The Orwell Prize

Key facts

Genres / categories


Prize money: £3,000

Key dates

Shortlist announced: 18/05/2018
Winner(s) announced: 25/06/2018

The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, The Orwell Foundation awards prizes for the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’.

The Book Prize is for a book or pamphlet, whether fiction or non-fiction, first published in the calendar year preceding the year of the Prize. For example, the Orwell Prize 2017 is for work first published in the calendar year 2016.

‘Political’ is defined in the broadest sense, including (but not limited to) entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects.


*Rapper Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey takes the 2018 Orwell prize for ‘heart-rending’ tale Poverty Safari. Click here to read the full story.


Previous winners:

2017: Citizen Clem by John Bew
2016: The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky
2015: Private Island by James Meek