MP Siddiq to chair Orwell Book Prize judging panel

MP Siddiq to chair Orwell Book Prize judging panel

MP Tulip Siddiq will chair the judges’ panel for The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, which from this year is only open to non-fiction. 

The Labour MP (pictured) will be joined by head of literature and spoken word at Southbank Centre Ted Hodgkinson, literary editor of the Times Robbie Millen and writer and women’s rights activist Helen Pankhurst. 

Broadcaster and arts journalist Tom Sutcliffe, will chair the inaugural Orwell Prize for Political Fiction alongside the literary editor of The Spectator Sam Leith; award-winning novelist Preti Taneja; and Dr. Christine “Xine” Yao, lecturer in American Literature at University College London. Organisers said the prize, which is sponsored by literary agents A.M. Heath and George Orwell’s son Richard Blair, “will reward outstanding novels and collections of short stories that illuminate major social and political themes, present or past, through the art of narrative.” 

Director of The Orwell Foundation Jean Seaton said: “The Orwell Prizes depend on the principles, tastes and open-minded authority of its judges. So we are thrilled that such distinguished teams of judges are taking on 2018’s books. We have never needed ideas more than now.”

The Orwell Prizes, which include prizes for books and journalism, are named in memory of the British journalist, novelist and essayist George Orwell. The judges are looking for work that strives to meet Orwell’s own ambition “to make political writing into an art”. ‘Political’ is defined in the broadest sense, including but not limited to entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects. 

Entry to The Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2019, previously, The Orwell Prize for Books, has now closed. The closing date for submissions for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction is Thursday 20th December. Longlists and shortlists for all four prizes will be announced in the  spring, with the winner revealed at the prize ceremony on, or near to, 25th June 2019 (George Orwell’s birthday). To enter visit www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-prizes.