Indies dominate Orwell Prize shortlist

Indies dominate Orwell Prize shortlist

Two thirds of the Orwell Prize for Books shortlist is made up of titles from independent publishers, which cover topics from the EU Referendum campaign to the Hillsborough Disaster.

Oneworld, Repeater, Faber & Faber and Guardian Faber are all nominated for the £3,000 political writing award.

Topics covered in the nominations include an analysis of the EU referendum campaign in Tim Shipman’s All Out War (HarperCollins UK), the legacy of the Easter Rising in Ruth Dudley Edwards’ The Seven (Oneworld), And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany (Faber & Faber) which explores the impact of the Hillsborough Disaster on Britain.

The six-strong shortlist (full list below) was revealed last night at a lecture given by Ruth Davidson MSP co-hosted by the Constitution Unit, University College London.

The judges are Jonathan Derbyshire, executive comment editor at the Financial Times, playwright and author Bonnie Greer, writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson, and writer and critic Erica Wagner. The judges said: “Regardless of the result of the General Election, all six books have something prescient to say about what is going on in the belly of the country right now, and how this is inextricably related to events in the wider world.”

Three prizes will be awarded by the charity, the Orwell Foundation, to the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art”: the Orwell Prize for Books, Journalism and Exposing Britain’s Social Evils. The winner of each £3,000 prize will be announced at a The Orwell Prize Ceremony on 15th June, hosted by UCL. The shortlists for the other two categories were also announced last night.

The shortlist is as follows:

Citizen Clem by John Bew (Quercus)

The Seven by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Oneworld)

All Out War by Tim Shipman (HarperCollins UK)

Island Story by J. D. Taylor (Repeater)

And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany (Faber & Faber)

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (Guardian Faber)

The award was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in its present form in 1993. 

Independent publishers also dominated the shortlist last year.