeh makes the longlist for a second time along with Clive Stafford Smith who was shortlisted in 2008.

    Journalism Prize
    
This year’s longlist of 14 has come from a record field of 155 journalists. This year’s judges are Jo Glanville (Director of English PEN), Nicholas Timmins (former Public Policy Editor of the Financial Times) and Chris Mullin (author, journalist and former MP).
    The longlisted journalists are:

    John Arlidge The Sunday Times
    Jamil Anderlini Financial Times
    
Tom Bergin Reuters
    
Ian Cobain Guardian
    
David Cohen London Evening Standard
    
David Gardner Financial Times
    
Chris Giles Financial Times
    
Abigail Howarth Marie Claire; The Observer
    
Paul Mason BBC News; Guardian
    
James Meek London Review of Books
    
Andrew Norfolk The Times
    
Christina Patterson The Independent
    Clare Sambrook openDemocracy
    
Kim Sengupta The Independent

    David Cohen and David Gardner were longlisted in 2011, the same year that Paul Mason was shortlisted for the Blog Prize. Ian Cobain also made the 2010 longlist along with John Arlidge who went on to be shortlisted. 12 publications are represented.

    This year’s shortlists will be announced on the evening of 17th April at The Boardroom, University of Westminster. After the announcement the Orwell Prize is hosting a debate focused on Burma. Panelists will discuss; “When censorship declines does freedom emerge?” Book your free place here.

    The winners of the Orwell Prizes 2013 will be announced at an awards ceremony at Church House, London, on 15th May 2013.
    The Prizes are awarded to the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Each winner receives £3000 and a plaque bearing Orwell’s quote.

    ENDS
    Notes to editors
    1. The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, prizes are awarded to the work – for the book and for the journalism – which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’.
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 Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly and Orwell Trust are partners in running the Prize, through the Council of the Orwell Prize. Richard Blair (Orwell’s son) is a sponsor, with support from A. M. Heath.
    3. For further information please contact Katriona Lewis, at katriona.lewis@mediastandardstrust.org or 0207 229 5722.